Archive | January, 2014

Tame your computer – modify your subject

25 Jan

During a recent one-to-one coaching session I had a light-bulb moment when I spotted the person I was training rename the subject line of an email message in her inbox, before storing it in her electronic document and records management system. Why would you want to rename the subject line of an email message you received, I hear you ask? Well, finding information can be an absolute nightmare and I read somewhere that the average person loses up to six weeks every year searching for misplaced information at work.  I’m pretty sure you’ve wasted time finding email messages that did not have a clear indication of their content in the Subject line.

Obviously, renaming email messages with silly subject titles isn’t only useful when you use a content management system, such as Livelink, so if an email message you’ve received (after all, you’re in control of the titles when you send) could do with a more descriptive Subject line, here’s how:

  1. Open your email message, as normal.
  2. Click anywhere in the subject line where you want to make modifications and type your amendments.
  3. Close the email message, as normal.
  4. Click Yes to save the email with the modified subject line.
  5. If appropriate, store the email in your content management system, as normal.

For those of you who like to idea of renaming an Outlook email message subject line without opening the message first, here’s how:

  1. In Outlook 2010, right-click the Subject column heading and select View Settings. (In version 2007 select the Customize Current View option.)
  2. Click on the Other Settings button.
  3. Tick the Allow in-cell editing check box.
  4. Click OK twice.

In future, you can simply place your cursor in the Subject line and overwrite the current title.

Tame your computer – when meeting is a must

19 Jan

If you receive an e-mail message that you want to have a meeting about, you can reply to the message with a meeting request, without opening your Calendar. When you respond to a message using Outlook 2010’s  new Meeting Reply functionality, a meeting request is created with everyone who was on the ‘To’ line in the original message invited as Required Attendees, and everyone on the ‘Cc’ line invited as Optional Attendees.

Here’s how (in Outlook 2010):

  1. Open the message, as normal.
  2. On the Message tab, in the Respond group, click Meeting. (Or press CTRL + ALT + R.)
  3. Enter the location and start and end times, as normal. (Remember? You can use plain English to choose a date or time, such as Next Thursday, 5PM. See Tip 350 if you missed it.)
  4. Click on the Scheduling button and add or remove attendees by (un)ticking the check box of the person you do not wish to invite.
  5. Add attachments, if necessary.
  6. Click on the Send button.

The original e-mail message is included in the body of the meeting request.

Not using Outlook 2010 as yet? Fear not… simply drag the message to the Calendar folder, which is also a great way to set follow-up reminders and keep your inbox nice and tidy. See Tip 103 for further details.

Tame your computer – simplify selection

12 Jan

If you are working with a big Excel workbook or Word document it can be cumbersome to select large chunks of data or text. You might already be in the habit of using SHIFT+CLICK (look here if you missed the tip on how to quickly select a range of cells) but after my last course in 2013 (happy 2014 everybody!) Mike Price told me about  this nifty way of selecting to the start or end of an Excel workbook.

Here’s how:

  1. Extend to the start: Click at the start of the range you want to select and press CTRL + SHIFT + HOME
  2. Extend to the end: Click at the start of the range you want to select and press CTRL + SHIFT + END

It also works in Outlook and Word (which I clearly had totally forgotten about; see tip 51), but it’s back on my radar. Thanks, Mike!