Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Keep your Outlook calendar clean and tidy

A Reminder is a Zero-Duration appointment

2 years ago I had a "Calendar Collapse". Let me explain. I have a memory
like Swiss cheese, so I use my Outlook calendar a lot. I put all my meetings
in there, but also little reminders like "Call pharmacy and order vitamins",
"Post letter for Charles" or "Buy eggplants on the way home". This works so
well, that my calendar became cluttered with reminders. One day my boss
called and asked me if I had 1 hour or so for him. I opened my Outlook
calendar and ... I was lost in the jungle of reminders.
In order to avoid such embarrassing situations I came up with the "clean and
tidy calendar". It's easy:
1) Assign 0 minutes duration to all appointments that are nothing more than
reminders. Therefore I created a special button in Outlook that calls the
following Macro.
2) Create a new view on your Outlook calendar called "Duration > 0" that
displays only appointments with a duration > 0. This view will show you all
your important meetings and hide the little reminders.

How to create a Zero Duration filter?
  • Go to Outlook Calendar
  • Go to View/Arrange by/Current View/Define Views
  • Click on "New"
  • Name it "Duration > 0"
  • choose Type of View "Day/Week/Month", press OK
  • Click on "Filter"
  • Go to the Advanced Tab
  • Click on "Field"
  • Choose "Date/Time Fields/Duration"
  • Under "Condition" select "is more than"
  • Under "Value" type "0"
  • Click on "Add to List"
  • press OK twice
  • press "Apply view"

How to create a custom button for your reminders?

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Show all open reminders

Show open Reminders

Lists all your open reminders in one Window (also recurring reminders). Useful, if like me sometimes, you have a lot of open reminders. This script calls snoozeall.vbs that makes all open reminders snooze (for a timespan of your choice).

Advantages over the Outlook Open Reminders Window:
  • you can resize the reminders window to show them all.
  • You can copy and paste the list of pending reminders or print it out

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

An E-mail "Reply" button that does more ...

Reply and Forward

A reply button that automatically figures out the first name of your correspondent and fills in "Hi [first name]" and your signature. All you have to do is write your reply text. As I am working in a multilingual company, I went a bit further: it places the greeting and the signature in the language of my correspondent.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Redirect your mail4life twice a day ... automatically

redirect mail4life

So you have an e-mail forwarding service that redirects all incoming e-mails . You will have to choose if the e-mails are forwarded to your home address or to your work address. Do you? What if you could change it automatically, say in the morning at work and in the evening at home? Here is how it's done.
You might even tell your Outlook that it should launch the "redirect script" when quitting.
The script uses "scripted browsing", i.e. it opens web pages, fills in forms and clicks submit buttons. To do this, one must know how to handle the HTML DOM.

Trouble finding a time slot that suits all participants?

fuzzy auto pick next

In Outlook, when you schedule a meeting, you have the handy "auto pick next" button that finds a time slot that suits all participants. However, if you are planning a big meeting with tens of participants, this button will often propose a date far in the future, when the everybody's calendar is still empty. The featured Outlook macro will "auto pick next" dates under the condition that only 85% (or any other percentage) of the participants are available. So you can still hold your meeting soon, with the trade off that not everybody will be available to assist.
What do you think?

Monday, 4 June 2007

A taskmanager for remote PCs


Today's script is another example of how useful Internet Explorer can be in combination with vbs scripts: it features several buttons and it displays more information than would fit on a msgbox window.
What this script does: it displays all tasks running on a remote PC and let's you kill tasks.
I have often used it when users reported that a specific application on their PC is frozen.
You can easily extend the script to display the CPU load and so forth. Again, I don't want to bring you complete solutions, just point you to the right direction.
Have fun and don't abuse it!