Scan documents with iPhone

Our son is finishing up his first year of college from our kitchen instead of his dorm room due to COVID 19 stay-at-home orders. This week, I saw him taking pictures of his homework laid out on the kitchen counter. He said he uses Notes on his iPhone to scan his homework/tests to a pdf for submitting online, and that it was a useful tool I should try. Here is how I got started:

Apple_Notes_(iOS)

  1. Open Notes and create a new note.
  2. Select the Camera icon and select “Scan Documents”. If you do not see the Camera icon, check Settings to make sure Notes is connected to iCloud or the local notes folder on the device.
  3. Take a picture of the document and adjust the scan to fit the page. Select “Keep Scan”. Continue scanning pages to the document and then select "Save". All the pages will be combined into one pdf.
  4. Select the Upload icon to send or share.
  5. Optional: Select the Upload icon and then the Markup icon to add text or a signature. 

The Big Sweep

Gothic CraigMy favorite job in high school was working at a fast-food restaurant one town over from where I lived. During my first week on the job, the manager handed me a broom and told me to sweep the lobby, which he considered to be everything in front of the counter. I really didn’t want to sweep up the whole restaurant so I handed the broom back to my manager and explained that I hadn’t been trained to sweep yet, which is not at all true, but it worked, I got out of sweeping the floor…once.


I noticed Office 365 now has a sweep feature and I wondered what it might be used for, here's what I found out. The sweep feature is part of a suite of tools Outlook implemented to help organize your inbox, which I could really use some help with so I tried it and thought this is the kind of sweeping I could get behind.


Sweeping your inbox is really easy too. Highlight a message in your inbox and click the sweep tab above in the toolbar. A window will appear giving you several options of what to do with the message. I’ve been mostly using the first option of “Move all messages from the Inbox folder”, this moves all the messages only from that particular sender, then choose where you want that message and all previous messages from that sender put. You can also choose to have all future messages from that sender put in a folder automatically.

 

Update: These days I enjoy sweeping my floors. As a matter of fact, I have a different broom for almost every room in my house and two just for the garage.

Scheduling Emails & Posts

ScheduleSendA couple of weeks ago, I was finishing up the last week of the OverDrive Support Course. While online, the course relies on me sending an email to the students on Mondays and Wednesdays each week. This particular week, I was up at the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library helping out with interviews on Monday and didn't have time to work on my email.

I had noticed this new feature, Schedule Send, in my email earlier this year and now was a great time to investigate and test it. On Friday, I wrote up the email for Monday's lesson. There's an arrow next to the Send button and when you select that, you'll get a pop-up window with some suggested times. You can ScheduleSend2also pick your own date and time. I scheduled it to send the email on Monday morning and then waited to see what would happen.

And, it worked perfectly. I will definitely be using this feature more often (as long a I'm prepared ahead of time!)

And, this post is being written on Friday, November 22. My week for posting in TechBits is next week when I'm on vacation. I'm using the Publish On feature of TypePad to schedule this post to publish on Tuesday, November 26.

It makes me wonder where else I can add this efficiency into my daily work. Ideas?

And, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

It's not lazy to hit the snooze button (on email)

Snooze
The snooze buttons in O365 and Gmail

Ever use the snooze button in O365 or Gmail? It may seem lazy—it's a SNOOZE button, after all—but it's becoming a helpful habit for me. If you've never snoozed email before, it lets you hide an email from your inbox until a future time that you choose. When it's time, the email reappears in your inbox, nudging Future You to process it in a timely fashion.

I'm definitely no email productivity guru, and what works for me might not work for you. But I've tried using categories (and labels, stars, folders, and color coding) to flag important messages for follow up, and sorting through the backlog later is so overwhelming. Snoozing an email lets me get it out of sight, out of mind, with a built-in reminder to attend to it soon. This is how the snooze button fits into my system:

  1. Delete or archive automated notifications or listserv announcements that don't require attention.
  2. Read anything that looks urgent and respond immediately, or add to the to-do list outside of email.
  3. Read, reply to, and archive anything that can be dealt with quickly.
  4. Snooze messages that aren't urgent, but need more than a sentence or two reply, and set them to reappear soon (like after lunch or tomorrow morning). This lets me focus on the immediate to-do list tasks, rather than getting distracted by time-consuming, but lower priority, issues and projects. (And my rule is to only snooze once!)
  5. Stop looking at email, and concentrate on the to-do list.

With luck, by the time a snoozed message reappears in my inbox, I'm ready to focus on it. I'm more likely to stick to the priorities in my to-do list, and get more done overall. Good thing too, because the emails just keep coming. Happy snoozing!

Spoofing

Last week we had a little flurry of spoofed email messages where the sender that displayed didn't really match the actual sender of the message. These spoofed email messages are designed to look and feel like they're coming from someone you know and trust so that you will click on the nastiness that they contain or share info that you shouldn't. Sometimes they are very, very, VERY convincing.

GiveMeYourFish
What can you do to protect yourself?

Read thoroughly before clicking 
  • be SKEPTICAL, especially of documents or links you weren't expecting
  • watch for spelling and grammar errors
  • think about whether you expected the message and whether it makes sense
If you receive a questionable message...
  • call the sender (Always call. Do not use email to check whether something is legitimate.)
  • DO NOT forward or reply to the questionable message (unless you are specifically requested to do so by the Help Desk)
If you're feeling techie... you can view the message details in O365 to see who really sent it
    • Click on the "..." and choose "View message details"
    • Ctrl-A to select all the text
    • Ctrl-F to "Find" ---- search for "Return-Path"
    • If the Return-Path does not match the "From" field and is something unexpected, the message may be suspect
      (for example, if it appeared to be sent by your coworker, but the return path is "golfpro@something.com", you'd be right to be skeptical!)
    • Even if the sender is legit, their account may be compromised the email may be malicious
If it turns out that the questionable message is NOT legit, right-click, mark it as junk (and click "Report" if prompted).
 
Other tips
  • Set a secure password for your email and don't use that same password for other services
  • If you think your account may have been compromised, change your password
  • If you have questions about an email you've received, contact the Help Desk
Want to practice spotting Phishing or Spoofed emails? Check out this previous TechBits post for phishing quizzes and tips!
 
 
 

Deleting old or bad email addresses from Outlook's Auto-Complete list

Even though Andrew covered this topic back in Dec. 2014 I thought it might be good to cover it again.

You've all encountered Outlook's Auto-Complete feature when you start typing in the To, Cc, or Bcc fields in Outlook and you get a list of suggested email accounts based on the first few letters you've already entered. These suggestions are coming from that feature and is trying to save you time in entering someone's full email address.

This time saving list is sometimes your friend and other times it is not. If you have ever mistyped an email address and sent it, then that incorrect email address is now stored in your Auto-Complete list. This also goes for an employee that you emailed frequently and now that employee has moved on to other ventures. Their email address will still come up if you type the first few letters of their email account.

In order to delete theses bad and old email addresses from your Auto-Complete list you must do the following steps:

  1. Open a new email message.
  2. Type the first few characters of the email address that you want to delete.
  3. Use your mouse and click the 'X' next to that email address or you can use the down arrow key to highlight that email address and then press the Delete key.

Now you know how to keep your Auto-Complete list current and up-to-date.

 

Contact Lists in Office 365

Have you ever wanted to send the same email out to a specific group of people? If it's a small group of people you can just enter all of their email addresses in your email. But if it is a large group of people entering all those email addresses is a chore. If you have to email these people more than once then it is a really big chore. You're thinking there must be an easier way to do this with today's modern technology. Well I'm going to tell you a way to do it using Outlook in Office 365.

In Outlook in Office 365 there are two ways to do this. One is to use a Group, which is a "powerful and productive platform that brings together conversations and calendar from Outlook, files from SharePoint, tasks from Planner, and a shared OneNote notebook into a single collaboration space." If you just want to send an email then using a Group is a little overkill. Don't get me wrong, it can be used to just send out emails. The second way, and much simpler I think, is to use a Contact List, which is just "a collection of email addresses."

So let me take you through the steps to create your very own contact list:

A. Log into your Outlook account
B. Go to the People page by either
     1. Click on the Office 365 app launcher icon, sometimes called the 'waffle' icon, in the upper left corner of the page

                       App_Launcher_Icon

     2. Click the "All apps" link
     3. Click the People icon

                   People_App_Icon
    or
     1. Click People button at the lower left corner of the page

                      People_Icon

C. Click on the down arrow next to "New"

New_Contact_List

D. Click on "Contact List"
E. Enter a name for your list
F. Start adding the email addresses of the people you want in your list
G. When you are done adding email addresses, click the Save button at the upper left corner of the page

That's it, easy right? Now the next time you want to email these people all you have to do is type the name of your list in the To field.

"Like" an email in Office 365

Thumbsup2Did you know that you can "Like" an email message in Office 365? Until a coworker commented on it recently, I hadn't even noticed this feature!

Why would you want to "Like" an email? 

Microsoft says,"Instead of typing a text email message to reply with your support for or satisfaction about an email you received, express yourself by clicking the Like button. You can also see who else likes an email message by hovering over the Like button." Another coworker shared that in his other job, staff uses this to express agreement rather than sending an email.

O365_like

You can find all the details about this feature here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/like-an-email-message-in-outlook-on-the-web-cfd919a9-7c3e-40ed-a6e6-aabd7d2d2acb

Brief guide to buttons that clear formatting

Noticing unwanted formatting differences in the text on your website, email, Excel, or Word document (where one line looks good, but another is a hair bigger or smaller)? Many times there is a little button intended to fix it! Just highlight/select the text in edit mode, click the button—voila, wonky formatting gone. Here's a guide to what to look for in some common tools:

Microsoft Word & Office 365 (same icon!)

Microsoft Word & Office 365 use an icon with a pink eraser scrubbing out an uppercase A

Excel (specialized format clearing options in a drop-down)

Excel's icon shows a pink eraser next to the word Clear, with a drop down menu

Gmail

Gmail's button looks like an italicized uppercase T with a small subscript x

Drupal websites - CKEditor toolbar

The CKEditor toolbar button used on many Drupal websites has a button with an italicized uppercase T with a small subscript x

 

Focused Inbox

A few months ago Microsoft implemented the Focused Inbox in the Office 365 Email, or Outlook on the Web.  Microsoft's secret algorithms decide which emails are the most important to you and directs them to the Focused Inbox.  The rest are directed to the "Other" portion of your Inbox.  Personally, I like the Focused Inbox.  It is doing a pretty good job of deciding what emails I actually read and displaying them in the Focused section.  I have had a few co-workers ask me how to turn this feature off.  They prefer to have a single Inbox, mostly because it means they don't have to switch back-and-forth between the two Inboxes.  You can also turn off this feature by following the instructions below.

  1. Click the Settings gear at the upper-right
  2. Click Mail beneath the "Your app settings" heading
  3. In the Layout section, click Focused Inbox
  4. Select Don't sort messages
  5. Click Save
Inbox Before
Before

 

Inbox After
After

It's also a good idea to train your Focused Inbox if you do keep it.  If you see mail going to the wrong Inbox, right-click the email and select (Always) move to Focused Inbox or (Always) move to Other Inbox.