Ignore Feature in Office 365

Have you ever received an email with subject matter that doesn't pertain to your job?  You can simply delete it if you don't want it cluttering your inbox.  What do you do if several people reply to the original email and it quickly turns into a long email conversation?  You can delete all the replies, or you can use the Office 365 Ignore feature.

To ignore an email conversation, just right-click the email in your inbox and select Ignore.  The message below will appear.  Check the box and click OK.

All existing and subsequent responses to the conversation, will go directly to the trash.

You can "undo" the ignore if the conversation is still in the Deleted Items folder.  Open the Deleted Items folder, locate the email conversation, right-click it and select Stop Ignoring.

Helping patrons with email

Do your patrons need help with email? GCFLearnFree.org and DigitalLearn.org are 2 great resources for helping patrons learn about technology. 

For more than a decade, the GCFLearnFree.org program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, GCFLearnFree.org offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free. 


The Public Library Association's new site, DigitalLearn.org, is an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant-funded project to create an online hub for digital literacy support and training. Included in DigitalLearn.org is a collection of self-directed tutorials for end-users to increase their digital literacy, and a community of practice for digital literacy trainers to share resources, tools and best practices.

Gmail Help
If your patrons are Gmail users, Gmail Help also has an extensive collection of help pages.

Previous TechBits posts about GCFLearnFree.org and DigitalLearn.org:

What's the status?

This post was first run in 2009. It is being re-run with minor updates to reflect services that have changed.

Technology doesn't always have to be super complicated. Sometimes the best technology projects are very simple. A great example of this is the SCLS status wiki. This web page allows you to see which SCLS technology services have known issues in almost real time.  You can view this page from any computer, that's right any computer!  (not just a PC on the SCLS network)Crutches

Here is a list of some of the SCLS technology services that might have updates on the SCLS status wiki:

  • Koha
  • Library Online
  • SCLS network
  • Web services
  • OverDrive and other online resources
Let's look at a real world example

The first one will be before you knew about the SCLS status wiki and the second after you started using the SCLS status wiki.


You are sitting at your desk and a coworker says they can't access OverDrive. You spring into action...

Before the SCLS status page

...and in a panic you sprint towards the nearest computer, but on the way you trip and twist your ankle. Down but not out, you crawl to the computer and see that OverDrive is indeed not working. With tears in your eyes, you fumble for the phone and call the Help Desk. After all that, you get a busy signal because everyone else is calling at the same time. Battered and broken, you sit on the floor defeated.

After the SCLS status page

...and calmly open your Internet browser, navigate to the SCLS status wiki see that OverDrive is down.  You also see that SCLS staff are working quickly to resolve the problem. Relaxed and comfortable, you sip on your morning coffee and realize what a beautiful day it is.

Can you really afford not to check the SCLS status wiki?

Marking O365 messages as Read

Have you experienced a situation where you read an email in Office 365 but it doesn’t get marked as read? I like to check my messages on my PC when I’m at work and my Android phone while I’m away from my desk, and sometimes my phone will indicate I have a new message to read even though I already read it on my PC.

The solution I have to remedy this is to:

1.    Click on the Gear in the upper right and select Options
2.    Expand Mail, Automatic processing on the left-hand side (this was already open for me by default)
3.    Select Mark as read
4.    In the window that appears, choose Mark displayed items as read and change the number of seconds to wait before making items as read to zero
5.    Save your changes

This will automatically mark your messages as read once you’ve clicked on them. Now you won’t have messages that you’ve read lingering around acting like they are new.

The end is near! (for @scls.lib.wi.us accounts)

The end is near!

@scls.lib.wi.us email will be retired at the end of January.  Make sure you're ready!

Remove Addresses from Office 365 Autocomplete

The purpose of this TechBit is to show how to remove a single contact from the Office 365 Autocomplete feature.  This procedure will become very useful when the SCLS-hosted Email Lists are retired and we switch over to a similar service provided by WiscNet. MH900229717

  1. Click New Mail.
  2. Click in the To: field.
  3. Begin typing the first few characters of the contact.  (This could be a person's email address, a person's name or a list email address.)
  4. In the resulting list, use the Up and Down arrow keys to highlight the entry you'd like to remove.
  5. Press the Delete key to remove the highlighted contact.

These instructions also appear on the Office 365 FAQ page.  The HWDSB (Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board) has a decent video that may help as well. Thanks to Kerri of SCLS for the TechBit topic idea.

Procrastination and Gmail

ElvesIf you are like me, you may be procrastinating a bit on updating your email contacts following the switch to Office 365. Remember, we are retiring the @scls.lib.wi.us email in January and we need to notify our contacts of our new email.

I am a gmail user, so I thought I would share what I am doing to identify emails coming to my @scls.lib.wi.us email address. 

  • I created a Label called “Old email”
  • I then created a filter that will add the “Old email” label to any email that is sent directly to my old @scls.lib.wi.us email address.  (See directions below).
  • The emails still go to my In box and are not archived right away. I was worried that if I archived them, I would miss important emails.

(The image above is from http://www.online-stopwatch.com/christmas/elf-race/)

Here is a screen shot of my “In box” this morning.

In box

Here is what I do:

  • Spam. Much of what is currently going to my old email are spam emails (Ringing In Ears, Leading Edge Alzheimer’s). I can just delete those.
  • Vendors. There are emails from vendors (ProQuest, FireEye, Spiceworks). Do I want to stay on their list? I can’t decide yet, so I archive these.
  • People. Most of the people I deal with on a regular basis are already using my new email address, but if someone isn’t, I reply directly and let them know of my new address.
  • Misc. Others I am not sure about. I get the Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 email from way back in the old days when I used to update the LINKcat Best Sellers list. I don’t need this anymore, but do I want it? Is it worth re-subscribing? I can’t decide yet, so I archive it.
  • Email lists.  The one thing this filter does not seem to catch is my subscriptions to email lists. I need to apply the Old email label to these and then I archive them so that I can follow up on them later. I have created a spreadsheet to track which ones I have updated.

Remember to Resolve The Archived Emails

Once you have archived your emails to fix, you can’t just forget about them! Here is a snapshot of my Old Emails folder.

  Old email

I have some work to do. Hmmm. It looks like I have not updated my TechBits subscription. Uh oh.

Creating a Filter

  • Go to Settings/Filters/Create a new filter
  • On the first screen, put your old email address in the To box.


  • Click <Create filter with this search>
  • On the next screen, check the Apply label box and select your “Old email” filter.
  • Click <Create filter>




Is this going to your old address?

Quick check! Was this post sent to your old email address?  (if so, you should update your TechBits subscription)

In January when the old @scls.lib.wi.us email addresses are retired, we don't want this to be you!

Constantly changing Office 365

SendEmailOffice 365, the web-based email and calendar solution provided by SCLS, is frequently updated by Microsoft. On one hand, that's great. We're the lucky recipients of new features, bug fixes, and improvements with little to no work on our part. On the other hand, things are constantly changing and it's hard to keep up sometimes!

Office 365's recent upgrade brought with it new ways to manage your mailbox and shuffled some settings around. For example, when you click on the Settings gear in the upper right, the whole menu looks different, and when you go into the Options, the whole layout is rearranged! 

Here is an overview of the changes and new features and details about the new "Clutter" feature, which is designed to move low priority messages out of your Inbox and into their own folder. SCLS staff will be updating any out-of-date Office 365 documentation on our website as time permits.

Help patrons avoid account lockouts

Photo of some locks that are not digital

It's rough to get locked out of a Google, Yahoo, or other web mail account. Help your patrons avoid the hassle by encouraging them to set account recovery options for any web mail accounts they create and keep them up to date.

While logged into email, look under account settings for options like contact information, password-reset information, or security information. Once you find the right settings, there may be options to add mobile phone numbers and alternate email addresses (to receive a text/email message with a password reset code) or security questions (to answer if all else fails).

Remind patrons to check up on these settings from time to time. People change phone numbers, email addresses, and sometimes even security question answers.

Two-step verification is an additional login security option that Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo recommend. Turning it on for an account does strengthen security, but it can also cause difficulties if the patron does not have consistent access to a mobile phone or alternate email address. Be extra careful to add backup options for two-step verification and keep them up to date too.

Public service staff: how do you help patrons recover from account lockouts at your library?

Thanks to staff at Oregon Public Library for suggesting this topic!