Quick Tip: How to add a poll to an email in Outlook

Standard

 

It’s Election Day again! But while you’re waiting to find out who won the midterms, you can do more than just check your news feeds: you can stage your own voting topic. I recently learned a super-easy way to add a poll to an email in Outlook. This is a great way to get feedback from everyone in the office on topics from, “Should we take the designer’s advice and paint the walls red?” to “Where should we go for lunch today?” The only catch is that you have to be running on a Microsoft Exchange server. (If you’re unclear as to whether or not your company has one of these, you might have to ask your tech support. If that happens to be Everon, you can call us at 888-244-1748.)

With a poll, you can do anything from ask a yes/no question, request an accept/decline response, or ask a question with a multiple-choice response. Here’s how, using Outlook 2010 for this demo:

1. From Outlook’s Home tab, select “New E-mail.”

Email poll 1

 

 

 

 

 

2. Click in the body of the new email. Then go to the Options tab. Select “Use Voting Buttons,” and pick from the drop-down menu. (For our demo, we’re going to use the “Custom” buttons.)

Email poll 2

3. In the Voting and Tracking options section, type your categories into the space, using semicolons to separate them. Today, for our demo, we’re doing a poll to see who had the winning costume in our Halloween costume contest. I entered seven categories, separated by semicolons, and clicked “Close.”

Email poll 3

4. Now all you have to do is add your message and subject line. Once you click “send,” your recipients will get an email with a poll line in the header.  (If your colleagues aren’t familiar with email voting, you may need to instruct them on how to do this.)

Email poll 4

5. If you’ve sent the poll to yourself, you will also have the opportunity to vote. When you or anyone makes selections, you will get an email-update on the individual’s vote (yeah, it’s not 100% private this way, but only the original poll-sender can see these things).

6. You will also be able to easily track the entire group’s responses. Go to any of the response-emails and hover over the “i” line in the header (the voting section). The line will turn yellow. Click it, and you will have the option to view all of the voting responses.

Email poll 5

If you select “View voting responses,” you will get a summary-tabulation of how many votes each category has, as well as a table that breaks out how individuals voted. It’s that simple!

So… where are you all going for lunch today? ;)

 

When Techs Need Tech Support: a spooky story

Standard

 

Zombies - 28:50 a.m. I walked into work at Everon, stood at my desk, clocked in, and was immediately attacked by zombies. These humanoid creatures closely resembled my co-workers, but with huge eyes and stress-creased faces. They plodded forward, closing in on me. The same words repeated out of their mouths in a strange, garbled chant: Coffee machine… broken…. Won’t. Make. Coffee.

I am in charge of dealing with the coffee needs of the office. This is, of course, because I drink tea.

My breathing became shallow. I backed up until my legs hit my desk. Terror gripped my gut. The Walking Dead had nothing on these guys.

In some dim, still-rational recess of my brain, I knew this was a situation I’d seen before. My mind raced, trying to remember what to do, hoping that whatever I’d done before would work again. I hid my fear, nodded solemnly, and schooled my expression to be clinical, like a doctor. (Zombies are afraid of doctors, right?) Then, as fast as I could, I sat down at my desk and blitzed out an email to our coffee rep. More zombies approached. Coffee machine… broken….

Warm Bodies, Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate, 2013

Thirty seconds later, when my rep hadn’t responded, I pulled out her business card and called her cell phone. This time I also programmed her number into my contact list. She answered. As calmly as I could I explained the situation. I then relayed her message back to my coworkers—a message that was eerily reminiscent of what our own clients must say to their coworkers, after having contacted us for downed servers or Internet failure:

“A ticket has been opened; our status has been marked as ‘urgent.’ An onsite tech will be here shortly.”

Resigned groans filled the air, but my under-caffeinated colleagues lumbered back to their desks. I prayed my slightly-misleading verbiage would go unnoticed: I had no idea how long “shortly” would wind up being.

Trying to keep the horde pacified, I repeated the message frequently. The clock ticked. At one point a Desktop Engineer, who was clearly not himself, demanded coffee-status updates in 15-minute increments. I kept my expression clinical and forced myself to take deep breaths, so as not to belie my fright.

Hours later, at 3 p.m. the coffee machine tech arrived. We had an unusual problem that took him a half-hour to fix. But I’d made it. More to the point, my crew had made it. They say doctors make the worst patients. Well, it’s the same with techs who need tech support, especially when it involves missing their java. Now we’re all good. As long as we don’t run out of beans…!

Zombies - 3a

Google Chrome Malware Cleaner

Standard

Google Chrome has quickly become a top contender in wanting to be your internet browser of choice. With its speed, customizability, and ease of use, I thoroughly enjoy and recommend it to everyone. Unfortunately, when any application starts to gain attention and a user base it also gains the attention of malware developers.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.03.23

Browser malware can interrupt many things. It can hijack your searches to other search providers. It can add an incredible amount of ads and/or pop-ups. Or it can simply just slow things down to a crawl when browsing or opening/closing the application itself.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.15.21

That’s where the Google Chrome Software Removal Tool comes into play. It is available to download at https://www.google.com/chrome/srt/.

Downloading and running the tool will do a quick scan, which will check for anything suspicious, then request to clear caches and such.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.16.49

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.16.56

Very handy tool worth checking out, if Chrome is acting up for you. Only takes a few moments! 

What you can do to improve Outlook performance

Standard

 

If you’re like me, you are in a constant battle with an ever-growing mailbox that seems to get slower and slower every week. I have used and loved Outlook for a long time. Its stability and ease keep me from moving to its competitors. However, one flaw I have found is that sometimes when I am cleaning up my mailbox, the actual size of the mailbox remains the same. This slows it down. There are a few built-in tools you can use to pep up your mail browsing.

“Compacting” your mailbox removes all the items in your mailbox that you have marked for deletion and lowers the size of your mailbox on your hard drive. Smaller file equals faster access. In Outlook 2010 and 2013 the process is exactly the same.

Select the File tab at the top and press Account Settings > Account Settings.

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.31

Select the Data Files tab > Highlight your data file > Select Settings

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.57

Select Advance and press the Outlook Data File Settings button. Press Compact Now and give it some time (especially if your mailbox is as big as mine!)

 

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.10.57

 

Once that’s done there should be some improvement to your Outlook performance, depending on how unhealthy your mailbox is. If you have multiple mailboxes you should consider doing this process on all of them. Good Luck! And remember: if you need help, you can always call us at Everon (888-244-1748).

How to Stop Internet Explorer 11′s Browsing “Suggestions”

Standard

 

Whether you like it or not, by now (unless you told the Windows Update not to) you have been updated to Internet Explorer 11.  I, personally, don’t use IE unless I absolutely have too (I prefer Chrome).  But I have noticed that it picked up a new habit from the last version: it seems to be automatically trying to guess the website I am going to, regardless of whether I have ever been there before.  A small nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless. Here’s how to turn it off.

When in Internet Explorer 11, select the gear in the upper right-hand corner.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.10.53

 

From there, open up Internet Options and select the “Content” tab.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.01

Under Content, go to the AutoComplete section. Press “Settings.”

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.06

 

Here is where all the AutoComplete magic happens — the culprit in question is the Suggested URLs, but feel free to experiment!

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.11

Happy Internet  Exploring!