Tasmanian IT – “Take 5”

Tasmanian IT Blog   •   February 28, 2019

Each week, we post a “Take 5” article to our website with tips, tricks, thoughts and actions we’ve come across during the week that we feel you may benefit from too.

It’s designed to be short and sharp that you can read when you need to “Take 5”.

Grab a drink, give yourself a (productive) break and check out our latest 5 below.

1. Something to feed the brain – Learning from CEO Bloggers

What can Business Leaders learn from CEO Bloggers?

What do Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Reid Hoffman have in common Well apart from being top executives did you know they all write blogs? Blogging has become more than just a popular means for sharing your thoughts online. For companies, blogs are an important channel for content marketing, and for business leaders, they provide an effective medium for shaping popular opinion.

Blogs allow executives to demonstrate thought leadership, give their company a public face, control their image in the media, and communicate with stakeholders in a more personal and authentic way.

So if this is something you have been considering then maybe it is worth a minute to check out this blog on, well blogging!

Link: https://pagely.com/blog/business-leaders-ceo-bloggers/

2. Microsoft Outlook productivity hacks – Quick Steps

Microsoft Outlook is the ubiquitous email client of Government and Private organisations.  With the amount of time we all spend on Outlook, many don’t take the time to dive into some of the hidden productivity gems within the product.  Today our tool from the toolkit is “Quick Steps”.

Quick Steps is a function to create macros or multi-step processes in a single click.  Here are two of our favourites

Auto-create an appointment from an email

On a daily basis we receive emails that either prompt us to create a meeting, or we want to set aside time at a later date to follow up (another little hack we use!).

Instead of navigating to the calendar, finding the date and time, then selecting and creating an appointment – you can create a “quick step” to do all that for you!  Here’s how:

  1. If the Home tab isn’t highlighted, go to the Home tab
  2. Navigate to the “Quick Steps” ribbon and select the “Create New” item with the lightening bolt.
  3. Name the new quick step – we use “Apt from Email”
  4. From the “Choose Action” drop down, select “Create appointment with text of message”
  5. Click finish and viola – you now of a new quick step.
  6. Click your new quickstep anytime you want to create an appointment from an email you’ve received.

Automatically schedule a reminder to follow up an email

How many times have you sent an email and forgotten to follow up when you didn’t receive a response.  Well, not anymore…

  1. If the Home tab isn’t highlighted, go to the Home tab
  2. Navigate to the “Quick Steps” ribbon and select the “Create New” item with the lightening bolt.
  3. Name the new quick step – we use “Email – Week Reminder”
  4. From the “Choose Action” drop down, select “New Message”
  5. Then click the “Add Action” button
  6. From the “Choose Action” drop down, select “Flag Message”
  7. From the “Choose Flag” drop down, select “Next Week”
  8. Click finish and that’s it.
  9. Click this new quick step anytime you want to email someone and ensure you remember to follow up if response is not received.

Enjoy your new email hacks!

3. “Foldable” screens are hitting mainstream – what does this mean?

While the first “foldable” (screen) phone was publicly announced a few months ago (Royole – Flexipai), in reality it was a rushed beta prototype that didn’t mesh with the market.

Fast forward to this past week and Samsung announced the first foldable phone to really get the public attention – the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Poor Samsung had the lime-light for less than a week before Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw multiple vendors (Huawei and Oppo) release their new foldable flagships, and arguably better use of foldable displays.

Apart from all these phones being insanely expensive – this is an interesting point in technology development that we’re keen to see what use-cases develop in the consumer and commercial environments.

From medical to engineering, education to emergency service industries, we see many opportunities where flexible mobile and tablet displays could be used to advantage.  Watch this space…

In the meantime, checkout the foldable phones that will require a mortgage own:

Link: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/world-s-first-foldable-smartphone-is-glorious-and-a-hot-mess-20190111-p50qqh.html (first foldable phone to market)

Link: https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/20/samsung-galaxy-fold/

Link: https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/25/huawei-mate-x-closer-look-june-launch-cameras-screen-crease-bump/

Link: https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/25/oppo-foldable-phone-prototype/

4. Thoughts from our desk – The to do list

Yes, I am sure we all have one or maybe several.  Keeping a properly structured and thought-out list sounds simple enough. But it can be surprising how many people fail to use them at all, never mind use them effectively.

I used to work for someone who had an amazing To Do List system.  Everything was written down on an A4 pad, -and I mean EVERYTHING.  His To Do list at any one time could have been up to 5 pages long!

The problem with these out-of-control to-do-lists is that they’re overwhelming and prevent you from being the productive person you want to be. It could be because you’re multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities, you know the simple or easy stuff on your list.

Instead, keep your to-to-lists lean and mean by only focusing on your 3 to 5 most urgent, important, and challenging tasks for the day. Focus on one task at a time before moving on to less critical tasks. When you do, chances are you’ll feel much more productive and way less anxious. Just a thought.

5. Quote of the week

“It’s easy to spot a yellow car, when you are always thinking of a yellow car.

It’s easy to spot an opportunity when you are always thinking of opportunity.

It’s easy to spot reasons to be mad, when you are always thinking of being mad.

You become what you constantly think.

Watch yourself. “

A modern take on an original quote from Seneca The Younger (Roman Philosopher)

Have a great week from the Tasmanian IT Team