David@McraeAndrew.co.uk 02081447653

David Andrew: Psychology, Coaching, Higher Education

Since the College where I work has instigated a managed desktop strategy I have had to move over to using microsoft office where previously I have used a variety of tools. This blog is a reflective account of the development of my use of office and other MS tools.

In the past I use gmail and activeinbox as my email and task management system (on the basis that emails are tasks and need to be managed as such.  Some time ago we were banned from using Gmail for work and so over the last couple of years I moved initially to Thunderbird but have now moved to Outlook.

Outlook

I now use outlook for mail, calendar and tasks.  In order to make that work for me I spent some time adjusting the views in tasks.  I use the flagging of emails to add to my to do list.

Email

Outlook works well, address books a bit unreliable as I have my personal contacts and the College address book and it is not clear which is searched for autocompletion of addresses.
Tagging email as tasks works well. 
I still use Followupthen.com to out emails off for a while, and to remind me if I don’t get a response to an email.

Calendar

Outlook works well.  I like the way in which I can send a copy of my calendar in an email when arranging a meeting.

Tasks

Outlook works well – although I would like a hierarchical system – although my onenote solution works well and allows for flexibility. 

Onenote

I moved my reflections from evernote to onenote.  Onenote is more structured and I find myself using it more as a bucket for information (my approach to tie management  is influenced by GTD – bucket is a GTD term).

I find it so useful I find myself needing to avoid using it for everything and overloading it!

I like the links to Outlook tasks and for projects have a task list structure in a project management type structure on Onenote and then make each line a task in outlook.

I share some note books with colleagues.

I use the link with Outlook Calendar to make meeting notes for most of my meetings.

I am increasingly using tables and linking them to excel spreadsheets to maximise their use.

Onedrive

I am waiting for the College to set up Onedrive for Business which apparently they will be doing.  In the meantime I am using a personal accounts to:
  • make my current documents available on all devices (we have been using Dropbox at work so I have linked the two using cloudhq.net to syns the two – but we are giving up dropbox and that will cause problems).
  • sharing documents is easy
  • embedding documents into the VLE works very well
  • the online excel survey tool is very good and has suggested a solution to my scheme record keeping problem – will post on that later
Thats enough for a first post!
I will post again on what I am trying to do and what I find works and doesn’t.

I have now moved this blog to my wordpress site where it sits under the category Academic practice/using microsoft office

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