Outlook’s Slow Road To Syncing Signatures

Outlook will finally begin to sync signatures

At some point, possibly during our lifetimes, the Outlook desktop program for Windows will begin syncing email signatures through the cloud from one computer to another. This will be a wonderful thing that will alleviate one small pain point in setting up new computers.

But not today, not tomorrow, and apparently not this month, despite a flurry of excitement a few days ago when Microsoft announced a June rollout before apparently changing its mind. […] continued

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The Outlook Search Bar Is Changing, Whether You Like It Or Not. (You Won’t Like It.)

The new Outlook search bar might leave you feeling adrift without a paddle

If you use the Outlook desktop program for Windows, the search bar is going to change and move around and grow and grow and grow like a mutant chicken heart from an old horror movie. And just like the monster, you can’t stop it. (Cue spooky soundtrack music.)

Microsoft is changing the position of the search bar as part of a grand vision that expands Microsoft Search into a universal tool that encompasses web and enterprise data in addition to our own stuff, and uses AI to make our searches so smart that we get over our initial feelings of annoyance. […] continued

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What’s Wrong With Office 365 Junk Mail Filtering?

Office 365 junk mail filtering - finding too many diamonds in the rough

Too many important messages are going into my Outlook Junk Email folder, and I can’t figure out why.

Seriously, I don’t know how to explain it. Several of my clients have mentioned that more messages lately are being incorrectly flagged as spam, and the mistakes seem obvious when I look at my own Junk Email folder. […] continued

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Outlook Tip: How To Turn Off “Top Results”

Outlook - top results in search appear out of order

When you search your email in Outlook, you might see three messages chosen as “Top results” by sophisticated AI & machine learning algorithms.

Well, it’s supposed to be smart algorithms. At the moment, the three “Top results” appear to be chosen by a roomful of monkeys throwing dung at the screen. […] continued

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Windows Tip: How To Stop The Disappearing Scroll Bar

Windows 10 and the squashed and disappearing scroll bar

Have you noticed that scroll bars in Windows 10 get squeezed to a thread or disappear? It’s one of those small annoyances that the authorities slip into our lives to keep us on edge so we can’t concentrate but we’re not sure why. Allegedly.

You’re working in a program and you need to scroll down, so you scoot the mouse to the right side of the window, but the scroll bar is this thin line, barely visible, a thread. […] continued

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Shooting Fish In A Barrel: Microsoft Is Rebranding Office 365

Microsoft is re-branding Office 365. Just give up on understanding it.

Shared communication is one of the underpinnings of civilization. It sets humans apart from animals.

Microsoft is engaged in a long-term effort to prevent us from being able to understand each other. I don’t know why. The company doesn’t appear to be run by a super-villain, but that would fit the facts. […] continued

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The 2019 Bruceb News Year In Review

The 2019 Bruceb News year in review

(This will be the last Bruceb News article until I recover from an upcoming business conference trip to Hawaii. Happy holidays!)

I think I accomplished two goals in 2019: writing articles about privacy and security that were so terrifying that they kept you awake at night; and making those articles so dull that they helped you sleep. […] continued

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Say Goodbye To Outlook Clutter

Focused inbox will replace clutter in Outlook on January 31, 2020

On January 31, 2020, there won’t be any more clutter in Outlook. Oh, you’ll still get just as many unimportant messages as before, but they won’t be sorted into a Clutter folder. Instead, you’ll use Microsoft’s replacement, Focused Inbox, to read “Focused” and “Other” messages.

This only applies to a few people. […] continued

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Grammar Are For Winners!

Grammar checking made easy with Word, Outlook, G Suite, and Grammarly

Need help with spelling and grammar? Of course you do!

You already get help with your spelling. Microsoft Word and Outlook automatically fix common errors on the fly as you type, and flag possible misspellings with the familiar wavy line. Your phone auto-corrects your errors, which of course works flawlessly.

Artificial intelligence now allows grammar to be checked just as easily as spelling – on the fly, with instant feedback. […] continued

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Microsoft Makes It Easy To Encrypt Your Email (Well, Easier Than Before, Anyway)

Office 365 message encryption

Let’s talk about email encryption.

That didn’t take long! I’ve never seen a room empty out that quickly. I’d like to thank the fourteen of you who are still reading. I didn’t want to say this while everyone else was here, but you’re my favorites.

If you’re in a small or midsized business, you’re probably not using email encryption. […] continued

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How To Use The Archive Button In Outlook

Outlook has a new Archive button

Outlook has an Archive button, right next to the Delete button. You haven’t noticed it because we have trained ourselves for twenty years to let our eyes slide over anything in Outlook that we don’t use. The Archive button appeared a couple of years ago without any fanfare and, I’ll be damned, it’s pretty useful. […] continued

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Your Office 365 Mailbox Is Not Backed Up (But It’s . . . Wait, Is That Okay?)

Office 365 mailbox is not backed up

If your small or midsize business uses Office 365, there is probably no backup of your mailboxes. A backup – long-term retention of a copy of your mailbox in a separate place – requires a third-party service at startling expense.

It’s starting to be a problem that needs to be solved. […] continued

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OneDrive For Business Has Issues

OneDrive for Business - not quite the right solution

I wanted to love OneDrive for Business.

And it should have been a great relationship! There are lots of reasons to love OneDrive for Business. Although it had problems in the past, now the Windows app is stable and fast; I’ve got lots of storage space included with my Office 365 subscription; and OneDrive for Business includes features at no charge that cost extra from other services. […] continued

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How To Live The Simple Life . . . With Microsoft

microsoft_thesimplelife

My new computer is simple and has relatively few confusing bits.

My new computer runs Windows and primarily relies on Microsoft services.

Those two sentences are not normally uttered together! Microsoft’s mish-mash of dueling and overlapping personal and business accounts is anything but simple. I continue to have conversations every day with people who are confused by Microsoft services. […] continued

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Microsoft Thinks The Future Belongs To Teams (And It Might Work For You, Too)

Microsoft Teams - the hub for teamwork in Office 365

Microsoft Teams is an Office 365 service that businesses can use for their employees to chat and collaborate, providing an alternative (and perhaps a replacement) for email inside the company. Although it’s relatively new, Teams has quickly become a strategic priority for Microsoft.

Many Office 365 services only make sense for large enterprises, but Teams might be the exception that even small businesses should closely examine. […] continued

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