User behavior will *always* (eventually) trump technology

The Seattle PI recently posted about recent changes in the numbers of unique visitors for the major email services such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail, QQ, etc. According to that data, hotmail lost some users. From the first comment: I can’t say I’m surprised. I have email accounts with hotmail, yahoo and google. Hotmail is the…

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Human nature and email attachment security

Dare’s post about human nature touches on UAC in Vista: How do you design a dialog prompt to warn users about the potential risk of an action they are about to take if they are so intent on clicking OK and getting the job done that they forget that there was even a warning dialog…

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You’ve come a long way, baby

Outlook 2000:   Outlook 2007:   Breath with me now: Ahhhhh…   I was an Outlook tester during the 2000 release; when the icon was first released internally, we were harshly critical of it in a very public way – it sucks to be the product that gets ‘yellow’ as your family color because it…

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What contributes to information overload?

Following on to my short rant yesterday, I wanted to share some information from a survey we did about a year ago. We surveyed ~1400 people[1] about their email management habits, how overloaded they felt, if they used conversation views, folders, filters/rules, sorting, etc as well as asking them to self-report on how much mail…

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It’s *information* overload, not email overload

I am so tired of reading blog posts that point the finger at email and imply that the problem is that we have too much email and that the solution are other technology streams, 1:many communication, etc. Guess what folks, email has 1:many too, call them groups or mailing lists or distribution lists or whatever…

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Get text pasted into Word/Outlook to format properly

If you’re like me and do a lot of copying content from other applications into Word and Outlook, you’re probably very accustomed to using the paste smarttag to choose whether or not to use the source or destination formatting on paste. If you’re tired of constantly switching it and want it to use the right defaults,…

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Count the number of folders in your mailbox with Outlook VBA

A coworker asked me today if I knew how to count up the total number of folders in his mailbox, in the process of troubleshooting a bug related to having a large number of folders. I had an old script that recursed through a mailbox to count the total number of items (also written for…

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Least obvious yet terribly useful Outlook/OWA calendaring feature…

While reviewing some custom OWA themes we’re developing, one of the designers pointed out this odd orange mark halfway through one of the numbers on the calendar view, wondering if it was a bug in the CSS in the custom theme:  Actually, it’s one of these tiny little details that I think is so slick –…

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Ideas for new Outlook macros?

An email with a coworker who was recently acquired and is getting accustomed to Outlook after years with PINE reminded me that it’s been a while since I wrote any Outlook macros. Plus, I just need an excuse to write some code, I haven’t written any in several months and that part of my brain is congealing…

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