Outlook

FindTime – An Underappreciated Gem in the Office 365 World

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft's FindTime service helps Office 365 users find the right time to schedule a meeting with people inside and outside their tenant. It's an underappreciated gem. And the good news is that an even better service called Calendar.Help is on the way. Well, it's better if you like asking Cortana to find the right meeting dates for you rather than the more-hands on approach taken by FindTime. Whichever way you cut it, help is always appreciated when setting up meetings, so it's nice that these tools are available.

Slack Uploads from Outlook and Other Office Integrations

by Tony Redmond

Slack released some integrations for Office (365) on April 9. I took a look and discovered some interesting things about how the Outlook add-in for Slack works (and doesn't work sometimes). If you use Slack, you'll probably be interested in a tighter connection between it and Office, but if you're invested in the Office 365 ecosystem, Teams is a better choice.

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    New OWA Makes Categories into Favorites

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft is still building out the new OWA (for Exchange Online) interface. One new feature is the ability to make categories into Outlook favorites. This seems like a small thing, but it's really quite useful if you make an effort to use categories. Some people will love it. Some will say "blah."

    Connecting LinkedIn and Office 365

    by Tony Redmond

    You can connect LinkedIn to Office 365 so that Office 365 users are able to look up LinkedIn contacts from applications like OWA and SharePoint Online. Some privacy concerns have been expressed about the connection, but there's really nothing to worry about because users are in control of what they see and what they share with others.

    How Planner Synchronizes its Tasks to Outlook’s Calendar

    by Tony Redmond

    Many Office 365 tenants use Planner for group-based task management. Generally, the application is OK and has been getting better. Now it can connect to Outlook to synchronize tasks into a user calendar, which then allows users to see tasks alongside their other commitments and print details off if needed. It's an imperfect but acceptable solution to the lack of print capabilities within Planner.

    Microsoft Switches Office 365 Groups to Private by Default

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft is switching the default access type for Office 365 Groups to be private. It's a change that you can easily reverse, if you want it groups to be public. The change will be effective for Outlook endpoints first, meaning OWA, Outlook desktops, and the Outlook mobile apps. Later, the other Office 365 apps that create Office 365 Groups might fall into line. Or not, as the case might be.

    Choosing the Best Mobile Office 365 Email Client

    by Tony Redmond

    Companies that move to Office 365 have to decide what mobile email client to use. A native client that uses Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) or Outlook? In the past, the best choice was probably something like the iOS mail app. Now, Outlook is the focus of Microsoft's mobile efforts and it's where all the new functionality appears. EAS is still valuable, just less so than it was before.

    How a Free Version of Teams Might Work

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft might be working on a free version of Teams to take on Slack. As it turns out, not many technical changes are needed to transform the full enterprise version of Teams as available inside Office 365 into a limited version that Microsoft can make available for free, leveraging its existing consumer office services like Outlook and OneDrive.