Archive for Dave Hale

CC’d By Mistake: Helpful Outlook Tip Series – Ignore Feature

Have you been CC’d before on emails that you should not have been copied on in the first place? The old way of handling these emails was to simply delete them as they came in. However, in larger email chains there may be numerous email replies and time spent deleting these can quickly add up, resulting in lost productivity. A faster and easier way to reduce these emails is to highlight the message in your Outlook inbox and then click the Ignore button in the ribbon under the home tab.

CC'd by Mistake 1

If it’s your first time using this feature, you will see this additional prompt below, just click on Ignore Conversation button to delete the email conversation.

Now, if there are any future replies to that email thread, Outlook will automatically send it to your Deleted Items folder. If you accidentally ignored the email conversation, right click on the email in your Deleted Items and click on the Ignore button again to restore the email conversation back to your inbox.

This is one more tip for how to utilize the features of Office 365 to be more efficient and productive with your time. If you aren’t already using Outlook, we recommend trying Office 365 which gives you access to the latest Office version (Office 2016). Learn more about how BlumShapiro Consulting can help implement Office 365 for your organization to use.

david haleAbout David: As a senior consultant with BlumShapiro Consulting, David coaches a range of businesses on the latest Microsoft cloud solutions. David’s belief is in keeping technology simple and easy to use for businesses. David has experience in the lifecycle of technology implementations from assessments, selections, implementations and project management. David specializes in the SMB/non-profit market for Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics CRMDavid received a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining BlumShapiro in 2009, David was a Desktop Support Specialist at Aetna in Middletown, CT. He currently holds a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in Office 365, Dynamics CRM and is a Yammer Certified Community Manager.

Stay up to date on the latest technology trends with our eNewsletter Technology Talks. Sign up today! 

Office 365 Groups – Making Life Easier

Projects and group work happen all the time at the office. With the digital revolution it’s all about getting this work done in less time. While being more efficient is great, it can be challenging at times to keep up with the pace in ever-changing work environments. Moving your technology infrastructure to the cloud can be a great way to keep up with the evolving technology landscape by staying up to date with the latest innovations. As an Office 365 coach, I enjoy teaching and sharing the latest features of Office 365 with our clients, including my new favorite, Office 365 Groups.

If you have ever worked on a group project, I am sure you know there are usually a few things that you need to have your IT department setup for you to help track group progress, communicate etc. For example, you may want a distribution list created for emailing team members, a shared calendar created to track events and meetings or a shared folder on a network drive for storing documents related to the group. While it is possible to set up and configure a mailbox, network drives, assign permissions and so forth, this can take valuable time away from being productive. Even after everything is configured, you may find yourself with technology that is not user friendly. For instance, you may have created a distribution list for email and then set up a Dropbox folder or a network share folder for storing documents. Using different apps and having to shift back and forth between them can slow down the progress of your project, which is where Office 365 Groups comes in to play.

Office 365 Groups solves the issue by providing all of the collaboration services you would need in a focused work area within Office 365—eliminating the issues caused by using disparate systems and apps. Each group in Office 365 contains the following:

  • Inbox – Group emails
  • Calendar – Group meetings/events
  • Document Library – Storing files and folders
  • OneNote Notebook – Taking meeting/project notes
  • Planner – Manage project tasks
  • Connectors – Connect your favorite apps to the group

office 365 groups graphic


All of these features can be created in less than 10 seconds without any IT involvement. This can be a huge timesaver for groups in the business world thanks to the power of the cloud. Getting work done faster and more efficiently is a win for the employee and a win for the business. Office 365 Groups is just one of the many examples of how the cloud is making everyone’s lives a little bit easier.

To learn more about Office 365 Groups and how your company can use them, contact our BlumPOWER team at

CTA Blog (2)

Microsoft Announces Free Office for Students

Microsoft, last Tuesday introduced a new offering, Student Advantage. It’s a huge win for students across the globe.

“Beginning Dec. 1, 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. Today, more than 35,000 institutions are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students. Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications — locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.”

IDC released a study in partnership with Microsoft highlights Office as being ranked 3 out of 20 in demand skills for high growth careers. This move by Microsoft benefits students, but also puts increased pressure from businesses facing higher server maintenance and licensing costs to have the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync on premise. I believe Microsoft is offering this benefit to students in hopes that when they graduate, they will be accustomed to using the productivity features in Office 365 and expect the same or more in businesses, not less. For more information on Office 365 for Education or Office 365 in general drop us a comment below.


One Simple Way to Reduce Email Clutter

Have you been CC’d before on emails that you really should not have been CC’d on the first place? The old way of handling these emails were to simply delete them as they come in. However, in larger email chains there may be 5, 10 email replies or more which quickly adds up in time and lost productivity. A fast and easier way to reduce those emails is to highlight the message in your Outlook inbox and click Ignore on the ribbon. Now if there are more replies to that email conversation, they’ll be automatically deleted before you even see them in your inbox.

MS Outlook

Quick Note: You do need at least Office 2010/2013. If you don’t have it installed, we recommend Office 365 which gives you access to the latest Office version (Office 2013). Sign up for a free trial if you’re interested in trying this and other features out!

Office 365 E3 Trial (30 Days)