Microsoft Live Mesh – here, there, everywhere

August 1, 2008


“Imagine the possibilities

Imagine all your devices—PCs, and soon Macs and mobile phones—working together to give you anywhere access to the information you care about.

With Live Mesh, you can spend less time managing devices and data and more time connecting with family and friends or collaborating with colleagues.”

All your devices working together

No more e-mailing attachments to yourself. Instead, synchronize the information you need across all your devices. The most up-to-date versions will be at hand when you need them—at home, at the office, and on the go.

Just install the Live Mesh software on each device. Then add folders to your mesh. Folders are automatically synchronized, always available.

Access from anywhere

Anything you add to Live Mesh is available from anywhere, including the web from your Live Desktop. Your Live Desktop comes with 5 GB of free storage, and can be used from most web browsers.

Need a program that’s only on your home PC? With Live Mesh, access to all your devices—and any programs on those devices—is at your fingertips, no matter where you are.

Simple to share

Easily share files and photos with friends, family, and colleagues—invite them to a folder. Everyone is kept up to date because files can be synchronized automatically with all your devices and all their devices.

Update documents, post comments, or send instant messages, all right from the folder. The Live Mesh bar helps you connect instantly with other folder members.

Stay informed

Keep track of all the activities in your mesh. See the online status of friends and colleagues, find out who has updated which files or folders, post and read comments, and check the status of your devices.

News about your mesh is easy to access. You can view news items in the notifier, from the mesh bar, and on the Live Mesh website—available whenever, wherever you are.

Protection you know

Your mesh is password-protected with your Windows Live ID, so only you have access to it. When you share a folder with family and friends, they sign in with their own Windows Live ID to access it.

All file transfers are protected using Secure Socket Layers (SSL), the same technology your online bank uses.

For further details visit and see a video demo.


Microsoft Outlook – Creating Contacts and Categories

November 9, 2007

If you have been following this Blog you will know that I now use Mindjet’s MindManager 7.0 Pro software as a “hub” for all my interactions with Microsoft Office.  However, I still use Microsoft Office extensively and have recently been asked how to create CONTACTS in Outlook and how to use CATEGORIES effectively…

The following screenshots are for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 but the basic principle will work for all previous versions – the key difference in 2007 is that CATEGORIES can have colours assigned to them, whereas in Outlook 2003 you had CATEGORIES and EDIT LABELS as separate entities. 

1. From CONTACTS, create a new CONTACT via File, New and complete all the relevant information


 2.  In Outlook 2007 – Choose an appropriate CATEGORY from the CATEGORIZE button.  If none of the CATEGORIES are suitable you can delete, rename and create NEW ones:-


Once you have assigned a CATEGORY (or several) by ticking them, click OK and that CONTACT will have the coloured CATEGORIES visible at the top.

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, as mentioned above, colours were separate from Categories (colours were called labels and are in Edit, Labels) … in the example below I have shown CATEGORIES being applied onto an APPOINTMENT (rather than a CONTACT) but the process is the same for both …


The whole point about assigning CATEGORIES to either APPOINTMENTS or CONTACTS is that you can then, in the future, extract all appointments or contacts PER CATEGORY by simply changing the VIEW.  It is an incredibly efficient way of sub-setting or analysing by CATEGORY … you just need to plan ahead and consider how you might need to view and create all the necessary Categories.

In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, you can VIEW by CATEGORY… this screenshot shows the Calendar by Category …


To reverse the process, choose VIEW, Current View … and the top item from the menu … which will set you back to the default screen.

Another useful aspect of CATEGORIES is that in Word, the mail-merge feature can use Outlook to merge to a particular sub-set.  Therefore, if you want to merge to a particular group of your contacts you simply need to assign a CATEGORY or CATEGORIES to those people and have them on screen, then open up Word, start the merge process and when asked what data to use … simply choose Outlook and you will be able to use the Current View which will contain the correct names and addresses.

Online Event Management software

November 4, 2007

If you want to organise an Event but don’t have a huge team to co-ordinate everything, it will be vital to make the very best use of online event management software currently available.

I have recently discovered rsvpBook and would love to hear from anyone who has practical experience of using this software OR any other online event management software … rsvpBOOK


Some of the features which appeal to me are:

E-mail messaging:
Send e-mail invites, reminders and custom messages to your list
Resend invites to addresses not yet registered
E-mail confirmations and receipts are sent automatically to guests
Receive e-mail (or not) each time someone registers for your event
Receive notification when you approach your maximum # of registrants

Online Payment Processing with Reporting:
Accept online payments through your own PayPal account
Or, connect directly to your own merchant account
Include item thumbnail pictures and popup enlargements
View and download sales by item, group and customer
View transaction data for any date range
Set up Promo Codes to track your advertising
Offer early-bird discounts, manage inventory and use start/stop-selling dates

Sessions and Tracks with Reporting:
Set up an unlimited number of sessions; require attendance, or not
Specify title, speaker, description, room, dates, times, audience
View and download attendee lists; send reminders-to-attend to session attendees
Set maximum number of attendees per session, automatic wait-lists
Move wait-listed attendees to the in-list
Move attendees from one session to another with auto e-mail confirmation
Print out session itineraries, one page per person – hand out at the door

Post-Event Services:
Post images and documents for downloads after your event
Send a guest survey after your event
Sell items after your event has occurred – tapes and CDs of speakers

There are various packages, at different price points, including a free trial so that you can try it before committing yourself.  I’d love to hear from anyone who has used this software to arrange any event from a small workshop to a huge multi-sessional conference.

Eat That Frog!

October 27, 2007

Get More of the Important Things Done – Today!


“There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.”

“Eat That Frog! takes this saying as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one you are most likely to put off, but also probably the one that will have the greatest positive impact on our life.  There simply isn’t enough time to do everything on our “To Do” list – and there never will be.  Successful people don’t try to do everything.  They focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done.”

What an great little book – small in size, easy to read, straight forward, to the point and yet packed full of advice that you could implement today.  A few  quotes which really stood out were:-

“Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.”

“The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and they don’t deviate from them.”

“Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal.”

“Read in your field for at least one hour every day…The more you learn and know, the more confident and motivated you feel.”

“Take one full day off each week.”