The best tools to use for detailed time tracking

Since I work on multiple projects across various clients simultaneously, I need to keep track of my hours very closely so that I can bill my clients accurately and to quickly recall what I was working on a particular day and time. In my search for the most efficient way to handle this, I found many great tools along the way.

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6 Tips to get the most out of Microsoft Teams

6 Tips to get the most out of Microsoft Teams

Many organizations have started to use Microsoft Teams as their tool for office communication. The idea is to help get conversations out of email and into a place where the knowledge can be shared and discovered. However, Teams can be a bit daunting at first. It takes some time to transition from the old way of working to this new way of doing things. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Teams experience.

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Simplified storage management in SharePoint Online

Have you ever thought it was cumbersome to set the storage quota for each and every site collection you create in SharePoint Online? Now you can avoid it all together by enabling automatic site collection storage management. By doing so, all of your site collections will use as much storage as it needs pulling from the total storage available.

To enable this feature

  1. Log into your SharePoint Online admin page.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select Automatic for the Site Collection Storage Management option.
  4. Save.
Site Collection Storage Management

Site Collection Storage Management

Is the feature enabled by default?

For new SharePoint Online tenants, this feature will be set to auto by default. For all existing tenants, it will be set to Manual and your admin will need to opt-in to the change.

For more information, check out Microsoft's post.

How I organize Evernote for GTD - Getting things done with Evernote tags.

How I organize Evernote for GTD - Getting things done with Evernote tags.

As a solutions architect I constantly have a huge list of tasks that need to be completed. For the longest time I have used Microsoft Outlook to manage my tasks which worked okay at first, but over time it turned into huge list of red (overdue) tasks. I discovered that "date" driven tasks don't work well for me. I was constantly rescheduling tasks and always feeling behind.

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4 Tips for customizing the Office 365 App Launcher

Pin-App-to-Suite-Bar.png

One of the distinguishing features of Office 365, and also SharePoint 2016, is the App Launcher. Here are a few tips for managing the App Launcher.

Tip #1: Add or Remove apps from the App Launcher

  • Open an Office 365 site.
  • Open the App Launcher (click on the waffle-like icon in the top left corner) and click on My Apps in the bottom left corner of the pop-up.
App Launcher
  • Now from the My Apps page you can see all of the apps that are available.
  • Hover over any of the apps and you will see the three dots that you can click to open the menu options for that app.
  • You have the option to Unpin/Pin the app from the app launcher, or view the App Details, which opens a pane to the right with more information about that app. Of course, pinning the app makes it appear in your App Launcher, while unpinning removes it.
Pin or Unpin App

Tip #2: Change the order of the apps in the App Launcher

  • Open an Office 365 site.
  • Open the App Launcher (click on the waffle-like icon in the top left corner) and click on My Apps in the bottom left corner of the pop-up.
  • Click and hold any app and drag it. Let go where you want the app to stay. This is an easy way to rearrange the apps in any order you see fit.

Tip #3: Pin an app to the Office Suite Bar

A little known feature was made available recently that allows you to pin your favorite, or most used apps directly to the Office 365 Suite Bar. This allows you to open the app without even opening the App Launcher.

  • Open an Office 365 site.
  • Open the App Launcher (click on the waffle-like icon in the top left corner) and click on My Apps in the bottom left corner of the pop-up.
  • Hover over any of the apps and you will see three dots appear. Click on the three dots and a menu appears for that app. If you select "Pin to nav bar" the app will be pinned to the top of the Office 365 Suite bar next to the other icons in the top right.
Pin App to Suite Bar

Tip #4 Create your own custom App Tiles

Your tenant administrator can add custom App Tiles to the available options.

  • As a tenant administrator, log into the Office 365 admin center.
  • In the top right corner, directly below the Office 365 Suite Bar, click on the link with your company name. This will open the company profile and configuration pages.
  • Click on the "Custom Tiles" link in the left navigation.
  • You will now see a page that shows all of your custom tiles for your organization.
  • Click on the big plus + icon to create a new tile. Enter the Tile Name, the URL, Description, and Image URL for that Tile.
  • Once added, your users can go to their My Apps page, as described above, and select this new App Tile to add to their own App Launcher.
Custom tiles

Find Office 365 content quicker using Windows 10 search

Find Office 365 content quicker using Windows 10 search

With the launch of Windows 10, I thought it could be useful to show some interesting ways to use both Office 365 and Windows 10 together. You will need Office 365 or SharePoint 2013, and the OneDrive for Business sync client, which is installed automatically the first time you sync. Some of this also works in Windows 8 and Windows 7, but I’m demonstrating on Windows 10, which seems to have a bigger focus on search and finding content in general.

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What's new for Office 365 and SharePoint 2016 - A summary from the Microsoft Ignite Conference

What's new for Office 365 and SharePoint 2016 - A summary from the Microsoft Ignite Conference

Last week I was one of the 23,000 people who attended the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago. The size of this conference was mind boggling and the amount of content was staggering. My focus was to learn as much as I could about Office 365 and SharePoint 2016. Here is my attempt to summarize the key things that I learned. Keep in mind that there were over 1000 sessions in total and I only attended a dozen or so.

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Microsoft confirms SharePoint Server 2016

Early today, Microsoft had confirmed the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2016. Here are some quick facts.

  • More details about SharePoint Server 2016 will be announced at the Microsoft Ignite Conference.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 will be generally available in Q2 2016.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 public beta will be available in Q4 2015.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 will focus on Improved User Experiences, Cloud-inspired infrastructure, as well as Compliance and reporting.

It is pretty obvious that Microsoft's focus is towards Office 365. While there will be many improvements to on-premise SharePoint Server, likely they will be features that are already available in Office 365 or features that will allow better integration with the Office 365 and other cloud offerings.

While I believe that on-premise SharePoint will remain for many more years, we will not see new features that we have not already seen in SharePoint Online unless they are very specific to on-premise infrastructure, perhaps around security and data. 

What do you think?

SharePoint Server 2016 Update.

/Source

Eric Gregorich

I have 7 years of professional experience with Microsoft SharePoint and over 10 years with ASP.NET, C# and other related technologies. As a senior SharePoint Architect, I am able to fulfill my passion for designing and implementing real business solutions. I have an interest in quality software design as well as the software development life cycle. My excellent communication skills allow me to work closely with clients, project managers, consultants, and developers. I hold certifications for SharePoint Administration as well as SharePoint Development. I constantly pursue learning through research and professional training.

Working with List View Thresholds in SharePoint 2013

Thresholds were introduced by Microsoft in SharePoint 2010 in order to prevent large queries from occurring which have an impact on performance of the SharePoint environment. I'll explain why thresholds were introduced, what happens when thresholds are reached, and provide some tips to fine tune your queries to avoid performance and scalability issues.

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More Yammer integration with Office 365

Microsoft has begun rolling out more integration between Yammer and Office 365. You can now use your Office 365 credentials to sign into Yammer. You will also see your Office 365 Suite Bar at the top of your Yammer pages.

The update is being rolled out between December 2014 and March 2015 so you may not have it quite yet. Also, Yammer Enterprise must be activated and Yammer single sign-on (SSO) must be disabled.

This is a big step to making Yammer feel more a part of the Office 365 family!

Source: Use your Office 365 credentials to sign in to Yammer

Comment /Source

Eric Gregorich

I have 7 years of professional experience with Microsoft SharePoint and over 10 years with ASP.NET, C# and other related technologies. As a senior SharePoint Architect, I am able to fulfill my passion for designing and implementing real business solutions. I have an interest in quality software design as well as the software development life cycle. My excellent communication skills allow me to work closely with clients, project managers, consultants, and developers. I hold certifications for SharePoint Administration as well as SharePoint Development. I constantly pursue learning through research and professional training.

You got Bing results in my SharePoint search!

You got Bing results in my SharePoint search!

Are you trying to encourage the usage of your own SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online search to find all of the great content you have in your environment but find that users still go to Google or Bing first to find information? How can you encourage users to find existing content that has already been created within your organization before going to the web to find a solution?

Maybe the answer is to give users the best of both worlds by integrating internet search results into your SharePoint search. This will allow them to search content within your organization but still be able to quickly see external results as well.

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A review of Office 365 and SharePoint announcements in 2014

A review of Office 365 and SharePoint announcements in 2014

It has been a busy year for Microsoft and I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at 2014 and review some of the big SharePoint and Office 365 announcements. I decided to list these by the approximate month they were announced rather than when they were released, since the roll out of new features are often staggered over time.  My original list was enormous, so I cut it back to only include the announcements I thought were the most interesting.

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