Tag: Tips

The Office 365 Outlook “Coming Soon” Switch

Change is coming, but you don’t have to rush things.

Microsoft has announced a new interface for the Office 365 applications which is simpler and has fewer icons on the ribbons.  While the current “ribbon” interface has been in place since roughly 2007 (for perspective, Adobe Acrobat has had at least two major UI updates during the same period (Acrobat X in 2010 and Acrobat DC in 2015).  The mouse-click masters at Microsoft have decided that we need a change in how we use Outlook.  Unfortunately, this update is just now being noticed by many practitioners during the time of the year when we need to be the most productive.


The “Coming Soon” button in Outlook for Office 365 gives you an opportunity to “evaluate”…. er, test, new features in Outlook, and give Microsoft feedback on the new features.  Unfortunately, this switch is getting turned on sometimes by accident, resulting in some confusion, like this e-mail I received yesterday from one of the gentle readers of this blog:

Yesterday when I booted-up my Outlook365 I noticed a significant change in the “look”. My main complaint is the double line-spacing. I can now only see a portion of the emails in my inbox (as well as the other boxes). Even the From/To/Cc/Subject lines are now double spaced. Heck, everything, including the Ribbon, is double-line spaced. When composing a new email Microsoft has inverted the To/From lines. What’s that about? I know I’m sending it out.  This makes working in Outlook365 much less productive.

Fear not, gentle reader.  Nobody moved your cheese.  The old interface is still alive and well – you just have to know how to “re-enable” it.  In the upper right corner of the screen is a on/off switch that is labeled “coming soon” (shown in the picture above).  Flip it to the off position, restart Outlook, and you probably will be back to what it was before.

For my friends who wish to block this tool from being implemented in their organizations, there’s a link at the bottom of this blog post which  allows you to update your group policy templates to allow you to disable this feature for your users.  (If the last sentence you read sounds like gibberish, or Charlie Brown’s parents speaking, then forward it to your friendly neighborhood network administrator, and they will help you take care of this issue).

Have a great year end/tax season/first quarter, and I look forward to seeing many of you in my travels for K2 Enterprises later in 2019.

Travel Hacks for Road Warriors

Most of the readers of this blog know that I do over 100,000 air miles a year, all in the US/Canada.  After 1.5 million air miles, these are my favorite travel tips – I hope they make your business travel better (or if you’re a glass half empty type, I hope they make travel suck less).

  1. Always carry $200+ in cash when you are on the road – because bad things happen, and cash can fix it quickly in almost any situation. Also because the bellmen, servers, drivers, and others who wait on you have hard jobs and get treated like crap all of the time – so throw a $20 at someone who deserves it at least once a month ($240/yr)- it’s a great way to pay it forward and make someone’s day suck a little less.
  2. Be very nice to all of the people at your home airport -know their names, bring them brownies, cookies, and other nice things around the holidays. They don’t make much money, and they can make stuff happen for you when travel gets bad. Ask about the counter people’s families and know their kids names – it will pay off in spades.  Buy the people who clean the airport coffee from time to time, because it’s the right thing to do.
  3. If you’re elite with an airline, use those “attaboy” certificates for outstanding service strategically. Give them out to people at your home airport, and do it publically – this makes me very popular at my home airport.
  4. If you have to fly 50-seat regional jets on Delta, they can’t take the electronic drink tickets – so it’s open bar, if you have to fly on one of those for over an hour and don’t have Comfort+.  (JSYK, Woodford is the best bourbon available on Delta – sorry, Jack)
  5. Electronic Expense Reporting
    • If your company uses Concur, Zoho, or other web-based expense reporting software, get the app – it’s essential, and you can take pics of your receipts as you incur the expenses
    • Manila envelopes for receipts – scan them with your Concur app when you incur them, and get them into the expense report system. Keep the paper – you may need it to get reimbursed if you lose/drop your phone or if the pic is blurry.
    • If you don’t already have a web-based expense reporting app, 1Tap receipts from Receipt Bank is a great tool for organizing your receipts.  You can take pics of them, tag/organize them with, and you can then output them as a PDF file.  Bonus: The data is available as a PDF or as a CSV file.
    • Continue reading “Travel Hacks for Road Warriors”