Office 2010 – Love at First Sight!
by Jane Cage, COO, HTS
As your trusted technology partner, we feel duty bound to try before you buy. How can we make recommendations to you about products we don’t know how to use? It’s a dirty job, and sometimes risky, but someone has to try stuff first – so we do. Our experiences at being early adopters are sometimes frustrating. We figure our pain is your gain. I have a confession to make – it’s not that way with Office 2010. Office 2010 is love at first sight!
Our IT manager had us install the advance release version of Office 2010 last week. Usually there is a little pushback on new releases from our staff because “things are different”. That has not been the case this time. Every user has been thrilled with the new features in 2010. The single most appreciated element has been the ability to group email by conversation. It’s true that you could make that choice in Outlook before but this is a huge leap forward from that early sorting ability. Now, when I choose to view my email by conversation, the 10 email messages that went back and forth on a topic while I was at lunch are suddenly rolled up into one single entry in my inbox with a right-pointing triangle next to it. When I click on the triangle, there are all the emails that have been sent, replied all and replied again in perfect order for me to follow the thread. It almost seems revolutionary that I can have such organization in my inbox. In a funny way, I feel better about myself because my inbox is actually “neat”. But, as the infomercial says, wait – that’s not all. Once I realize that the email string is not relevant to me, I can click on the IGNORE CONVERSATON button and the string disappears along with any future emails that hit my inbox related to that topic. Now, the other nine friends who received the email that requires them to respond within 10 minutes to everyone on the list so that something good will happen to them – bye-bye! I can concentrate on what is important and ignore what is not.
Outlook 2010 has also reduced the number of steps it takes to organize email that you want to retain as well. The new QUICK STEPS feature lets you build a kind of workflow that can run with a single click. Now I can move my travel confirmations to my travel arrangements folder and mark them as read with one stroke. Even better, I can choose REPLY AND DELETE – answer the question someone has asked and have the original email deleted when I hit the send button. Do these sound like small things? Maybe so. But, if you live in your inbox the way most of us do, life has just gotten a whole lot easier.
Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Publisher and the often overlooked One-Note have received major facelifts as well – but more about that in a future edition. All I have to say is this – if you are on the fence about whether you should upgrade your version of Office, hop off now on the side of more productive and intuitive use – you’ll find yourself in love – just like me.