This week I’ve mostly been… working in pre-sales. Consequently, this is perhaps not the most exciting blog post I’ve written… but hey, it’s a post and there haven’t been many of them recently!
First up: searching Outlook
Since I changed jobs in April, my email volume has increased by 300x. My mail archive has more messages in it as we approach the end of June than it did for the whole of 2012, and most of them have been sent/received in the last three months. In short, being able to quickly and accurately search Outlook is important to me.
Microsoft’s website has some good advice for narrowing search criteria for better results in Outlook - for example, if you’re looking for that email from Mark Wilson with the attachment you needed? Try
from:"Mark Wilson" hasattachment:yes.
Next: opening two Excel workbooks side by side
If someone sends you a spreadsheet that you need to complete, and there’s information to pull from another spreadsheet, it can be a nuisance to keep switching back and forth between windows inside the application. The answer is to use Task Manager (
taskmgr.exe) to open a new copy of Excel so you now have two running processes. Each one can be used to open a different workbook (e.g. on different monitors) and contents can be copied back and forth.
Then: merging revision comments in Word
Perhaps you work in a team where instead of collaboratively editing one document, people each create their own versions with their own comments? Thankfully, Word 2010 (and probably other versions too) can merge the comments and changes into a single document. That single feature saved me hours this morning…
Finally: wildcards in Salesforce.com reports
My final tip from “Mark’s exciting week in pre-sales” (I jest) was gleaned whilst trying to create a report in Salesforce.com to show my team’s pipeline. I can’t rely on opportunities being correctly tagged, so I needed a report that used searches on a number of fields (and a filter to apply Boolean logic) but was picking up some false positives. The problem was that one of the search criteria was also a partial match on some other results. By changing the “contains” criteria from
thing*, I got just the results that started with “thing” and not the ones that included “thing” (like “something”).
That explanation is not as clear as I’d like, but I don’t want to spill the beans on some proprietary information – just take a look at the Salesforce.com advice for refining search using wildcards.