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16 July 2018

HelpDesk OSP Becomes E-mail Converter

E-mail Converter logotype An update of the kalmstrom.com add-on that connects Outlook to SharePoint has been released. This time, the product has been renamed from HelpDesk OSP to E-mail Converter. As it can be used to create SharePoint list items from all kinds of e-mails, we found the "helpdesk" name too restricting. Changing product name is not something you do easily, but in this case we found it justified.

Convert e-mails manually or automatically
When HelpDesk OSP was first built, it was sponsored by a customer who was already using Folder HelpDesk for Outlook but wanted to have the helpdesk tickets in SharePoint instead. That influenced us when we named the new product, but later we have seen that customers find the product useful for other purposes than helpdesk and user support.


Finally we decided to change the name to better reflect what the add-in actually does, and the new name is E-mail Converter. With this product, users can convert e-mails manually and place them in any SharePoint list that has been added to the E-mail Converter.

E-mail Converter can also convert e-mails to SharePoint list items automatically, by monitoring an Outlook folder. An Outlook rule can direct certain e-mails to that folder, and users may of course also drag e-mails they want to convert to the folder. It is a good idea to use several monitored folders and let them convert e-mails to different SharePoint lists.

Create blank tickets
With E-mail Converter installed, users can also create totally new SharePoint list items from Outlook. They don't need to have SharePoint open, because the item will be shown in Outlook so that the details can be filled out.

When a helpdesk team uses E-mail Converter, they can either fill out the details for the person who reports a problem or select the caller from the organisation's global address book.

Everything is kept
If the e-mail has attachments or embedded images and links in the e-mail body, this is transferred to the list item. Converting an e-mail with E-mail Converter is actually a good way of getting embedded images into SharePoint list items. To add them directly in the item is more complicated.

Auto-upgrades
The fifth version of HelpDesk OSP - or the first of E-mail Converter - has more news than the name change. A big part of the code has been updated to work better in the future and make further enhancements possible.

A few improvements have also been added, for example the automatic upgrades. Once users get version 5 installed, they will no longer have to download new versions from the kalmstrom.com website. Instead E-mail Converter will give an upgrade prompt when there is a new version.

kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon If your organization has subscribed to HelpDesk OSP, you may upgrade it to E-mail Converter by downloading the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon Would your organization benefit from a solution that converts e-mails to SharePoint list items? In that case, I suggest that you try E-mail Converter. You may evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations. In case you need assistance during the evaluation period, do not hesitate to contact our Support team.

E-mail Converter can be subscribed to on a monthly or yearly basis. My colleagues at the Sales department are always here to help you, if you have any questions regarding the subscription.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

20 June 2018

SharePoint Online Exercises With A Modern Approch

SharePoint Online Exercises Cover My book SharePoint Online Exercises has been updated with a new chapter on modern sites, where I include many tips for use of these limited but easily created communication and team sites. The new chapter has a link to a kalmstrom.com Tips article with the demo below, which I hope will be a useful complement to the more detailed information in the book.

Visio Web Access deprecated
SharePoint Online Exercises was first published in January 2017, but frequent updates are necessary as Microsoft develops SharePoint Online rapidly.

Microsoft also removes things from SharePoint Online, and that is what will happen to the Visio Web Access web part on 30 September 2018. I had an exercise with this web part in the earlier versions of the book, but now it has been replaced with a modern sites exercise.

Modern sites
Apart from the classic team site, which all SharePoint users have come to know, Microsoft has recently introduced a modern team site that is very easy to create. The modern team site is created from the SharePoint home page, so it doesn't require access to the SharePoint admin center. A modern communications site can also be created from SharePoint home.
SharePoint modern site options
The modern sites have limitations, compared to classic sites and subsites, but there are also advantages apart from the easy creation. They adapt well to mobile devices, and an Office 3565 group is created automatically when you create a modern team site.

Modern SharePoint sites are mostly used for short-term cooperation and announcements, for example around a specific project. It is however also possible to create a simple intranet with modern sites, and in the new exercise I show how you can get the navigation to work when there is no hierarchy and how you make it easily available to all users.


Confusion and assistance
Modern sites have no support for SharePoint add-ins and sandboxed solutions, so the kalmstrom.com SharePoint products can only be used on classic sites. The kalmstrom.com support team has however noticed a certain confusion among evaluators who are not clear about the difference between classic and modern team sites.

For new users SharePoint can be overwhelming, but the kalmstrom.com support team is always there to explain and assist. Apart from the product development, we also help organizations to build and manage their SharePoint systems.

Use with SharePoint Online from Scratch
SharePoint Online Exercises can very well can be used stand-alone by readers who already have some knowledge about SharePoint, but for a more comprehensive learning I recommend to combine it with my book SharePoint Online from Scratch.

While SharePoint Online Exercises contains a number of hands-on step-by-step instructions on how to create specific business solutions, SharePoint Online from Scratch explains in detail how SharePoint is built and how it can be used, from the very basic to advanced features.

Peter Kalmström on Amazon.com Both books are sold through Amazon, and they are available in paperback as well as Kindle e-book format.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

05 June 2018

SharePoint Kanban Board - Sandboxed or Add-in?

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Kanban Task Manager is a kalmstrom.com solution that helps a workgroup manage their projects and tasks on a virtual kanban board. Apart from the Outlook Workgroup and Single editions, Kanban Task Manager comes in two SharePoint editions: sandboxed solution and add-in/app. Here I will discuss benefits and drawbacks of the add-in as compared to the sandboxed solution.

Sandboxed solution and Add-in/App
We have chosen to develop and market two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager, a sandboxed solution and an add-in. Even if nearly all the features are the same, there are some differences that made us decide on two editions. I will mention a few of the differences here, and you can find a full list on the kalmstrom.com comparison page.

If you are using SharePoint 2010, the Kanban Task Manager sandboxed solution is the only option, because add-ins were not introduced until SharePoint 2013. However, if you are using a later SharePoint on-premises, or SharePoint Online, you may use either edition.

Different installation
Some organizations prefer the add-in edition of Kanban Task Manager, because it is easier to install. The sandboxed solution must be uploaded to each site collection's solutions gallery and then activated there and on each site where it should be used. Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, on the other hand, can be added to a SharePoint site directly from SharePoint Store, and it can also be published to the farm's or tenant's App Catalog and then added to a site with the "add an app" command.


Add-in limitations
Even if there are a few less clicks to install Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, it has some limitations, like all SharePoint add-ins. These depend on the fact that the add-in architecture creates another SharePoint site to contain the app, what is called the "app web". The communication between the "host web" and the "app web" is constrained both by the way the SharePoint API works and by browser security limitations.

Therefore, it is not possible to move tasks between different kanban boards or to show tasks from multiple boards in "My Tasks", when you use the add-in. With the sandboxed solution of Kanban Task Manager, users can do this if enabled in the settings.

Another add-in limitation is that the task form does not support attachments, videos and inline images in the description field, something that works well in the sandboxed solution. To solve that problem, we have given the add-in a Kanban Task Manager App Part with another task form. This form works in the same way as in the sandboxed solution.

When you are using the sandboxed solution, you can save a site with a Kanban Task Manager installation as a template, and that is not possible with the add-in.
SharePoint groups
The sandboxed solution also supports all kinds of SharePoint groups, while the add-in only allows you to select a person or a permission group as responsible for a task. However, we have an idea on how to make the add-in also support all groups, and we hope to include this enhancement in the next version of Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager, you may download the full version of the sandboxed solution or the add-in and evaluate it for next 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period. The kalmstrom.com Support team is always here to help you if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding product subscriptions, please do not hesitate to contact our Sales department.

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

17 May 2018

New version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup Edition

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotype We have successfully released version 7 of the Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup edition. Among the new features we can find more views (in addition to the kanban board), a checklist option, time logging and default values. From version 7, the Workgroup edition also has automatic upgrades.

Outlook Add-in
The Workgroup edition of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook is an Outlook add-in that adds a kanban board to Outlook. It is intended for organizations and teams who cooperate on tasks and projects. Data and settings are shared via a database or a SharePoint site.


With Kanban Task Manager, the team members can manage their tasks together on a shared kanban board. New tasks are easily created and tagged with important info selected from dropdowns. E-mails can be converted into tasks with a ‘Convert’ button, so the team members can generate tasks for any e-mails related to a project. The task will be visible to all users who have Kanban Task Manager for Outlook installed.

Default Values
To make the task creation even quicker, the new version of Kanban Task Manager gives default values for some of the parameters that the tasks are tagged with. These values can of course be changed in the settings, and there is also an option to not use default values at all.

Simplifying the work
The kalmstrom.com developers have added a checklist feature to version 7 of Kanban Task Manager, to help users work more efficiently with tasks. When a task is complicated, users can make sure they don’t miss anything by adding a checklist to the task. The checklist can be managed from a details pane on the kanban board.

Supervise and control
The new version of Kanban Task Manager, gives more options for managers to control how the work with projects and tasks is proceeding. There are two new views, Daily Trend and Day Report, and we have also added a time logging feature.
Day Report image
When users register how much time they spend on a task, managers will have a good overview of the work process. Each time a team member works on a task, he/she can enter the time in minutes in the details pane. The total time will be automatically converted into hours, and the hours per task, phase and project can be studied in the Kanban Task Manager Excel reports.

kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon Upgrade
If your organization is a subscriber to the Kanban Task Manager for Outlook Workgroup edition, you can upgrade your solution by downloading the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website.

Next time the upgrade process will be automatic. Users will receive an upgrade notification whenever we release a new version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook. They just have to click on the ‘Upgrade’ button to upgrade the installation. All data and settings will be kept.

kamlstrom.com Trial icon Trial and Subscription
If you and your team are looking for a solution to manage tasks and projects together, I would recommend you to try the Workgroup edition of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook. You can evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations. Our Support team is here to help you, whenever you need assistance during the evaluation period.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager for Outlook on monthly or yearly basis. In case you have any questions regarding the subscription, you may contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

02 May 2018

Default Tags and New Views in New Kanban Task Manager Single

Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logotype Today, I am happy to announce the release of Kanban Task Manager Single V7. In the new version, we have added several new features which will help users to work more efficiently with their tasks and projects. The design of the kanban board has also been improved.

Outlook Add-ins
Kanban Task Manager is a kalmstrom.com solution that helps users manage tasks and projects on a virtual kanban board. It comes in two Outlook editions: Workgroup and Single. Kanban Task Manager Single is intended for one user, who wants an efficient method to manage professional and/or personal tasks. In the Single edition, the tasks cannot be shared.


The Workgroup edition is intended for a team, who wants to cooperate on tasks and projects. We will soon release a new version of Kanban Task Manager for Outlook too.

Checklist and Time Logging
The new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, has several good features. Two of them are the Checklist and the Time Logging. Both features can be managed in the Details pane to the right on the kanban board.

Checklist icon You can simplify work with complicated tasks by adding checklists to them. Check the box at each step you have completed as your work with the task proceeds. The task card on the kanban board will display the checklist count.

You can change the sequence of the checklist items by drag and drop. If you want to remove or delete a checklist, just drag it out of the Details pane.

Time Logging icon The time logging feature helps you keep track of the time you have spent on a particular task and is especially important for users who charge for their tasks. Each time you work on a task, enter the time in minutes in the details pane. The minutes will be added automatically, and the total time will be shown in hours. You can also study the time in the Excel reports.

Default Values
The new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, has default values for the task parameters, Start date, Due date, Project and Priority. You can change the default values in the settings or select Empty to not use default values at all. The ‘default value’ options are:
  • Start Date: the current date
  • Due Date: the current date plus one
  • Project: the first project in the list
  • Priority: Normal

New kanban views
We have added two more views in the new version of Kanban Task Manager: the Daily Trend and the Day Report. The Daily Trend displays the status of all tasks from the last 30 days in a line chart. The line chart is updated at each time a task is modified.
Daily Trend image
The Day Report shows the number of tasks that were created, open, closed, delayed and modified on the selected date.
Day Report image

Upgrade
kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon If you are already using Kanban Task Manager Single, you are welcome to upgrade your solution. This upgrade will be the last time you download the setup file from the kalmstrom.com website. Next time the upgrade will be automatic.

From the next time, whenever we release a new version of Kanban Task Manager Single, you will get an update notification on your PC. You just have to click on the update button, and your installation will be updated. All your settings and tasks will be kept.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you are looking for a way to manage your tasks, I would recommend you to evaluate Kanban Task Manager Single. We provide a 30 days free trial of the full version. Don't you hesitate to contact our Support team if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager Single, on monthly or yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding the subscription, you may contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

27 April 2018

Bye Office 365 Video, Welcome Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Office 365 VideoLast year, Microsoft released a new corporate video-sharing service, Microsoft Stream, that will eventually replace Office 365 Video. Therefore, my book Office 365 from Scratch had to be updated with a new chapter, and the kalmstrom.com Tips section needed a new article.

As you might have seen earlier, the new edition of Office 365 from Scratch has been on the market for a while, and a new article and demo have also been created.

Office 365 E3 edition
Microsoft Stream is intended for video sharing within an organization, and it can be used both stand-alone and integrated in Office 365. There are different Plans with more or less features, but in the demo below I am using the Stream edition that is included in the Enterprise E3 Office 365 subscriptions.

Transition from Video
Office 365 Video was launched as late as 2015, so it is also a fairly new product. Despite this, Microsoft decided to create another video service. Microsoft has promised a smooth transition from Video to Stream, but the deprecation of Video will of course still create problems for users and administrators.

Even if Microsoft can transfer all content from Office 365 Video into Stream and make sure that existing Video embed codes and links will redirect to the Stream content, people have to re-learn after so recently having gotten used to Video. The process will be easier if users see that Stream is better than Video, and in my opinion the switch is worth the trouble. Stream has several benefits.

SharePoint groups
Office 365 Groups
Stream is much more than just a password-protected version of YouTube. In the demo below I just show the basics, but in Office 365 from Scratch I describe how Stream is connected to Office 365 Groups. This means that Stream has two ways to categorize videos: channels to organize them by content and groups to limit access to certain videos.

Auto-generated transcripts
Stream can generate a transcript when the video sound is in English or Spanish. I am sure Stream transcripts will support more languages in the future, because even if you should edit the transcript to make it perfect this is a very useful feature.

The Stream search feature uses the transcripts, so editing them is important also to optimize the search. It is easy to edit the transcripts, as they are shown beside the videos and you can follow the audio and text closely.

Share videos
Stream makes it easy to share videos and channels within Office 365, and the permissions are kept in the sharing. You can for example:
  • Embed a video in a SharePoint Online wiki page.
  • Use the Stream web part to insert a video or channel in a modern SharePoint page.
  • Add a tab with a Stream video or channel in a Teams channel.
  • Paste a Stream video link into a Yammer conversation.
  • Paste a Stream video link into a OneNote page.
  • Embed a Stream video in a Sway.

You can find much more information about Stream and other Office 365 services in my book. Office 365 is being enhanced continuously, and new features are added each month. With Stream, Microsoft has given us a powerful tool for internal video sharing – I just wish that it had been published instead of Video from the beginning!

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

16 April 2018

Enhanced Checklist And New Views In Updated Kanban Task Manager

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype A few months ago, we released a new version of the Kanban Task Manager SharePoint editions. It had several new good features, and we got positive customer feedback for the enhancements.

Now we have released an update of Kanban Task Manager, giving more possibilities to these features. Two new views, the Daily Trend and the Day Report, have also been added in this version. At this time, we have only released the sandboxed solution, but we will release the add-in very soon.

Kanban Task Manager
Kanban Task Manager is among the most popular kalmstrom.com solutions. It helps a workgroup visualize and manage their tasks or projects on a virtual kanban board in SharePoint.

There are two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager: sandboxed solution and add-in/app. The sandboxed solution is uploaded to the solutions gallery in the root site of a SharePoint site collection, while the add-in can be installed from SharePoint Store to the site where it should be used. The add-in can also be downloaded from kalmstrom.com website to the organization’s App Catalog and installed from there.


Enhanced Checklist feature
Checklist icon One of the useful Kanban Task Manager features is the Checklist. Once you enable this feature, you can add a checklist to any complicated task and keep track of the work done in a simple way.

In the new version, the kalmstrom.com developers have enhanced this feature and made it more user friendly. Now the task card displays the checklist count if you have added a checklist to that task. Also, by dragging and dropping the checklist items, you can change their sequence or even remove them.

The New Kanban Views
Kanban Task Manager has various views where you can study the tasks from different aspects, and we have now added two more views: the Daily Trend and the Day Report. The Daily Trend view displays the statuses of all tasks from the last 30 days in a line chart representation. The line chart shows the number of tasks that are open, closed or have been created each day.
Daily Trend image
The Day Report shows task activities on a specified day. You can select the date of your choice and view the tasks that were created, open, delayed, modified and closed and also see which people or groups worked with them.
Day Report image
Upgrade
kalmstrom.com Upgrade icon Our subscriptions include support as well as upgrades. If your organization is a subscriber to the Kanban Task Manager sandboxed solution, you are welcome to upgrade it.

Trial and Subscription
kamlstrom.com Trial icon If you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint, you may download the full version and evaluate it for next 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period. Our Support team is always here to help you if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding product subscriptions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues at the Sales department.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

05 April 2018

Office 365 from Scratch Updated and Expanded

Office 365 from Scratch coverMy book Office 365 from Scratch is now published in a second version. During the year this paperback and e-book has been for sale on Amazon, Microsoft has made many important changes to their online platform. An update was necessary, and in the process I have also added 60 pages with more detailed information.

Purpose
Office 365 has become a huge topic, and everything cannot be covered even in an expanded version of my book. For one of the included parts, SharePoint, I have published a book of its own, SharePoint Online from Scratch, and I could do the same with Power BI, PowerApps and several other services that come with an Office 365 subscription. Maybe I will!

My aim with Office 365 from Scratch is instead to help decision makers and administrators to learn what possibilities the platform gives, to introduce the different parts of Office 365 and specify the right words for the features in apps and services.

Office 365 Sway iconWith such basic knowledge, you will know what things are called and which features are interesting to your organization, so that you can continue your exploration online if needed.

Another goal with Office 365 from Scratch is to describe how different Office 365 apps and services build on or enhance each other. SharePoint is for example used in Office 365 Groups, which in turn is heavily used in Planner, Teams and Stream.

Office 365 Teams icon Online complements
In some cases the book gives links to Microsoft information, but most frequent in the book are the links to my own articles with video demonstrations on kalmstrom.com. I hope these articles will enhance the information in the book.

The articles have been updated as much as my time has allowed it, but I have made the book a priority. All text and all screenshots in Office 365 from Scratch are valid for the latest version of Office 365, and sometimes I also mention Microsoft's future plans for the apps I describe.
Office 365 Sway icon
When I first published Office 365 from Scratch, Teams was just in preview and Video and Sway was very recently launched. Now, one year later, Microsoft has improved Teams and Sway considerably – and decided to withdraw Video!

Microsoft Office 365 Video A new service, Stream, will replace Video, so the Video chapter in my book has of course been replaced with a chapter about Stream. The Teams and Sway articles and demos on kalmstrom.com have been updated, and there is a short Stream article. I will create a Stream demo as soon as possible.

Office 365 Forms icon
Microsoft Forms is another new service, which did not exist at all when I wrote the first edition of Office 365 from Scratch. Now Forms has its own chapter in the book, where I describe how you easily can create and distribute surveys and quizzes and study the results of them.

Thanks to my colleagues
With all work, designing custom solutions as well as updated features in the kalmstrom.com standard products, I would not have had time to update Office 365 from Scratch by myself. My mother Kate has made considerable contributions, and Rituka and Dipti have proof-read everything and given important comments on both language and content.

SharePoint iconThese three did also assist me in the recent update of SharePoint Online from Scratch, so even if I am the author and responsible for all content, my books have been written as a team work. Now we will take on new challenges!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

12 March 2018

High Fashion Engagement for kalmstrom.com Manager

The kalmstrom.com team congratulates General Manager, Rituka Rimza, who recently was engaged to Nicky Karamchandani. The engagement, in Hindi called ‘Sagai’ or ‘Mangani’, is one of the pre-wedding rituals in India, where two people exchange rings and formally accept each other in front of family and friends. Below is the happily engaged couple.
RitukaNicky
The engagement was held one day before Rituka’s birthday, so there was another celebration at night after 12am.

The beautiful story begun when these two soul mates met through one of their mutual friends. They shared a good bonding, so the initial few days of friendship were quite enough for them to decide that they could move ahead and turn their friendship into a relationship. After a few meetings with the families, the two were a couple.

Nicky is a professional Fashion Designer, and Rituka is a fashion freak. Isn’t that a perfect combination? 😉 A faithful companion, good understanding and a reliable relationship – what else can anybody need to spend a life in beauty?

RitukaNicky This engagement was one of the most special events in the Rimza family, as Rituka is the youngest and the only sister to her two brothers, Jayant & Vijayant, and now will be married soon. The engagement party was organized at Hotel Bee Town in Indore, where friends and families gathered to celebrate the auspicious occasion. After the ring ceremony, Rituka and Nicky cut the engagement cake. Both the families exchanged gifts, best wishes and blessed the beautiful couple.

The kalmstrom.com team congratulates Rituka and Nicky and wishes them the best of luck for the future.

I hope to be back here in the future with the most exciting stuff from their wedding. Stay tuned!

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

21 February 2018

Fifth Edition Of "SharePoint Online From Scratch" Released

SharePoint Online from Scratch cover SharePoint Online develops very fast, and to keep up with Microsoft I have to update my book SharePoint Online from Scratch often. The book is intended for administrators who are new to SharePoint, so it is important that the book describes what they actually see on the screen!

Book and e-book in five editions
The first SharePoint Online from Scratch e-book was published on Amazon in March 2016. The first paperback edition came a month later, and after that there have been several updates. The new edition, published last week, is number 5 already!

Modern interface
Most of the latest update concerns the SharePoint modern interface, which is developing very fast. As Microsoft has promised to keep both the classic and the modern interface side by side, it has been important to me to show the differences and explain when each interface is to prefer.

Manual with progression
Microsoft has a lot of SharePoint instructions online, but they have no real course or manual with a progression. That makes it difficult for beginners, because how can you search for something when you don't even know that it exists? You have to know the possibilities and what things are called, before you can start looking for more information online.

That is where my book comes in. By explaining how SharePoint Online works and how everything is connected, I can give a good base for further exploration online. I also give examples on how you can use your knowledge to enhance typical business process, something that I hope will encourage readers to creative thinking when it comes to their own organizations.

Video tutorials
Variation is important in all learning, and to explain things in a different way I have added links to my own articles with video demonstrations in SharePoint Online from Scratch. I believe this combination of textbook and video is a good way to explain things.

SharePoint Online from Scratch is used in IT training courses, together with the articles. This combination, book + demos + teacher explanations, sounds perfect to me and will surely produce more SharePoint nerds like me!

Practical use
SharePoint Online from Scratch focuses on no-code, hands-on instructions and explanations on how to practically make use of a SharePoint tenant for collaboration within an organization.

But even if I have this practical approach, I also want SharePoint Online from Scratch to give a real understanding of why things are done the way they are. If you have that understanding, it will be easy to figure out how new SharePoint versions work.

E-book or paperback?
If you are interested in my book I recommend that you read more about SharePoint Online from Scratch on the kalmstrom.com website. There I have also gathered some reviews that I am very proud of.

The actual content of the e-book and paperback is the same, but if you buy the digital copy, you will have all images in color and clickable links to the articles.

The paperback of SharePoint Online from Scratch has 430 pages, so I decided to not use color here. That way I can still sell it at a reasonable price. In a hard copy you can give a better layout than in an e-book, which has to fit many formats, so in my opinion the paperback still looks better! And the paperback edition is actually selling even more than the e-book each month.

The best option is of course to buy both editions! If you buy the hard copy from Amazon.com first, you will be offered to buy the digital copy at a very low cost via the Amazon Kindle Matchbook offer.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

14 February 2018

New kalmstrom.com QA And Support Technician

Today I want to introduce our QA Engineer Mayank Gharewal. He works at our Indian office and has proved to be a skilled colleague with many talents. Here is his story:

kalmstrom.com QA Engineer Mayank GharewalIn 2016 I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science Stream from the CDGI college in Indore. After completing my graduation, I continued with a course of Diploma in Software Testing, and then I started my career as a Game and Software Tester.

Five months ago, I joined the kalmstrom.com team. I applied for a position here because I wanted more responsibility and a more challenging work environment. Now I am expected to continuously learn new things and sharpen my skills, and I like that. I also believe in team work as the path to success, and I found that here at the kalmstrom.com Indore office. Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint icon

My primary work is of course testing. This is an interesting and varied task, especially as kalmstrom.com offers both standard and custom solutions. So far I have tested all the Kanban Task Manager editions and our new Outlook add-in Kanban E-mail Manager. Kanban E-mail Manager for SharePoint iconI have also made sure that several custom SharePoint solutions meet the buyer's requests as well as our own standards.

Lately I have joined the support team and thus been given even more variation and responsibility. As a support technician, I get a good understanding of how customers use our products and what problems they encounter. I form a link between our customers and my colleagues in the QA team and can discuss enhancements with a better insight.

My area of interest is in sports like cricket and in video games. Before my graduation I actively participated in video game competitions and also hosted a PlayStation 2 event at a Techno management festival.
Mayank with friends

I also like to travel with a group of friends. The image above is from a trip to Lion's point, a mountain peak near the hill station Lonavla in Maharashtra. The sunrise and sunset views from here are mesmerizing. When we were there, the clouds were low and it was a light rain, fog and an icy drizzle. But the sun-rays on the clouds gave the sky a beautiful reddish color.

I am looking forward to testing more kalmstrom.com products and meeting more customers via our support!

Mayank Gharewal
QA Engineer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

01 February 2018

Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook released

Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook logotype Today, I am happy to announce the release of a new kalmstrom.com product: Kanban E-mail Manager for Outlook. This add-in is intended to help single users visualize and work with e-mails on a kanban board.

Kanban View
We have earlier developed another Outlook add-in, Kanban Task Manager Single which visualizes Outlook tasks on a virtual kanban board and converts e-mails into tasks. Therefore, it was not a big step to also create a kanban board for e-mails inside Outlook.

Show Kanban View button logotype Kanban E-mail Manager adds a "Show Kanban View" button in the Outlook ribbon. Select any Outlook e-mail folder and click on the button, and the e-mails in that folder are visualized as cards on a kanban board.


Main features
Kanban E-mail Manager gives the possibility to organize the e-mails in different phases. By default, the phases are called Unhandled, In Progress, Deferred and Handled. You can drag and drop the e-mail cards between these phases as your work with the e-mail proceeds.

You may also create new e-mails or reply to e-mails from the kanban board.

Another main feature of Kanban E-mail Manager is that you can filter and search the e-mails based on category, sender, priority/priorities or any word or phrase.

Outlook built-in categories
Once you have installed Kanban E-mail Manager, it will automatically take the Outlook built-in categories and display the e-mails with the category colors on the kanban board. The category for any e-mail can be set both from the kanban view and from the Outlook e-mail view.

Work efficiently with e-mails and analyze your work with an Excel report
Checklist icon Kanban E-mail Manager has other features, like Checklist and Time Logging. To work smoothly with a complex e-mail, you can break the work into small tasks by adding a checklist to the e-mail card.

Time Logging icon The Time Logging option helps you keep track of the time you have invested in an e-mail. When you record the minutes worked on e-mails, you can analyze the time spent in the Kanban E-mail Manager Excel reports.

Kanban E-mail Manager also generates several other Excel reports, where you can study statistics on the work done. Each time you generate a report the most updated data is included.

Trial and Subscription
kalmstrom.com download icon If you wish to try Kanban E-mail Manager before you decide to subscribe to it, you are welcome to download the full version of the solution and evaluate the solution for 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period.

Community icon You can subscribe to Kanban E-mail Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. My colleagues and I at the Sales department are always here to assist you if you have any queries regarding the subscription.

Documentation and Support
The Kanban E-mail Manager manual gives a detailed description of the product. We also have a slideshow, where you can have a quick overview of Kanban E-mail Manager.

Finally, I would recommend that you watch the video demonstrations, where our CEO, Peter Kalmstrom, explains how to get started with Kanban E-mail Manager.

Should you need any further assistance, the kalmstrom.com Support team is always here to help you.

Dipti Francis
Executive Assistant
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions

24 January 2018

Create Surveys With Microsoft Forms

Office 365 Forms icon Microsoft will soon roll out an Office 365 service for surveys, quizzes, and polls for all commercial users. It is called Microsoft Forms, and I introduce it in a new Forms  article in the kalmstrom.com Tips section.

Collect information
The name of the new Office 365 service can sound a bit misleading, but it is not a replacement for InfoPath. Instead Microsoft Forms is a basic app that helps you to quickly collect information via surveys and quizzes.

Use Forms to conduct customer surveys, question trainees or applicants, ask team members about their opinion, yes, anytime when you want formalized input from several other people.

What Forms replaces is rather the SharePoint Survey app. Forms is easier to use and the poll form is more mobile friendly than the Survey app.

Nice interfaces
With Forms you can create a survey and then invite others to respond to it via any web browser. The surveys look good and is easy to answer even on mobile devices. The surveys can be shared with a link or be embedded in a web page or blog.

As people submit their answers, the results are displayed in a graphic interface where you can evaluate them. The results can also be exported to Excel for further analysis.


Soon released for all
Forms became available in Office 365 Education subscriptions as early as in June 2016, as an answer to teacher requests for a tool that would help them assess student progress on an ongoing basis.

The preview for commercial First Release users came one year later, and from 15 February 2018 Microsoft will start rolling out Forms to all tenants. By default, Microsoft Forms is turned on for everyone in the organization, but admins can turn Forms off and then on again for specific people.
Office 365 from Scratch cover
In the demo above I show how to create two different kinds of surveys, how to share them, how to reply to them and how to see the results. The next version of my book Office 365 from Scratch will of course include more information on Microsoft Forms.

Peter Kalmström,
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions