19 May 2015

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V4 Under Development

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeThe SharePoint version of Kanban Task Manager is one of our most popular solutions with many users all over the world. Therefore it feels extra satisfying to announce that the development of version 4 has begun. The new version will have several useful features.

Use with existing tasks
Evaluators often ask if they can use Kanban Task Manager with their existing SharePoint tasks, but so far it has not been possible unless you want to do a lot of cutting and pasting. In version 4 we will make it easy, and I am sure this enhancement will be appreciated by evaluators and new users.

Responsible enhancements
The kanban method means that you enter task on cards – in this case virtual cards – and as the work proceeds you move the cards to different phases in the process.

Each task/card has a responsible person assigned, and in the next version of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint the user who creates a task will also be the default responsible for it. Should you want to select another responsible, that person can be picked directly from the SharePoint Contacts or Global Address List.

Standard fields
SharePoint already has the standard fields "Assigned To" and "Status", which are similar to the Kanban Task Manager fields "Responsible" and "Phase". To give less fields in the task form, the standard fields will be default in new installations of version 4 and our added fields "Responsible and "Phase" will be hidden.

Of course the "Responsible" and "Phase" fields can still be shown to those organizations who prefer them, and all current users of Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint can continue using them as well.

Excel reports
Statistics iconThe Outlook versions of Kanban Task Manager, for workgroups and single users, already have a possibility to  generate Excel reports on the tasks and project management. Now we will give this option to see statistics on the task data to SharePoint users too.

The new version will take 2-3 months to finish, but I will keep you posted. As usual upgrades are free for subscribers, so all users will be able to take advantage of the enhancements we are working on.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

12 May 2015

Excel 2016 In New YouTube Channel

Our new Tips series Excel 2016 from Scratch now has its own YouTube channel. It is the first channel with a regular course, from basics to advanced, and I hope you want to subscribe to the brand new channel " Excel 2016", read our Tips articles and download and try the exercises I use in the demos! Excel 2016 YouTube channel
Excel 2016 Preview
Excel 2016 has not yet been released, so I have used the Preview version for the demos. I wanted to use the latest possible version for my Excel course, but you can follow it even if you have an earlier version. Some things are different, but from a user perspective there are no dramatic changes.

Excel articles
I wrote about the new Excel 2016 from Scratch series when I had just started recording the demos. After that I recorded many more, so right now they are 67! Two other team members, my mother Kate and Rituka Rimza, have edited the demos and written articles about them for the Tips section. banner

This means that each Excel 2016 demo has its own article with information about the content, and the best way to study the course is actually to follow the order suggested in the Tips section. Each article has an arrow pointing to the next article.

When you are used to working with Excel, you might not want to go through the whole course. Instead you can use the Excel 2016 Overview page, where the articles are grouped after content.

Excel 2016 iconExcel calculation and visualization
The main focus in Excel 2016 from Scratch is on the two areas where Excel really shines: calculation and data visualization. I don't just show formulas but explain how they are built, from common addition formulas to much more advanced calculations.

When Excel has calculated your data, you want to show the result in a way that is easy to grasp. Here Excel gives many options, so there is always an alternative that suits the current data.

Excel exercises
In my demos I use a lot of different examples to illustrate how Excel works, and these files can be downloaded from the Tips section. If you are new to Excel, I strongly recommend you to download them and try the exercises for yourself. Excel exercise

The main YouTube channel has a varied content and nearly 5000 subscribers. The Excel 2016 channel is more specialized and will probably not reach those levels, but it feels good to be able to offer all who are curious about Excel a separate channel for Excel 2016 from Scratch. As usual I welcome and answer all comments!

Addition, October 2015: We can now also offer Excel 2016 from Scratch as book and e-book.

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

05 May 2015

Apple Icon From Headquarters

Apple iconIt is not often that the Blog displays Apple icons. We develop and sell our own add-ons for Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint, so normally we have not reason to discuss Apple.

There is however a connection not only between and Microsoft but also between and the Apple command icon you see here to the right. My mother Kate will tell you about it.

"Our town on all computers!"
Öland is an island off the Swedish south east coast where I live with my husband Sigge. Our house in the little town Borgholm also has room for the head office. We of course subscribe to the local newspaper, and the other day the paper boasted: "Borgholm on all computers in the world!"

That is of course not true, and it would not have been correct even if there had been no Microsoft and no Windows. But there is a core of truth in the statement when it comes to Apple devices.

Icon inspired by castle
At this year's Bloomberg Businessweek Design conference, the connection between our town and Apple was revealed by graphic designer Susan Kare. She was a member of the first Apple team in the 1980s, and when Steve Jobs asked her to create a new command icon, she chose the one you can see on the image above.

In northern Europe this symbol is used on road signs to indicate a point of interest, like a museum or an historic monument. The design was inspired by a major Swedish tourist attraction: the Borgholm castle.

Susan Kare at conference

A live ruin
The history of Borgholm Castle goes 900 years back. It was first built as a fortress in defense against enemies from the other side of the Baltic Sea. What we see today is however the ruin of the magnificent baroque palace that the castle became in the 1600s.

The ruin is situated between the sea and a vast limestone plain called the "Alvar" of Borgholm. It is near to our home, and we often take long walks there with our dog. The "Alvar" is an inspiring and relaxing environment, with the impressive ruin and its memories from centuries back looming large over it.

The Borgholm Alvar

Today Borgholm castle has a permanent exhibition that takes advantage of modern techniques to dramatize the past. You can for example experience the terrible fire that turned the castle into a ruin in the year of 1806.

Many events, like concerts and fairs, are held at the castle, and it is an important tourist attraction. The Swedish Royal family has its summer caste close by, and this also helps to make Borgholm a lively town during the summer months.

It is interesting to see how forms and designs travel over the world. Here we see how the 900 years old castle ruin of Borgholm has inspired - even if it is indirectly - to one of today's most used computer buttons!

We love our island, and I have written more blog posts about it over the years:
International Travellers Reward
Viking Festival
The Headquarters

Kate Kalmstrom
CCO Business Solutions