Tip o’ the Week #266 – OneDrive – getting more storage


OneDrive has been quietly expanding its functionality over the last while, increasingly echoing the UI of Office365 (with the numerous apps shown as tiles on the upper left of clip_image003the screen).

As well as offering a tier of free storage (recently upped to 15Gb), it’s possible to buy additional space for your stuff – from a modest $2/month for an additional 100Gb, to a frankly bonkers offer if you sign up for Office365 Home at $10/month, with copies of Office for up to 5 users, 60 minutes of Skype calls per user, 1Tb of storage each and a bunch more. See here for info.

In the meantime, however, OneDrive has also been falling over itself to give users additional storage in exchange for doing something. (Check out your own storage quota and options here). You could refer your friends (get up to 5Gb free), if you set up your phone to back up photos, you’ll get another 15Gb for nada – plenty of storage for all those photographs you like to take on your handset.

Bing Rewards members can get a whopping 100Gb (cor!) just for signing up. Hint: if you are in a country that gets an error saying “This feature isn't available yet in your country or region” when you try to sign up, you might want to try clicking on the settings cog clip_image005in the top right of that very page. If you happened to temporarily set your Worldwide region to be US – English, then you may have better luck. Just an idea.

Drop the boxclip_image007
If you happen to use DropBox (Win8 app here, WinPhone app here), or more correctly if you happen to have a Dropbox account that you know the logon details of, then you could try visiting here to claim a special 100Gb annual bonus for DropBox users.

All you need to do is sign in and have the web page be able to save a doc to your DropBox account, and you’ll get another 100Gb free OneDrive for a year. Boom!

What to do with all this massive amount of storage? Well, phone pictures might take up lots of space, but what about storing your music on there so you can access from anywhere? Now, wouldn’t that be cool?

Tip o’ the Week #265 – Sorting pages in OneNote

clip_image001As has been mentioned before on ToW, OneNote is the kind of application that lots of people really love; it has a legion of fans who take to getting things done & their stuff in order, and are increasingly able to access it from all sorts of places. OneNote has built-in sync capabilities with OneDrive (in fact, ‘Note was One when ‘Drive was still a figment of SkyDrive’s imagination…). OneNote is also now available on fruity devices, Macs, Googly fonez and of course, Windows Phone and browsers of all sorts.

On the primary OneNote 2013 desktop app on PC, there is a free & fabulous suite of add-ons which has also been covered on ToW passim: OneTastic. Produced by Omer Atay of the OneNote team, but released as his own work, it’s a smörgåsbord of great extensions to OneNote, especially OneCalendar (which shows you which pages you touched and when), and also has a powerful macro language to add functionality.


After installing OneTastic, you’ll see a bunch of additional commands on the Home ribbon in OneNote, and if you add any others from Omer’s extensive collection of downloadable macros, they’ll show up here (or on a separate tab, if you prefer) – some neat ones include the quick ability to insert horizontal lines across the page.

clip_image005Did you know, to add a quick horizontal line in Word or in Outlook, all you need to do is press the minus/dash key three times (“—“) and press Enter? Well OneNote doesn’t do that out of the box, so you may find Omer’s macros a clip_image007good solution.

Maybe one of the most useful macros, though, fixes something of an annoyance if you take loads of notes in OneNote – maybe a page for every customer you talk to, or every topic in a given section? There’s no built-in way to sort all your pages, short of manually dragging them around.


If you download the Sort Pages macro from Macroland, the problem is solved with a couple of clicks. The macro will sort all your pages in a given section, and sub-pages under each page too. Perfect for keeping an orderly notebook, and there are other sorting macros that will tidy up the order of sections, paragraphs, to-do lists & more.

clip_image011There are loads of other macros: from setting colours quickly, to creating tables of contents (listing every page in a notebook or section, with links directly to each page). Have a good look through Macroland, and if you’re a OneNote power user, you’ll be like a dog with two tails.

Tip o’ the Week #264 – BCC people to a meeting

clip_image002There’s a great deal of etiquette bound up in email communications – and it varies by culture and sometimes by country. Some people politely make the point of always addressing the recipient in an email, and in thanking them at the end, whereas others apparently look on it as a badge of honour to contain everything in a single terse line with no capitalization. Especially when it comes to OOF messages.

One of the cardinal sins of email management is in misusing the BCC function – you know, the ability to copy someone on an email without showing their name to everyone else. BCC can be very handy at letting one user or group know what is being said to another, without exposing the former’s email addresses or in fact making it explicit that they’re aware of what’s going on. Maybe duplicitous but clip_image004handy at times.

Whatever you do, do not BCC large distribution lists. Some people think they’re doing a group a favour by replying-all to some thread and BCC’ing the group so it doesn’t get sent any of the subsequent replies… but what that often will do is circumvent any rules that members of that group have set up to fire all emails sent to it, into a folder. Now, post-BCC, everyone will probably receive your email in their Inbox, all the while wondering why.

What About meeting requests?

clip_image006BCC is very handy when you’re emailing a group of people – maybe sending an external mail to a bunch of customers and you don’t want to inadvertently share everyone’s address with each other.

Funnily enough, one scenario where BCC would be most useful is when you want to invite lots of people to a meeting – an event, a party, etc  – and there are plenty reasons why it might be best that they don’t know who else is being invited. Yet, there is no BCC option on meeting requests… it’s just not there.

clip_image008But feat not, intrepid readers – it is possible to effectively BCC people on a meeting request, by inviting them as Resources. There are basically 2 ways that most of us will add names to a meeting request – either create it as a meeting in the first place, or create an appointment, then…

· …either type their names into the shown-by-default “To” box, or choose Scheduling Assistant to add people by just entering their names in the list, to invite them.

· … or add names to your request by clicking on Invite Attendees (which actually turns an appointment into a meeting, as meetings are appointments where other people are invited – ya falla’?), then click on the To button (or Add Attendees button).
clip_image010 This brings up a dialog box that will expect you to select people from the address list, and select them as Required or Optional attendees (does anyone ever use Optional?). Or, in fact, Resources – the thinking being that the address book could have entries for resources like meeting rooms or even bookable equipment, that you could invite to your meeting thereby claiming it for your exclusive use.

Now, if you’d like to invite people to a meeting and have the request be sent out to them but not show their address to anyone else, just stick them in as Resources – either by selecting them from the address book or just typing/pasting their name or email address in the box (so it works for external recipients too).

They get a meeting request as normal, they show up in the meeting organiser’s list of attendees, responses get tracked etc – but when any of the attendees looks at a meeting in their own calendar, they won’t see the names of anyone in Resources. Clever, eh?