Q. I keep hearing about smart assistants eavesdropping on your conversations and reporting them back to big tech companies. So I’m nervous about using Cortana on my machine. Just how much privacy control do I have when it comes to Cortana? A. More than you used to. The recently released Fall Creators Update, aka Windows 10 Version 1709 recently bulked out the Windows Settings app with a new area for managing what Cortana knows about you and your activities. The new Activity History tab under your Microsoft Account gives you full control over all the data that is used with Windows Timeline including voice, search, browse, and location. The new addition to the Privacy Dashboard gives you granular control over all of this data with options to clear everything or remove all of it or individual items. Although there are no options on Windows 10 Home or Pro used on a standalone machine to opt out of providing at least a basic level of telemetry to Microsoft, you can opt out of using Cortana. Of course, there are consequences to making that choice according to Microsoft and it will limit Cortana’s ability to provide you with timely suggestions and other … Read More
By now you know what Trello can do for you when it comes to organization and project management, and you’ve learned the basics of setting up Trello for your own personal needs. You’ve also read an overview of Trello for teams, including how the application can facilitate better communication and collaboration. You can use Trello well, even effectively, with just that information. But to really become a Trello power user you’ll want to step up your game with keyboard shortcuts, application tie-ins, and automation. Here are the tips and tricks you need to know to upgrade Trello from convenient to life changing. Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts There are a variety of keyboard shortcuts that can be used within Trello to save you time and clicks. “Trello’s system can have a learning curve for new users,” says Brad M. Shaw, president/CEO of Dallas Web Design Inc. Learning keyboard shortcuts changed this for him, and therefore changed his relationship with the app. “Doing simple things like using the space bar to assign the card to yourself, pressing D to open the due date menu and L to add a label saves valuable time,” Shaw says. Here are some of the most valuable … Read More
Trello can be a powerful project management tool for your teams, if you use it effectively and implement it properly As we discussed in “How to Get Started With Trello,” the project management application functions well as a tool for personal planning. But one of the main advantages of Trello for organization is that it has several features designed to make teamwork convenient, collaborative, and easily tracked. Everything that an individual user can do in Trello can also be done on boards that have multiple members because they are part of a designated team: create lists and cards; move around or archive inactive lists or cards; link files, photos, and websites; set due dates and assign tasks via a checklist; and add comments to cards. A team also allows its users to view all associated boards and their members in one place. Team members can be designated as admins, or as regular members; with a business-class Trello account, team admins have admin control over any board in a team whether or not they’ve been invited to a particular board by its admins. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. Are these new smart/secure routers the kind of thing I can give to friends and relatives for the holidays? I’m really tired of doing tech support. A. Let me begin the answer to this question by telling you about CES 2017, way back in January. As I was attending walking the show floor, one of the trends I noticed was home-based devices that are usually referred to as smart or secure routers. They’re supposed to help provide security not only for existing computing devices in the home, but also the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are becoming common place in the home. Many of IoT devices include connected home appliances and adapters, and while some of these devices have built in security, many do not. Enter the secure routers, developed to add a layer of security between those devices and the Internet. These new home routers and firewalls add that later of protection to IoT devices by learning the devices’ normal traffic patterns in and out of your home network so they can alert you if and when there’s a deviation from the pattern. You can then decide if there’s a security breach or not. … Read More
When there are so many productivity and organization applications available, it can be hard to know which one is the right choice–especially when all of these apps do not necessarily play well with each other, or work across platforms. Fortunately, one of the best–and most versatile–productivity apps is available for Windows and Mac users, on Android and iOS, and for desktop and mobile devices. But while this cross-platform fluidity is an important part of Trello’s appeal, the real secret of its success comes in the way it mimics a very low-tech organizational method: index cards on a corkboard. What Is Trello? Essentially, Trello is an online corkboard. You create boards, which contain lists, which hold individual cards. The user gets a visual view of their projects or information, with the ability to easily add cards and lists and move them around as necessary. Your boards can be private, or you can invite other Trello users to see and collaborate on them–handy for group projects or other situations where you need to share information. Project management is the primary function of Trello, and it does that well, but the app is versatile and intuitive enough to be also be used in … Read More
Rules can keep your inbox better organized by overseeing each new message. Your Microsoft Outlook inbox may keep growing with dozens or hundreds of emails going unattended and unanswered. Perhaps you get so many emails that they’re hard to handle. And maybe you sometimes miss important emails because so many messages are cluttering your inbox. If only you had a way to manage all your incoming mails! In Outlook, you do: Creating a rule. A rule automatically handles an incoming message based on certain criteria, such as the sender, recipient, or subject line. The rule can delete the message, put it in your spam folder, or send it to a specific folder based on the criteria. For example, emails from a mailing list can be sent to a folder dedicated to that list. Junk mail with a certain subject line can be banished to the spam folder. And email from your boss or an important client can be sent to a folder for emails of high importance. By using rules, you cut down on the clutter of your inbox so you can focus on and respond to the most critical messages. Let’s check out how to create and use rules … Read More
Q. I’m thinking about a smart speaker for my house? Does the Harman Kardon Invoke make sense if I have a Windows 10 machine? A. Well, let’s see how it fits into the overall smart speaker picture first. The Invoke is the first smart speaker to include Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, and retails for about $200 at places like the Microsoft Store and Harman Kardon’s website. This speaker is an entry into the same market occupied by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Amazon already has a significant lead in this area with a reported 70% of the market share and a library of over 20,000 skills for users’ benefit. In comparison, Cortana’s Skill Library lists approximately 220 skills. Not helping: many of them appear to be low quality and Microsoft is listing standard Cortana skills you can already access within Cortana on any device that you have the assistant installed. So if you’re thinking, “The Invoke can go toe-to-toe with Amazon’s Echo,” we’re not quite there yet. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
You can create and add contacts in Outlook using a few different methods. Here’s how. You may already have a few contacts in Outlook or you might have an empty list. Either way, using a contact list is a helpful resource for keeping track of all the people who send or receive your email. With a contact list you can easily email someone by typing or selecting that person’s name. You can also refer to the contact list if you need someone’s mailing address, phone number, or other information. But how can you effectively and easily create and add new contacts to Outlook? You have a number of options. You can manually create a contact with all the necessary details. You can sync your contact list with a list from Gmail or another online service so you don’t have to manually add all your contacts. And you can select someone’s email address to add that person as a contact. Let’s check out the ways to set up your contacts in Outlook. I’m using Outlook 2016 via my Office 365 subscription, but the steps are the same for Outlook 2013 and similar for the previous couple of versions of Outlook. Open … Read More