2017/03/28

How to synchronize Nextcloud contact, calendar and task with Outlook?

How to sync outlook calendar with Nextcloud?

For you ownCloud fellows, you should already heard of founding engineering crews from ownCloud left the company and created a brand new company called Nextcloud. Theoretically, Nextcloud and ownCloud should share the same or similar codes in the server backend. 

Out of curiosity, I want to check if EVO Collaborator for Outlook is compatible with Nextcloud. I applied for a trial account on Nextcloud (https://demo.nextcloud.com/). The server path is https://nextcloud_server/<username>/remote.php/, which is what you would enter hostname space if you were to have an account from a Nextcloud service provider. 


However, if you run your own Nextcloud server, the server URL is the same as ownCloud: https://<nextcloud_server>/remote.php/


Therefore, we can still use EVO Collaborator for Outlook to synchronize Nextcloud’s contact, calendar and task with Outlook.

2017/03/17

How to export your Outlook tasks?

Backing up your Outlook tasks offline

In absence of Outlook task synchronization with task server or services, such as CalDAV and Exchange servers, people would think about exporting their task entries into iCal files (.ics files), .csv files, .pst files, or Excel files. If you solely work with Outlook, then it is recommended to export them into .pst files for the best import result in the future. 

However, users most likely export Outlook tasks for use on other application or database import. The .csv method is not a good choice because foreign language characters in task entries will be corrupted after exporting. Thus, the best and the most compatible way to export is using iCal method.

EVO staff has once again made some useful Outlook add-in after EVO Collaborator for Outlook. It is called Power Toys for Outlook. This collection of add-ins include a nice Outlook task export tool. There are 2 ways that PTO exports Outlook tasks:
1. Export tasks as vCalendars (Outlook ICal (ics)) – This is as same as Outlook’s Save As except Outlook can only save one task per operation. PTO is able to save the whole task folder at once.

2. Export tasks into one single vCalendar (iCal (ics)) – Since vCalendar protocol is able to store multiple tasks in one single file, PTO saves the hassle of managing 100s or even 1000s of iCal (ics) files.

Here is a general guideline to export your Outlook tasks:

1. Download Power Toys for Outlook from EVO’s Official website.

2. Close Outlook and run setup.exe with administrator’s privilege.

3. Open Outlook and click on Power Toys ribbon at top.


4. Click on Export tasks.

5. Select your Outlook tasks folder.


6. Click on 1 of the 2 export types.



7. A folder created by date will pop up showing all iCal (ics) files accordingly.


As you can see, exporting Outlook tasks becomes as easy as 1-2-3.

How to export your Outlook appointments?

Backing up your Outlook calendars offline

In absence of Outlook calendar synchronization with calendar server or services, such as CalDAV and Exchange servers, people would think about exporting their calendar entries into iCal files (.ics files), .csv files, .pst files, or Excel files. If you solely work with Outlook, then it is recommended to export them into .pst files for the best import result in the future. 

However, users most likely export Outlook appointments for use on other application or database import. The .csv method is not a good choice because foreign language characters in calendar entries will be corrupted after exporting. Thus, the best and the most compatible way to export is using iCal method.

EVO staff has once again made some useful Outlook add-in after EVO Collaborator for Outlook. It is called Power Toys for Outlook. This collection of add-ins include a nice Outlook calendar export tool. There are 4 ways that PTO exports Outlook appointments:
1. Export appointments as vCalendars (Outlook ICal (ics)) – This is as same as Outlook’s Save As except Outlook can only save one appointment per operation. PTO is able to save the whole calendar folder at once.

2. Export appointments as vCalendars (iCal (ics); Olson Timezone UTF8) – This is the same as #1 except saving appointments in term of Olson Timezone and UTF8. Olson Timezone is the most widely used time zone system except Windows Timezone. If you export your calendar events to elsewhere such as Google Calendar or other calendar services, then the receiving party will not be able to recognize it and fail the import. Yet, deployment of UTF8 prevents foreign language characters turning into corrupted characters.

3. Export appointments into one single vCalendar (iCal (ics); Olson Timezone UTF8) – Since vCalendar protocol is able to store multiple appointments in one single file, PTO saves the hassle of managing 100s or even 1000s of iCal (ics) files.

4. Export appointments as Excel Document – PTO enables you to output all Outlook calendar events into an Excel file for better viewing purpose with forking in nearly all commonly used fields in Outlook appointments.

Here is a general guideline to export your Outlook appointments:

1. Download Power Toys for Outlook from EVO’s Official website.

2. Close Outlook and run setup.exe with administrator’s privilege.

3. Open Outlook and click on Power Toys ribbon at top.


4. Click on Export appointments.

5. Select your Outlook calendar folder.


6. Click on 1 of the 4 export types as mentioned above.


7. A folder created by date will pop up showing all iCal (ics) files accordingly.


As you can see, exporting Outlook calendar becomes as easy as 1-2-3.

2017/03/13

How to export your Outlook contacts?

Backing up your Outlook contacts offline

In absence of Outlook contact synchronization with address book server or services, people would think about exporting their contacts entries into vCard files (.vcf files), .csv files, .pst files, or Excel files. If you solely work with Outlook, then it is recommended to export them into .pst files for the best import result in the future. 

However, users most likely export Outlook contacts for use on other application or database import. The .csv method is not a good choice because foreign language characters in contacts will be corrupted after exporting. Thus, the best and the most compatible way to export is using vCard method.

EVO staff has once again made some useful Outlook add-in after EVO Collaborator for Outlook. It is called Power Toys for Outlook. This collection of add-ins include a nice Outlook contact export tool. 
There are 5 ways that PTO exports Outlook contacts:

1. Export contacts as vCards (Outlook VCARD 2.1) – This is as same as Outlook’s Save As except Outlook can only save one vCard per operation. PTO is able to save the whole contact folder at once.

2. Export contacts as vCards (VCARD 3.0) – This is the same as #1 except saving vCards as VCARD 3.0 format.

3. Export contacts into one single vCard (VCARD 3.0) – Since vCard protocol is able to store multiple contacts in one single file, PTO saves the hassle of managing 100s or even 1000s of vCard files.

4. Export contacts as Excel Document – PTO enables you to output all Outlook contacts into an Excel file for better viewing purpose with forking in nearly all commonly used fields in Outlook contact entries.

5. Export contacts into one vCard (for Thunderbird) – In reality, vCard files from Outlook have slight compatibility issues if you were to import them into Thunderbird. PTO does some final touches to perfect exported vCard files so the Thunderbird import would go smoothly as expected.

Here is a general guideline to export your Outlook contacts:

1. Download Power Toys for Outlook from EVO’s Official website.

2. Close Outlook and run setup.exe with administrator’s privilege.

3. Open Outlook and click on Power Toys ribbon at top.



4. Click on Export contacts.

5. Select your Outlook contact folder.


6. Click on 1 of 5 export types.



7. A folder created by date will pop up showing all vCard files accordingly.



As you can see, exporting Outlook contacts becomes as easy as 1-2-3.

How to auto BCC in Outlook?

At work, we write many emails every day. When some recipients should receive a carbon copy (CC), Outlook provides a Rules and Alerts feature, which conducts an automated message forwarding to a list of people under certain conditions. However, this feature cannot fulfill our needs to send a blind carbon copy (BCC) to recipients who are not supposed to be reveled in the mail circulation.

To achieve this auto bcc task, we need to implement VBA codes or use a third-party Outlook add-in tool. I think it is too much a hassle to do the coding, so I would rather use an Outlook add-in. One of Power Toys for Outlook’s features is to auto bcc for you. 
It is quite simple and steps are as below:

1. Download Power Toys for Outlook from EVO’s Official website.

2. Close Outlook and run setup.exe with administrator’s privilege.

3. Open Outlook and click on Power Toys ribbon at top.


4. Click on Configure BCC rule.


5. Enter email address(es) under Automatically send BCC to Email addresses:

6. In fields next to From, To, Subject, Body and Attachment name, select operands among equals, not equals, contains one of, contains none of.

7. In fields next to operands, enter keywords for PTO to compare against.

8. Click on SAVE and QUIT.

This is an easy-to-use auto BCC tool. It is a pity that it only manages one rule. Hopefully, future updates will support multiple rules.

How to get Gmail push notification in Outlook?

Outlook enables users to create their Gmail accounts so they can receive emails on Outlook based on IMAP protocol. However, Outlook only checks emails for users every via a scheduled automatic send/receive feature. The shortest time gap is 1 minute.

Is there any way to deploy Gmail push mail notification under Outlook? 

Yes, there is! 
GGNotify from Power Toys for Outlook can check Gmail for you upon its arrival. 
Here is how:

1. Download Power Toys for Outlook from EVO’s Official website.

2. Close Outlook and run setup.exe with administrator’s privilege.

3. Open Outlook and click on Power Toys ribbon at top.



4. Click on Configure Gmail account.

5. Enter your Gmail account.



6. Click on Authorize Outlook to receive Gmail PUSH notification button to proceed OAuth.

7. Customize options below as stated.

8. Click on Save and Quit.

With this Outlook add-in, Gmail will not deliver mails late again in Outlook.