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ADSL is coming to an end. Users are urged to find an alternative connection

 

New applications of ADSL will no longer be processed as from 15 September, 2020. We will continue to support current services until Telkom discontinues the service.

What does mean for current ADSL and VDSL subscribers?

If you currently have an ADSL or VDSL connection, it is time to start looking for an alternative. While it may be inconvenient at the moment, you will soon be enjoying a faster and more stable internet connection.

Currently, the best option is Fibre, which is the fastest and most reliable connectivity available. Additionally, Fibre packages are typically cheaper than ADSL and offer an uncapped and unshaped Internet connection.

While the Fibre infrastructure is rapidly growing in South Africa, it is still not available to all areas. This means that certain DSL subscribers will have to choose another alternative while they wait. The best current alternative is a fixed-LTE connection.

Fixed-LTE packages offer a simple and easy, self-installed in-home connectivity that’s affordable without any fixed line installation needed. These wireless connections offer high-speeds and various data packages to choose from, depending on your needs.

save & get more by switching to fibre!

Uncapped ADSL 10Mbps
R1 170pm*

Uncapped Fibre 10/10Mbps
R699 pm

Capped ADSL 50Mbps
R865 pm*

Uncapped Fibre 20/20Mbps
R855 pm

Capped ADSL 100Mbps
R1 000pm*

Uncapped Fibre 100/50Mbps
R1 205 pm

*Price based on Telkom Line rental + ADSL Service + ISP Data Service

Change to Openserve Uncapped Fibre

10/10Mbps – R699 pm

20/20Mbps – R885 pm

100/50Mbps – R1 205 pm

If you would like more information on the above, or to check if your area has coverage, feel free to email us at support@3gi.co.za.

Visit our website to see our available packages:

Fibre: https://www.3gi.co.za/home-fibre/

Fixed-LTE: https://www.3gi.co.za/telkom-fixed-lte/


Please contact 3Gi for more information or to start the transformation of your current ADSL to fibre today!

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How to run great meetings with Microsoft Teams

Meetings with Microsoft Teams

The before-during-after guide

A majority of workers say they have more meetings today than they did 10 years ago, and more than half of those (56%) are either virtual or a combination of virtual and in-person. But are meetings getting better? We surveyed more than 3,000 people across geographies and generations to understand the biggest problems with everyday meetings, and how they can be resolved.

Before

TIP 01

Share your meeting agenda

The first step for a successful meeting is getting participants on the same page, whether they’re located across the building or around the world. Preparing an agenda and clearly defined meeting goals ahead of time can increase engagement. Solutions like Microsoft Teams, which combines meeting, messaging, and calling services, can also help.

When you send out your Microsoft Teams invite, make sure to include the agenda, ideally 24 to 48 hours before the designated time. (And if you’re the recipient of a Teams meeting invite, read it!)

TIP 02

Invite internal and external partners to join your meeting

Need to connect with someone outside your organization? No problem. Unlike many other meeting apps that require plug-ins, Microsoft Teams lets you invite anyone with a valid business or personal email address.

Recipients don’t need to download Teams to join the meeting. They just click on the link in the email invite, enter their name and join the meeting instantly on the supported web browser. Even better, no plug-in is needed!

TIP 03

Access previous meeting notes and recordings for more context

If it’s a recurring meeting, you can easily access previous meeting notes and recordings in the same Teams meeting thread. And you can chat with other invitees before the meeting to update them on relevant topics.

During

TIP 04

Use Microsoft Teams Rooms to start your meeting right away

There’s nothing worse than fumbling with conference room equipment and starting your meeting late. Microsoft Teams Rooms helps to provide a consistent user experience for all your spaces. From small huddles to large conference rooms, you can start your meetings on time with just one touch. The rich collaboration experience keeps remote and in-person attendees engaged, and you can easily share your content wirelessly.

Make any space work for you and explore different spaces. Try Microsoft Teams devices.

TIP 05

Record your meeting

Written minutes or a recording give your meeting a legacy and let people who couldn’t attend catch up later. They can also help resolve conflicts about outcomes or action items.

When you record meetings, Teams captures the audio, video, and screen sharing activity. There’s also an option to create an automatic transcription. During playback, closed captions of the transcript appear on screen, making it easy to search for important discussion items. Recordings happen in the cloud, are saved to Microsoft Stream, and are automatically shared with attendees.

TIP 06

Adjust settings before you join

Enabling your video camera for meetings provides a personal touch that can enhance your connection, and a meeting’s effectiveness. But it can also be distracting. So before joining a meeting with video, stop and consider:

  • Is your background full of visual distractions? Use Background blur.
  • Lots of noise in the background? Mute your mic.
  • Need to step away or divert your attention? Turn off the camera, mute your mic, and switch to listen only.

TIP 07

Share your content and collaborate easily

Tight integration with Office 365 apps makes Microsoft Teams ideal for working with your colleagues in real time. Once you’ve shared a document from your desktop or Teams files, high-fidelity screen sharing ensures a great viewing experience for everyone. Co-editing in Word means they can all weigh in, helping streamline approvals. Attendees can also share feedback alongside the document using chat. And with the power of AI, Teams can translate these conversations into 60 languages in real time, keeping everyone on the same page.

TIP 08

Use integrated audio conferencing for attendees without Internet

Not everyone has easy access to the Internet, especially when on the road. Calling in from a phone is one option, but that’s just another device to keep track of. With Microsoft Teams, participants can call in directly.

Audio Conferencing in Teams supports dial-in numbers in 90+ countries and 400+ cities. You can also dial out to add attendees using their phone number.

After

TIP 09

Share meeting recordings and meeting notes

Meeting recaps can be a valuable way to re-engage participants. You can capture notes in the Meeting Notes tab or follow up with a brief summary in the Microsoft Teams project channel. Include a recording of the meeting if more details are needed.

Remind participants of next steps, and call out any key takeaways, deadlines, or decisions. You can also use the recap as an open-ended way to ask for more collaboration and input from anyone who couldn’t attend.

TIP 10

Schedule follow-up meetings if needed

A meeting’s effectiveness is best measured by the follow-up and outcome. Before the meeting is over, schedule another, if necessary, to answer any outstanding questions and clarify next steps.

It’s time to run more productive meetings.

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Microsoft Journey #4 – Outlook

Welcome back to our Microsoft Journey series! In this issue, we cover the well-known Microsoft app, Outlook. Popularly known as an email client, Outlook actually offers much more such as calendar, contacts and tasks. Join us as we look at what Outlook is, how to use it and where to get it.

If you haven’t had a chance to read our previous Microsoft Journey issues, you can find them here:

Microsoft Journey #1 – OneDrive
Microsoft Journey #2 – Bookings
Microsoft Journey #3 – Planner

Let’s begin with a helpful guide of some Outlook features.

Helpful Guides

Now that we have covered the navigation, let’s go over some helpful guides that we have noticed many people search for.

Searching Outlook

To quickly find an email, you can type it in the search bar shown just above your inbox.

If you’re unsure which mailbox the email is in, click on the Current Mailbox option and choose to search within a selected folder, sub-folder or all of your mailboxes.

Adding a signature

Your emails should contain a signature and to add one is an easy process. As shown above, simply add your preferred details such as your name, position and the company you work for.

Once you have created a signature, it will be provided as an option for whenever you create a new email.

Setting Up Out of Office Automatic Replies

You will find the Automatic Replies option under the Info tab as explained in the navigation section. Once you click on it, you will see the following options.

Select send automatic replies, choose a date and choose whether you want the replies to go inside or outside of your organization. Next, type in a message of your choice and click OK. When someone sends you an email, they will get this reply until you are back. 

Schedule Meetings

First, go to the New Items button shown under Home and click on Meeting.

You will see the following meetings window pop up:

Here you can fill in the meetings details. Choose a title for the meeting, who to invite and select a date and time. You will see available dates and rooms from the right-hand section with colour codes showing you which date would suit everyone.

Setting Up Rules

To set up rules for how you receive emails and what Outlook should do with emails with specific subjects or senders, right-click on the email of your choice and select Rules then Create Rule

Fill in the details of the rule and what Outlook should do with the same emails in the future. You can choose the emails to be sent to a specific folder or even a different sound to play once you receive them. For more rule options, click on the Advanced Options button and choose what works for you.

Recover Deleted Items

If you have accidentally deleted and item or email that you wish to restore, Outlook makes it very easy for you to do so. Simply go to the Deleted Items folder on the right-hand navigation panel as shown here:

If you have deleted from files from the Deleted Items, there is still an option to recover them. Head over to the Folders tab and click on the Recover Deleted Items button:

You will then see a list of all the deleted items that you can choose from. Please note that to do this, you must be online and connected to your mail server.

Optimizing your Junk Folder

We are all exposed to the odd phishing email or spam, so it’s important to let Outlook know which email senders or domains are typically involved. To mark an email as Junk, simply right-click on it and click on the Junk option:

You can choose to quickly block the sender or add it to your Safe Senders list. For more choices, click on the Junk E-mail Options button.

Here you can select additional options and review your previous additions to safe or blocked senders. You can customize it to your preferences.

How to Get Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is available with both personal and business Microsoft 365 packages. If you would like to view the package details, you can find them here.

You can also create a free outlook account from the Microsoft website, but it does not include all the features and integrations.

Outlook Web

If you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription then you can access Outlook Web here by signing in with your Microsoft account details.

Outlook for Desktops

Outlook is already available on Windows machines so you can simply search for it and begin the log in process. If you would like to download Outlook on your Mac, you can begin the download here.

Outlook for Mobile

Click on one of the following buttons to take you to the download page for your preferred device:

Thank you for taking the time to read our Microsoft Journey blog on Outlook, we hope you found it beneficial. We will have another exciting addition to the series next week, so don’t miss out!

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Microsoft Journey Issue #3 – Microsoft Planner

That’s right, another issue of our Microsoft Journey! If you’ve made it this far, you know that this series covers our favourite picks of Microsoft applications designed to help you and your team achieve more in your work and personal life. Today, we cover Microsoft Planner, which is a collaboration and project management tool that will assist you in better organising your workflow and tasks.

If you are only joining us now, you may want to read our last issues to get a better understanding of what to expect in this series:

Microsoft Journey #1 – OneDrive

Microsoft Journey #2 – Bookings

Now, let’s get started.

What is Microsoft Planner?

A project management application used to organise teamwork through dashboards. Team members can use these dashboards to create and organise plans, tasks and projects.  Users can be assigned to specific tasks and progress can be checked along the way.

Features and Uses

User Friendly
Planner is easy to use and adopt within a workplace. Users can create tasks and plans in just a couple of steps and outline projects that need to be done. 

Curb Collaboration
Assign team members to specific tasks, to see who is working on what. Avoid unnecessary confusion by always keeping everyone up to date on the status of a project, the time frame it needs to be completed and discuss the work in once place.

Easy on The Eye
Your boards, tasks and buckets are categorised in a visually and understandable way, allowing you and your team to easily pick out the planned work. Easily update the status of a project by dragging tasks between columns.

Always Connected
Access Planner from any device, and at any time. The mobile app can be quickly downloaded from popular app stores, giving you access even when you’re on the move. Stay up to date with email notifications when a new task is made and assigned to you.

With Microsoft Planner, you can:

  • Create Plans for a team project or business activity
  • Create Tasks within each plan to outline the different assignments associated with it
  • Create Buckets to categorise the work in different levels and statuses.
  • Assign team members to each task, notifying them when you have done so.
  • Assign due dates and urgency levels to each task, letting team members what to prioritise.
  • Create checklists for a tasks, providing steps to complete each task.
  • View your Planner Hub to see all the tasks that have not been started, are in progress, completed or late.
  • View favourite or highlighted tasks for quick access from the navigation bar.

 
Have a look at Microsoft’s Mechanics discussion on the matter here

Why use Planner?

Now that we have covered what Microsoft Planner is, let’s go into why you should use it and the benefits that come with having Planner in your personal and work life. 

Time Management
By organising all the work that needs to be done, you can assign your available time to each task and see where you stand. Your day can seem less cluttered and you prioritise each your work accordingly.

Productivity
Keeping the above point in mind, you can get more done with the extra time on your hands. This helps you increase your daily work output and management.

Record Keeping
Everything is saved online or on your computer, so you can always go back and refer to a project by simply searching it for it or checking your completed tasks.

Less Stress
Using Planner, you reduce the risk of being overwhelmed and, therefore, stressing about projects. Deadlines for work will seem more achievable and give you a better working environment and mindset.

Planner Overview

While the platform is pretty straightforward, it’s important to understand what to expect. Let’s go over making your way around the app and how to begin your Planner Journey.

As always, you’ll first need to go to the Planner Website and log in with your Microsoft 365 credentials. If you’re already logged into your account, you can launch the app directly from your Office App.

You will first notice the Planner navigation bar displayed on the left-hand side. Let’s go over each one and see what it does.

Planner Hub

You will first be directed to your Planner Hub. Here you will find an overview of all your assigned tasks and selected plans, showing the status of each project. As shown below, it will either be not started, in progress, late or completed.

New Plan

This is where you start to build a new plan to create tasks and buckets for a project. You will need to fill in the available fields, such as the name and description of the plan, and choose to assign a Team from Microsoft Teams or Office group.

My Tasks
As the Planner Hub gives you an overview of your tasks, the My Tasks page is where you will see the full details of your assigned tasks, with the option to view it as a Board, Chart or Schedule. Let’s look at each one.

Board gives you the progression of your tasks.

Charts gives you a graphical view of the priority and status of your tasks

Schedule displays your tasks with a calendar view to see your due dates and tasks completions.

Creating a Task

When you create a task, you will see the available fields to fill in, to better define the task at hand. In the first half, you will see the essential details that you can set. These include which bucket it falls under, the progress, priority and due date. You can also add notes and even assign a colour to group tasks together.

When you click on the more options button, you easily copy, move, get a link or delete the chosen task.

In the second half, you can add a checklist, attachment or comment. Attachments can be either files, documents or website links.

Using Planner with Microsoft Teams

If you are using Microsoft Teams, you can add the Planner tab to your Teams platform for quick access, as well as to a team channel. You can work on the selected projects from Teams itself, where you will get notified when a task is assigned to you or you can appoint a selected team in Planner.

To add Planner to Teams, simply search for it from the Apps tab:

Check out Microsoft’s video on how to create a plan with Planner from Teams.

How to get Planner

Planner is available for anyone with a Microsoft 365 subscription, either personal or business package. If you don’t have a M365 subscription yet, you can find the different package details here.

If you already have a M365 subscription, you can simply get it from your Office App or just log into Planner for Web.

You can also get Planner for your mobile device, giving you on-the-go access to all your tasks. Download the apps here:

Once again, thank you for reading our Microsoft Journey Series blog! Keep an eye out for even more useful guides and overviews on our favourite Microsoft applications.

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Microsoft Journey #2 – Bookings

Welcome back to our Microsoft Journey series! In today’s issue we look at a popular Microsoft application, Bookings, and how you or your business can use it to better manage your appointments and customers experience.

In the previous issue we covered everything on OneDrive, so if you’re interested in finding out about how you can use it, with some helpful guides, we recommend checking it out:

Microsoft Journey #1 – OneDrive

What is Microsoft Bookings?

An online and mobile app for businesses who schedule and manage appointments for customers. It is a great way for customers to book services and view critical business information such as your address, operating hours and available staff – all from one place.

Features and Uses

Streamlined Scheduling

You and you customers will have a better scheduling experience by streamlining the booking process. Easily customize your bookings page so customers can find all the information they need to schedule a service. With a private calendar, you can manage appointments with notifications and reminders so that you can always keep track of what is happening.

Time Saver
You don’t have to go through always find the right time to call a customer, in order to confirm or change an appointment, as Bookings does it for you. Customers can get confirmation emails letting them know when a service is scheduled, and don’t have to worry about double-bookings.

Minimize Mistakes
Always keep staff and customers up to date with automatic reminders and notifications, decreasing the risk of a missed appointment. Should something come up, customers can easily reschedule or cancel an appointment through the bookings page.

With Microsoft Bookings, you can:

  • Define business information, services and scheduling policies
  • Use a private calendar to set reminders and manage appointments
  • Have available slots for customers to view and book
  • Give customers an easy way to cancel or reschedule should they need to
  • Manage employee and staff lists
  • Connect Bookings to your Facebook business page

How to Use Bookings

Now that we’ve covered what Bookings is, let’s get into how to use it.

Navigate Bookings

Let’s start by having a look at your Bookings homepage, with the available options you have on the navigation bar:

Home – your homepage shows your bookings made, estimated revenue and customers booked. (as shown above)

Calendar – your calendar view that shows bookings for staff members. Here you can add new bookings, assign staff members to selected bookings and give members time-off if need be.

Booking Page – here you can customize your booking page, change your page settings, and integrate Bookings with your Facebook business page with a Book Now button.

Customers – your customer view page where you have your customer list, that includes their names and contact information.

Staff – this is where you can manage your staff list and set their working hours accordingly.

Services – shows all your available services. Here you can create new services and add the necessary information such as name, location, duration and pricing.

Business Information – set your business description here with your contact information, operating hours, contact information and logo.

Customize Your Bookings Page

The bookings page is what customers will see when looking to make an appointment, so it is important to make it feel and look like what your business image represents. On top of that, adapting available settings to your business needs is always recommended.

First, go to the Bookings Page tab from your navigation bar. Here you will find the different options and settings that help you personalize your page, like your colour themes, logo and preview.

You will also find the settings to change your scheduling policies. These are settings that decide when customers can book your services, such as the minimum and maximum lead times.

Let’s define the policies a bit better:

Time increments – these are the intervals between your appointments, how much time you have from one appointment to the next. The increments can be set from 5 minutes to 4 hours, or you can make your own custom increment.         

Lead time – this is the amount of time that you need before a customer can book or cancel and appointment, in advance.

Days in advance – as the name suggests, this is simply to limit how far in advance a customer can book an appointment. The maximum time can be a whole year.   Notify the business via email – this is an option that sends you an email notification when a customer has booked or changed an appointment. It is recommended to always have this on.

Lastly, from the Bookings page, you can integrate Bookings to your Facebook Business Page via the Book Now button. To do this, you simply link your Booking page URL to the Facebook button, and customers will be directed to your Bookings page.

Alternatively, you can simply click on the “Connect” button as shown below:

Adding Services

Go to the Services tab from your navigation bar to find the following fields:

When you add a service, there are many options to fill in. Let’s have a look at each one:

Service Name – self-explanatory, it is the name of the provided service.

Description – what the service includes, and the necessary information you wish to provide.

Location – where the service will take place, either at a chosen location or meeting with a customer in person

Duration – how long the service will be

Buffer Times – the set-up time you may need before a service, to do whatever preparations you need

Maximum Attendees – the maximum amount of people that can attend the service.

Default Price – the pricing of your service.

Reminders and Confirmations – set the time when a customer will get notified of an appointment reminder or confirmation

There are also options for internal use that include:

Notes – whatever you need to note down for staff members or yourself, to remember about that service.

Employees – you can tag employees who are qualified and available for the service. Customers can even choose their favourite person if they like.

How to get Microsoft Bookings

Currently available as a default app with selected Microsoft 365 Packages:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Microsoft 365 APP for Business

If you have of one of the above business packages, you can get Bookings from your Office App by simply searching for it.

If you would like to get the mobile apps, here are quick links to download it now:

Check out Microsoft’s video on getting started with Bookings.

Thank you for taking the time to read our second edition of the Microsoft Journey series. Hopefully this issue helped you decide to get Bookings, with a clearer understanding of how to use and what it is for. Stay tuned for more issues on our top picks of Microsoft Applications!

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Microsoft Teams Journey Update – How to restore documents and files

Welcome back to our Teams blog! You may be wondering why this is showing, as we concluded the series in the last issue, but we just couldn’t stay away. Sometimes we get some feedback or questions on a certain topic and we just have to share it with everyone else.

In this update, we would like to show you how you can restore documents and files that have been deleted or corrupted with a simple and straightforward process.

Restoring Earlier File Versions

It can happen that you or a team member incorrectly edits a document, with the work now being unusable. In such a case, the best course of action is to restore it to a previous version. There are two ways that you can do this, either from the Teams app or through SharePoint online. Let’s see how:

Using Teams

  • Open the document in your Teams app and go to Info
  • On the right-hand side, you will see the different versions of the document. Simply select the version you wish to restore

Using SharePoint

  • Go to the files tab in your team channel and select the document that you wish to restore. Click on the ellipsis button or simply right click on the file to open the options. Then, select “Open in SharePoint”
  • You will see a webpage opened in your browser with the file shown. Go to the file settings by clicking on the ellipsis icon or just right click on the file. Then, select the “Version History” option.
  • You will see all the versions of the chosen document. Simply click on the drop down arrow of the version that you want, and choose to either view or restore the file.  

Restoring Deleted Files

Sometimes a file can be accidently deleted through a simple mistake. There is no need to panic though, as you can restore it to a previous version. Let’s see how:

  • Similar to the process above, you first need to open the file SharePoint.

  • Select the Recycle Bin option from the options on the left hand side of the page
  • Then, select the file that you want back and click on the “Restore” button.

That’s it! Now you know how to restore and recover files back to your Teams application and hopefully avoided unnecessary panic. For more helpful guides on Microsoft Teams, visit our blog center here: https://www.3gi.co.za/blog/

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OneDrive

Welcome to the first issue of our Microsoft Journey series! We will be discussing Microsoft applications and services and go further into some of the most popular features and tools. Don’t miss out on our helpful guidelines and recommendations, designed to help you improve your home and work life.

Our last journey blog series, covering Microsoft Teams, was met with very positive feedback and helped many users utilize the platform while working from home. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here:

Microsoft Teams Journey Issue #1

The applications we cover are available in the various Microsoft subscription packages. Many people are already familiar with the popular office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, so we aim to go deeper into the other useful services and tools like OneDrive, Planner, Bookings and many more.

Different packages include different levels of services and which package to choose depends on your business needs. Having the right package can greatly benefit you and your team to bring productivity and collaboration to the next level.

In today’s journey, we go into one of Microsoft’s most popular services – OneDrive.

What is OneDrive

OneDrive

A cloud-based service that allows you to store and share your work, such as documents and files, and is a convenient tool for accessing and sharing content. OneDrive is easy to use and offers useful features for personal as well as business file storage.

Difference Between Cloud Storage and Server Storage

Cloud storage – gives you the advantage of having someone else take care of maintenance, upgrades and security. This is very important in the current digital age, with cybersecurity being an important factor to think of. One disadvantage would be that you need an internet connection to access your data.

Server storage – gives you the advantage of having higher upload and download speeds, with having full control of system set-up controls and security. However, the cost of server hardware can be very expensive, as well as the time spent of your IT team to maintain and upgrade the systems.

OneDrive Features

Access Wherever
You can easily access and store files from anywhere, at any time. Because its all on the cloud, all you need is an internet connection and your preferred device. Even if you’re offline at the time of working, OneDrive will atomically sync the files when you’re connected again.

Consistent Collaboration
Using OneDrive with your Microsoft 365 package, you or your team can get work done faster with anyone inside or outside of your organization. It allows you to operate in real-time using any of your preferred Office applications, and across different levels of access such as mobile, desktop and web.

Work Securely
Work with peace of mind through file backups and having the ability to recover accidently deleted files.  OneDrive also helps protect your data through various levels of security, including password protection, verification, encryption and access control systems. You can customize these settings to suit your business environment.

Mobile App
The OneDrive mobile app lets you and your team create, edit and share files through your mobile device. You can also use the scan feature to turn a document, business card or whiteboard into a PDF where you can add notes and quick share with someone.

 

OneDrive Personal vs OneDrive for Business

Many people think that the difference is simply whether to use one your own personal documents, and the other for business and work files. While this may be true in a broad sense, OneDrive for Business offers much more features and capabilities. First, let’s do quick summary of each:

OneDrive – an online personal cloud storage platform. You can use it to save files, documents and photos on the cloud and choose to share them with anyone you want, using a link. OneDrive for Business – online cloud storage platform for work or school. It is managed by organization and gives you a platform to share and collaborate on work with co-workers and colleagues. Admins can control and customize the OneDrive library to suit business needs. Business packages give you 1TB (1000 gigabytes) of OneDrive storage which can hold a considerable number of documents and files. For the sake of an example, if you’re only storing 4-page Word files, it is estimated that you can have up to 85,899,345 documents.

With OneDrive for Business, the administration tools are what really stand out. Admins can choose what users can do, by restricting sharing options and managing syncing options. If an employee leaves the organization, admins can remove their accounts.

Microsoft has a detailed comparison chart on their website (link), but we decided to summarize it for you with our own:

OneDrive Comparisone
Personal vs For Business
5GB Storage 1TB
Yes Office Integration Yes
Free Price Depending on Package
No Auditing and Reporting Yes
No Administration Abilities Yes
Yes Desktop Syncing Yes

OneDrive Pricing

The price will of course depend on the package that you choose. Microsoft offers different plans that depend on your individual and business needs. Here is a quick link to both Home and Business plans that you can look at and compare:

OneDrive Guides

Now that we have covered the main features, pricing and topics, let’s get into some how-to guidelines that helped our team maximize the use of it. The following  guide will be done using OneDrive for Business, as the personal version does not include all of the features:

Navigating OneDrive

To begin, you will have to go to the OneDrive website or your Windows App and sign in with your Microsoft account

One you are logged in, you will notice the navigation panel on the left-hand side displaying all the different paths to your OneDrive:

Search bar – where you can search for any file or folder that you have on your account
Files
– the main place where you can find all of your files and folders.
Recent –  displays the files you worked on most recently.
Photos –  displays any photos that you may have stored
Shared – files that other people have shared with you and the files you have shared with other people
Recycle bin  – where all your deleted files and folders go.

When you in the files section, you will see the Toolbar panel with different buttons displayed. Let’s see what each button is used for:

New – used to create new files or folders.
Upload – used to add files or folders to your OneDrive storage.
Share – used to share that file or folder, via a link, with options to write a message and choose audiences within your workplace.
Copy Link – used to instantly create a link, without additional options.
Sync – if your account is connected to your computer, this will begin syncing everything to there.
Download – used to start downloading the selected files or folders to your computer.
Automate – used to create workflows for different scenarios, depending on your needs. You can choose from the following options:

 

Downloading the Mobile App

As mentioned above, having the OneDrive app on your mobile device can be a great way to quickly access and open your Office application files like Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, with the option to save files when you’re offline.

Here are handy links to download it to your preferred mobile device:

Restoring

We get it, mistakes and issues can happen. Anything from files getting deleted and overwritten, to getting corrupted and infected by malware. Luckily, Microsoft has planned for this with OneDrive’s convenient recovery tools, such as the online version history and recycle bin folder.

How to restore deleted files

  • First, you’ll have to go to the OneDrive website and sign in with your Microsoft account, as shown above.

  • Then, go to the Recycle Bin from the navigation bar on the left-hand side. Simply right click on the file and choose the Restore option or click on the Restore button at the top options bar.

If you deleted the files from your OneDrive on your computer, you can check your desktops Recycle Bin for Windows, or Trash for Mac.

How to restore a previous version of a file

  • Again, you will have to sign into your Microsoft account form the OneDrive website.

  • Select the document you wish to restore and click on the Version History button shown on the far right of the top options bar.

  • Choose the older version that you want to restore and click either Restore or Download.

Restore your OneDrive


Sometimes, it can happen that you need to restore a lot of files at one time. The best way to do this is to simply restore your entire OneDrive to a previous time, when everything was as you want it. Let’s see how to do this:

  • Just like the previous two guides, log into your OneDrive with your Microsoft Account.

  • Then click on the settings icon and select Restore your OneDrive.

  • From the restore page, you will be given the option to select which date you would like to restore your OneDrive to.

  • Use the slider and activity feed to see all the recent work that you would to be undone. The activity feed will show you the work that was done for the last 30 days and can help you find out where a problem came in.

  • Once you have selected the date or work from where you wish to restore, click on the Restore button and your OneDrive will be updated to your selection. Note that choose a Custom date and time will automatically select all activities after that date.

If you made a mistake or must revert back to before you restored, don’t worry, you can undo the restore by going through the process again and selecting the restore action you just performed.

Choosing which OneDrive Folder to Sync


It can happen that you don’t necessarily want to sync all your folders in OneDrive to your computer, so let’s see how you can specify which ones you want.

  • Click on the OneDrive cloud icon in your Windows or Mac taskbar notification area

  • Then select More and Settings

  • Click on the Account tab, and then Choose folders.

  • In the Choose Folders box, you can select and uncheck any of the folders that you don’t want to be synced to your computer. Click OK and it’s done.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first edition of the Microsoft Journey series. We hope you found it helpful, giving you some further insight on OneDrive and how to use it. Stay tuned for more!

 

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Openserve launches free fibre and ADSL speed upgrades

Openserve has announced that it will upgrade the fibre and ADSL line speeds of its customers for three months, effective from 1 May 2020.

“Responding to market changes as a result of COVID-19, Openserve fibre and DSL customers will enjoy upgraded data speeds for a three-month period, effective 1 May 2020,” the company said.

 “In response to these market changes, Openserve has taken the necessary steps to ensure ISPs are not negatively impacted, offering double the speeds to qualifying FTTH and DSL customers from May until July,” the company said.

Speed upgrades

Line speed upgrades for Openserve fibre will only benefit 10Mbps, 20Mbps, and 40Mbps lines, with 100Mbps and 200Mpbs lines remaining unchanged.

Openserve will upgrade all ADSL line speeds below 10Mbps to 10Mbps, subject to distance and network limitations. Existing 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 40Mbps ADSL lines will remain unchanged.

“Services unable to achieve 10Mbps will be excluded from the upgrade,” Openserve said.

These speed upgrades are detailed in the table below.

Fibre

Old Download SpeedNew Download Speed
10Mbps20Mbps
20Mbps40Mbps
40Mbps100Mbps
100MbpsUnchanged
200MbpsUnchanged

ADSL

Old Download SpeedNew Download Speed
1Mbps10Mbps
2Mbps10Mbps
4Mbps10Mbps
8Mbps10Mbps
10MbpsUnchanged
20MbpsUnchanged
40MbpsUnchanged

“Speed is critical in the fast-paced, ever-evolving business landscape we find ourselves in today. It’s important to keep up as we learn to adapt,” Beukes said.

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How to send, sign and edit documents

It’s good to see that you’re still with us in our Microsoft Teams Journey series! In this issue, we go through everything on documents. How to send, scan and edit documents as well as using the Adobe Fill & Sign tool for PDFs. If you’re only joining us now, have a look at our previous topics on some popular topics:

Issue #1 – What is Teams
Issue #2 – How to navigate the Teams platform
Issue #3 – Calling and Zoom Integration
Issue #4 – How to Create and Join Meetings
Issue #5 – How to use Tabs
Issue #6 – Mobile App, Settings and Notifications

Files and Documents

As is normal in any business, your team will be required to work on documents together. With Teams, you can easily share files and documents, and work on them together. The most popular documents are typically Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF. By now, you’re already familiar with channels and teams from our previous issues. Each channel, team and chat its own file folder where you can share and view files. The files library can be seen above the conversation window:

Here you can upload files that you already have or choose to create new ones. When uploading a file, Teams will automatically create a copy in the library.

Upload and Share files

To upload files, you can choose between two different ways. First, go the files folder in your channel or chat and choose to either:

1.  Normal upload – click on the upload button, choose the file of your choice and then click open.

2. Drag and Drop – simply click and drag the file from its current destination and drop it in the Teams files window.

To share a file when you’re in the chat or posts window, click on the paperclip icon and choose to either upload a new document or one from your files library

You can also choose to share a file with your team with a link. This is perfect for when you’re still discussing the work and don’t want to leave the chat. Click on the Browse Teams and Channels button, choose the file of your choice and click on Share a link.

If your team has quite a lot of files, it can be time-consuming to go through all of it. That’s not a problem as you can just search for the file you want in the search box. Type the name of the document and it will highlight it for you, for easier access.

 

Have a look at Microsoft’s video tutorial on how uploading and sharing files

Editing Documents

When a file has been shared or uploaded, you and your team can work and edit the documents together directly from teams. This eliminates the possibility of having duplicate copies as the changes will automatically merge in the same document as you work. Let’s see how this works.

First, you can have to select the document from the files as mentioned above. When you open that document, it will already be in edit mode and you can begin straight away. You will then have to option to either edit the file in Teams, or if the file is from an Office app you can edit it from there.

Simply right click on the file in the chat or under the files folder or click on the more options button (…) 

When you’re in the edit mode in Teams, you will have four tools to choose from. These tools are in the top right corner and include:

Comments – the same as in any Office app, here you can leave comments for later edit or reviews.

Conversation – this will bring up the chat and discussion that you were having about the file, on the right-hand side of the document.

More options (…) – this is where you can choose to download the file or open it in your browser.

Close – this is for when you’re done editing and would like to close the document and go back to where you were.

Although the next two sections are not part of Teams integration, they are still very handy tools to have for team collaboration.

Fill and Sign PDFs with Adobe

Many of us use PDFs in our workplace as a read-only document, but sometimes we need to fill out a certain section or sign a PDF document by typing or drawing your signature. With Adobe’s Fill and Sign tool, it makes it easy for you to do exactly that, from your desktop, browser, or mobile device.

Flat form – this PDF does not include interactive fields, but rather empty fields where you can fill in text and other symbols. The Fill and Sign tool will automatically detect which form fields are available for you to use.

How to fill out a form:

Step 1 – Open the PDF using Acrobat or Reader

Step 2 – Click the Sign icon in the toolbar, as shown in the image below.

Step 3 – Click Fill and Sign from the options provided

Step 4 – Choose the colour of your choice from the colour circle button.

Step 5Find the form fields within the form and click inside the blue box to type in your text.

The same applies for available checkboxes.

If you do not see a blue box, you can add your own text by clicking on the Add Text button in the toolbar. Simply click on the area that you wish to add the text and your own blue box will appear.

Step 6 – You can add symbols or annotations such as Checkmark, Crossmark, Circle, Lines etc., by clicking on an annotation within the toolbar and choosing where on the form you would like to place it.

How to sign a form

You can follow the same 4 steps as shown above to get to the Sign icon as shown below:

Next, choose between adding a signature or just your initials to the form. You will then see the Signature or Initials panel, where you can choose to type, draw, or import a signature image as shown here:

Once you have created your signature or initial, it will be saved as a Sign option to use for next time. If you would like to move the signature or initial, or resize or delete it, you can do so by using the options int the field toolbar.

Sending a form

Once you have completed the above steps, simply click on the next button and choose between the three options to either send a link, send a copy or to request a signature from others:

 

Download Adobes Fill & Sign Tool here:

Scanning Documents

In the previous issue, we mentioned using Office Lens from your mobile device. Lens lets you scan and take pictures of printed documents, whiteboards or business cards, and enhances the image to make it look better when you upload it. Lens will automatically crop, straighten and sharpen the image, saving you time and effort.

We created a quick step-by-step guide for you on how to use Office Lens:

Step 1: Install Office Lens on your mobile device and open the app. You will need to give permission for the app to use your camera.

Step 2: Choose one of the three image types to use, either photo, document or whiteboard. Then, point your camera at what you would like to scan.

Step 3: Fit the image within the frame provided and press on the shutter button to capture it.

Step 4: Once the image has been processed, choose whether to crop it or, if you’re happy with the outcome, press done to save it. Then choose the destination of the file, either an office app or PDF, email and photo library.

We recommend using one of the office apps (Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive etc) as it can easily be uploaded to your Teams platform.

You can download Office Lens from:

Yet again, thank you for taking the time to read our Microsoft Teams Journey series! We hope this issue has made it easier for you to work with documents in Teams, and to use all the available Microsoft apps and features that go with it. This issue will conclude our Microsoft Teams Journey, it’s been a great ride and hopefully as fun and entertaining for you as it was for us!

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Mobile App, Settings and Notifications

Welcome back to our Microsoft Teams Journey series! In today’s issue, we look at how to you get the Teams mobile app, some general settings, and notifications. If you’re new to the series, have a look at the previous topics we have covered to cover some basics:

Issue #1 – What is Teams
Issue #2 – How to navigate the Teams platform
Issue #3 – Calling and Zoom Integration
Issue #4 – How to Create and Join Meetings
Issue #5 – How to use Tabs

Teams Mobile App

Available on Google Play and the App Store, the Teams mobile app gives you the most needed features from the desktop and web client, with the ability to access it from anywhere and anytime. You can pretty much do everything that Teams Desktop can do, apart from desktop screen sharing, which isn’t a problem as you can still share your phone screen!

Features

Transfer a call from your PC to your phone

If you’re in a meeting and you need leave your PC, you can transfer a call from your PC to your mobile device. This works both ways so you can easily continue to work while you’re on the move.

Send Audio messages

We’re all familiar with sending voice notes from WhatsApp and other messaging apps. You can do the same with the Teams mobile app, when you need to quickly your point across without having to type long messages.

Dark mode

Perfect for low light environments and those who prefer the dark theme. It also helps you save your battery power.

Office Lens

Office Lens lets you take pictures of printed documents or whiteboards and enhances it to make it look better. Automatically crop, straighten and sharpen the image so you don’t have to go through the hassle of doing it yourself. 

Quiet time

You can’t always be available to work, especially if you deal with international clients across different time zones. With Teams, you can set Quiet Hours and Quiet Days that stops you from getting notifications when you’re trying to chill and relax a bit.

Send content in a meetings

Perfect from when you are not at your PC and need to share content during a meeting or call. You can easily send photos, videos, files and present your PowerPoint presentations directly from your phone. Additionally, have the option to directly share your phone screen to someone.

Settings

You can customize your Teams app to your specific needs, with personalized settings and navigation features. Simply tap the More button
and then Settings to manage notifications and options, get help, and sign out.

If you’re familiar with the desktop app, you would recognize these apps on the right-hand size of the of your application. With the mobile version, the same apps are shown at the bottom navigation bar of your phone screen and can be re-ordered to your needs.

Notifications

The default notifications you get on get are Chat, Mentions, Replies, Calls, and Meetings started. If you don’t need to be getting all of them, you can customize the notifications settings and switch some off.

Simply tap the More button, Settings and then Notifications to make sure the ones that you don’t need are turned off by checking the appropriate boxes.

Microsoft doesn’t send notifications to your mobile if you’re using Teams on the desktop or web app. To change this, toggle the Always, even if active on desktop button under your notification settings.

For iOS users, notifications can be switched on or off through your devices notifications settings.

If you still need some help figuring out notifications, have a look at Microsoft’s tutorial video on the matter here.

Download Now

The current supported mobile platforms for the Microsoft Teams app are:

iOS operating system version 10.0 or later.
(Works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch)

Android operating system version 4.4 or later.

As always, thank you for reading out Microsoft Teams Journey series! We hope this issue has got you to download the mobile app to your device and get you excited for all its features. Stay tuned for Thursday’s issue, where we show even more Teams features and how to use them.