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SharePoint Blog

February 13
PM Tips: No cats allowed

Professionals involved in the field of project management lead many meetings and conduct a variety of presentations with desktop tools such as Lync, Communicator, Go to Meeting or WebEx to name a few. As you share status reports or conduct product demonstrations a variety of little distractions can quickly derail an otherwise flawless execution.

Enter the “new email desk top alert” from Microsoft Outlook. If you haven’t ever temporarily disabled this little feature your new messages and meeting invitations will create a steady stream of distracting content for your audience – that you really want paying attention as you review project risks, budget, change requests and adorable internet cats.

Let’s take the position of the client, adrift in your sea of distracting desktop alerts…

Subconscious client thoughts: Wow, she’s busy – lots of meeting requests are coming through. We better get our meetings scheduled soon!


Subconscious client thoughts: Look at that, good follow up, I’m going to enjoy working with this PM!


Subconscious client thoughts: She is well read – I’ll have to ask what her opinion on Windows 10!


Subconscious client thoughts: Hold up, how many cats are we talking about here? 


From scope, risk, budget and impressions of your busyness to adorable cats? Yikes, your clients may now perceive you as that lady who gets a lot of cat meme messages. Great for your professional image, right? 

With just four simple steps you can salvage your professional image from cat lady to project management professional by temporarily halting desktop alerts during your presentations.

First, from within Microsoft Outlook select the File Menu.


Second, select “Options.”


Third, select “Mail” under Outlook Options.

And fourth, deselect “Display desktop alert” and finalize it by selecting “OK.” 

Now desktop alerts will not display until you enable the feature again by reselecting the checkbox and reconfirming the setting. You can leave this feature off temporarily or permanently – it’s up to you.  This is an easy method to keep everyone’s attention where it needs to be and maintain your professional image.



If you're interested in learning more about Project Management for SharePoint, consider attending our SharePoint Project Managment Symposium​ in June.  Nora will be co-presenting at the event. Hope to see you there! ​

For free opportunities to earn PDU credit, consider registering for a SharePoint Roundtable​ in your community! ​

About Nora Ten Broeck, PMP, MOS: SharePoint 2013: Nora is a SharePoint enthusiast with interests in engagement management, improved business processes and Nintex. She does not have any cats. Follow her @NoraTenBroeck

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