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Tom’s Tech in two minutes

Microsoft Insights, one little button into a treasure trove of time!

I have seen the Insights feature, being talked about for some time on the Microsoft Roadmap, and on the tech forums. So, like most techies, I was keen to see what it could offer. Some of the early testing, made claims to have “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” available on your desktop, who doesn’t want that?

I have recently had an update to Outlook, which now has the new Insights Icon in the Ribbon Bar. (see below)

The first Insight I was advised of, was my Outstanding Tasks. I had 8 emails, I had sent recently, with the content suggesting, I was to carry out something for a client, in the coming days. This prompted Insights, to suggest if I would like to create a task or mark it as done. In the future, this could be extremely useful, if like me, you normally rely on adding calendar appointments, as reminders or any other systems.

Then I was advised, I had several meetings upcoming; I should ensure I was ready for them and offered if I would like to see the list. Cool, yes please as I can be a little “last minute.com” to some meetings.

Microsoft have made some “odd” decisions in the past with features. What they think I want with from their software; Clutter often springs to mind… but I like this so far!

During a Teams meeting today, I noticed one of my colleague’s status had changed to “Focusing” I was intrigued to see how this might link to Focus Time on the new Insights tab. After digging a little deeper, it turns out to be quite neat. This function allows me to consider blocking out chunks of time. To work on projects, without being interrupted or, prevent people potentially inviting me to meetings, throughout the day. All this data, combined with machine learning, needs time to understand me, in addition to, how I tend to organise my calendar.

Next, I am presented with Wellbeing, which looks at the amount of time, I’ve spent in Outlook, outside of my “office hours”. My default hours are set to 8am to 5pm (which should be 9-5:30, but you can configure that within the system). Currently, I’m trending at 1 quiet day a week, where I don’t have meetings or working on emails outside of this time.

I am not sure this is completely right for me, as I spend a relatively longer amount of time on emails, outside of those work hours. So, I’ll pay a bit more attention to this one. I think the issue could be, I spend the time using my phone access the emails, rather than the Outlook application itself. But that shouldn’t impact the statistics, if they’ve set things up properly.

I am going to keep working with Insights, as I think it will be a useful add-on to Outlook. Who doesn’t want cool Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their life!

I would love to hear your feedback on your Insights experience.