Outlook Productivity Tip: Changing How Long It Takes to Mark Emails as Read

Reading Pane Options ScreenDon’t you just hate it when you click on an email by accident and Outlook marks it as read? When this happens, you have two choices – 1) mark it as unread, or 2) do nothing, and hope that you remember you haven’t actually read the email, even though Outlook claims you have.

How often do you choose option two? Probably more often than you realize, when you factor

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in all the times when you felt too busy, and didn’t bother to take the two or three seconds to change the email status.

But you don’t have to settle for one extreme or another. Instead, opt for a better alternative – change how long it takes for Outlook to mark your emails as read, and make this problem a thing of the past.

To access this feature, click on File at the top of Outlook, then go to Options. When the Outlook Options screen opens, click on Mail. Locate the Outlook Panes section in the middle of the screen (under stationery), and click on the Reading Pane button.

The Reading Pane Options will appear. Select “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane” and allot the appropriate amount of time, in seconds, for Outlook to wait before marking an email as read. The default allotment is 5 seconds.

Tip: See the “Single key reading using space bar” option? Selecting this option allows you to easily page down in your emails, using your space bar only. To make this feature work, make sure this option is selected. Then, click on any email in the preview pane, and begin reading. When you need to page down to read more, simply hit the space bar. Hitting the space bar at the end of the email will allow you to progress to your next email.

Now just click OK twice, and test out your new features. If you find you’ve set your time for too long or too short in duration, simply return to the Reading Pane options, and change the time allotment.

Customizing Outlook with features like these allows you to take the guess work out of your email, and helps you better prioritize your email work flow.

Do you have a great Outlook tip? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who wants to help demystify your software. Email:

Do Human Energy Fields Affect Computers & Electronics?

Energy Field

Image Credit: marcarhign

When you are on the computer, does it seem to do things that aren’t “normal” or does it work fine one day and then won’t work at all the next day? Are you one of those people who goes through device after device for no apparent reason? Is there other unexplained, almost supernatural, phenomenon that happens with you when it comes to computers and electronics?

Maybe it’s your energy field.

Please note that while the phenomenon we are about to discuss is very real for many people (I’ve personally seen it in action many times) it is not necessarily widely recognized by the scientific or technical communities as a real causality of computer / electronics issues.

An energy field, or electric field, is a physics term used to describe the magnetic fields created in the space surrounding electrically charged particles. Because of our electrically charged particles, our cells and tissues generate electrical fields. This is typically referred to as an “aura,” although it’s a bit more complicated than that. Should you like to get into the science behind this, here is some information surrounding the possible physics of human energy fields.

It is believed (and seen and experienced by many) that your aura can interfere, interrupt, and even affect and break computers and electronic devices. For some this happens routinely, and they go through device after device, with each one breaking for no apparent reason. For others, the problem is experienced intermittently, like when their emotions are running high, they’re overly stressed out, or when they are sick or run down. And yet others still will never experience this phenomenon at all.

One possible reason that human energy fields can affect electronic energy fields is that our modern day electronics all contain quartz crystals which help the internal clocks keep time, and which also help transmit and receive signals. The computer is electrifying and vibrating the quartz using a magnetic field, so if your personal energy field is strong enough, it could affect and even change the frequency at which the crystal is vibrating.

If you are experiencing an abnormal level of computer or electronic weirdness, it could be because you too are experiencing disturbances with your energy field. If this experience is sudden and out of the blue, review how you’re feeling. Are you stressed out, angry, or feeling any other strong emotion that could be causing the problem? If you are overly emotional for any reason, try to find ways to calm your emotions and see if that helps the problem. If you’re sick or rundown, give yourself some extra TLC and see if the problem is still occurring once you’re better.

If you experience these disturbances all the time, such as the man I know who cannot keep a digital camera for longer than a few months because they just stop working, you could have a larger problem with your energy field, one that may be corrected by finding ways to re-ground yourself, along with visiting an energy specialist, such as a Reiki practitioner, who can re-attune and align your chakras (the energy centers at particular points throughout the body).

You can also correct the problem by keeping particular stones or crystals around your desk, to help mitigate the effects of your electric field. Some good crystals to use for this purpose are: black tourmaline, tourmalated quartz, hematite, smokey quartz, or unakite. When you are experiencing effects, either wear the stones, or place them on your desk while you’re working.

While the scientific results are still out on this phenomenon, what do you believe? As humans, can our energy fields affect our electronics? Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who wants to help you ease the stress of your technological woes. Email:

How to Share Your Screen for Free Using Join.Me

Multiple Monitors

Image Credit: mrceviz

Have you ever wanted to share your screen with someone who wasn’t in the room with you? When this happened, what did you do? Did you use a fancy utility, or did you just shrug it off and not share anything because you didn’t know what to do?

Next time you need to share your screen, you won’t have to worry about this situation. That’s because the makers of LogMeIn (remote desktop access software) have created a new tool –, an easy to use, free app which makes screen sharing quick and easy. is a screen sharing utility which follows the belief that sharing shouldn’t be hard. With this concept in mind, they have made their tool as simple as possible so that you can get right down to business, without having to figure out complicated software.

To begin using their app, go to and download and install the free desktop app. They also have a free mobile app for both iPhone and Android phones.

Setup the app, and then click “share” to share your screen with others.

You will be given a nine digit code to share with participants. All they have to do is go to (either the website or the app), enter the code, and they can now see your screen.

While sharing, you have the ability to pause your screens to give participants a static view. You can also talk with participants via the included chat program or through internet calling.

The free features of are quite robust, and include the ability to share control of the screen, switch between multiple monitors, send

files, and use internet calling, amongst other features.

Additionally, you can pay for the service, which gives you additional features such as unified audio, presenter swap, meeting scheduler, user management, and more.

Don’t be left in the lurch next time you need to share something important with a remote employee or viewer. Instead, turn to this handy tool to get the job done quickly and easily.

What do you use for a screen sharing solution? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who delights in helping you enjoy new technology. Email: