Sunday, 29 June 2008

Outlook plug-in now available for downloading

Matchpeg's plug-in for Microsoft Outlook has finished its beta period, and is now freely available for download.

You can find further information on the plug-in at http://www.matchpeg.com/brochure/outlook/index.asp

The plug-in seamlessly integrates Matchpeg with Microsoft Outlook:
  • Your meetings in Matchpeg are automatically added to your Outlook calendar.
  • You can also choose to have the minutes of meetings automatically filed against the Outlook appointment in PDF form.
  • Actions from meetings are added to your Outlook task list.
  • Workflow items assigned to you are also added to your task list.
  • You can create meetings in Matchpeg from appointments in your Outlook calendar: in other words, schedule meetings in the usual way using Outlook/Exchange functionality, and then add the meeting to Matchpeg once the attendees are confirmed.
  • You can edit the minutes of a meeting off-line, and then upload the minutes into Matchpeg when an internet connection is available again.
The plug-in is in fact a "suite of off-line tools". The off-line minutes editing is available both within Outlook and as a standalone application. Therefore, it's worth having a look at the tool even if you are not an Outlook user.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

NEW feature - guest access to workflow items

You can now include people outside your firm in workflows - in other words, you can send workflow items to anyone on the internet and have them approve things, add comments, send the item back for further work etc.

When you choose who to assign a workflow item to, the pop-up list of users contains a new option (at the bottom) for entering the e-mail address of a "guest". This new option is available in three contexts:
  • When delegating a workflow item, and choosing who to delegate it to.
  • When moving a workflow item to the next stage, and choosing manually who to assign the item to next.
  • When creating a workflow definition, and choosing who an item gets assigned to at each stage of the workflow. In other words, you can set up workflows where items are always assigned to a particular external person.
When a workflow item is assigned to a guest, a random 6-digit PIN number is generated. The guest is sent an e-mail containing this PIN, plus a URL for logging in to Matchpeg and viewing/modifying the workflow item.

The guest's PIN only gives them access to that one single workflow item (via a special, cut-down version of the usual workflow editing page). If multiple items are assigned to the same guest then they receive multiple e-mails, each with a different PIN.

Once the workflow item moves on to a new owner, the guest's PIN stops working. If the same item is then later re-assigned to the guest user, a new PIN will be generated and a new e-mail will be issued.

N.B. If you are assigning workflow items to guests, please warn them that the e-mail which is sent to them may get classed as spam. Please ask them to check their junk/spam folders, and to "white-list" messages from matchpeg.com so that the spam filter always lets them through.

If the guest doesn't receive the e-mail containing their PIN number, the e-mail can be re-sent using the link at the top of the page about the workflow item. As a last resort, administrative users of Matchpeg can "grab ownership" of workflow items and re-allocate them back from guests to normal users.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

NEW feature - new participant roles in meetings

When adding participants to a meeting, you can now choose from additional "roles" which appear against each person's name in the minutes. (These roles don't affect the system's behaviour in any way, or what the participant is allowed to do. They're just for display purposes.)

The new options which are available when creating a meeting/editing participants are as follows:
  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Observer
  • Note-taker

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Outlook add-in now available for beta-testing

Matchpeg now has Outlook integration available for customers to beta-test. This takes the form of an Outlook add-in which provides the following features:
  • Your meetings in Matchpeg are automatically added to your Outlook calendar.
  • You can also choose to have the minutes of meetings automatically filed against the Outlook appointment in PDF form.
  • Actions from meetings are added to your Outlook task list.
  • Workflow items assigned to you are also added to your task list.
  • You can create meetings in Matchpeg from appointments in your Outlook calendar: in other words, schedule meetings in the usual way using Outlook/Exchange functionality, and then add the meeting to Matchpeg once the attendees are confirmed.
If you would like to try out the beta version of the add-in, please contact our support team.

(The add-in requires Outlook 2000 or later, and Windows 2000 or later.)

Saturday, 8 March 2008

NEW feature - meeting organisers marking actions as complete

Meeting organisers are now allowed to mark action points as complete on a participant's behalf. The organiser opens the details of the action (e.g. by clicking on its link in the minutes), and can now mark the action as complete, or update the percentage-completeness, and add notes.

This change is mainly intended to help out PAs who were complaining to us that they just couldn't get their IT-phobic bosses to log into Matchpeg and update their actions themselves. They were getting stuck with actions which were left open on the system forever.

(However, we're about release the details of our Outlook add-in. No more need for the boss to log into Matchpeg. They just update a task in Outlook. Watch this space...)

Friday, 7 March 2008

NEW feature - pre-population of workflow items from meeting actions

We've improved the creation of workflow items from meeting actions (i.e. what happens when you open a meeting action and click on the "Create workflow item" link):
  • The due date for the workflow item is copied over from the due date for the meeting action (provided that the action has a due date, and provided that the workflow definition asks for a due date).
  • The start date of the action becomes the start date of the workflow item (again, where applicable).
  • Provided that the text of the action is short enough, the text is used as the subject of the workflow item. Previously, the text was always put into the item's description.

Friday, 29 February 2008

NEW feature - improved minutes editing

We've made some changes to the agenda- and minutes-editing to make things more flexible, particularly when re-arranging agenda items which have been put forwards by other participants and automatically added to the agenda:
  • Sub-items can now be moved from one top-level topic to another.
  • A sub-item can be "promoted" to top-level.
  • A top-level topic can be "demoted".
All these actions can be carried out using the new "move" button which is displayed alongside each topic.

There are also keyboard shortcuts for each of these actions: Ctrl+Alt+P promotes the current sub-topic to the top level; Ctrl+Alt+M followed by a number key moves or demotes the current topic into another top-level topic.