How to Create a Project Dashboard in SharePoint - A Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I could put together a projects dashboard in SharePoint. The projects team just wanted an easy way to list all of their projects in one place with lights indicating the status of major tracking points (Schedule, Budget and Scope).  They also wanted to be able to have links to their status report and project folder. 
It seemed like a simple job to in SharePoint Lists -- and it was. 

I thought it was good project to demonstrate the power and simplicity of SharePoint lists and how they can make everyday tasks easy without the need for additional software purchasing.  Everyone is a developer.
While it's simple; the process is a little long-winded for a blog post, so instead I've created a slideshare. 

How to create a project dashboard using share point lists from Gavin Bollard

Erasing Backgrounds in PowerPoint

I'm a big fan of PowerPoint these days and I use it for a lot of great things, most of which aren't presentations. It's great for drawing small flowcharts, business diagrams and logos. It's also great for recording the screen.
Here's a walk through of how to add an image into PowerPoint and then make the background of that image transparent.
Get Your ImagesGo to Google, and do a search for something that sounds interesting.When the search results appear, click on Images. This will restrict the display to just images. Choose an appropriate image (ideally one without too much background). The image will appear on the right hand side. Check the size of the image to make sure that it's a good size. images below 700 wide x 500 high will probably not look very good on a large screen - and any images over 2000 wide 1500 might make your presentation a little large/slow. Right mouse click on the image and choose Copy Image, then switch to PowerPoint and paste the image in…

How to Create a Team, Channel and SharePoint Site to Collaborate with Clients

Teams or SharePointBoth!
Teams IS SharePoint. (okay, so we know they're separate applications but I've had to labour this point for the sake of our staff). Teams and SharePoint are two parts of the same thing and they can't exist without each other.  You'll find that sometimes SharePoint is more appropriate and sometimes teams is.  It doesn't matter. You can switch between the two as needed.  Teams is essential for meetings.SharePoint is best for browsing through files. Why Create a Teams Site?You should create a teams site for any of the following reasons; You want to text-chat regularly with a group of people (internal and/or external)You want to be able to share files regularly with a group of people. You're collaborating on a project or working group. You have a group that has regular meetings with, particularly online and ad-hoc meetings. You want to create a SharePoint site for a group of people to use.  First Steps1. Go to the Microsoft Teams Site - or open t…

Using your own backgrounds and Filters in Microsoft Teams

Seeing as we're in isolation, we seem to be spending a whole lot more time in Microsoft Teams -- and of course, Microsoft seems to have picked up the pace of teams updates as well. 

One of the things that Zoom, (one of Teams' competitors) has that is enviable is a "sense of fun".  Zoom has these great backgrounds and they have some fun filters too. In this post, I wanted to look at how to get these options in teams. 

Bear in mind that Teams is always changing and that some of these features are already being developed for the platform, so you probably won't have to use these workarounds for long.

The Built-In Backgrounds Yesterday (15 April 2020), Teams started up with a new feature; Background effects. To get to these, simply click on the three dots while in a video conference and choose Show Background Effects.

This opens up a selection of backgrounds in the right hand panel.  The first bunch are suitable for corporate meetings and include "No Background&qu…

Using Two PCs at Once - A Virtual KVM

KVMs and Multiple Computers In the old days before we had computers that spanned multiple monitors, we sometimes had multiple computers on our desks. We had dedicated switching hardware to do this called KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switches. These days, apart from PC setups, which are mostly done via cloning technology these days, there's not really a reason to have multiple computers on your desk. 
At least, not until COVID-19 forced everyone to work from home and some of us found a need to switch between our home and work laptops with ease. 
Not really wanting to purchase special hardware and extra cables, I looked for an alternative solution and found that Microsoft already had one. It's called Mouse without Borders. In this post, I just want to talk about getting it setup. 

Installing Mouse without Borders There's quite a few options around for Virtual KVMs but why would you pay for one when Microsoft provides one of the best for free?
Mouse without Borders is available …

Using SharePoint Page Templates to Store Inventory Items

SharePoint's new Page Templates are awesome and everyone should be taking advantage of their features. I've been using SharePoint pages a lot to build our corporate intranet but the templates take this to a completely new level. Now I can use it for inventory purposes too. 

Understanding Inventory Types When it comes to inventories, sometimes you want something complex that will let you do all kinds of computations and exports. Computer and phone hardware inventories are like that, and they're best done as SharePoint lists.

Sometimes however, your inventory object means more simply by itself. Sometimes you need to be able to write a whole heap of "free text" around it.  Good examples of this could include domain name inventories and IT only contacts. These kinds of things work very well in SharePoint as templates.

In this post, I want to show you how you can build your own inventory page.
Create a Page I'm going to assume that everyone already loves pages (bec…

How to Setup your OneDrive to Get Dropbox style Upload Functionality from Externals

Why would you do this?Sometimes you need to exchange files with external parties who for some reason are unable to email them. This can happen if the files are too large or if they trip virus scanners. It's quite common for people to resort to third-party tools such as DropBox but these can be insecure. 

There is an easier way. 

In this post, I'll walk through a way to temporarily share a folder with an external party so that they can submit a file to you.

How To 1. Open your Personal OneDrive on the web (there's a link at

2. Use the Menu to create a New Folder, click New then Folder

3. Give the folder a sensible name and click Create.
If you're planning on sharing lots of folders with different people, you might want to nest the folder a few levels down, perhaps below a folder called Shared. That way you'll be able to reduce clutter in the top levels of your OneDrive.

4. Right-Mouse click on your newly created folder and choose share from the menu.