This article follows on from the article on how to install the Inspirometer addin for Outlook (2010 & later). If you have completed the installation process, you may find yourself in any one of a number of situations:
- Most likely you will find that the addin has installed correctly, and you can see your data
But you may find that:
- The installation process appeared to stall part way through
- You cannot yet see your meeting data
- Your meeting data does not reflect accurately your calendar
- Your status indicators on your dashboard indicate a problem
- You need to uninstall or upgrade the addin and you do not know how
In which case, this document will help you take the right steps to ensure your addin is working as you want it and delivering the meeting data you need. It is structured in the order of the bullets listed above, and lists out the potential issues you may have encountered and the simple steps required to address these.
Click on the link you need below:
The installation process appeared to stall part way through
There are a number of potential reasons for this. Please take the time to read through the following questions, check them out in order, and follow the steps indicated to resolve them.
Q1: Did you click the download file and run it?
The link for the Outlook Addin is an executable file which is downloaded to your machine when you click the link. In some cases, your computer may ask you directly if you want to run the file, but sometimes it simply downloads it and lets it sit there. You may find the file at the bottom of your browser page, or you may need to go to your downloads folder to find it. In most browsers this can be done by depressing the Ctrl button and hitting ‘J’ (Ctrl + J).
The most recent link for the add-in can be found in the installation page.
Q2: Has one of the dialogue boxes hidden itself behind another?
Sometimes, the installation process is required to add multiple pieces of software to make the addin work, and it is not uncommon for a box asking you to approve something gets stuck behind a box which is showing you progress on something else (or some other window). If you are looking at a box which seems to be stuck, minimise your other programme windows, and move the boxes you can see around to see if there is another box hiding behind them. If there is, read what it says, and take the appropriate action to get things underway again.
Q3: Is it neither of the above?
Machines and software can get tangled up sometimes. If it is stalled for no apparent reason it may be best to close everything down, restart your machine, and see if that makes it better disposed to completing the installation process. If it does not then you may need to get technical support – please see ‘Technical Support’ at the end of this document.
You cannot yet see your meeting data
Once the addin (appears) to have installed correctly on your machine. You should be able to use the newly installed buttons to go straight to your meeting data and check the accuracy of its analysis.
But this may not be possible for one of a number of reasons. Read the questions below to see which corresponds to your situation, and then follow the steps to resolve this issue.
Q1: Can you see the new buttons in your Outlook?
If your install has completed, you should be able to see a new button on the right of your Home ribbon somewhere near the top of your Outlook. In Outlook 2010 and later these will look a bit like the image below.
Clicking the button will reveal a number of options. Clicking the ‘Open Meeting Stats’ option should take you either:
- Directly to your stats, if you are already logged into your account
- To the login page for your account.
If the button is not present anywhere on the opening (email) or calendar page of your Outlook, then the plugin has either not installed properly, or it has become disabled or deactivated.
To see if this is the case, click on the ‘File’ menu, and then on ‘Options’ (this will open up a new panel similar to the image below).
Clicking ‘Add-ins’ in the left hand menu (which may be toward the bottom of the list) will show you a list of current add-ins and their status within Outlook.
If the Inspirometer Meetings Tool is listed in either ‘Inactive Application Add-ins’ or ‘Disabled Application Add-ins’, then click the ‘Go …’ button at the bottom of the panel beside ‘Manage COM Add-ins’, and in the new panel that opens up tick the entry for ‘Inspirometer Meetings Tool’ (see below) and then click ‘OK’ and then click ‘OK’ on the Add-in window to close it.
If Outlook disables the add-in a second time, there is a problem, and you will need to seek technical support.
If, however, the ‘Inspirometer Meetings Tool’ add-in is not visible in the list at all, then the installation has failed. This sometimes happens when machines get a bit overloaded. In this case, we would recommend that you restart your machine, log in and then let it settle down, and click the install link before opening any other applications (including Outlook).
If this still does not load the buttons, then you will probably need to get technical support – please see ‘Technical Support’ at the end of this document.
Q2: Do you have the password you require to see your data?
If clicking the ‘Open Meeting Stats’ button presents you with a panel like the one below, it means that you will need your password to access your account. This is entirely normal security if you are not already logged into your account. If you already have your password, simply enter it and your email address into the respective fields, and then follow the on-screen instructions to access your data.
If you do not already have a password, or if you have forgotten it, the process is the same. Click on the ‘Forgot your Password?’ link at the bottom of the panel, and follow the instructions to get your new password. You can then use your new password along with your email to log into your account and follow the instructions above.
Q3: Is your meeting stats page full of ‘No Data Available’ boxes?
If instead of a nice page full of blue and/or green donut charts you get a page that is full of grey ‘no data available’ boxes, this may be for one of two reasons: Either you do not have any relevant meeting data for the last 30 days, or something has gone wrong in uploading it.
Take a look at your calendar for the last 30 days, and see if you actually have meetings where you and others were invited to a meeting event. Please note, the Add-in ignores all other appointments (except for travel time) and so only bona-fide meeting events will show in your data. If you are not sure whether an event is a meeting or an appointment, double click the event to open it, and then look in the middle of the header line on the window that opens. It will clearly say whether it is a meeting or an appointment at the end of the title, e.g. ‘Speak to Jonathan – Appointment’
If you have no meeting data in your calendar for the last 30 days, you can test whether your account is working correctly by creating a meeting for yesterday, and inviting yourself to it. Then click the button to ‘Refresh Meeting Stats’ and then reopening/refreshing your meeting stats page.
If there is a problem in uploading your data, this may be because something has gone wrong with the ‘Welcome Email’ from Inspirometer. The ‘Welcome Email’ contains information which the add-in uses to configure itself, but if the email is missing or in the wrong place it cannot get the information it needs. Please check that your ‘Welcome Email’ is in your Inbox. If it is not, you might try looking in your junk folder, and move it back to your Inbox if you find it there.
If these things do not apply, then we would recommend that you follow these steps in order until it does work:
- Wait one hour, and then shut down Outlook and restart it, and this should initiate a new ‘Welcome Email’
- Check out Q4 below to make sure you are in the right place to see your data
- Follow the guidance in Q5
- Get technical support – please see ‘Technical Support’ at the end of this document.
Q4: Are you confident you are in the right account?
This may seem a bit of a daft question, but we have had situations where people have multiple email accounts (and sometimes multiple Inspirometer accounts) and they have logged into one with one email address, and into the other with a different email address. Please check that you are logged into the right Inspirometer account for the default email address the Outlook where your meetings have been organised, and check that the green box in the top left hand corner of the screen shows the word ‘Personal’
Q5: Is the issue you have in seeing your data none of the above?
Sometimes, installations simply go awry. Computers are complex beasts with a lot going on, and sometimes when things get a bit muddled you best bet is to return to square 1 and start again. Help-desks have a great success rate in simply getting their people to switch things off, and then switch them back on again.
However, by this point you will already have restarted your machine at least once (if you have not, now would be a good time to try it) and so the next step is to uninstall the add-in, and then reinstall it from scratch. You will find guidance on this below.
Your meeting data does not reflect accurately your calendar
The add-in gathers data directly from your calendar within minutes of being installed in Outlook. However, it has limitations, and it has to interpret what it cannot know from those things that it can. In this regard, it is forced to make a number of assumptions:
- It assumes that any event in your calendar to which you have been invited, or to which you invited people, is a meeting (Outlook also defines such events as meetings).
- It assumes that you only attended those meetings which you organised and accepted, and not those that you declined or cancelled.
- It assumes that any event to which there are no invitations is not a meeting, and ignores all such ‘appointments’ with the exception of those that have a subject beginning with the word travel.
However, since your calendar has not been used in this way previously, it may be that you have adopted certain practices or conveniences which mean that your data does not always reflect the conventions defined above. In this case, your meeting stats are likely to be in error, and your calendar will need to be adjusted to enable your add-in to collect the right data.
If your data appears inaccurate, read the questions below to see which corresponds to your situation, and then follow the steps to resolve this issue.
Q1: Does your meeting data appear to include holiday requests, and other ‘appointments’?
There is a practice, commonly adopted, of communicating holiday requests by placing them in your calendar, and then ‘inviting’ your boss and/or HR to the event in order that they are aware you are on vacation. This practice sometimes extends to other events such as symposia etc.
The fact that there are invitations in the event, and that Outlook deems it as a meeting (as you will be able to see in the heading if you open it up) causes the add-in to treat it as a meeting. In this way, a vacation of two weeks has a massive and inaccurate effect on the estimated time spent in meetings.
The practice however is convenient, and fairly widespread, and there would be resistance to changing it. Fortunately there is a way round the problem. By either:
- Changing the subject to precede it by the word Holiday:
- Categorising it as Holiday
The add-in will ignore such events and exclude their data from the analysis.
If you have such data in your own calendar, please go back over the last year, and change the subject of such events, or re-categorise them accordingly. Then click the Inspirometer ‘Refresh Meeting Stats’ option via the Inspirometer button on your Home ribbon.
To keep your data accurate, please follow the practice of always preceding the subject with the word Holiday: This will ensure that the event is ignored in both your calendar, and also the calendar of whomever you invite to this event.
Q2: Are some meetings missing from your data because they are saved as appointments?
Not every organisation or individual is good at sending out meeting invites from their calendar. Accordingly, you may have put placeholders in your calendar to remind you of your attendance at such events, but because they lack invitations, both Outlook and Inspirometer assume that they are appointments.
To ensure that these register in your data, edit the event subject and precede it with the word Meeting: This will enable Inspirometer to recognise it and add it to your stats along with all the meetings it identifies normally.
If you believe that your stats are missing some important data for this reason, please work back through your calendar, and edit the subject of those meeting events to precede them with ‘Meeting:’. Then click the Inspirometer ‘Refresh Meeting Stats’ button at the top of your Outlook window to update your data with these changes.
Q3: Are meetings missing from your stats because they have not been accepted, and vice versa?
Sometimes people have conflicts in their calendar. Clearly, since we cannot be in two places at once, such conflicts could reflect a duplication in the data.
It is therefore vitally important that the only meetings in your calendar that are accepted are the meetings you actually attended. All other meetings should be deleted (or at least declined). Equally it is important that you actively accept (even retrospectively) any meetings you actually did attend that are currently marked as tentative or ‘not yet accepted’.
If you believe that your stats may be in error for this reason, please work back through your calendar, and accept or delete the relevant events until it reflects an accurate depiction of your time and attendance. Then click the Inspirometer ‘Refresh Meeting Stats’ button at the top of your Outlook window to update your data with these changes.
You need to uninstall/upgrade the add-in and you don't know how
Sometimes, installations simply go awry. Computers are complex beasts with a lot going on, and sometimes when things get a bit muddled you best bet is to return to square 1 and start again.
To uninstall the add-in, go to your control panel (which can be found via the windows start button) and then (depending on your system):
- click ‘add/remove programmes’ or
- go to Programs > Uninstall a program or
- (something similar)
This should open up a window like the one on the below. It may take a little while for the list of programs to complete and stop moving around, but eventually you should be able to scroll down the list to ‘I’ and find the current Inspirometer Meetings Add-in. Select this and click the Uninstall button, and then follow the steps to Uninstall it. Please note, there may be two files to remove, in which case you may need to repeat this step.
Once you have done this, restart your machine, and before you open any other applications, go back to the link and reinstall the add-in. Then reopen Outlook (perhaps twice) and click on ‘Open Meeting Stats’ and check that you can now see your data.
If this fails, you will need to get technical support – please see ‘Technical Support’ at the end of this document.
You need technical support
We estimate that the steps outlined above should address the needs of about 75% of people who have encountered problems in installing the add-in. However, computer networks tend to be complex, and not everybody’s machine works the same (or even well in some cases).
If you find that you have reached this point without success, please be patient with us. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject of Installation Problems (and your Organisation’s name), and give us a summary of your final situation. We will need to schedule time with you at some point in the future to work through the remaining problems.
In the meantime, everything should continue to work as it always has, and we will be able to catch up with your meeting data eventually.