SharePoint Fest Denver 2017

DenverCityI’m thrilled to announce I will be giving 2 presentations in Denver at the SP Fest conference that runs from May 30 thru June 2, 2017 in the Colorado Convention Center. This will be my first visit to Colorado and I’m so excited to go!

I’m doing 2 sessions while in Denver. Details are below…

Information Management and Governance in O365

What does Information Management and Governance mean within the context of O365? What are the tools that allow us to manage it? In this session we’ll talk about the traditional ways we’ve approached this discipline and how the new collaboration world is disrupting this.

Organizations need to empower employees to reap the benefits of new collaboration tools in the digital workplace, but they can’t compromise the security, compliance and protection of corporate assets while doing it.

Capabilities are being rolled out to help organizations keep both managed and unmanaged content secure and compliant throughout O365. We’ll talk about setting organizations up for success on all fronts from an Information Management perspective.

How to Build a SharePoint Search-Driven Website

What does it mean to build a search-driven website in SharePoint and why is this better than the traditional approach of site design? In this session you will learn the value-add of this design architecture and how to build search-driven sites in SharePoint using cross-site publishing and author-in-place features. This approach not only improves the experience for content authors but also provides dynamic, tailored pages for content consumers, all done by leveraging SharePoint search and managed metadata as the underlying mechanism.

I’ll walk thru an end-to-end example of designing, authoring and publishing content as well as customizing search webparts to demonstrate how you can use this technique to keep your site dynamic and personalized. This is a no-code session!

Features demonstrated: Cross-site publishing, Author-in-place, Managed Metadata, Search, Content Search webpart.

Curious about either of my sessions? Well sign up and join me!

For more information about the event and to register, click HERE.

[UPDATE June 4, 2017] The SharePoint Fest conference was awesome! The organizers did a fantastic job and I would highly recommend a SP Fest conference to anyone! Here is the link to my Denver presentations:

It was great to meet some new friends and hang out. Here are some pics from the conference:


Meeting Minutes OneNote Tip!

Meeting Minutes OneNote Tip!Blog post: 2 minute read.

I read in a recent blog post by PC World that “OneNote is the best Microsoft program you’re likely not using”. I’m not sure whether this is true or not but for those of you who are regular OneNote users, this post is for you. For those of you who are not regular users of this program, I encourage you to check it out – it’s a great productivity tool.

Here is a simple, effective, timesaving tip for sharing meeting minutes from OneNote. Although the features used to do this are not new, I find myself regularly showing this tip to users who are unaware of this handy integration. This would be great to share in a “Tips & Tricks with OneNote” training session! Continue reading “Meeting Minutes OneNote Tip!”

O365 Adoption: Noteworthy user groups

O365 Adoption- N[UPDATE March 22, 2017] I neglected to mention document sets. I usually describe these to users as -smart folders-. It is an excellent choice for grouping documents togetBlog post: 3 minute read.

O365 adoption is an interesting challenge. It starts with knowing what your organization has identified as its business value drivers for O365 and translating those into key business scenarios which you train for at the individual level. The goal of training within O365 is to ensure users are comfortable using the suite of O365 tools in these business scenarios for their day-to-day work.

Over the recent past, I’ve made some observations about some right steps and missteps organizations make in their O365 adoption training program. This post focuses on some training strategies I’ve seen yield successful results as well as some noteworthy user groups that you should ensure you’re paying attention to. Continue reading “O365 Adoption: Noteworthy user groups”

SPS Twin Cities 2017


The SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities events are always some of the highest-attended in the world.  I’ve gone twice before as an attendee and volunteer, but this time I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be attending as a speaker!

The event is fortunate to have a very special guest delivering the keynote presentation – Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for OneDrive and SharePoint, Jeff Teper. It is sure to be a fantastic event from start to finish!

In my session I’ll be talking about building a search-driven website in SharePoint. If you’re curious what I mean by that, come on by!

The event is on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Registration details are HERE.

I hope to see you there!

[Update May 8, 2017]  The event was a big success and as usual the warm Minnesota hospitality shone through from the event organizers. I had the opportunity to meet Jeff Teper which was a highlight of the day for me. There were lots of talented speakers and an impressive attendee turnout considering the beautiful weather on Saturday.

Link to my presentation: How to build a search-driven website in SharePoint

Thanks for having me Twin Cities!


Jeff Teper and I



Multiple Libraries, Folders or Metadata?

Multiple Libraries or Multiple FoldersWhich one is right- (1)Blog Post: 5 minute read

The other day I was part of a conversation on the subject of storing a group of categorized documents in SharePoint. The gist of the question was around wanting to know if it was best to create multiple document libraries (1 for each category), create 1 document library with multiple category folders within it or use metadata rather than folders. This is an age-old conversation that has gone on thru the years in the SharePoint world. 🙂

“Category” in this post means any kind of high-level criteria or group you’re wanting to organize your documents by. Examples of this could be project name, document type, etc.

As most people familiar with SharePoint will tell you, all options will work at times however one may be better suited than the others in any given situation. Your decision will ultimately be based on your unique business requirements and these six factors: Continue reading “Multiple Libraries, Folders or Metadata?”

SharePoint Saturday Vancouver 2017


I’m a Canadian prairie gal so any time I can make a trip to the West coast and see those mountains I’m all over it. I’m really excited to be heading to Vancouver, BC for their 2nd annual SharePoint Saturday event on April 8th.

I’ll be doing 2 sessions – the first is a joint presentation with David Drever on SharePoint Search called Finding a Needle in the Haystack: Search Concepts. We talk about some important concepts you should be familiar with when working with SharePoint search.

My second presentation will be all about Office 365 adoption called O365 Adoption: Learn to Fly. I’ll share some ideas and anecdotal stories from my first-hand experience working with clients in various stages of their adoption journey. I’d love to hear about your own adoption stories as well – audience participation is encouraged (and rewarded)!!

I’m looking forward to meeting many people I’ve only known virtually. It should be a great weekend.

To register for the event click here

[Update April 9, 2017] What a fantastic day! There were about 150 in attendance – a great turnout for Vancouver’s 2nd annual event.

Presentation links:

Both presentations went very well – lots of questions from the attendees, and great stories from my O365 adoption session. Here’s some pics from the day and the lucky winner of the Team Canada hockey jersey:

Thank you for having me SPS Vancouver! It was an awesome experience for me.


SharePoint Saturday Calgary 2017

new%20rectangularI’m really excited to be heading to Calgary, Alberta for their 4th annual SharePoint Saturday event on April 1st. No foolin!

I’ll be doing 2 presentations:

Finding a Needle in the Haystack: Search Features – this is a joint presentation with David Drever. We talk about some features you should be using in SharePoint search.

O365 Adoption: Learn to Fly – this is a presentation where I’ll share some ideas and anecdotal stories from my first-hand experience working with clients in various stages of their O365 adoption journey. I’d love to hear about your own adoption stories as well – audience participation is encouraged (and may be rewarded) !!

You can find out more about the event as well as register here.

[Update April 2, 2017]

I had a great time. Met several people I only knew virtually up to this point as well as lots of new people eager to learn more about SharePoint and O365.



Organizers, Speakers and Sponsors – SPS Calgary 2017


Link to my presentations:


Know your SharePoint retention options!

a-sharepoint-information-architecture-recipe-2Blog post: 3 minute read

I’m working on a scrum team to migrate an entire organization’s file structure off a shared network drive. There’s likely similar stories playing out across many organizations today – years of accumulated “stuff” you somehow need to parse down and move to SharePoint in a structured and organized way.

Rule # 1 of any SharePoint migration? Clean up the content prior to starting. Although it may be tempting to just migrate exactly what you have (it’s generally quicker in the short-term), you will no doubt pay a heavy price for that decision down the road. The problem may manifest itself in many ways. Here are a few: Continue reading “Know your SharePoint retention options!”

A SharePoint Information Architecture recipe

Blog post: 5 minute read

I recently received a request to prepare an Information Architecture(IA) plan for an organization. This organization plans to migrate from a legacy version of SharePoint, SharePoint Server 2010, to the newest version of the on-premises software, SharePoint Server 2016, and decided a prudent first move would be to redefine their IA for the new environment. Smart!

I suspect there are other organizations out there in the same position who may be dissatisfied with the way their current SharePoint environment is functioning for one reason or another and want to do a course correction. Perhaps there was no IA plan prior to implementing SharePoint in the first place and over the years it has organically grown into an ineffective environment. Perhaps even if there was an IA defined it may have outgrown its effectiveness over time due to re-orgs and acquisitions, or just plain lack of attention to the original IA plan. I believe these are common scenarios for many organizations having deployed SharePoint. Without experienced and knowledgeable SharePoint staff being involved right from the beginning, many organizations don’t often realize what they’re “getting into” and neglect to lay the necessary groundwork to leverage the platform over the long haul.

Fast forward several years and organizations like this may find themselves at a cross-roads. Should they take a “lift and shift” approach and migrate the mess from the old to the new platform (rhetorical question, please don’t do this) OR should they take the time to rethink the underlying information architecture, take stock of their current environment, do some housekeeping and start new? Yes!

I call this a golden opportunity – the chance to learn from past mistakes and improve on the things you’ve done right. IA is a critical and necessary step in the planning and preparation phase of any SharePoint implementation whether you’re moving to an on-premises or online environment. Some things can be difficult to change after-the-fact so it’s best to do IA planning up-front prior to any content being added. Continue reading “A SharePoint Information Architecture recipe”