One of the best ways to come up with ideas for products is by listening to our customers. A lawyer at a firm that I helped upgrade to Microsoft Outlook 2010 complained that he was constantly missing meetings because the appointment reminder window was not showing up in front of the other windows.
In Windows 7, because of the new taskbar grouping feature, Outlook 2007/2010 appointment reminders do not display on top of other existing windows; the reminder window stays in the background if you are working on other applications. When Outlook 2007/2010 reminder window is launched in the background, there is an alert sound and a flash in the taskbar to remind you of an upcoming appointment. These alerts are easy to miss if you have your sound turned off or away from your computer. Microsoft made this change based on user input that people do not want to be disturbed while working on other applications. However, based on our feedback, users like lawyers are usually busy churning out hundreds of legal documents and would like to be interrupted with a pop up reminder to remind them of a scheduled appointment.
We developed ShowReminders to solve this problem. ShowReminders works by bringing the Outlook reminder window to the foreground, but it does not take away the focus from other applications that you are currently working on. So you get the best of both worlds - you won't accidentally dismiss the reminder window or lose any work, but you will still see the Outlook reminder window in the foreground.
We would love to hear some feedback from you on our product. You can download a free 14 day trial version of Outlook ShowReminders and check it out.