Tips for Planning Training Times and Budgets

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Angela Nino

As we are entering the budget preparation time of year for many companies, planning training and justifying the investment can seem daunting. Evaluating the past year’s learning and development for even a small organization is important but often can be overwhelming. You have to think about what type of classes are needed, how often they should be held, and how to make them the most cost effective. That is enough to wear out even the most seasoned learning practitioner. Below are some tips to help. Planning Training Before you can plan anything, you need to assess your current learning and development program. One place to start is to determine your ROI for training over the past year (or more, if…

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3 Excel Formula Tips to Increase Productivity

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Angela Nino

  For many of us that live in Excel every day, we get a little giddy to learn about time savers. We search out anything that can help us be more productive. I’ve created macros and templates, but Excel offers many other great opportunities for increasing your efficiency by making it easier to work using formula tips. One way is through using formulas and functions. The three formula or formula-related tips that I think will help dramatically improve your productivity are using the VLOOKUP function, exploring text functions, and copying the results of formulas. VLOOKUP formula tips One of the biggest time wasting activities in Excel is having to look up items manually in a list. The function VLOOKUP in…

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Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) with Excel

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Angela Nino

  In the past, when I have taught the concept of NPV (Net Present Value), I often ask if everyone understands it. If not, then I go over it in basic terms. Some training modules can make it sound like a difficult concept. But it is actually much easier than it initially comes across. Net Present Value (NPV) NPV is a function in Excel that helps you to calculate the difference between money you receive (cash inflows) and money you pay (cash outflows) for a project or investment. A positive result from the function would mean a profitable project/investment. A negative result would indicate a net loss. NPV Function In Excel, the function syntax is NPV(rate,value1,[value2],…). The rate and value1…

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Inking in PowerPoint

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Angela Nino

  Are you familiar with inking in PowerPoint? If you need to make annotations on a slide in a presentation, you need this feature. The tool is located on Review tab in PowerPoint (see Figure 1) and can help out as you prepare a presentation. I’ve even used it to create shapes and designs when I create a PowerPoint deck. Figure 1 Get Started Inking To get access to the inking tool, just click on the Review tab and click the Start Inking button. A new tab will appear called Ink Tools. See the ribbon in Figure 2. Figure 2 The default tool is the pen, but you can quickly switch to the highlighter. Both buttons are located in the…

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Working with Months in Excel

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Angela Nino

  For many of us, we use dates in calculations in Excel. In some cases, you may need to use months in your accounting, finance, inventory or other functions. You may not think you need the Excel MONTH function, but if you are doing your calculation the long way, you’ll appreciate the shortcut. Very similar to the MONTH function are the YEAR and DAY functions. They can pull a year or day of the month number from a date to use in a calculation or for queries. For example, the MONTH function for a cell that contains the date of October 15, 2017 would end up with a number of 10. The YEAR function would pull 2017 and the DAY…

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Switching between Excel Workbooks

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Angela Nino

When working with one Excel file (called a workbook) at a time, it is pretty easy to stay organized and move around easily. Opening a second Excel file can complicate things a little bit. Trying to move between multiple Excel worksheets can get even more problematic, especially if you need to look back and forth quickly. Then, make it more difficult by moving within the worksheets within the different workbooks. An example of this is when you are working on your budget from the last year or two to create your upcoming budget. If you have worksheets from several departments within each budget file, it can get really confusing. You can have all of the workbooks open but just look…

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Preparing Payroll in Excel

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Angela Nino

Are you a small business or a sole proprietor who needs to prepare payroll? If you are like many smaller companies, it is hard to find a simple solution that doesn’t eat up your entire budget. The good news is that you can do much of the tasks in an Excel payroll calculator. Payroll Calculator One of the Excel payroll calculators can be found on the Microsoft Office site at: See Figure 1. Figure 1 Click the Download button and enable editing after it is saved to your computer. This workbook already has everything set up for many tasks. Enter employee information – includes hourly wage, tax percentages, insurance and other deductions Payroll information – includes hours worked, vacation/sick…

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Pro Tips for PowerPoint Presentations

Posted on October 6, 2017 by Angela Nino

Picture of a man giving presentation

About a month ago, I sat in on a presentation given by a good friend. She is a whiz at PowerPoint and seems to really “get” what it takes to reach an audience effectively. I am always impressed with her visual slideshows that are simple yet interesting. The slides add to her presentation without taking the focus off of her as the presenter. I asked if I could share some of her tips in a blog post and she agreed. Keep it Simple This is my friend’s greatest strength with PowerPoint. She does not just fill the screen with “stuff”. The presentations that have open space and are not cluttered seem to help us focus better and do not take…

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Effectively Searching and Sorting your Inbox

Posted on September 28, 2017 by Angela Nino

I cannot tell you how many times I have had a client need to pause our one-on-one training session to deal with email. We are usually sitting at their desk and are working with their files. A notification pops up with a new email message they received in their inbox. I have heard: “If I don’t deal with this now, I will forget about it.” “My inbox is taking on a life of its own.” “I’m sorry, I have to answer this now or I’ll lose this message in all of the others clogging my inbox.” “I have to leave this message in my inbox because it is a reminder for me.” Most of the people I train use Microsoft…

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Creating Process Flows

Posted on September 18, 2017 by Angela Nino

  Are you struggling with being able to get a certain concept or instruction steps across to your training attendees? Or, do you just need to illustrate a process or procedure in your report but don’t have the time or energy to invest in learning Visio? You can do it right inside Word. The flowchart shapes and symbols are located on the Insert tab in the Shapes button menu. If you can insert a shape in Word, then you can create the flowchart. You just need to create a drawing canvas before you begin that will keep the flowchart items together. It is essentially a box that will help your group of symbols and lines stay grouped together. Insert a…

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