The Cost of Incomplete Training

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Angela Nino

I cannot tell you how many times I am asked, “Why is training so important?” I believe that I hear it so often because training does not always involve a tangible product created at the end. We cannot “see” what we are getting so we question the cost. We struggle with the same issue with any version of education, Kindergarten-12th grade and higher education, too. My answer is always another question, “What happens when you do not invest in training?” The cost of not training can be even more expensive than devoting funds to and preparing your employees. Training is critical for employees to learn necessary skills, especially as technology changes. If you only focus on the bottom line and…

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Defining Work Breakdown Structures with Excel

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Angela Nino

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a way to analyze and follow a project, but is more than just a task list. It is a way to mirror pieces and deliverables in Excel from a project perspective. You can see the organization, responsibilities, control points, and project scope. It can even help with determining costs and project estimates. A WBS can be developed from a task or deliverable orientation. Many of us look at projects as a group of tasks, which is easier to delineate in Excel. But, if you need to have your audience/stakeholders look at the WBS, then you might want to take the extra time to do a WBS from a deliverables standpoint. As you follow through…

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Top 5 Word Add-ins

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Angela Nino

The built-in features of Microsoft Word improve productivity and workflow. But, did you know that there are Word add-ins that you can download from the Microsoft Store that can help you even more? There are actually hundreds of add-ins for all of the Microsoft Office products. There are 5 Word add-ins that have allowed me to be more efficient and to do tasks within Word that I was having to do outside of Word previously. The 5 top add-ins for me include: Picket Free Images, DocuSign for Word, Symbol Search, Vertex42 Template Gallery, and Office QR. Search for and Install Add-ins You can find add-ins through the Microsoft Store. If you prefer, you can also download them by going to…

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Pro Tips When Giving a PowerPoint Presentation

Posted on April 29, 2017 by Angela Nino

Update on post: I realized that I need to go back and review this post about a week ago. I ran out of time and didn’t prepare my PowerPoint properly. I had not broken down my presentation into digestible, simple concepts. Because of that mistake, I ended up having to explain and elaborate on some of the topic areas. Take the time to review this post. The short time investment will pay off in the long run. Original Post 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…

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How to Add Checkboxes to Excel

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Angela Nino

Are you ready to use a great feature in Excel that could potentially cut down on data entry errors? Do you need to have data to use in formulas/functions? I’m always searching for ways to increase accuracy and have found checkboxes in Excel to be very useful. Turn on Developer Tab To insert check- boxes in Excel, you need to be able to see the Developer Tab. If you have is showing on your ribbon, then you can skip this section. Otherwise, you will need to go to the File tab and choose Options. On the Excel Options window, select Customize Ribbon on the left. Click in the box in the right column next to Developer. See Figure 1. Figure…

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After Hours: When the printer is closed

Posted on April 8, 2017 by Angela Nino

So, you are working late on a project and realize that you need something printed at the print shop, which is now closed. What can you do? What items are you able to create on your own computer and printer? Or, are you on a budget and could use a less expensive alternative to using a professional print shop? Here are a few of the items that are available to you and links to resources for printing: Business Cards (Microsoft Publisher) Forms, Contracts Gift Tags Holiday Gift Tags Greeting Cards Miscellaneous Cool Items (Popcorn boxes, calendars, music paper, moving labels, etc.) Newsletter (Microsoft Publisher) Print on Carstock and other Print Setting questions Photo Bookmarks (Microsoft Publisher) Photo and Art Prints…

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Building Blocks in Word – Revisited

Posted on April 3, 2017 by Angela Nino

Note: After working on a few documents recently that called for using Building Blocks in Word, I knew it was time to run this post again. I really don’t think I can make it through a single week without needing this feature! Several versions ago, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Building Blocks. Using Building Blocks, you can create cover pages, headers, footers, tables, and much more. Seven years later, many people do not know about and even fewer use this amazing tool. When you design a building block, you are crafting a reusable item. You just invest a little time on the front end to be able to recycle the element you produce multiple times. It really pays for…

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Tips to Make Any Word Document More Readable

Posted on March 23, 2017 by Angela Nino

  How do you get someone to read your printed page or on-screen document? There are many theories and ideas. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite hints and tips to help make your Word documents more readable. Some relate to grammar and word usage while others relate to formatting and layout. Editing Tips This is one of the lists that I have next to my computer. I use it almost every day. Jim Taylor developed the Eight Step Editing technique: Shorten sentences (average length should be 18 words) Take out the trash (eliminate jargon or explain it) Overcome the negatives (a positive statement to replace a double negative) Deflate pomposity (keep it simple) Eliminate equations (avoid saying “is” whenever…

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Security in Excel: How to Protect Your Work and Your Information

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Angela Nino

  Whether you share your Excel file internally or externally, you may want to prevent someone from accidentally changing or overwriting your data. If you don’t want someone to delete your formulas or information, there are a few ways to protect your work. You can lock your data in the worksheet structure or in a workbook, or even set a password. Note Regarding Protection Setting up a password to be able to use or modify an Excel file is a good idea. However, the encryption for an Excel spreadsheet is very easy to work around, especially in versions prior to Excel 2010. Using a password can be a deterrent for most people who aren’t looking to steal your data but…

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Creating Process Flows for Training Needs

Posted on March 9, 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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