Love Those Sticky Notes in Windows 10

But do they seem stuck in a plain san serif typeface? That’s boring. But a few simple keyboard shortcuts can make the important bits of important sticky note text stand out.

–  Bold that heading: Ctrl + B
–  Make a book title you want to buy italic: Ctrl + I
–  Cross something off your list: Ctrl + T
–  Add bullets: Ctrl + Shift + L.

In fact, many of the common Word formatting keyboard shortcuts work the same in Sticky Notes like select all (Ctrl +A) and cut, copy, and paste (Ctrl + X, Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V).

By Carol Marion

Not Games, Gamification

I recently attended the ATD (Association for Talent Development) conference 2018 in San Diego and, outside of Barack Obama as one of the keynotes, the biggest takeaway for me was seeing and hearing all the ways in which gamification has matured.  The idea of integrating the appeal of gaming into learning is not new.  In early iterations, instructional designers placed versions of Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit into courses in the hopes of keeping students engaged and interested.  Now we know that it’s not games themselves, but rather the dynamics of gaming that draw people back.  These dynamics are:

  • Points
  • Leveling up
  • Goals or “missions”
  • Badges
  • Leaderboards
  • Unlocking
  • Events
  • Notifications
  • Quizzing
  • Visual progress

People have different motivators.  Some are motivated by competition, so seeing themselves on a leaderboard, or giving them the ability to level up (changing their level when reaching a certain threshold), will draw them back to training.  Others are motivated by discovery and prefer mission-driven learning or unlocks as a draw.  The balancing act comes in enmeshing enough game dynamics to appeal to everyone.  The difference in today’s eLearning is these gaming dynamics come in forms that do not look or feel like games.  They appear as points for time spent learning, points that can be redeemed for free coffee or company-branded swag, or as automatic notifications sent to managers announcing a team member’s completion of a course.  These types of features trigger the parts of our brains that are drawn to gaming and allow instructional designers to create sophisticated, professional content without gimmicky avatars going on adventures or complicated trivia productions.

It was exciting to see firsthand so many examples of subtle yet effective uses of gamification delivering on its promise.  Next we can expect to see similar focus on development with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality!

By Pam Conway

Email Etiquette 101

Writing emails is something we all do daily. However, the proper etiquette of an email can easily be taken for granted.  Personally, I write numerous business emails every day, and so I thought it would be nice to refresh my memory on the how to’s of writing an email. So, I grabbed my sandwich, sat at my desk, and took 20 minutes to watch Intellezy’s new Email Etiquette course. Here is what I learned:

  1. Always add attachments to emails first. Yep, nothing more embarrassing than getting that email back saying “Thanks, Pam but I think you forgot to attach the document?” Doh!
  2. Compose your message first, then add recipients. Brilliant! Been there done that. Who hasn’t sent the unfinished email and then scrambled to recall or attempted to finish the unfinished product? If the recipient field isn’t populated, then your message won’t be sent.
  3. When writing mass emails utilize BCC. As much as I enjoy seeing the new intern’s color drain from his face because he just made a snide remark to an HR email blast and accidently hit “reply all”, I agree this is probably is the safer way to go.
  4. Avoid humor and irony. I struggle with this, because I am sarcastic at heart. But if they can’t see my face or they don’t know me, I can see where words can be taken the wrong way. And there’s nothing worse or unprofessional than adding LOL! or emojis in a business email to try to get your humor across.
  5. Try to answer emails 24-48hours. AMEN! Nothing irritates me more when I have to follow up and sound like a nag to an earlier email I sent 48 hours ago! I nag my husband and kids enough, I don’t need to nag my coworkers as well.
  6. Exercise caution when forwarding emails. Ouch, this one hurts.  Back in my newly employed days, I forwarded emails with sensitive information in it and paid for it. Always look over the full forward chain before forwarding.

 

Did you find these hints helpful? Or know someone that could use some training? Summer is the time of interns and new hires, so take our email etiquette course for a spin to get your new employees trained on proper email etiquette.

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