Meet the Instructor: Pam Conway

 

Favorite application and why: I love Outlook.  First, I think it’s a great program that is very intuitive and feature-rich, but I think my love of it goes back to my earliest experiences.  I had to teach the first version of it to a client who was going to be an early adopter.  They were so early, however, there were no training manuals, no websites with much information, basically nothing.  I had the online help and 24 hours before I had to give my first seminar on it.   

Favorite Excel Function:  I was an English major, I don’t have a favorite function, lol.  Although, I do find creating nested IF statements very satisfying.   

Favorite keyboard shortcut: I have two actually.  I love CTRL + A to select all and it works in so many places across Office, but in terms of being a huge lifesaver when you need it, I love ALT + drag in Word and Outlook to select text vertically! 

Favorite movie:  Picking a favorite movie is tough.  It really depends on my mood, but I’d have to go with The Sound of Music.  It consistently seems to make my top 10 list.  Although, there’s also Raising Arizona, The Philadelphia Story, Star Wars… I better stop!   

Favorite book:  I am an avid reader and there are so many books I’ve enjoyed, but none can seem to unseat an early childhood favorite:  Jane Eyre. 

Favorite restaurant:  Right now my favorite is Wink and Nod in Boston.  They have an interesting concept going.  Modeled after a modern speakeasy, the bar focuses on craft cocktails, but the kitchen is a popup restaurant with different chefs and different cuisines rotating through every six months. 

Which historical figure would you most want to meet and why:  I would like to meet my great, great, great, grandfather, George Conway.  He was a spy in the Union army.  He was captured and interned at the notorious Confederate prison, Andersonville.  Somehow he survived and went on to testify at the military tribunal of Henry Wirz, commandant of the prison camp.   

Tell us something interesting about yourself: I love really, really cold weather!  Winter is my happy time. 

 Click here to see courses taught by Pam 

 

 

Co-Authoring: The Coolest Feature You’ve Never Heard Of 

Co-Authoring: The Coolest Feature You’ve Never Heard Of  

When you hear co-authoring, you might think of two people writing a novel together. Maybe a ghost writer with actual skills propping up a sub-par celebrity.  

When we talk about co-authoring in Office 365, what we mean is two or more people working on a Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation at the same time using the online version of the office app in Office 365. While they might be working on the next Great American Novel, more likely it’s going to be a budget, a report, or a marketing presentation.  

But why should you care about co-authoring? What’s the big deal about two people working on something at the same time? Is it really the best feature you’ve never heard of?  

To clarify, it’s not as if two people are working in their own little bubble on the document with no idea of what the other is doing. You don’t just independently do all of your work and then eventually see the other person’s changes and think, “well shoot if I knew Ellen was going to add that, I wouldn’t have wasted my time writing something so similar.”  

Instead,  you see changes happening in real time. In this screenshot below, you get a good idea of how changes appear as they happen. Once the document owner shares the document, you can all begin working on it together.   

 

You’ll see different colored flags for each person who is in the document and see those changes appear as that person types. That’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. You can have multiple people in different locations all collaborating at the same time and riffing off what the other is doing. See? The coolest feature you’ve never heard of.  

Now in order to co-author, the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file must be stored on SharePoint or OneDrive. This makes sense if you think about it. It would be too hard to sync changes if it were a file stored on your hard drive, but when a file is on SharePoint or OneDrive, it’s stored in the cloud. (See last week’s blog post for more on OneDrive.) That means everyone has to be connected to the Internet to use real-time coauthoring. And only docx., pptx., xlsx., or .one formats are supported, so don’t try to co-author your crusty old 2003 .doc file. It won’t work. For older Office files, just do a quick File: Save As and convert them to a newer format, and you’re good to go.  

Oh snap. Did your collaborator just mess something up big time in your document? No worries—you can use the fabulous feature called version history to revert back to a previous version. Just right-click on the file in OneDrive or SharePoint and choose Version history. Don’t you wish you had that in all aspects of your life? (I’ve always said I wish you could use my favorite shortcut Ctrl + Z, aka Undo, in real life.)  

So the next time you need to work with others on a file, and you have an Office 365 subscription, fire up your browser and give co-authoring a go. And maybe after you all finish those final pesky edits on the Quarterly Update slide deck, you can try your collective hand at the next Great Gatsby. Happy editing!  

To learn even more about co-authoring and see it in action, click here:   

You can find thousands more  short-segment videos like this one at  www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.   

By Heather Walsh 

 

Setting Out of Office in Office 365’s Outlook Web App

Going on vacation but forgot to set your Out of Office message before you left?

No worries. You can do it from any device with an Internet connection using the Outlook Web App in Office 365. Simply log in to Office 365 and click the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Type in Automatic and you’ll see Automatic Replies appear at the top of the list. Click on it.

Choose the “Send automatic replies” option and type your message. You have some other cool options there that you can select, like choosing the exact time to begin and end your automatic reply or declining meetings automatically during this period. Click OK at the top when finished.

That’s it! Enjoy your vacation.

Successful Leaders Show Interest in Others

By: Andrew Wight, Intellezy CEO

Are You a Terrible Boss? How to Honor Your Employees 

Early on, I learned a valuable lesson from a boss that I admired.  It was a lesson in humility and respect. 

Start with Understanding 

In meetings, he often presented questions for the team’s consideration. He listened intently as we shared our ideas and opinions.  Never expressing an opinion immediately, he asked clarifying questions until our meaning was clear. He always complimented individuals on their efforts and acknowledged their contributions with an authentic smile or a nod. 

The Best Ideas Don’t Come from the Biggest Paychecks 

Now admittedly, our team had some very good ideas, but we also had some half-baked ones too. But no matter the idea, he showed respect by listening to us, recognizing our efforts, and giving valuable feedback that dignified us. He let us know that the best ideas didn’t have to come from the person with the biggest paycheck in the room. 

5 Tips to Show Your Employees Respect 

  1. Take a Personal Interest
    We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t care what people think about me.” That’s rarely true. We like people that take an interest in us. So get to know your staff. Ask them questions about their likes, dislikes, families, and goals. Consider their viewpoints without being judgmental. Find common ground on subjects that interest them while being careful not to cross lines of privacy or propriety.
     
  2. Be Quiet and Listen
    Listen to understand – not to reply. There’s nothing that says, “I don’t respect your ideas” more than interrupting someone when they’re speaking. Even though you might be able to finish their sentence, resist the urge. It’s rude and can squelch the conversation. Instead, wait for them to finish, pause, and then respond. It builds trust and demonstrates that you value their ideas.
     
  3. Ask Good Questions (then see #2)
    When you ask good questions, you’re practicing validation. It makes difficult conversations easier because you’ve established that you care about them and their ideas.
     
  4. Be Empathetic
    We’re our harshest critics. When a team member makes a mistake, ask yourself, “Was it intentional negligence or just an honest mistake?” If it was a mistake, ask yourself, “Is it a big deal? What if I’d made that mistake? How are they feeling?” Asking yourself these questions can turn a negative situation into a positive teaching opportunity.
     
  5. Honor Others Often
    I can’t think of a better way to show that you value and respect someone than by telling them how much you appreciate them. One of the best ways to do that is to commend them. Do it sincerely, be specific, do it in front of others, and do it often.  

Form a Respectful Habit 

We’re all busy. Sometimes, we get so involved in our own day-to-day concerns that we fail to take the time to think of others and what we can do to better their lives. If you’re a victim of this, don’t blame yourself, just make it a point to try to apply one or more of these points each day. If you do, you’ll not only benefit your team, but yourself as well. 

 

You can find thousands of short-segment videos at www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.  

 

Using the Slide Master in PowerPoint

Have you ever needed to place a logo on every slide in your PowerPoint presentation?  Or need to change the font size and color of all your slide titles?  Or what about adding the same animation build to every bulleted list in your presentation?  What if I told you there was a place you could set these changes up once and have them reflect across your whole presentation?    

Well, there is and it’s called the slide master.  When you make changes on the master elements, such as the slide title or bulleted list placeholders, all of your slides reflect the new adjustment. 

To learn even more about the slide master and see it in action, click here:  

 You can find thousands more short-segment videos like this one at  www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.  

 

Flash Fill Keyboard Shortcut

Flash Fill Keyboard Shortcut 

Flash Fill is one of the most popular new features in Excel 2013/2016. It will fill in cells for you automatically based on a pattern. So if you have first names in column A, and last names in column B, you can quickly fill column C with first and last names, or last names and then first names with a comma in between. Just supply the pattern for Excel, and it will do the rest. 

And there is a handy shortcut key for Flash Fill. Simply highlight the cells containing the pattern as well as the empty cells you would like filled, and then press Ctrl + E. It’s that easy! Excel will fill in the cells with Flash Fill. 

 To learn even more about Flash Fill and see it in action, click here: 

 You can find thousands more short-segment videos like this one at www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today. 

 

Office 365 OneDrive: Can You Really Ditch Your Hard Drive 

You might have heard of OneDrive. Maybe your company has migrated to Office 365, and you can see that OneDrive is represented in one of those little tiles in the upper-left that you haven’t clicked on yet. If you haven’t, one thing you’ve probably heard of, because it’s so hard to avoid these days, is “the cloud.”   

How do they relate?  Well, OneDrive is Microsoft’s way to offer you storage in the cloud. This means that your documents and files are NOT stored on your local hard drive. Instead they are stored on Microsoft’s computers and servers somewhere else—you won’t really know where and you don’t need to know where. All you need to know is that you can access these files from any computer with an Internet connection. Being able to access your files from just about anywhere is a pretty powerful feature. And OneDrive allows you to share documents, which can help you collaborate easily with others and even co-author documents at the same time. 

So if you put your files in OneDrive, does this mean you can actually ditch your hard drive?  

You might think this option won’t work for you because you aren’t online all the time, but Microsoft anticipated this and enabled a sync function allowing you to essentially download all these documents locally to multiple computers. You can work during the day on your office PC, then work offline on your personal laptop on the train ride home, synching changes back to OneDrive when you are online again, and you’re good to go.  

Another thing to consider is backups. By now, just about everyone knows someone with this familiar tale of woe: pictures lost forever, or the 20-page report gone. Even if your organization is backing up your files, you might be working on a report at home on your local hard drive and can lose all your hard work there. And, though we hear these stories and wince in commiseration, some of us still aren’t taking the proper steps to backup our files. Here’s how OneDrive can come in.  

OneDrive is going to be way more stable than counting on your PC, or possibly even your company’s backup system, depending on how robust it is. Remember those friends who lost their pictures and reports? Most likely it was due to hard drive failure, or maybe theft or a power surge. Now, that’s not to say that Microsoft’s servers aren’t susceptible to these types of issues, but guess what? They don’t have one measly hard drive to store your files. They have a complex system of hard drives and servers and datacenters and redundant datacenters to make sure they don’t have to come to you with egg on their face saying: whoops, sorry we lost all of your files.  

While OneDrive is great, the truth is you shouldn’t count on it alone. You also should have another backup of your files somewhere else. That might be on an external USB hard drive, or your organizations network drive if you have one, or it might be back to where we started: on your PC’s hard drive.   

You also might not want to put sensitive documents on OneDrive. Although files are not shared with others by default and you must choose to enable this sharing feature, the truth is your files are on Microsoft’s infrastructure where might you want to keep these tax returns or torrid love letters instead?  

That external USB hard drive and …. your PC’s hard drive. Yeah. So….  

The moral of the story is while you might not be able to completely ditch your PC’s hard drive, you can use OneDrive to move away from making it a primary location for your documents and use it more as a supplement to cloud-based storage.  

To learn even more about OneDrive and see it in action, click here:  

 You can find thousands more  short-segment videos like this one at  www.intellezy.com. Start your free trial today.  

 By Heather Walsh