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Productivity Tips


- Technology -

• When writing in MS Word, I often need to change the case of my text from sentence case to capitals, and I find it tedious to use the menu system.  So I've discovered a handy shortcut!  With the cursor on the word to capitalize, hold shift and press F3, once to capitalize the first letter, twice to capitalize the entire word, and a third time to lower case. If the word is already capitalized the sequence works anyway: "Capital" becomes "CAPITAL," becomes "capital" in that order.

• This is an incredibly handy little program (Windows only) that will show you the actual password hidden in all those asterisks. If your email program (or whatever) was set up ages ago and you have no idea what the password is any more, this program is your answer. And, there's no charge for it at lost password

• If you ever lose your menus, don't panic. You can use your keyboard to get to the menus. Just hold down the Alt key and click F. That will bring down the File menu. From there you can use your mouse to move around the menus. If you want to use those shortcuts regularly, you can hold down the Alt key and type whatever letter is underlined in the menu title you want (E for Edit, V for View, I for Insert, O for Format, etc.).

• If you have a file that you need to open but don't want to change (accidentally or otherwise), you can open it as a copy or as read-only. Instead of just clicking on the Open button, click on the down arrow on the right of the Open button. Choose the most appropriate option.

• Are you making the most of the technology available in your office?  Do you even know what capabilities your office offers? Do you have desktop fax capability? Teleconferencing capabilities? Do you know how to use the cool organizational features of Outlook?  When I do individual organizing coaching, it amazes me how much is available to employees that they don’t know exist or know how to use properly.  Invest time in taking training courses to save time long-term.  Technology can be one of the most effective timesaving tools; use it to your advantage.

• Backup your computer's hard drive weekly!  Even if your IT folks are backing up your company's shared drives, your hard drive isn't included.  If you save information directly to the c: drive, you will lose everything if (and when) it crashes.  Schedule a backup for a specific time of the week; say Friday afternoons, so that you don't forget.  As a reminder, schedule them on your calendar.  Keep a large supply of CDs or disks handy, so you don't have an excuse for not running it.

• If you use the Windows version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, it's not necessary to type the whole domain name (e.g., www.yahoo.com) to get to a Web site. Just type the middle part ("yahoo"), hold down the CTRL key and press Enter. Internet Explorer will add the "http://www." and the ".com" and go right to the site, rather than doing a search on "yahoo" as it does if you don't hold down CTRL.

• Sometimes you want to connect a file on your hard disk with an appointment or a task. To do this in Microsoft Outlook, open the appointment or task and put your cursor in the Notes area. Then, click on Insert menu and choose Object. In the dialog box, click on Create from File, and then click on the Browse button. Find the file and click OK. When you're back at the dialog box, click so there's a check mark in the Link box and in the Display as Icon box. Just click OK and you'll get a shortcut to the file in the Notes section of your appointment or task.

© 2013 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is The Productivity Pro®. For over 20 years, her speeches and seminars have helped professionals, leaders, and teams improve output, execute efficiently, and save time at work. Learn more at TheProductivityPro.

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