Diane Dean-Epps: Three office tips that just might make your Monday not feel like a Monday | TheUnion.com

Diane Dean-Epps: Three office tips that just might make your Monday not feel like a Monday

Diane Dean-Epps
Other Voices

Things you might have thought of once, or twice. These days we’re all pretty savvy about a myriad of software programs that don’t even bear mentioning on a résumé anymore, like being able to keyboard lightning fast in the standard-setting Word environment

(P.S. If you’re still using the word “type” in professional descriptions of your word processing skills, please go ahead and turn these three office tips into four office tips).

While we’re not short on knowledge, what we are short on is time. Ah, yes, that elusive creature that promises so much early in the day, and provides so little at the end. That’s why I’d like to share some handy tips that will free up some of that aforementioned time.

Recently, I was privy to these “no kidding” takeaways at conferences that provided me with so many “Aha!” moments, my revelatory vocalizations made it sound as though my noon-time repast had gone bad on me.

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I’d like to save you the $3,000 I spent on attending conferences, in addition to the social embarrassment that ensues with excitement over time-saving tips, by providing you with my top three platforms and correlating tips.

1. Outlook

Can’t figure out why it says you have one unread message, but you’ve already gone through your bag of troubleshooting tricks, which include: a) Double-clicking your top 20 emails in a manner equivalent to punching the elevator button a multitude of times in the belief it will make it arrive faster; and b) Eyeballing your entire inbox 4,000 times, looking for the tell-tale bolded message?

Have no fear, I’ve got the quick fix. Try typing “read:no” into the search box. It performs the kind of magic you usually only see in Vegas.

2. PowerPoint

We’ve all gotten pretty fancy at PowerPointing – see it’s even a verb … now — but there may be a feature you’re not utilizing that you will find uber cool, and it’s not even in the handbook (you know … if there was one).

You can display a black or white slide any time, during the course of your visually engaging — pretty please — presentation, in order to move the attention from the presentation to you (finally, it’s all about you).

This allows you to grab your audience’s undivided attention as you elaborate upon a key concept, or point. This is also a super power to employ if you’re a great speaker, a gifted storyteller, or if you like providing added value in the form of examples.

How does this work?

Just hit a capital “B” for black, or a capital “W” for white. When you tap the key a second time the slide show picks up right where you left off. Wa-lah!

This also comes in handy when someone asks a question, an engaging discussion ensues, or you’ve forgotten what you were going to say, and you need a moment, so you call on someone else.

3. Word

Do you feel as though the first 15 minutes — hours — of your day consists of looking for “that” document, and then you finally locate it, only to realize you need to update it to a new model anyway? You don’t have to live that way.

I’m here to tell you the shortcut for creating a copy of an Office document is not very apparent, but you’ll wonder why this information isn’t included in your on boarding.

Click on File – Open – Recent Documents. If the document was opened recently, the filename will be displayed. Right-click on the filename and select Open a copy. Any changes that you make are saved to the copy, but your original is still intact. You can then save it at any location.

This tiny step is a time saver because you’re spared from browsing to its location and then manually creating a copy to work on.

These three tips also serve the dual purpose of being budget-savers and happiness-makers. Think of the money you’ll save — and the sunny disposition you’ll regain — when you need less caffeine, stress tabs, and sugar to mitigate the frustration that ensues when three tiny tasks turn into three gargantuan pains in the posterior.

Diane Dean-Epps lives in Grass Valley.

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