KeyNotes Blog




Monday Nov 28, 2011

Dude, get that guy some training

By Deanna Reynolds

I was recently doing some random Internet searching…for work. I always like to see what the popular bloggers and other trainers are offering up in terms of Office 2010 productivity tips. I actually don’t recommend doing a search like that unless you have a lot of time on your hands which I would assume you wouldn’t if you’re looking for ways to be more productive. But, I digress.

During my search for “Office 2010 Productivity Tips” I encountered an article aptly titled, “Your Top 5 Time Saving Productivity Tips with Microsoft Office?” Ooohhh. I felt a little rush of excitement at what that article might add to my life. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Prepare to be disappointed.

I was shocked to see just one thing: “Copy & Paste.” Aw man. Copy & Paste? That’s your big productivity tip? Copy & Paste? Seriously? My 80-yr old grandmother could make up something better than that. I won’t reveal the name of the site that I found this on, but suffice it to say their tagline is “Be Productive, Stop Procrastinating.”


Oy vey.

Recent reports estimate that 8.6 million people are currently using Office 2010. Can you imagine if their biggest productivity tip was “copy and paste.” And, then it hits me. That’s why we create training. If, when asked the question, “What are your top five time saving productivity tips with Microsoft Office?” your only response is, “Uh, copy and paste” run, don’t walk, to your nearest training course and sit yourself down prepared to learn.

In fact, Microsoft Office 2010 was designed around the very concept of increasing user productivity. In a recent interview, Jennifer Heard, a Microsoft VP, was quoted as saying, “…we've spent billions and billions of dollars researching how users work, how they leverage the technology, and really how they can improve the work they do every day, because it's about increasing productivity and having the ability to expose information in a way that makes sense to the user.#” I’m certain the folks at Microsoft would be horrified to think that “copy and paste” was their greatest achievement in increasing productivity.

I’m sure you’re waiting for me to tell you how I would have answered that now infamous question. I’ll tell you…

Q.    What are your top five time saving productivity tips with Microsoft Office?

A.    I’m so glad you asked. Office 2010 is leaps and bounds beyond previous Office releases. Admittedly, there is some down time when users first make the switch. After all, the Ribbon does take some getting used to. But, after a couple of months, most users find they are able to do their tasks faster as many features are now available in fewer clicks. I’ve actually seen that down time drop to two weeks if the new version release is timed with targeted, scenario-based training.

But, there are some key product enhancements that really work the way people now work. If I had to pick my top 5, in no particular order, they would be:

  1. 1. Customizable Ribbon Tabs: In Office 2010, you can customize the existing Ribbon tabs and even create your own. My favorite place to start is by checking out the options in any program under the “Commands Not in the Ribbon” category. That’s where the hidden gold lies. To see this in action, from any Office program, choose File> Options. Then, select Customize Ribbon in the left Navigation Pane. Finally, under Choose commands from, click the drop-down arrow and choose Commands Not in the Ribbon. Often, you’ll find commands you used in previous versions of Office that you haven’t been able to find on the default Ribbon. Then, add those to any new or existing Ribbon tab. Heaven.
  2. 2. Enhanced Photo & Video Editing: Word and PowerPoint always did a fairly decent job of integrating images into their files. But, in 2010, even graphic artists have to be impressed with the available editing options. For both videos and image, you can apply artistic effects, reflections, shadows and more. And, for images, you can remove entire backgrounds. It’s madness and it’s very cool. Plus, it saves me the step of having to sending these edits through a graphic person.
  3. 3. Better Integration with SharePoint: Office 2010 offers most consistent and reliable integration with SharePoint allowing more efficient document collaboration across project teams.
  4. 4. Simultaneous Document Editing: That’s right. In Office 2010, two can people can work on the same document at the same time. Just be sure to watch the Status bar – it will tell you who is currently working on the document and what they are doing.
  5. 5. Broadcast Your Slide Shows: This one is specific to PowerPoint, but it’s powerful. In PowerPoint 2010, you can set up a free account and stream your presentations live, online to up to 50 people at the same time. The limitations to this feature are minimal (like, you can’t stream a video and it doesn’t include a conference call connection). But, the benefits far outweigh any feature limitations. To try this feature out, enlist the help of a friend and hit the Broadcast Slide Show option on the Slide Show tab in PowerPoint. The program will walk you through a quick set up process and in a matter of minutes you’ll have a link you can share with your friend.

So, that’s it. That’s my Top 5, and that's why training is so important. Whether it's for Office or your app, training is vital to be more productive.



Microsoft introduces products in Dominican Republic

Jennifer Heard – VP Microsoft, Productivity Enhancements Office 2010

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Monday Nov 14, 2011

KeyStone creating courses for Pardot training

This week one of my colleagues and I will be attending Elevate 2011 in Atlanta, GA, where we will have a sneak preview of Pardot’s new OnDemand training solution that uses our platform.

If you are going, please stop by to see us at the Pardot training table in the Great Room Foyer and check out the new OnDemand Pardot courses.  As Pardot customers ourselves, we are proud to be part of this exciting, new service that will be available in January 2012.

We would also love the opportunity to meet with fellow SaaS-base companies and discuss how we can support their training requirements.  KeyStone’s SaaS soltuion, KeyStone OnDemand, helps SaaS companies quickly create and deliver relevant training for their applications, driving adoption and retention.

If you are unable to attend this exciting conference, stay tuned for updates!  I will try to put out a daily update as I have time as well as a synopsis upon my return. 

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Monday Nov 14, 2011

Support your school district?s Office 2010 migration

By: Robert Hodges

Part 3: Support your school district’s Office 2010 migration with Office 2010 Training in KeyStone OnDemand

In Part 1, I spoke a little about Office 2010 Training as a key element for a successful Office 2010 Migration.  Part 2 focused on helpdesk and support integration to provide support for those common day-to-day problems, even including custom “how to” training for the unique challenges you face in your district or school.  Today, I wanted to wrap up with some overall best practices for your Office 2010 migration support.

Best practices for Office 2010 migration support:

1.  To maintain productivity and avoid overloading your support teams, it is critical to include an effective Office 2010 Training program (like KeyStone OnDemand) in your rollout.  Not only will you increase productivity with Office 2010’s powerful tools, but you will see a drastic reduction in end-user support.  An effective training program must provide real-time results to educators, allowing them to get the answers they need when they need them.  In addition, it should provide comprehensive coverage, tracking all progress and results for continuing education and professional development.  

2.  Communication is a big part of change management.  It’s a good idea to develop a rollout plan that includes emails and/or other communication to help educators see the value in why you are migrating.  Explain the benefits of moving to Office 2010, talk about the time-saving new features, and show them how easy it is to learn to use the new features available to them.  Ironically, educators can be one of the toughest crowds when it comes to training... make sure you show them the value of both the new software (e.g. Office 2010) and the training from the beginning to mitigate this challenge. KeyStone OnDemand includes a workflow feature for automated follow up so you can set up a communication plan and schedule it all at once.  In addition, KeyStone provides a number of services, including kick-off webinars, to assist you with adoption.

3.  One size does not fit everyone.  The ability to address the ongoing day-to-day challenges unique to your environment will both reduce your overall support burden and increase adoption of the training, allowing your teams more time to focus on critical support and giving educators more time to spend with students.  With KeyStone OnDemand, you can easily capture and share articles and videos.  Whether a a quick “how to...” or a complete custom course for professional development, you can create custom content and share it district-wide.  Build your own knowledge base and share best practices.  

Best of luck with your Office 2010 migration.  Whether you are in full swing or planning a future roll out, give us a call anytime with questions and we’ll be happy to help.

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Monday Nov 07, 2011

Easy Office 2010 shortcuts you must know

Are you clicking and clicking and clicking? Time, time and more time.

Here at the office, there are many shortcuts that we use on a daily basis, but these are the top ten most used Office 2010 keyboard shortcuts we apply. You may already be using them, but if you’re not, you need to. You don’t realize how time consuming it is to constantly right click and find your solution or navigate the ribbon to copy your text until you take a small amount of time to memorize and apply shortcuts like these for Office 2010.

        PC         Mac

1.   Copy          Control + C      Command + C
2.   Paste         Control + V       Command + V
3.   Undo          Control + Z       Command + Z
4.   Redo          Control + Y       Command + Y
5.   Bold            Control + B      Command + B
6.   Italicize       Control + I        Command + I
7.   Save           Control + S      Command + S
8.   Find            Control + F       Command + F
9.   Print            Control + P      Command + P
10. Select All    Control + A       Command + A

These Office 2010 shortcuts are sure to help you if you have not been using them. These are particularly easy to use and apply because they all start with the same key and have one letter.

While this is a great start, understanding more features in Office 2010 and the various ways to use the tools encourages speedy work and effective use of time. This is why we are so passionate about educating users in Office 2010. There are so many features and tools in Office 2010 that can go unnoticed until someone shows you how to use them.

Our Office 2010 Training provides full text and video for each topic, including printable KeyNotes and instant-on video, all available in real-time search. Click here to learn more.

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