PDF Page Editing Made Easy

Editing Pages

With digital and mobile workflows trending in the office place, it’s all about the 2 P’s: Paperless Productivity. And for us in the PDF industry, this not only means going digital with your documents, but that you work efficiently with them as well.

To that end, one of our goals is to make it so that you don’t have to resort to other tools to get a separate PDF task done. And we’ve made some great progress towards that goal with Able2Extract 9.

You already know about its proven track record with multiple conversion options, and are now just getting a taste of its PDF creation abilities.  Curious about its PDF editing features, too?  Here’s a quick orientation guide for you.

Able2Extract’s PDF Editing Features

You can find these features by going to Edit>Pages in both the Standard version and the Professional version for editing scanned PDF files.

PDF Page Editor

As a PDF editor, Able2Extract can do a few things to alleviate some of the panic you experience when opening a less than perfect PDF document.

Delete

Got redundant pages? We’ve all had them at one point.  Whether they’re pages meant for specific people, blank eBook pages, or automatic page inserts, they add to the file bloat and extra scrolling. Good news is that you don’t have to put up with them anymore.

Deleting PDF Pages

Once you have your PDF opened in Able2Extract 9, you can delete PDF pages by specifying the page range and clicking on Delete. Enter the same page number in both fields to delete a single page. Your PDF page content will automatically shift up or down, of course, but the unnecessary page will be gone.

Move

Being able to move PDF pages comes in handy for long document revisions or PDF presentations where content order is especially important. When you need to rearrange or re-order pages in your document, use this feature.

Accessing this option will give you the following dialog:

Moving PDF Pages

Just input your page range accordingly and the number of the page you want your selected range to be placed before. Note that your page sequence is modified after each move. So be sure to use the most recently modified page numbering to define the Put Before Page value for your next PDF page move.

Resize

The Resize PDF pages feature acts like a cropping tool that can help you cut out large margins or unnecessary white space, this is the feature to use. In other words, this feature resizes your pages, not your content.

Resizing PDF Pages

You can adjust your page(s) dimensions as needed, resizing as much or as little as you want. Don’t forget to set the measurement units to either inches, centimeters, millimeters or points when using this feature! Once you have your values set, click on Resize.

Adjusting PDF Page Dimensions

Scale

Unlike the Resize feature above, Able2Extract’s scale PDF page option will let you change both the PDF page content and size together.

Scaling PDF Pages

The scaling measurement is done by percentage. It can be adjusted up to within 0.01% of the scale needed, so your content remains consistent and accurate, no matter what size the page is.

Adjusting PDF Content Dimensions

Rotate

The Rotate PDF page feature is designed for PDFs that with page content that appears upside down or sideways. This can usually happen with full page images that are originally in landscape mode, but are included in a portrait oriented PDF.

Rotating PDF Pages

The benefit? Instead of extracting the pages and re-creating the PDF, you can simply give a specified page (or page range) a good 90 degree turn in Able2Extract 9.

 

To get the full Able2Extract editing experience, give these features a go with a 7-day free trial for Able2Extract Standard or Able2Extract Professional for converting scanned or image PDFs.

 

5 Chrome Apps And Extensions Lawyers Should Be Using

Keyboard Law Technology

While it’s true that highly niched professionals like lawyers require a specific set of tools, sometimes something as simple as a Chrome add-on can be just as (or dare we say, even more?) powerful.

If you’re a lawyer looking for better, faster ways to get things done, working with Google Chrome can be a plus.  Whether you’re on the web for legal research, accessing databases, or working remotely outside of the office, Chrome offers a long list of apps and extensions to help improve the way you work.

And the right ones can make a world of difference.

So take your online productivity up a notch. A couple of these Chrome apps and extensions can speed up the most common and time consuming tasks.

Collect Online Evidence With WebPreserver

When you have cases involving social media harassment, incriminating posts, or cyberstalking, it automatically means spending hours online gathering screenshots. Not only that, but your research needs to be legally admissible. Luckily, there’s an extension for that: WebPreserver.

This Chrome extension will allow you to preserve, timestamp and authorize your findings with a single click. Developed by WebPreserver.com, the Chrome extension links you to a web capture system designed for law firms and agencies to instantly create legally admissible evidence.

Research More Effectively On WestlawNext With Bestlaw

This next Chrome extension is centered upon offering you an expanded toolset to improve your workflow with WestlawNext. Bestlaw claims to add the features WestlawNext forgot.

WestlawNext Research Toolbar

Image Source: Bestlaw.io

Bestlaw does this by adding a toolbar to the document you’re reading. With it, you can copy Bluebook citations, generate table of contents, jump to footnotes, look up case information on Google and Wikipedia, share documents via email or social media and more.

Use Locate A Lawyer To Quickly Find & Consult With Other Lawyers

Looking for another lawyer? Use Locate A Lawyer  in your search. Developed by LawInfo.com, Locate A Lawer can give you quick access from Chrome to its directory of pre-screened attorneys, all with verified qualifications and credentials. You can easily search by name, zip code, firm, and area of law.

Use Agilewords To Speed Up Legal Document Reviews

The review and approval process is necessarily a lengthy one at times, especially for legal documents that need feedback, editing, updating, and approval. For lawyers who need to collaborate on legal document, there’s Agilewords, the document reviewing tool you can access directly within Chrome.

This tool provides you with features such as real-time collaboration, secure uploading and hosting, revision tracking, online/offline editing, and the ability to audit your document’s access.

Instantly Look Up Citations From Webpages With Jureeka!

When researching a case, you may come across web pages with legal citations that appear throughout the article that aren’t hyperlinked. This Chrome extension can save you that hassle of toggling back and forth, looking up citation sources.  Jureeka! will turn those legal citations into hyperlinks as long as it is on a web page. So even if the author of the article does not link the citation, Jureeka! does.

 

8 Last Minute Resources To Help You With Your Tax Return

Filing Tax ReturnsAudits, tax payments, confusing forms—just three reasons why everyone hates tax season. And though you don’t need another, you can probably think of a few more yourself.  It’s hard to feel anything but dread this time of year.

So you do what you can to make things easier and cheaper. But even that has its drawbacks. For instance, if you decide to cut out the accountant and the fees, you may have to do some major research to properly file a tax return on your own.

That being said, if you aren’t too tax savvy, finding answers to your questions will be the real challenge. Of course, there is the IRS website for official directions and answers, which should be on the top of your list. Yet if you need some clarification or insight, what sources do you turn to at the 11th hour?

Try and see if a few of the following sites can help boil down the essentials for you. They come well-stocked with helpful, easy-to-read articles and credible writers that have extensive experience and knowledge in the field.

H&R Block TaxTips

The Tax Tips section of the H&R Block blog covers some of the most common topics including filing status, tax deductions, and tax refunds. This blog makes sure that you have the answers to all the basic questions on filing.

Intuit Accountants

As you may know, Intuit has been providing small businesses, accountants and individuals with tax preparation tools like QuickBooks. Fortunately, the accountants that use the software are highly active in helping their clients and each other with tax questions on both the blog and the online Intuit Accountants community. Sift through them with a few keywords and you’re likely to find a thread or post that can point you in the right direction.

TurboTax Blog

The TurboTax blog is also another good starting point for tax tips. If you’re a TurboTax user, you might be going through this blog already.  Topics you can find posts on include deductions, 401K, incomes and investments, home, education and a few more categories that can generate some of the most commonly asked tax questions.

About.com Tax

Because instructions and policies on filing taxes can be really confusing, a good idea is to start at the beginning. The About.com Tax section is filled with basic (and intermediate) tips for individuals, articles for business professionals, and even advice for tax preparers.  There’s a good list of Tax Planning categories to explore, so you’re bound to find the answers you need.

TaxGirl.com

Unlike most of us, Kelly Pillips Erb, tax attorney and tax writer/blogger is enthusiastic about taxes—and it shows! Her blog, TaxGirl.com, and column on Forbes.com are both all about explaining and discussing tax issues as well as covering news in the industry. Her insights and articles provide a lot of perspective that can help you make well-informed tax-filing decisions.

eSmartTax.com & Liberty Tax Service

eSmartTax.com is the online division of Liberty Tax Service, a  US-based tax preparation service. The site and content are easily accessible and provide you with tax related topics, discussions and resources. The main Liberty Tax Service site itself contains a good section on tax resources and posts on their Tax Lounge blog you can go through.

AccountingWeb.com

It was hard to pick one single blog from this roster, so we give you the full list. Like the Intuit Accountants community, AccountingWeb.com’s blogs are a good starting point for those needing the perspective of an accountant. All writers have their credentials and fields of expertise listed, so you can determine which professional might have the answers you need.

Tax Policy Center

This one makes the list for its authoritative value. Made up of experts with years of experience in tax, budget, and social policy, Tax Policy Center is focused on bringing you information on the policies behind the taxes you file. With an official library of publications, a dedicated blog,  and sections devoted to Tax Facts and Tax Topics, this site is hands down a must-visit resource.

Remember that these sites only provide you with extra information, not legal financial advice on preparing your taxes. Thus, while you may feel some anxiety about filing taxes on your own, it doesn’t mean you have to go into it unprepared.

This was a very short list for such a complex topic. If we missed one which you think should be on here, let us know by adding your own go-to resources in the comments!

A 6 Tip Starter Guide On Document Management

Document Management

Ask yourself, how much time do you spend looking for a single document? Could your file-managing habits use some improvements?

If you work on a computer every single day, it’s all too easy to drown in a pool of digital formats. You create presentations, write essays, analyze spreadsheets, and edit images.

And at one point or another it all gets saved and stored, proving at the same time that document management is behind almost everything we do electronically.

If you need a few quick fix tips, we put together a guide on some basics to keep in mind which can help improve any digital document routine.

1. Organize Email Attachments And Documents

This is a great place to start. Your email is a powerful tool which is unintentionally used as a document management tool, as well. You email files to yourself, use it to recover accidentally deleted files, send and forward files to others, and receive them yourself on a daily basis–all of which is easy. Digging them up, on the other hand, isn’t.

For situations like this, download your attachments in bulk with a tool like Mail Attachment Downloader by GearMage. Doing so can help you transfer and organize file attachments into your document system smoothly. It can extract and download email attachments from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and other IMAP/POP accounts. Filter out file types, specify download location and other specifics.

2. Integrate Cloud Storage Into Your Routine

The web has grown into a cloud computing platform that makes everything accessible online. Yet cloud services can create more stress than they’re worth if you don’t plan out how you’ll be using them.

Uploading Files To Cloud

Upload files wisely by integrating them with your working habits. A few methods to consider:

  • For mobile work, automate your apps to upload files from your device straight to the cloud.
  • Use dedicated services for different formats. Cloud Player by Amazon, for instance, is one player that is dedicated to uploading music files.
  • Create a designated cloud folder “recycle bin” to download stuff you won’t need permanently. It will keep your local folders free of junk files.

3. Create A Nested Folder System

This tip is a must. A structured folder system is reflective of how you remember information. It can literally point you in the right direction with every level you click through.  All you need to do is make sure that your folders have a logical hierarchy.

Start off with a main folder. Then start creating sub-folders to filter out files like on-going work from finished work, current documents, documents for review or documents organized by year. The main thing to remember is to label folders according to your work process.

Saving Files

4. Use A Standard Naming Convention

Use consistent and logical file naming conventions. File names should include things like dates, document status, names–details that can pinpoint and categorize the file’s contents.

File names should be easily scannable, naturally ordered, and highly descriptive.  Some suggestions:

  • Make updated files stand out by using an underscore before the date.
  • Decide on the format such as dd-mm-yy or first name, last name.
  • Use a numbering scheme to keep large folders of files in order.
  • Don’t be cryptic with special characters, acronyms or generic terms. Chances are you won’t remember what they referred to later on.

5. Separate Your Files By Format

Sometimes file names won’t come to mind as easily as the format will. If this is the case with you, you may want to organize your files by format. If you use this method along with nested folders, it can be a faster way to find a file. You don’t have to re-sort or sift through a folder full of different file formats.

6. Archive And Delete Files Regularly

The worst part about creating documents is that they can quickly get outdated or obsolete especially with files created ad hoc. Set up a time frame for yourself to delete files regularly to keep them from piling up.

With the way file management and creation is constantly evolving, knowing just a few of your habits can go a long way to creating a document management system that works with you. What are some of your best practices?

 

6 Innovative Alternatives To The Traditional Business Plan

Business Plan Alternative
Got an idea you think the masses will love? Thinking of starting up your own business? You’re not the only one.

Competition is fierce and many ambitious individuals have the same vision of success as you do. And the best place to start beating the competition (after coming up with a killer idea) is with a well laid out business plan.

Now if you’ve looked into the topic, then you know that there’s a lot of debate on whether or not the traditional business plan is still effective. For budding entrepreneurs today, the business plan is outdated, overly complex and unnecessary. This leads us to ask the obvious question: If you still need to map out your business idea for others, where does this leave you?

If you’re looking to create a business plan that can impress investors, here are some modern ideas and innovative services you should consider.

Use A PowerPoint Slide Deck For Effective Pitch Meetings

PowerPoint has always been the tool of choice for presenting ideas. Why not use it for pitching your business?

Walking potential investors through a PowerPoint presentation on your iPad can be very effective. Take Tim Young, founder of Socialcast, for example. He used 5 slides for a business pitch in 2010 and managed to raise over 10 million in investment funds for 2 startups.

From his experience, he found that a presentation can help your pitch because “by sharing a screen and sitting in close proximity to each other, the environment naturally becomes more comfortable and relaxed.” Certainly an idea worth considering if you get nervous while presenting.

Create A Successful Business Model With  LeanLaunchLab

Business planning means a lot of time invested in creating a business model that hasn’t been tested out in full. Not a great way to impress start up accelerators. But with LeanLaunchLab, you can eliminate that.

LeanLaunchLab New Intro from Ben Mappen on Vimeo.

This service helps you to keep your business plan practical and successful. Not only do you outline your business idea, but you also get a convenient way to test, tweak and modify your business model. In other words, you find out what works and what doesn’t, ultimately creating a business that works.

Use A Lean Canvas For Concise Business Plans

Just because your business plan is short doesn’t mean it isn’t well thought out. When you create one with Lean Stack, you can boil down the essentials down to a one page blue print for quick at-a-glance reading.

One Page Business Model

Using a Lean Canvas is best for those situations where you’re making a pitch to investors who  have very little time and can’t go through all the nitty-gritty details. This is a paid service, but offers  free 30-day trials for both individual and team plans.

Generate A One-Page Business Summary With Plan Cruncher

Business Plan Generator

Much like Lean Canvas, Plan Cruncher allows you to get the major points of your business plan onto one page. If you don’t have a business plan template to summarize your idea, Plan Cruncher can be helpful in cutting things down. This tool is free to use. Just drop in the required details and Plan Cruncher will do the rest.

Create  A Visual Business Plan With Pinterest

This idea may go against what you know about best business plan practices, but using Pinterest can be a creative way of visualizing your idea for others. In fact, Tim Berry, angel investor, business planner and entrepreneur, stands behind the idea.

According to him, a  business plan created with Pinterest is more accessible than a slide deck and is helpful in steering your business in the right direction. This method doesn’t describe your business; it focuses on the output of the plan.

As Tim Berry points out, “a business plan is worthwhile because of the decisions that result from it. If the Pinterest plan helps you organize a team and set the main points so you can move forward logically, why not?” I think that sums it up exactly.

Use Live Plan For Easy To Read Business Plans

Like the other suggested ideas, Live Plan tries to combine the serious nature of business plans with easy to read formats. It offers everything needed to keep your financials, business pitch and plan in check with an admin dashboard and support for team collaboration.


LivePlan Explainer from Palo Alto Software, Inc on Vimeo.

Live Plan makes it easy for you to forecast and prioritize the main financial elements of your business strategy like value propositions, key partnerships, cost structure and so on. This service is perfect for pitching a concise business plan investors and banks can instantly understand.

In this day and age, packaging and presenting your business plan effectively is becoming increasingly important if you want to stand out. Have you created a traditional business plan in the past? Which alternative would you use?

How To Create Secure PDF Documents In Two Different Ways

Here at Investintech, we care about your document productivity and we know that working with multiple documents can be a dreadful uphill battle. Because digital documents and PDFs are an essential part of your day to day work, your document processing routine and PDF tools always need to be updated. They need to be flexible and powerful enough to keep up with you.

This is why we included the features we did in Able2Extract 9. Though you know the PDF tool as Able2Extract PDF Converter, it has gone above and beyond that in this latest version. It can do a whole lot more now—and more conveniently.

Case in point: PDF creation. You may have given the main feature a  quick try, but there’s more to this feature than meets the eye. It can get the job of creating secure PDFs done in more ways than one.

Let’s take a closer look.

Method 1: Create PDF Files With Able2Extract 9

PDF creation within Able2Extract is just as simple as converting a PDF document. So if you’ve ever converted a PDF file with Able2Extract, then you already have a good idea of how to create one.

In other words, you get a new feature with a familiar set up, eliminating any high learning curves that can waste a good chunk of your time. From the command toolbar:

1. Click on the create PDF icon.

Creating PDF Files2. Open your file.

Opening File In Able2Extract

3. Go into the PDF Creation Options… menu and add your PDF security options. Here you can choose a number of settings for your PDF content. Click on OK.

PDF Creation Security Options
4. Then click on Save to complete the process.

Saving PDF In Able2Extract

 

Method 2: Create Secure PDFs From Your Everyday Applications

That’s just one method. However, if, like me, you prefer to stay in the application you’re working in, Able2Extract still has you covered. With the virtual printer, you can turn any application into a PDF creator.

Just print up your document as usual with the Print functionality, but choose Able2Extract 9.0 Printer instead:

Able2Extract Virtual Print Driver

Yet because you don’t need to open Able2Extract to create PDFs, you may be thinking that you’ll miss out on all the PDF creation options built into this latest version. Not so. This is where the print dispatcher comes into play.

Adjust Settings With The Print Dispatcher

Accessing Able2Extract Print DispatcherYou may have seen this icon lurking around on your system tray after installing Able2Extract.

The Print Dispatcher allows you to control all of your out-of-Able2Extract  PDF creation options.

When combined with the virtual print driver, you can create the same secure PDF just as easily.

On opening the Print Dispatcher, you get everything you need to stay on top of the PDF creation process:

Print Dispatcher Interface

By clicking on the Options… button, you can change the PDF creation settings for all PDF files created through the Able2Extract Print Driver, including the Security settings for each file.  

Selecting PDF Security Options

After your security options are set and your PDF is created, you can check in on your new file from the Print Dispatcher and interact with the file as needed.

Options For Opening PDF

Give the PDF creation feature a good spin if you haven’t already. This is just one of many new Able2Extract 9 features that let you get up close and personal with your PDF documents.

Get Ready For The Oscars With PDF Screenplays Of Your Favourite Movies

Excited about the Oscars? We’re right there with you. It’s always fun to watch and find out which actors and movies will form the 2015 Oscar-winning roster.

So in honour of the 87th Academy Awards and movies in general, we thought you’d enjoy a quick and highly related PDF resource. And we spotted out a great one for PDF movie scripts from Gointothesotry.blckst.com.

PDF Movie Scripts

Gointothestory.blckst.com is the official blog for The Blacklist, a network where script writers, buyers and representatives can connect. The blog was created by screenplay writer and script writing instructor, Scott Myers, whose credentials include the movies K-9 and Trojan War. He teaches script writing courses online, using the blog as a resource for his students and anyone who loves the art of movies and writing.

Go Into The Story has one webpage in particular dedicated to featuring a great selection of more than 80 PDF screenplays online, which, according to the site, are legal and free to download.

The screenplays are from recently acclaimed movies you’ve watched, if not, heard about. For instance, you’ll find the 2014 Oscars Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave, the popular hit Frozen, and movies that featured Oscar winning actors such as Dallas Buyers Club.

Moreover, there are screenplays fromthis year’s Oscar nominations for 2015. You can get a good look at the Oscar movie you’re vouching for in detail, line by line. Those already posted include, Into The Woods, The Theory of Everything, Still Alice, and Birdman. So be sure to check them out before the big day!

Enjoy.

 

Work With Excel Data Like A Pro With 9 Simple Tips

Excel Spreadsheet DiagramWithout doubt, an Excel spreadsheet is one of the most advanced tools for working with raw data—and one of the most feared.  The application looks complicated, way too advanced, and like something that would take hours to figure out.

I wouldn’t be surprised if upon hearing that you had to start using MS Excel, your heart started to pound. Is there any way to make Microsoft Excel less scary and intimidating? Yes.

By learning a few spreadsheet tricks, you can bring Excel down to your level and start looking at the application in a different light.  We rounded up some of the simplest yet powerful MS Excel spreadsheet tips you can start using on your data.

1. Use MS Excel Format Painter

To start you off, get yourself familiar with formatting your spreadsheet cells. A visually organized spreadsheet is highly appreciated by others as it can help them follow your data and calculations easily. To quickly apply your formatting across hundreds of cells, use the Format Painter:

  1. Select the cell with the formatting you wish to replicate
  2. Go to the Home menu and click on the Format Painter. Excel will display a paintbrush next to the cursor.
  3. Using Excel Format PainterWhile that paintbrush is visible, click to apply all of the attributes from that cell to any other.

To format a range of cells, double-click the Format Painter during step 1. This will keep the formatting active indefinitely. Use the ESC button to deactivate it when you’re done.

2. Select Entire Spreadsheet Columns or Rows

Another quick tip– use the CTRL and SHIFT buttons to select entire rows and columns.

  1. Click on the first cell of the data sequence you want to select.
  2. Hold down CTRL + SHIFT
  3. Then use the arrow keys to get all the data either above, below or adjacent to the cell you’re in.

You can also use CTRL + SHIFT + *   to select your entire data set.

3. Import Data Into Excel Correctly

The benefit of using is Excel is that you can combine different types of data from all kinds of sources.  The trick is importing that data properly. Don’t copy-paste complex data sets. Instead, use the options from the Get External Data option under the Data tab. There are specific options for different sources. So use the appropriate option for your data:

Importing Data to Excel

4. Enter The Same Data Into Multiple Cells

At one point, you may find yourself needing to enter the same data into a number of different cells. Your natural instinct would be to copy-paste over and over again. But there’s a quicker way:

  1. Select all the cells where you need the same data filled in (use CTRL + click to select individual cells that are spread across the worksheet)
  2. In the very last cell you select, type in your data
  3. Use CTRL+ENTER.  The data will be filled in for each cell you selected.

5. Display Excel Spreadsheet Formulas

Viewing Spreadsheet Formulas

Jumping into a spreadsheet created by someone else? Don’t worry. You can easily orient yourself and find out which formulas were used. To do this, use the Show Formulas button. Or you can use CTRL + `  on your keyboard. This will give you a view of all formulas used in the workbook.

6. Freeze Excel Rows And Columns

This is a personal favourite of mine when it comes to viewing lengthy spreadsheets. Once you scroll past the first 20 rows, the first row with the column labels annoyingly disappear from view and you begin to lose track of how the data was organized.

Freezing Excel Columns Rows

To keep them visible, use the Freeze Panes feature under the View menu. You can opt to freeze the top row or, if you have a spreadsheet with numerous columns, you can opt to freeze the first column.

7. Enter Data Patterns Instantly

One great feature in Excel is that it can automatically recognize data patterns. But what’s even better is that Excel will let you enter those data patterns to other cells.

  1. Simply enter your information in two cells to establish your pattern.
  2. Highlight the cells. There will be a small square in the bottom right hand corner of the last cell. Excel Data Patterns
  3. Place your cursor over this square until it becomes a black cross. 
  4. Then click and drag it with your mouse down to populate the cells within a columnEntering Spreadsheet Data Patterns

8. Hide Spreadsheet Rows and Columns

In some cases, you may have information in rows or columns that are for your eyes only and no one else’s. Isolate these cells from your work area (and prying eyes) by hiding them:

  1. Select the first column or row in the range you want to hide.
  2. Go to Format under the Home menu.
  3. Select Hide & Unhide>Hide Rows or Hide ColumnsHiding Excel Rows Columns

To unhide them, click on the first row or column that occur just before and after the hidden range. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but select Unhide Rows or Unhide Columns.

9.  Copy Formulas Or Data Between Worksheets

Another helpful tip to know is how to copy formulas and data to a separate worksheet. This is handy when you’re dealing with data that’s spread across different worksheets and requires repetitive calculations.

  1. With the worksheet containing the formula or data you wish to copy opened, CTRL + click on the tab of the worksheet you want to copy it to.
  2. Click on or navigate to the cell with the formula or data you need (in the opened worksheet).
  3. Press F2 to activate the cell.
  4. Press Enter.  This will re-enter the formula or data, and it will also enter it into the same corresponding cell in the other selected worksheet as well.

These general tips won’t turn you into an Excel guru overnight. But they can help you take that first step towards becoming one! Are you a well-seasoned Excel user? Which of your spreadsheet tricks would you add?

 

How To Manage Your Next Super Bowl Pool With 5 Everyday Office Tools

Classic-Leather-FootballPhoto Credit: Tom Newby Photography via photopin cc

Super Bowl Sunday. Two teams. One winner. An entire season of playoffs leading up to one championship game. Who do you have pegged to win?

If you’re a football fan, chances are that your choice is already locked down in an office pool. After all, nothing adds excitement to a game like a small pool among you and your colleagues—especially when you win and get all the bragging rights!

That’s the fun part. But if you’ve ever managed a pool yourself, then you’ll know that as fun as it can be, it can also be stressful. From trying to get your football squares filled to updating your bracket sheets, every pool manager hustles to get everything organized and recorded properly.

Don’t worry if things didn’t go smoothly this year.  We found that no matter what kind of pool you’re running, there are a few tricks that can make things go easier.  So while the Super Bowl marks the beginning of the end of tracking sheets and football statistics (at least for a while), we thought a short list of tips and tools would go a long way to helping you with your next football pool. Check them out.

Use Excel Templates

First thing’s first–did you create your Super Bowl sheets from scratch? If so, you should re-consider. Save yourself the time and effort next time by using a template.

You can get a variety of templates for any pooling options you and your workmates set up. Even better, you can find templates with formulas and functions pre-set so that calculating details like scores is just a matter of entering your data.  A simple search online can dig up a number of downloadable super bowl squares excel templates and tracking sheets for free.

Share your Football Squares On GoogleDocs

Whether it was your first time handling the project or if you’re a seasoned pro, you probably had a tough time filling all your football squares once the most popular numbers for super bowl squares were taken. To help combat that lull in interest, try distributing and sharing them publicly. Doing so will help spread the word around the office.

Google-Docs-View-Document

You can easily upload it to a cloud server like Google Docs and then simply add a person’s email address to share it. To keep others from modifying your bracket sheet, set up file permissions allowing only others to view the available squares while you alone can update and lock in everyone’s picks as more people join.

Keep Everything In Excel Worksheets

In any pool, you’ll want to keep track of everything involved with the game—statistics, players and standings, so you can report the calculated results to your pool members.  To make this task easier, keep track of everything in a separate worksheet within the same workbook as your pool tracking sheet.

This may seem obvious, but it’s the most overlooked yet effective way to keep others updated on statistics during the game. You can easily use an Excel formula, a macro or a function to automatically calculate points earned, highlight player data or tally up the standings.  Thus, if anyone in the pool needs to check in on how their picks are doing, they can find the updated details organized alongside the tracking spreadsheet.

Use A Microsoft PowerPoint Template

Super-Bowl-Excel-Alternative                                                                                  Image Source: Free-Power-Point-Templates.com

Now we all have our own preferences when it comes to getting things done, and if Excel isn’t your thing, don’t waste time trying to struggle with it. Instead, consider using another format like PowerPoint. Free- PowerPoint-Templates.com has a quick tutorial on how to make a football squares template within PowerPoint. It shows you how to achieve the same goal and set up without all the formulas.  Simple.

Finalize Your Pool In PDF Format

Among the many important tasks to carry out, having the pool set in stone is key. Once you have all you Super Bowl squares set, for instance, the next thing is to ensure that those squares don’t get altered when they’re distributed.

Able2Extract-Excel-to-PDF-With-Able2Extract

The most convenient way is to create PDF files of your sheet. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable and to secure your co-workers’ picks until the end of the game. Able2Extract can do this easily from MS Excel (or PowerPoint) with all the PDF creation and security features needed.

So are you ready for Super Bowl weekend?  Share your office pool tips and tricks in the comments!

 

Merry Christmas From Investintech.com

 Merry-Christmas-StarPhoto Credit: mrmanc via photopin cc

Christmas is finally here and we just wanted to wish everyone of our customers, followers and supporters a Merry Christmas!

Whether you’re at a huge get together with the entire family, on vacation in a tropical hotspot or cozy and warm at home with a loved one—no matter how you celebrate it, we hope you all have a safe and happy holiday this year!
Cheers,
The Investintech Team