Content Creator’s Toolbox: Top 12 MS Office Productivity Plugins

Productivity has an altogether different meaning today than it did ten years ago, let alone five. It doesn’t mean just getting things done anymore — it means being able to get more complex things done in the same amount of time. This is especially true for content creators.

If you’re a blogger, freelance writer, analyst, presenter or online marketer, then creating content in MS Office is your bread and butter. It requires meeting tight deadlines and turning over projects quickly. Productivity-wise, it means your workflow and tools have to keep up.

One problem, though. The plugins that worked before won’t work effectively now. With the complexity of digital tasks increasing, you need a better list.

That’s why we put together a super collection of 12 productivity plugins for taking your work to the next level.

Note: Using any of these plugins requires an account with MS Office and in some cases an account with the plugin’s website, as well. To install add-ins, click on My Add-ins from the Insert menu. A window will appear that will display your options. Double-clicking an add-in will open it. Or you can click on the arrow next to the button and you can pick one of your recently-used add-ins from there.

Continue reading →Content Creator’s Toolbox: Top 12 MS Office Productivity Plugins

Excel Templates For Project Managers

Excel templates for Project Management

A project can be defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken by a specific group of people in order to reach a unique goal or objective.

Likewise, Project management is the process of initiating, planning, organizing, executing, controlling and closing of a project after meeting a specific goal.

The person in charge of leading a project through its lifecycle is called a project manager. Managing a team compiled of people from different units within the organization while ensuring that the goals are achieved within a given time frame & budget is no walk in the park, to say the least.

Project Management life cycle phases

Continue reading →Excel Templates For Project Managers

How to Work with Pivot Tables in Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program that is a part of Googles web-based office suite. The program represents an online alternative to Microsoft Excel but it’s compatible both with Microsoft and Open Office file formats.

Since its initial release, back in 2006, there is an ongoing debate whether people should use Google Sheets or MS Excel. There’s no right or wrong answer to this. It all comes down to specific needs and tasks.

Someone would praise Google for its simplicity and ease of collaboration. Others would argue that Google Sheets, compared to Excel is lacking in the functionality department

Continue reading →How to Work with Pivot Tables in Google Sheets

Top 7 Tips For Solving Your Common Digital Document Problems

Technology Support

As a PDF converter solutions company, we’re no strangers to document-related stress. We deal with it on a daily basis. And because of this, we’ve shared a number of tips that have made working with documents and their content less stressful.

From dealing with large files to editing PDF files, we’ve covered solutions to some of the most stressful and, unfortunately, common issues that can pop up at any given time.

To ensure you have a solution when you need it, we’ve collected some of our best hits into one single mashup where you can access and find that one tip you’re looking for.

We have the low-down on a good workaround if you are….

… Having Troubles Sending That Large File  

Send And Share Large Files Easily. Our post on 3 Great Ways To Share Large Files With Others can help. It covers resources that will let you share large files via online cloud drives, through browser to browser services and even between computers and systems. So when all else fails with your email you have a handful of other work arounds you can try.

…Signed Up With Too Many Cloud Drives  

Admit it. From Dropbox and Box.com to Google Drive and OneDrive, you have had at least one account on each service. We’ve been there. Multiple logins and desktop clients give us a headache, too. Another problem? Sifting through those cloud drives to access the one file you need. Well, in this feature post on storing converted files to multiple cloud drives with one app, you’ll find a whole new way to work faster with cloud storage services.

…Required To Send Both A PDF File And A Word Document

PDF Embedded Word File

It’s known that you could always add other files, like MS Word to PDF documents. But what about the other way around? This post on How to Attach a PDF File to Microsoft Word Documents  shows you an MS Office feature which allows you to do just that.  The feature we cover can be a timesaving workaround when you need to attach multiple files to an email.

…Working With An Expired Microsoft Office Subscription 

Now that Microsoft Office  is offered as a subscription service, free MS Word alternatives can act as a good emergency backup.  When your Office subscription expires, your documents are left uneditable, locked in viewing mode. And when it does, Google Drive is generally the number one solution. So for this, we included our post on using Google Docs and Sheets Add-ons which offers you a look at how you can create a research paper from beginning to end right in your browser if needed.

…Trying To Edit PDF Text And Pages

When you need to make changes to your PDF, your natural instinct is to do it directly on the page. Why ignore that knee-jerk reaction? This article on How to Edit a PDF Document will show you how you can naturally and intuitively make changes to both text and pages in your PDF without Acrobat.

…Struggling To Work Efficiently Between OpenOffice And Google Docs

Entering GoogleDocs Credentials

Working between a desktop and online document processor is now a quick and easy way to get things done. You create a document on your desktop, save it and then upload the file to the online application. But believe it or not, you can make things even simpler than that when working OpenOffice and Google Docs. How to Export Open Office Files to Google Docs features a tutorial on how to transfer OpenOffice documents directly from the application to the online suite with one simple extension.

…Stuck With PDF Documents In a Different Language

Can’t speak 50 different languages? Don’t worry. We included our post on How to Translate PDF Documents without Learning Another Language to this list because working with PDFs in other languages can be a part of how you categorize, research and process documents in your work. In the post, you’ll learn a few ways to translate PDFs on-the-spot with the help of the web.

We know this list is short compared to the list of document-related problems you may have. But let us know what document issues you need a workaround for in the comments and we’ll see if we have a post on it that we can add to the above.

Microsoft Office 2016 And You- A TEDTalk Perspective

Whenever a major release drops, whether it be software or gadget, we tech users always have to anticipate change. And with the new Microsoft Office 2016 release, did we ever!

Microsoft Office 2016 was officially launched last week. And as you may know, the major focus for this update was twofold: collaboration and cloud. The latest updates mean faster, more effective ways for staying connected and getting things done.

But under the shiny new features, there’s a deeper question: what do these features really mean for us as users? We’re talking about the bigger picture. Whenever a new tool has us working in different ways, there’s a lasting impact—culturally, socially and personally.

The hype of a new tool usually won’t allow us to see its full impact on our lives though. And so we thought it would be interesting to examine the Office 2016 latest features through a different lens with related TEDTalks. TEDTalks are mind blowing presentations that are always insightful, engaging, and able to boil big complex ideas right down to the bone.

We collected some of the most relevant and related videos on the technologies, issues, and concepts the new Office 2016 features seem to be targeting. Call this TEDTalk 101 For Office 2016. These timeless lectures will broaden your perspective on what the latest features could mean for users on a bigger scale.

Real-Time, Co-authoring And A New Modern Job Market

One of the biggest highlight about Office 2016 is the new collaborative approach the suite is taking with real-time editing in documents for the desktop apps. You’re able to open, edit and save files in the cloud from your desktop. This feature will now let you work flexibly with others in a single document from disparate locations whenever and wherever you are.

To Wingham Rowan, policy entrepreneur, this type of remote, on-the-spot and flexible way of working speaks to the way the current job market is developing.  But he explores the idea even further by examining ways in which existing financial technology can help fuel this new modern job market.

Office 365 Groups And The Real Power of Teamwork

With Office 365 Groups in Outlook 2016, you’re in constant touch with your team projects. You get started with a shared inbox, calendar, cloud storage, and even a shared OneNote notebook. With these features, Microsoft is paying more attention to users and how they can effectively work together as a group.

Margaret Heffernan, management thinker and former CEO of five companies, narrows it down even further. In her TEDTalk, she reflects on where the real value of a team lies. Her talk can put Microsoft’s collaborative strategy into another light. Not only are they making teamwork technologically easier, but they’re making it emotionally and socially easier.

Excel Power BI Prepares Users For Bigger Data

With Office 2016, everyone is anticipating is the new Power BI features in Excel 2016. Users can take advantage of these features to deal intelligently with more complex datasets. As a big step for Excel, there’s a lot to expect. Data scientists and Excel experts are predicting how Excel will impact business intelligent workflows. How will it affect the way we work with data? More importantly, how should we be working with data?

Susan Etlinger, industry and data analyst with Altimeter Group, shares her opinion on the implications of working with data and how its analysis should be approached. Fortunately, this lecture applies to all big data professionals, both seasoned veterans and new Excel Power BI users alike.

Skype For Business—And Your Productivity?

This is literally IM, screen share and video chat plus your documents, all rolled into one. In Office 2016, Skype for Business offers you the option to start a real-time session for co-authoring from any conversation or meeting. But is this too disruptive? It’s well-known that the value of meetings in the professional world are much debated upon. Are they a waste of time or are they invaluable?

Jason Fried, software entrepreneur and co-founder of 37signals, focuses on this growing debate by first exploring why work just isn’t happening at work. We’re working in moments, in odd places, and at different times, habits which ultimately uncover a bigger issue. With Skype integrated into your apps, how productive will you be?

Are Tell Me And Smart Look Up Pushing Us Towards Smarter Computers?

The apps in Microsoft Office 2016 are getting smarter. With features like Tell Me and Smart Look Up, Office apps are learning more about your patterns and your content as you work. They offer contextual searching, advanced organization, and advanced commands at your fingertips.

And it may be farfetched to compare these features and apps to AI, but the concept of an algorithm that learns or the idea of a technology that thinks is essentially what we’re starting to see in these apps. Is smart technology on the road to becoming too smart? To explore this popular and timeless topic, we included this TEDTalk by philosopher, Nick Bostrom, that explores the idea of what happens when computers become smarter than we are.

Hopefully, these TEDTalks will get you more reflective and mindful about Office 2016 and the broader themes and implications it touches upon. Technological advances happen around us all the time. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of a new product release. It happens to us, too. Whether it’s small a change in your work routine or a major software release, the trick is seeing them for what they are.