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5 Tips to Boost Your Productivity with Microsoft Office

You are using Word, Excel and PowerPoint on a daily basis and but are you confident you are using 100% of each Microsoft Office software? Follow these 5 tips and customize Microsoft Office to work best for you.

1.      The OneNote Magic

OneNote is awesome when it comes to taking notes, sending mails, clicking images and even clipping webpages to read at your leisure. Now let’s see the hidden secrets of this great tool.

  • It’s a complete digital notebook that lets you organize pages in colored sections within the notebook and all of it is kept in just one program.
  • Embed just about anything you want, right from images, audio, video and text-based files. It is absolutely simple; just drag and drop and put them in any area of the page. You are not restricted to a linear page structure. You can place an audio recording right from your meeting notes or even add photos of the event that you plan to discuss about.
  • Microsoft OneNote also comes with solid search capability. You can do a text search within images, videos and even audio files.
  • The program integrates well with Outlook and other Office programs too.

2.       Kill the e-mail road block

Whether you love it or hate it, emails have to be checked and replied to. But there are still ways to boost your productivity. Here are some tricks to help.

  • Outlook keyboard shortcuts are always handy. There is a complete list of shortcut keys that is easily available on the Internet. Here are some of the most useful Outlook shortcut keys that can help.
  1. Ctrl+M/F9 to Send/Receive all
  2. Alt+S: Send email
  3. Ctrl+R: reply to email
  4. Alt+R: reply to all in email or switch to the work week calendar view
  5. Alt+W: forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view
  6. Ctrl+G: open the "Go to date" dialog to jump to any date in the calendar

  • Use ‘Quick Steps’ for Microsoft Outlook. Basically, it’s a set of shortcuts to any multi-step action you can think of, like moving mails to a specific folder, marking them as ‘Read’ or even forwarding mails to your team and flagging them at the same time. To put it simply, it saves time and kills repetition of work.
  • Use e-mail templates and stop sounding like a broken record. If you are regularly sending out requests for information, reminders of due invoices, etc., then create templates around it. Save the e-mail as a template by File > Save As… > Outlook template. The next time you need to send out a similar mail, just go to New Items > Choose Form… and search in your "User Templates in File System" to pick from the templates you saved.
  • Another time killer is reading all mails, even if you are in CC. Create a separate folder and name it as ‘Inbox-CC’. This folder should contain all mails where you are copied but not addressed directly. For this, go to Rules > New Rules. Click the "Advanced Options" button. In the Rules Wizard, select "where my name is not in the To box" and then in the next screen, "move it to the specified folder."

3.       Take the cloud advantage

Losing your important files and documents mean losing time and the easiest way to completely erase this blunder is cloud back up. The three big advantages of cloud storage are:

  • Complete backup routine that avoids data loss.
  • Strong data security without any physical access.
  • Preparedness for outages.

4.       Excel the Excel

You just can’t ignore the role Microsoft excel plays in getting day to day work done. Whether an expert or beginner, check out these simple tricks that can boost your productivity.

  • You already know about Ctrl+A but you can also select all by just clicking on the corner button.  All data gets selected in a matter of seconds.
  • If you are still opening one file at a time, then here is what you need to do to open all simultaneously. Select the files you want to open and press ‘Enter’. All files will open together.
  • Make your own shortcut menu other than the default ‘Save, Undo, Typing and Repeat Typing’. Just go to Files>>Options>>Quick Access Toolbar, add the item you need like ‘Cut and Copy’ from the left to the right and just save. Your Excel will now show these shortcuts as well.

5.      Grab the latest

Microsoft Office suites are available in different versions. The latest one is Microsoft Office 2010. If you are using any of the previous versions and do not have all the applications available with you, you can easily upgrade to the latest version. By upgrading, you will get the best features, the best security coverage, and also the best means to boost your productivity as well.

So, no more productivity slags slowing you down. Use these tips and boost your productivity the smart way. 

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