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Revisiting Crucial Timesaving Tools

Best practices for business productivity suggest you are most successful when you work smarter, not harder.  With that in mind, we recently had an opportunity to work with a team who use multiple programs at a time, all workday.  Quickly moving between files and programs and constantly sharing information along the way requires complete software mastery to be most efficient. 

There are so many tools built into the Microsoft Office suite that made a splash when they were introduced, but are very often overlooked with current releases or as new generations enter the workforce.  It’s time to reboot the most valuable, timesaving tools that you should be using every day to be more efficient and more effective in your work.




Quick Access Toolbar – This is the always on, customizable toolbar in each program that lets you put the tools you need at your fingertips. Above the ribbon, this small toolbar is often not even noticed.  Pin often used tools here, including file Open and Close, print, edit Footer, insert Field, paragraph spacing before and after, you can add any tool in the program to the toolbar.  And the best part, this toolbar is available when you open any program in Microsoft Office!  Software specific tools will show up in their own program, but all universal features are available in every program.  Learn how to use this feature in any of our training classes.

File Sharing – Collaboration is the standard in most successful teams and organizations. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, with one very easy and quick way.  Many people will save a file, open a new email message, and attach a file. Some will do that from within the program, using the File | Share | Email | Send as Attachment option, but even that takes several steps to accomplish.  The easiest way to send a copy of the file you’re working on is to add the Email (File | Send as Attachment) command to the Quick Access toolbar.  With a single click, you are sharing!

Make Your Own Rules with Outlook


One great way for sharp, but untrained Office users to immediately impact their daily success is to automate their Outlook software.  Many email messages are important but not urgent, or are purely informational.  These messages should not be a barrier to seeing others that are important and need review or action.  Simply automate the decision making on how to organize messages for processing now or later by creating Rules that redirect, flag or reply to incoming message.  


Before you start with Rules, think of the folder structure you want to use for storing mail whether by person, department or business category.  It might be a good idea to create temporary folders designed for messages that need Review before they are filed.  There may be a folder for messages that are waiting for a reply by someone else before you can put them away.  Once you have this mail infrastructure set up, create Rules that automate the movement of incoming mail or provide automated replies or forwarding of your messages.


Now here’s some great news!!  Rules can be processed on messages already in a folder, so your Inbox of 4000 messages can be significantly reduced if you put your new skills to use.  Learn more about this in our Outlook training classes!!!




Heard Recently in a RAMCO Excel Class...

"I appreciate having an instructor in the classroom. Thanks for answering my questions and the great tips!"

- Richard D., RAMCO SharePoint Student