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Some Best Practices to Help you Be Your Best

A “Best Practice” is typically defined as a procedure that is accepted or recommended as being the most correct or most effective.  There are any number of best practices for software, and productivity, that today’s Office software supports and is designed for.  Here are some of our recommendations to help you become a more effective worker.

Excel is used more often than ever to analyze data and identify trends or provide predictive reports for your business.  For data analysis, there are invaluable features designed to effectively find and analyze data. One simple feature is the use of Tables in Excel.  By converting a simple list to a table and creating a header row, you have a variety of options available to pinpoint information, including selecting certain values in a field (column), excluding certain values, and all the sorting options on the full list or the subset you’ve identified.

Another “must use” reporting feature is the Excel PivotTable.  PivotTables allow you to summarize, analyze, explore, and present your data, with more sophistication than a basic table as described above. With a PivotTable, you can rearrange your data to match your business need.  Your data should be organized in a table format, allowing the PivotTable to give you a snapshot of your data with the flexibility of changing your reporting criteria with a simple drag and drop of data fields.

In Word, layout is critical in presenting a professional and easy to read document.  Whether you're producing a flyer, form, catalog or other type of complex, layout-intensive document, you should use tables (instead of text boxes) to easily manage alignment, formatting changes, or form controls. 

Outlook signatures save you time and provide a consistent piece of text you can use "as is" or in the body your email message.  You can create and name dozens of signatures. This is especially useful when providing answers to common questions or “boilerplate” responses to internal or external messages. 
In PowerPoint, best practices come down to a simple formula: theme, slide master, layouts, slide content (in that order).  Most decks are designed from the content, and users spend countless hours backtracking to change colors, fonts, layouts, etc.  By starting with your theme, you choose the font, color, and effects in the beginning, and can change the theme any time and automatically update these items with a single click. 

 

Contact RAMCO today to ensure that you are skilled in the features you need to know to master the Best Practices for Microsoft Office programs.

 

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