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Project 2013 Tip: Using the Task Inspect Tool

The Task Inspect Tool was introduced by Microsoft in Project 2010 to help project managers have even more control on their project and help, especially in long and complicated projects, and to determine and track down the causes of slipping tasks, which can be very problematic.  Trying to determine which predecessor relationship is pushing the scheduled start date out can be difficult with linked tasks residing multiple screens away.

 

After you have added your tasks, assigned resources and set your predecessors, you can use the Task Inspect too to help manage the project easily, without the need to bring up the Task Information Dialogue box every time.

 

To get the Task Inspect Tool:

 

1) Go to Task Tab on the Ribbon and head to the Tasks Command Group

 

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2) Click on the Inspect command

 

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3) This will bring the Task Inspect Tool next to the Ghant Chart Table view in Project. Now every time you select a Task the Task Inspector will bring all the details (predecessors, Assigned Resources, Calendars…) up in a simpler view.

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As you can see from screen grab, the Task Inspector can also be useful if Resourced assigned to the tasks are over allocated and will give you possible solutions.

 

If you want to learn more about Microsoft Project, join our Microsoft Project course. You can also sign up to mailing list for more hints & tips on Project and other MS applications.

Article: Introducing Leadership Competencies in Star Wars

J.J. Abram’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens burst into cinemas last month like a force-choke out of hell, smashing most sales records as surely as the Empire smashed the rebels on Alderaan.

 

The remarkable cinematic success was exactly what the Star Wars franchise needed, and was a glowing confirmation that Disney’s purchase of LucasFilm in 2012 for over $4 billion was the right move.

 

I loved the film and everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen it so far agrees.

 

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Prior to me seeing the movie, over the Christmas holiday, I took the opportunity to have a Star Wars marathon for the first time since the second trilogy came out a decade ago, and it reminded me how much Star Wars characters impacted us. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and others have taken their place in our memories, much like James Bond or Superman have done over the decades. However, I believe the Star Wars’ characters remind us of the people we need in every season of our life and their certain characteristics are those which healthy leaders intentionally maintain.

 

So let’s look at Leadership Competencies in Star Wars. Why? Because it is more fun that way.

 

I’ve realised that writing about all of them in one long article, could be very discouraging to read, so instead I separated them in nine blog instalments which will be rolled out over the course of 2016 and will each focus on the importance of a particular competency of leadership: passion, humour, courage, integrity and trust, energy/vitality/enthusiasm, building a team, setting priorities, creativity, and vision. The idea behind this is to identify and define these components of character.

 

Our first blog will look at the Leadership Competency: Passion. This is perhaps is the most controversial subject in Star Wars between the codes of Jedi and Sith.

 

Stay tuned. I’ll look forward to your comments, challenges and opinions along the way.

Microsoft Outlook Tip: Creating Email signatures

In this tip, we will guide you on how you can create your own personal email signature which can be added to the end of each email that you send from Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010. A new start for a New Year!

 

Having a signature which contains your contact details means that the recipient is more likely to remember your details, especially if you have a healthy backward-forward dialogue going with them through emails. The recipient will also know who they need to talk with and their position within the company, ensuring that they are dealt with by the right person and in the most effective way.

 

Microsoft Outlook Tools

 

To set up your own custom Microsoft Outlook signature in 2007, follow these simple steps:

 

  • Select Tools > Options > Mail Format tab.
  • Click Signatures > and go to the E-mail Signature tab > New.
  • Type the new signature’s desired name.
  • Click OK.
  • Type the desired text of your signature under Edit signature.
  • You can use the formatting toolbar to format your text, or insert an image in your signature.
  • Click OK.

 

 

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To set up your own custom Microsoft Outlook signature in 2010 , follow these simple steps:

 

  • Select the Home tab > and click New Email.
  • In the Message tab > Signature > and click Signatures.
  • This will bring up a Signatures and Stationery box.
  • Click New and type the name of what you wish to call your signature, and click OK.
  • Type the desired text of your signature under Edit signature.
  • You can use the formatting toolbar to format your text, or insert an image in your signature.
  • Click Save > OK.

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If you would like to read more Microsoft Outlook tips, please visit our Outlook Tips page.

 

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Outlook, then you should book yourself on one of our Microsoft Outlook Training Courses. Just give us a call or drop us an email; we are more than happy to help!

Microsoft Word Tip: New Years Resolutions

With a New Year lurking around the corner, it’s around that time when people start to make New Years Resolutions, So here’s how you can use Microsoft Word to assist your goals.

 

 

Microsoft has features so that you can bullet point everything that you would like to accomplish, you can also highlight and underscore important sentences. By using Word you can also print out your document so you can tick things off and have it as a reminder to yourself.

Here’s a rough idea… media

 

To be able to create bullet points, select the text you would like to change and just simply click Home and then click the 3 dots to access the bullet point tool.

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We hope you found this helpful and that you have a wonderful New Year.

Microsoft Word Tips : Table of Contents

TImagine you’re working with a really long document in Microsoft Word, like an academic paper or a big report. Depending on the project, it might be dozens or even hundreds of pages long! When a document is this large, it can be difficult to remember which page has what information. Fortunately, Word allows you to insert a table of contents, making it easy to organize and navigate your document.

A table of contents is just like the list of chapters at the beginning of a book. It lists each section in the document and the page number where that section begins.

You could create a table of contents manually—typing the section names and page numbers—but it would take a lot of work. And if you ever decide to rearrange your sections or add more information, you’ll have to update everything all over again. However, with the right formatting, Word can create and update a table of contents automatically.

We’ll use Word 2013 to show you how to create a table of contents, but you can use the exact same method in Word 2010 or Word 2007.

Article: Time Management

The Most Important Time Management Technique

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Ever looked at your list of tasks wondering what to do first? Well, you are not alone.

 

 

The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) suggested that the results and the causes of those results are unequally distributed in the ratio of 80:20. The Pareto Principle, more commonly referred as the 80/20 Rule, states that:

 

  • 20% of your activities will generate 80% of your success, or
  • 20% of a well time managed effort will generate 80% of the desired results.

 

Although the ratio 80/20 is not always this precise, it is used to put emphasis on how much is lost or how much can be gained with time management. It is not a surprise that identifying the critical 20% is the key factor to success.

 

A simple Time Management course can certainly help you to learn some tips and tricks and teach you using yourtime efficiently. But what can we do NOW to minimise our time wastage?

 

The key in identifying those critical 20% is by prioritising your tasks. You may use the Eisenhower Method to help you with that. It said that former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower used this method in prioritising his daily tasks.

 

To determine your priorities you will need to use a matrix, where you evaluate each task according to its Importance and Urgency. If you use this matrix then you will need to focus on Important tasks. If your tasks are:

  • Important and Urgent, then do them immediately
  • Important but Not Urgent, then enter them into your calendar to keep track of them
  • Urgent and Not Important, then delegate them to a competent person
  • Not Urgent and Not Important are time wasters, so minimise them

 

This is common sense but you would be surprised how much this method will positively affect your productivity. For more info, read our future blog articles, or come to our Effective Time Management Courses.

Microsoft PowerPoint Tips: Finding Your Most Recent Documents

Finding recent documents has been made easier in Office.  Looking at PowerPoint 2007 and 2013 we will look at the differences between the ease of access.

 

When you need to find a certain document you needed to click Open from Office button then search through your documents looking for the right one.  With Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 you can find everything much easier.

 

If you click on the Office button on the top left and it comes up with the main menu and on it will be your most recent documents that you have worked on and saved.  So if you need to open up one of those documents again you can just click on it from that list and it’s done.  So it saves you looking through your documents trying to find the right one.

 

Recent Documents in PowerPoint 2007

 

This feature can also be done in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.  All you need to do is click Open from the File Tab and your Recent Presentations can be viewed straight away just like below.  In PowerPoint 2013 you are able to see the first slide, making it easier to remember what presentation you want.

 

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Read about our Microsoft PowerPoint Courses if you are interested in learning more.

Introducing Sway!

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In August 2015, Microsoft released a brand new software called, Sway – an online package to create and share your amazing stories, presentations and more!

 

It is a part of the Microsoft Office Online package; similar to Excel, PowerPoint, and Word Online. Sway can be used to create presentation style websites which are great for for telling stories or documenting an event. So how about having a go and documenting your fantastic Christmas and making it a one that no one will forget.

 

In a nutshell, Sway is an updated version of PowerPoint that is more user friendly. At a glance its easy to follow and if you wish to import media into your project then you don’t even need to leave the app.

 

Sway is currently available on Windows 10 and IOS, However it must be a downloaded app. alternatively it can be accessed through Office Online.

 

With Christmas just around the corner most families like to document the celebrations by videoing the special occasion, but using Sway takes it to another level. You can upload videos, pictures, and add text to a family friendly user face and share it directly to social media like Facebook and Twitter.

 

So check it out, and show us your results!

Office Christmas Offer

Since it’s Christmas, we’d like to give a gift back to all new and existing customers. We’re offering 3 courses for 2 people with £100 off.

 

So don’t hesitate as this is a popular deal and won’t be around forever. If interested then give us a call or drop us an email.

 

This offer is only valid till 31st December and is a limited time offer.

 

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Microsoft PowerPoint: Presentations Do’s and Don’ts

After much extensive research on Twitter, we worked out that the most used hashtag for PowerPoint was #dosanddonts. It was apparent that a lot of people wanted advice on how to produce a great PowerPoint but didn’t know how to keep it interesting and not too full on at the same time. So here are our best suggestions.

 

#DONTS

 

Minimal might be fashionable, however, no one likes a boring presentation. Creating something interesting is key, so make sure you avoid something like this at all costs.

 

There is nothing worse than black and white for a PowerPoint. It’s important to use the right colours so that it is eye catching and bold. Imagine that every slide is a billboard advertisement. It’s also crucial that you pick the right fonts, design, and layout. No one can take Comic Sans seriously and Times New Roman is is old and boring.

 

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There is nothing more annoying than something that is loud and in your face, so imagine reading a PowerPoint that had that effect. It can put a reader off instantly. Also, make sure that is doesn’t look childish. If it’s for business purposes, then it’s important to keep it looking professional and not look like a child has created it. Something that is definitely a big mistake, is writing too much information on one page so the audience has too much to read. Space your text out across multiple pages, let your PowerPoint ‘breathe’. Bullet points are great at creating easy reading.

 

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Its difficult to say what is a good PowerPoint presentation depending on what it is being used for, However, if it’s for profession business purposes then its easy to pick out what makes it look appealing.

 

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It does look more visually appealing if the fonts are matching and there aren’t a lot of different styles. It can also help if the layout is simple and not to busy; you don’t want distract the audience from what you’re trying to promote. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so grab the audience’s attention and say what you want with an image instead of lots of paragraphs.

 

We hope this Tip helped, for anymore questions for may have you can drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter.