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Stay in step with technology … Don’t just buy the next big thing

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Microsoft Office Training,Office software,Office Technology

Often, we use a software program because it's available, not because it's the best one for the job.

And rushing to buy a new program also can cost you more in time and trouble (on top of the dollars) than if you'd made do with a program already loaded on your computer.

Before choosing which program to use for a job, answer these questions:

  • "What do we need to do ... now and in the future?"
  • "What features will save time and improve quality?"
  • "Will a new program work with other applications we already have?"
  • "Do we have the speed and memory to run it properly?"
  • "Can we export our existing work into the new software program?"
  • "Can we afford not only the software, but also the training to make maximum use of it?"
Don't overkill

If you're already familiar with a program that will complete the job efficiently, use it.

Example: Although Excel is a spreadsheet program, it can handle a simple database, such as a small list of mailing labels.

But if you're handling tens of thousands of entries and various types of data—not just simple numbers—and you want to analyze that data according to multiple parameters, you'll need the power of a program built specifically for databases, such as Access.

Coordinate programs

Never expect one program to do everything well. Sure, you could add images to a Word document and format columns to lay out a brochure. But, for professional results, you may need a combination of three programs.

Example: Word for entering and editing the text, Photoshop for adjusting images and Quark for laying out.

Using a program that's designed specifically for your purposes also will bring with it helpful extras, such as templates and image libraries that can make your job simpler.

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