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What’s the best business reference and training material?

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Question: “I’m a long-time admin, and I need to update myself on correct business and correspondence practices. I also need to train our receptionist to use Word and how to do admin-type work. What business reference and training material would you recommend?” — Linda Smith


Any tutorials you can lay your hands on (I learned how to use Windows--coming from a DOS-based application was quite a transition--and the Microsoft Office Suite that way) I would highly recommend. Also, your local community college or technical college may have some references in their book store and/or library. I learned intermediate Access that way. Good luck!

Your local bookstore may also have a good selection (sometimes less expensive than the college store) and I would also try Amazon.com. Some of their books have a "look inside" preview.

Try "The Organized Executive" by Stephanie Winston and "The Gregg Reference Manual". I also keep "A Manual of Style" (U. of Chicago Press) on my desk.

The Gregg Reference Manual answers all of my grammar/usage/formatting and other written communication questions. I highly recommend it. There are free online tutorials for Microsoft products at office.microsoft.com or if you want to buy a book, I always like the "for dummies" series.

The Gregg Reference Manual is just understood. Microsoft has a "Help and How-to" section at http://office.microsoft.com

You can print pages from here and make your own manual on specific functions of Word and Excel.

Currently I was in a position where I had to train a new admin. I wrote down every single task - big and small - that I do and how I do it. Which departments/vendors to contact as well as small training pages on our company's software. Once I was done, it looked really good. The new admin even commented on how helpful it is.

The "For Dummies" series is very good to get into the basics of the various MSOffice programs. However, if you have been using the programs (or an older version) for awhile & are interested in learning more advanced functions or the new capabilities, I highly recommend the series from QUE Publications.

They are very thick & not something to be read cover-to-cover. They are reference books. The index is always excellent, enabling one to learn tasks & techniques on an as-needed basis.

This is the absolute best online training I have ever come across. The best part about it is it's all FREE! Most classes are on the average of 6 weeks. They email you a chapter every week and you take it at your own pace. There are a ton of training items to choose from. Check it out!


Wendy Peek
Dallas, TX

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