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How do you learn office tech in a hurry?

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Question: "It looks like my new job is going to require a little more office tech knowledge than I was prepared for. Just today I was asked to do something in Excel I wasn't sure how to. What do other admins usually do when they get stuck like this and the clock is ticking? What's their 'escape route' for finding a fast solution under deadline pressure?" - Mary, Registrar's Assistant

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

VL February 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

You can go on This site offers FREE self learning in various software programs.

Hope this helps


KH February 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm

I Google or uTube for answers. Also asked my manager if I could buy an excel tech book and he agreed. Between the books, uTube and Google I rarely need to ask anyone for help.


Sf January 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm

I’ve found it’s very wise to make friends in all areas of support that are the SME’s “Subject Matter Experts”, Accounting, IT even Marketing. I can defer to them when I can’t find an answer online (Google). This has been instrumental throughout my career.


Marietta January 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

Yes, these two options I have used, and asking someone in the accounting department, they use Excel constantly.


JoAnn January 30, 2017 at 7:03 am


Seriously, nothing you need to do hasn’t been done before. There are several reputable sites out there with information how to do it. Anytime you see a response by someone who is an Excel MVP, heed their advice!!


Pauline January 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

Never say that you don’t know how to do it. Check on Google or find someone that knows. I have had great results using Google with something I wasn’t familiar with.


Lisa January 27, 2017 at 8:13 am

As everyone here says – Google is your best friend and for more in-depth learning. I love the idea of support support groups within the organization!


Madeline Case January 27, 2017 at 12:02 am

Use Help in Excel. It always works for me. Also, if possible buy a good book primarily about working in Excel. There are usually great tips and tricks mentioned.


KL January 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm

One of my favorite sites for overall free training is: And if you google the question – just use your own words. Don’t try to be “fancy” – you will be amazed at the ability to get information.


Sandi January 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Yes, Google and also the ? for help within the software. Also, try You-Tube for How-To information. There’s a wealth of videos which not only tell you, but show you how to do stuff.


Dana Boothe January 26, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Yes, Google. If I find I am stuck, Google is my go-to. I can usually find my answer in less time with Google that it would to find someone to ask and walk me through it.


Karen January 26, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Everybody has already recommended Google. It’s my go to for any question on how to do something in any software program. You have to have a good basic knowledge of the program. But everybody gets stumped once in a while on some new assignment. And that’s where Google is helpful.


Val Blackburn January 26, 2017 at 4:18 pm

If I don’t have a fellow admin to ask, I use Google as the others have suggested. It helps being a part of IAAP so that there is a ready community of admins to tap into.


Peggy January 26, 2017 at 4:18 pm

I find that hitting the “?” is a great way to get the answers you need! Sometimes you really have ask several diffent ways befor eyou get the answers you need, but it’s handy, it’s easy and it delivers!


Stephanie January 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm

2 best options for any program/how-to questions are Google and the Help feature of the program.


Tara January 26, 2017 at 4:10 pm

My two main methods are emailing our Admin group at work and Google. Especially with Excel! and Star12 are also great resources for taking self paced webinars/e-Learnings for when you have more time.


Dawn January 26, 2017 at 4:05 pm

I created an Administrative Support Group for the employees of our county. Anytime someone from a different department/building has a question, they can send an e-mail to the group. Normally someone within the group has an answer within minutes of the e-mail.


Bridget McCort January 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm

You can google practically anything, especially in Microsoft programs. There are tons of Youtube videos, you can try, and networking with other admins.


Bridget McCort January 26, 2017 at 4:01 pm

That should be :)


KS January 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

A few different options: ask a nearby coworker, call your help desk, use the help feature in the program, look up what you need to know via google.


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