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Office Technology

Business Management Daily is your source for office technology tips and training. WE provide keyboard-tested advice on Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and more.

It is said that people only use 10% of their brains. Are you only using 10% of your office technology? We’ll help you unlock the other 90%.

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Have you avoided Access, Microsoft’s database management application, in favor of Excel? Do you find yourself entering the same data again and again – just so you can use it for multiple purposes? There’s an easier way to manage all this data. This is your golden opportunity to put the power of Access to work for you.

Help a boss avoid “death by PowerPoint” by stealing presentation tips from the famously charismatic CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. Jobs is a gifted speaker, not necessarily because he was born with talent, but because he sticks to several strategies. Jobs uses presentation software as a tool to visually complement his stories.

Here are three great tools for creating to-do lists, collaborating on documents online, and viewing and modifying PDFs: 1. Best for tracking tasks: Doomi. 2. Best for word processing: Zoho Writer. 3. Best for viewing PDFs: Foxit Reader.

Use social media tools to capture innovative ideas directly from customers. Example: Men’s clothing company Bonobos ran a “Tweet4Trunks” campaign via Twitter. For 30 days, the company asked followers one question per day about strategy and new products ...

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates uses digital tools to get things done. No surprise there, but are you using any of his top tactics?

If you find it hard to keep up with Facebook, Twitter and other social-media tools, you’ll love this idea for a New Year’s resolution: Stop trying to keep up with social technology. Alexandra Samuel, CEO of Social Signal, says you could spend half your life trying to figure out the latest, greatest tool—so don’t even bother trying. To refocus your relationships:

You see them all the time. The paragraph of legalese at the bottom of e-mails that attempts to provide protection from misdirected e-mails. Do they do any good?

So much to read, so little time. Could speed-reading boost your productivity? Two programs promise to improve your reading speed: EyeQ and The Reader’s Edge.

You know a presentation is going badly when audience members start tapping on their BlackBerrys. These days, especially, it isn't easy to capture and hold a group's attention. Keep your presentation clear and effective with these PowerPoint tips:

When employees hunch over keyboards all day, all the motivational posters in all the break rooms of the world won’t improve their health. Solution: Deliver practical, actionable advice directly into employees’ e-mail in-boxes.

Keep internal office e-mail communications clear and efficient by asking everyone to stick to subject-line codes, says productivity expert Laura Stack. By using agreed-upon acronyms, people will know the gist and priority of an e-mail, without having to open it first. Example: Your team could use <AR> for “Action Required.”

Mobile coupons—text messages with discount codes sent to a cell phone—have become the latest time- and tree-friendly way to save money. No clipping and saving necessary. Sign up for good deals by subscribing to one of these mobile-coupon aggregators:

Tried Twitter but find the deluge of information-sharing too much to manage? If that sounds like you, these web sites and services can help you manage the chatter and enrich your communication:

The June 2008 issue of Fast Company features a cover story on ad agency Crispin Porter and the much-talked-about Apple campaign “PC vs. Mac.” On the cover is a photo of the agency’s creative honcho, Alex Bogusky, doing his best to look smug, self-assured, and ultra-cool.

Whether you’re plowing through an inspirational novel or a business best-seller, turn to these sources for transforming your hardcover into gigabytes: Sony Reader, Audible.com, eBooks.com.

California employees have a constitutional right to privacy. That doesn’t mean, however, that employers can’t monitor e-mail sent to and from company computers and servers. The key: a policy that makes it clear that transmittals are not private.

Avoid sending big files back and forth with your boss—try Dropbox, a virtual hard drive ... Hold a web conference free and invite up to 20 guests, with DimDim, which Inc. magazine calls the best in its class ... Print less by taking advantage of the less-popular settings in your Print dialogue box ...

I have a question about how to handle software training for our staff. We’re going to be upgrading all the PCs around the office over the next few months, and I’m worried that we’ll have a productivity slump. In particular with Windows 7 coming out, I have concerns that the new operating system and software will have a steep learning curve. We experienced that in spades with Windows Vista, and I don’t want a repeat. We have 18 employees who will be affected. Should we hire a trainer to come in? Send staff for off-site training? Rely on the software documentation and online support? I’d appreciate any advice.—Steve, NE

Delays, cramped seats, rundown hotel rooms—who needs ’em? Here are five web sites that can help you plan a trouble-free trip: FlightStats.com, Raveable.com, SeatGuru.com, TripIt.com, Packinglistonline.com.

Wrangle all your to-do lists into order with these four online tools: Springpad, Zoho.com, Cozi.com and the Things application:

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