Friday, August 8, 2008

Three Shortcuts that Made my Office Life Simpler

Like many of you, I work at a computer for up to 8 hours a day. Some days I attend needless meetings all day, but for the most part I am staring at the screen. Like most every corporate schlub I use Microsoft Word and Outlook more than any other programs (followed closely by Mozilla Firefox).

I found myself constantly searching for my most used tools in the menu bar. So I decided to take action to make my life easier.

1. Strikethrough: In Word or in Outlook, sometimes I am editing copy someone sent me, or crossing off things on my weekly project list. I don't want to delete them because I like referencing back. Do I really need to go through Format > Font > and then click the strikethrough checkbox?(which took me quite a while to find by the way). No of course not, there's an easier way.

  1. Right click on a blank area of the toolbar.
  2. Go to Customize.
  3. Under the Commands tab go to Format.
  4. In the right pane, when you see Strikethrough, you can pull that drag and drop that into your toolbar anywhere you want.
    I put mine next to the underline. --->

2. Word Count: Simple. When you right click on a blank part of the toolbar in Word, you can just check Word Count and it's added to the toolbar. Helpful if you are writing a paper for school or if your graphic designer can't fit your lengthy description into the alotted space and needs you to cut down.

3. Outlook Reference Flags
: Flagged emails remind me to follow up. But they can do more than that in Outlook 2003. And I'm neurotic enough to have a color coded flag toolbar:

- Waiting for Reply (I sent something out and they never replied!)
GREEN - Needs Action (I need to do something about this)
BLUE - Needs Reply (They need an answer from me)
YELLOW - Reference (Helpful when I need to find something)
ORANGE - Just a Reminder (Usually something I emailed to myself)
PURPLE - Personal (Just there for kicks)

You can add these flags by:
  1. Customize > Toolbars > New.
  2. Name it "Flags" and check the box so it's on.
  3. Now Customize > Commands > Categories > Action.
  4. Drag the flags to your tool bar.
  5. Then right click the flags and click "Image and Text" and name them whatever you want. Some people want 'Phone Call, Review, Forward'. Or maybe you work best with deadlines: 'Today, Tomorrow, Next Year'.
  6. Now when you have a message selected you can just click the flag on the toolbar to apply it to the message! YAY!
Look for my Excel tips coming up!

No comments: