10+ reasons to use SkyDrive - TechRepublic

by Kaschimer 13. January 2014 03:32

“Everyone wants to work smarter, and SkyDrive helps users and organizations do so in two ways: file sharing and access. It takes only a few clicks to share and access files using a number of compatible devices and from almost any geographical location.”

I use SkyDrive nearly every day. It has a great integration feature into Windows 8.1 and MS Office which I love. The only bad part is that my regular job blocks *all* offsite file storage locations (SkyDrive, DropBox, etc.) so I can only use it outside of their network.

Go check out the article. Lot’s of good information there.

10+ reasons to use SkyDrive – TechRepublic

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Home Office | Productivity | Tools

10+ dos and don'ts for using Office templates - TechRepublic

by Kaschimer 6. January 2014 04:27

“Templates are one of Office's least used and most misused features. Office templates aren't particularly intuitive, and misunderstandings regarding their proper use hinder users. On the other hand, once users finally get it right and experience an increase in productivity, they're hooked. These tips will help you generate and apply templates correctly.

This article focuses on user templates. If you're developing, distributing, and administering templates for a large organization, you probably won't learn anything new. However, you can share these tips with the users you support and perhaps thwart a few troubleshooting headaches down the road. “

10+ dos and don'ts for using Office templates - TechRepublic

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Microsoft Office | Productivity

The 10 most important things to teach your Outlook users | TechRepublic

by Kaschimer 13. February 2012 03:11

I love Outlook. Use it everyday in every way possible. I am always looking for tips and tricks on how to use it better. Here is a list of 10 things to help Outlook users use it to become masters of this great tool. I suggest clicking through to the site for all the details, but the list is reproduced here.

  1. Be aware of the different versions of Outlook available and that not all features are available in all versions
  2. Good training can help prevent embarrassing mistakes
  3. Protect yourself against viruses, phishing, hoaxes, etc.
  4. Customize the interface to suit your needs
  5. Be aware that email is stored locally
  6. Data files can become very large
  7. Data files can be repaired if they become corrupted
  8. Data files should be backed up
  9. Archiving email is a good practice to follow
  10. Learn how to avoid spam filters
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The 10 most important things to teach your Outlook users | TechRepublic

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Microsoft Office | Productivity | Tips

6 ways to ensure your email gets read

by Kaschimer 13. February 2012 02:49

From Microsoft At Work

Do you struggle with people not reading your email? Do you want to give your emails the best chance possible to get read? This list of tips from Microsoft At Work may help.

I would suggest clicking through to the site to get the full information. I am just reproducing the tips below.

  1. Make the purpose of the message clear
  2. Tell recipients what action you want them to take
  3. Provide the proper data and documents
  4. Send the message only to relevant recipients
  5. Use the CC line wisely
  6. Ask “final questions” before you click Send
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6 ways to ensure your email gets read

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General | Productivity | Tips

How to improve your wireless network and boost its signal

by Kaschimer 13. February 2012 02:41

From Microsoft At Home

Good tips for improving the reach and reliability of your wireless network, whether you are a home user or a business user. Go to the site for the full information. I’ve reproduced just the tips below.

  1. Position your wireless router, modem router, or access point in a central location
  2. Move the router off the floor and away from walls and metal objects (such as metal file cabinets)
  3. Replace your router's antenna
  4. Replace your laptop's wireless PC card-based network adapter
  5. Add a wireless repeater
  6. Change your wireless channel
  7. Reduce wireless interference
  8. Update your firmware or your network adapter driver
  9. Pick equipment from a single vendor
  10. Upgrade 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g devices to 802.11n
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How to improve your wireless network and boost its signal

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General | Home Office | Productivity | System Maintenance

Outlook Best Practices - From the Outlook Blog

by Kaschimer 4. October 2011 07:54

So… I use Microsoft Outlook as my email client. I have for years. And like a packrat, I tend to not delete things. As a result, at times, I feel like my Outlook is more like “Out-of-control”look.

I found a series of videos over on the Outlook blog that are very useful. Outlook Best Practices. Go figure. I liked the series so much I decided that I would embed the videos below for your enjoyment and education.


1. Getting Started

2. Folders

3. Categories

4. Tasks

5. Search folders

6. Rules

7. The Four D's

8. Scheduling

9. Maintaining the system

Good stuff. Watch. Learn. Change. You can do it. I am certainly trying

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Microsoft Office | Productivity

10 things you should still do to every Windows PC

by Kaschimer 1. August 2011 01:00

This is a good article from TechRepublic. It's applicable to both "back to school" computers as well as more general use at home or for your business.

The "things" are:

  1. Prepare it for the Internet
  2. Turn on ClearType and adjust your Desktop settings
  3. Configure the file system
  4. Set the screen resolution, refresh rate and DPI
  5. Activate Windows
  6. Copy over your browser shortcuts
  7. Install any needed applications
  8. Uninstall the crapware
  9. Set up your email and your homepage
  10. Backup your harddrive and registry (just in case...)
Please click over to the article to read the full details. You'll see there is an additional item about installing power toys, but that's only applicable for Windows XP which is not sold any longer...

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General | Productivity | System Maintenance

How to Map Skydrive as Network Drive in Windows

by Kaschimer 19. March 2011 10:41

So, Windows Live Essentials gives you access to a great tool called SkyDrive. From the SkyDrive website:

Store, access, and share thousands of documents, photos, and Microsoft Office files on Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive password-protects your files so you control who has access to them.

SkyDrive gives you 25 GB of disk space. A great way to keep backups, or put your documents “in the cloud” so you can access them from anywhere.

The SkyDrive website is nice and allows you to upload files, but I went looking for a way to map SkyDrive as a network drive on my computer, so I don’t have to go to the website to do all my work. And also so I could save documents from my applications to SkyDrive instead of my computer.

This site gives a nice step-by-step guide to doing just such a thing. It requires a download of a free tool from the CodePlex website (only to get the specific URL that you need to map to).

One thing that you will need to pay attention to when walking through the steps is that there is actually a misprint. In the article, it tells you that the format of the modified url is:


But really, the modified url should be the format:


The rest of the article should work as advertised. Note: You do  not need Office 2010 installed in order to access this. Once you have a Windows Live account and have signed up for your SkyDrive account, you simply need to map the drive and you will be able to save/open/modify documents directly from SkyDrive by using the drive letter you mapped it to (in my case, Z:)

Give it a try. A nice option for documents “in the cloud”

How to Map Skydrive as Network Drive in Windows

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Home Office | Microsoft Office | Productivity | Tools | Cloud

How to Create PowerPoint Handouts

by Kaschimer 26. August 2010 04:01

This article was originally posted on Online Tech Tips (Copyright 2007, Assem Kishore)

Although PowerPoint is electronic slide creation software, printable handouts serve an important role both for the presenter and an audience. In this article, we’ll discuss your options for creating great PowerPoint handouts and purpose behind doing so in the first place.

Why Create PowerPoint Handouts?

Since PowerPoint is a software program designed to create electronic slide presentations, it may appear counter-intuitive to create printable handouts from your finished presentation. However, there are three main reasons you should consider creating handouts.

First, if your presentation’s content is particularly complex, offering printed handouts to your audience can help your audience members keep track of where you are in the presentation to keep them informed and up to speed.

Second, every audience member can walk away from your presentation with the handouts for inspection later. This way, you don’t have to rely on your audience members’ memories to ensure they understood the message of your presentation.

Finally, if your presentation has any call to action items in it, printed handouts can remind your audience not only about the fact there is a call to action but also what they action was. This can help ensure that your presentation has a bigger impact on your audience again without having to rely on the audience’s memory.

How to Create PowerPoint Handouts

Open any PowerPoint presentation you have created and click on the View tab on the Ribbon. With the View tab active, click on the button labeled Handout Masterin the section titled Presentation Views.

Click on the Handout Master Button in PowerPoint

You’ll notice that there is a new tab on the Ribbon labeled Handout Master. This is the tab that contains all of the handout options available to you in PowerPoint. Notice that by default, PowerPoint places six slides per page. Although this is usually a good choice, you need to decide whether this is the best layout for your handouts.

If your slides contain very basic information in large fonts, you may opt to change the number of slides per page to nine. If your slides contain detailed information such as charts or small type, you should choose a lower number of slides per page such as four or two.

Rarely should you choose one slide per page unless your slides contain very detailed information that is vital to the presentation. To change the number of slides per page, click on the button labeled Slides Per Page and make your choice.

Click the Slides Per Page Button in PowerPoint

Another important choice to make when it comes to PowerPoint handouts is the orientation of the page. By default, PowerPoint offers you a portrait page orientation.

However, since PowerPoint slides are almost always wider than they are tall, landscape orientation makes more sense. To change the orientation of your slides from portrait to landscape, click the button labeled Handout Orientation and choose Landscape from the menu.

Click the Handout Orientation Button in PowerPoint

To the far right of the Ribbon, you will notice a button labeled Page Setup. Much like a Word document, this is where you can change the margins and dimensions of the page.

How you change these variables for your handouts should be determined by how your slides are laid out and what information each slide contains. Make sure your slides are readable based on how small of a font you used and the complexity of the content on the slides.

Page Setup Options for PowerPoint Handouts

On the Placeholders section of the Ribbon, you can choose to add several options to your PowerPoint handouts including a HeaderFooterDate, and Page Number. A header or footer is a great place to put the title of your presentation and your name so people will know who created the handouts and who delivered the presentation.

Page numbers are a matter of preference but make a great way to help the audience find specific slides since you have a way to refer to which page a slide resides. Adding a date to your handouts is a good idea so people remember when they saw you give your presentation.

Placeholders Options for PowerPoint Handouts

The Edit Theme section of the Ribbon offers you an opportunity to setup the basic theme of your handouts. Keep in mind, however, that this will not change the theme of your electronic version of your presentation.

It turns out that themes that look great on a screen do not always print well. Using the Edit Theme section of the Ribbon, you can change the theme to a more printer-friendly version.

When choosing a theme for your handouts, remember that color slides do not look the same on paper when printed in black and white. Test your handout theme on a monochrome printer before making your final decision.

Choosing a Theme for PowerPoint Handouts

The Background section of the Ribbon lets you change the background printed on the handouts. Keep in mind that choosing a background for your handouts does not change the electronic version of your presentation; these backgrounds are applied to your handouts only.

Generally, few people choose a background for PowerPoint handouts because it creates an unprofessional appearance, detracts from the content of your printed slides, and wastes toner/ink when printed.

For these reasons, choose wisely if you decide to add a background to your PowerPoint handouts. Notice that there is also a button to Hide BackgroundGraphics while working on your handouts.

Choose a Background Style for PowerPoint Handouts

When you are done choosing the handout options for your PowerPoint presentation, click the Close Master View button and you are done. If you take the advice offered above seriously about creating readable and functional handouts, you should now have a nice set of PowerPoint handouts to offer your audience members.


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Home Office | Productivity | Tools

Moving from Google to Microsoft BPOS

by Kaschimer 25. August 2010 00:15

TechRepublic Webcast

Moving from Google Apps to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite

Serena Software, a leading software company in the application development and governance market, made headlines in 2008 when it decided to migrate all of their 600 employees from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. After months of user dissatisfaction, content loss and poor support, the company decided to make a full migration off of Google Apps to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite.

Join this live TechRepublic Webcast to hear from Ron Brister, Director of IT, Serena Software, as he shares his insights and his experiences on "Going Google" and how the company made the decision to embrace the cloud and ultimately choose Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite.

(Sponsored by Microsoft)

Moving from Google Apps to
Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite 

Date: Wednesday September 22nd, 2010
Time: 1:30 PM ET | 10:30 AM PT | 16:30 GMT
Sponsored by: Microsoft


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General | Productivity


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