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By Jolie Miller | Friday, August 16, 2013

The four phases of successful conversations

successful_conversations_blog

Explore this course at lynda.com.

Even the savviest communicators get nervous when it’s time to have a difficult conversation with colleagues, friends, bosses, neighbors, or family members. But as author and lynda.com director of learning and development Britt Andreatta shares in her latest course, difficult conversations can actually be opportunities to build better relationships on more solid ground.

Every difficult conversation that ends successfully shares these four elements:

By Jolie Miller | Monday, August 05, 2013

Optimizing small projects

Manage small projects effectively

How do you manage small business projects while staying on top of deliverables and deadlines? It’s easy to assume that small projects don’t require the degree of project management that larger projects do—that they’re simple enough to keep all the details in your head. But this is a dangerous assumption.

While it’s true that small projects shouldn’t require as much planning, management, or follow-through as larger, distributed projects, you’ll get much more out of your small projects with some careful forethought. Here are four tips to help keep your small projects on track:

By Jolie Miller | Friday, June 28, 2013

A playlist to prepare for your PMP exam

PMI Certification

Did you know there are over 500,000 certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) worldwide? If obtaining this prestigious credential is on your professional horizon, we’re here to help.

lynda.com has several courses you can use to develop your project management skills—whether you need to learn the basics of project management, how to manage small projects, how to keep your schedules on track, or smart ways to negotiate and talk through conflict. We’ve created a new Project Management playlist that brings all these courses together for you.

Along with the great advice provided in the playlist, I’d also like to share a few helpful tips that I wish I’d known before taking my PMP exam:

By Jolie Miller | Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A playlist for job hunters

Looking for a job?  We've got a new playlist of courses that can help.

Whether you’re making a move to a new industry, joining the workforce after high school or college, or looking to take your skills in a new direction, job hunting can be a rewarding experience. If you’re prepared and you’ve done your research, the experience can help you discover your own strengths—and uncover areas where you need improvement.

lynda.com has a playlist of courses to help while you’re on the hunt, including tips on proactively managing your career, negotiating an offer, and building your professional connections in between. We even have a short interview with the Director of Career Services at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who shares her favorite tips for finding the perfect job in your next career move.

Along with the playlist, here are a few tips that have helped me over the years. Consider them while you’re hunting for a new job:

By Jolie Miller | Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Learn to manage teams for the first time

lynda.com has a new playlist of Business courses aimed especially at those who are managing people for the first time. Whether you’re stepping into management for the first time or simply managing teams at a new company, these courses are designed to help both you and your team add value to your company.

New Manager FundamentalsThinking Like a LeaderManaging TeamsLeading Productive One-on-One MeetingsDelegating Tasks to Your TeamCoaching and Developing EmployeesConflict Resolution Fundamentals

One of my favorite tips from this collection of courses is the “Looking back to move forward” video from Managing Teams, in which author Dr. Todd Dewett reminds us how important it is to look back and discover the history and norms that have been guiding a team and department. It’s also handy to build a concise working record of your team and department’s history: the key players, decisions, successes, and challenges that have made your team what it is today. Think of this as a legacy document that helps you chart your future.

Congratulations on this next step in your career!

Interested in more?

View and watch this playlist • Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com

By Jolie Miller | Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Harnessing the productivity of Lotus Notes

If you’ve been interested in learning Lotus Notes but haven’t been quite sure where to begin, Up and Running with Lotus Notes offers an introduction to the features of Lotus Notes and how to use them, including discussion of the integrated email, database, calendar, and address book features.

In this movie from chapter two of the course, author Jess Stratton digs into the integrated email feature and shows you how to customize your Lotus Notes email inbox to display and sort emails to coincide with your workflow preferences.

Feeling comfortable with email, but looking for a way to speed up your Lotus Notes productivity? Here’s a quick list of Jess’s favorite Lotus Notes keyboard shortcuts:

Insert key allows you to toggle between read and unread marking for messages

Ctrl+m creates a blank new e-mail

Enter closes the open document you’re working on and opens the next document in  your view

F1 gives you targeted and context-relevant help

F5 locks your Notes client so you can rest assured your data is safe when you step away from your desk

Whether you just started using Notes for a new job or have been using it for years but never knew how to harness its full potential, this course teaches you the basics you’ll need to use the Sidebar, keep track of calendars and to do’s, and take advantage of Sametime instant messaging and other Notes applications.

Interested in more? • The full Up and Running with Lotus Notescourse on lynda.com • All business courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Time Management FundamentalsExcel 2010 Essential TrainingWord 2010 Essential TrainingEffective Meetings

By Jolie Miller | Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Introduction to using Evernote as a productivity tool

Evernote is a Cloud productivity tool and digital notebook that allows you to store various types of content, and access your content seamlessly from various devices—whether it be a smartphone, a PC, or a tablet. If you’ve ever wished you could quickly capture, store, or categorize all your conference business cards, or share your brainstorming notes with a team before meeting, Evernote may be the business solution for you.

In our new set of Evernote courses, Up and Running with Evernote for Mac and Up and Running with Evernote for Windows,  author David Rivers teaches you how to use the application’s productivity tools to become more productive yourself.

In this video from chapter X of the Up and Running with Evernote for Windowscourse, David introduces Evernote, and gives an overview of its functionality to help you get a feel for how you might see yourself using the digital notebook.

Evernote has a very extensive list of features, and applications. Here are a few stand-out functions:

  1. You can sync your Evernote account across multiple devices, including your PC, Mac, tablet, and smartphone, and have complete access to all your stored data, notes, and other items from all places.
  2. You can create notebooks to share collections of notes with certain teams. For example, your Marketing Ideas notebook can be a joint collaboration with the marketing team while your Recipes to Try notebook might just be one you share with your spouse so you’re both inspired when it’s time to plan meals.
  3. Thanks to Evernote’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, you can snap a picture that includes text, signage, or other lettering, and Evernote will recognize and store that data along with your picture, making it easy for you to search a keyword term and find the photo you’re looking for later.
  4. Advanced tagging features let you associate data with each note and notebook, so you can easily create a personal library of well-tagged notes that can be searched by keyword.
  5. Evernote’s Web Clipper, a new alternative to bookmarks in your browser, lets you save your favorite links easily for later perusal.

Evernote has made it easy for me to collect business course requests, jot and tag notes about inspiring business people, and keep running lists of multiple tasks. I also love being able to snap a quick photo of a white board with planning notes knowing I will be able to search for the image with keywords later on.

What do you use Evernote for? Please share with us in the comments section.

By Jolie Miller | Saturday, May 05, 2012

How to switch from Windows to Mac

If you’ve recently switched jobs, changed industries, or taken up creative endeavors on the side, you may be faced with the critical question: How do I go about switching from Windows to Mac?

In the most recent update to the Switching from Windows to Mac course, author David Rivers shows you how to switch from Windows to Mac OS X Lion, and he demonstrates smart ways to use files, folders, search, and applications in your new Mac interface. If you’re a Windows user ready to discover the Mac interface, efficient ways to get your work done, and new Mac shortcuts and tips that will save you time, David’s course is a good place to start.

In this tutorial from chapter one of the course, David discusses Mac terminology, and shows you how to understand, and refer to, the Mac equivalents of the Windows tools you may be used to using:

Here are a few of David’s favorite tips to help you switch from Windows to Mac:

1.  PC and Mac files have never been more compatible! If you currently use Microsoft Office on a PC, you can save your Office files to a DVD or a USB drive and work on those same files with Microsoft Office 2008 or 2011 for the Mac. No conversion necessary—the file formats are compatible. You’ll also find the same easy compatibility within other applications like FileMaker Pro, Quicken, QuickBooks, and many more.

2.  You may already be familiar with Windows Explorer as a tool for finding things on your computer. Once you switch, Mac’s Quick Look feature allows you to preview files you’re browsing before opening them. The Quick Look feature can be found by opening any file folder, and then clicking on the eye-shaped icon at the top of the window (see the image below for a visual). Clicking the Quick Look icon allows you to preview your files in a Quick Look pop-up, an instant slideshow, or full-screen. If you are a keyboard shortcut user, you can also highlight the item within your folder you want to preview, and press Command + Y on your keyboard to call up a Quick Look preview.

Mac Quick Look example

The Quick Look button can be found when you open any folder, or the Finder window.

Previewing an image with Quick Look.

Previewing an image with Quick Look.

If you found these highlights helpful, check out the full Switching from Windows to Mac course for more tips and tricks to help you make your transition as seamless as possible.

Interested in more? • The full Switching from Windows to Mac (2012) course on lynda.com • All business courses on lynda.com • All courses from David Rivers on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Mac OS X Lion Essential TrainingSmall Office Networking to Connect, Share, and PrintWord for Mac 2011 Essential TrainingExcel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

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