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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

By Jolie Miller | Friday, April 06, 2012

New interview format: Insights from a Business Coach

We just launched Insights from a Business Coach and are eager to hear how you like its interview format. In the course, veteran business coach and author Dave Crenshaw answers common questions about starting and growing a business, including the basics of entrepreneurship, ways to foster great customer relationships, social media marketing tips, pitching to investors, and planning ahead.

Which tips did you find most helpful? What kinds of questions would you ask a business coach? We look forward to your comments and feedback!

By Jolie Miller | Monday, April 02, 2012

How to envision, quantify, and achieve your goals

What would you do if you knew you’d be a success? Perhaps ask for a promotion? Brush up on your Photoshop skills? Start a business? Find balance between life and work?

In Achieving Your Goals, one of our March 2012 Business-segment releases, author Dave Crenshaw offers smart ways to envision and develop a quantifiable goal, turn your goal into actions, and share your commitment publicly to establish accountability. One tool Dave offers is a process called dividing to conquer, which focuses on tackling a big problem one small step at a time. Using the dividing to conquer technique, most projects can be broken down into two planning phases:

1. Set a vision for yourself and then determine how you’ll measure its success. For example, if my goal is to become an advanced Excel user, I may measure my success in minutes, knowing I’ve realized my vision when I’m able to cut report interpretation time from 20 to 10 minutes.

2. Break that measure of success into six-, three-, and one-month goals. For example, in six months, I’ll aim to be halfway there—having cut my Excel processing time from 20 to 15 minutes. Breaking it down further, at the one month mark, I’ll aim to have completed Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts, and in three months, I’ll aim to have completed several advanced Excel courses.

What are you going to achieve this year? Please let us know in the comments section.

Interested in more? • The full Achieving Your Goalscourse on lynda.comAll business courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Insights from a Business CoachTime Management FundamentalsCreating an Effective ResumeInvaluable: Unlocking Your Abilities

By Jolie Miller | Friday, March 16, 2012

Migrating to the cloud: What are your thoughts?

Evernote is one example of a popular cloud tool being used by businesses.

Evernote is one example of a popular cloud tool being used by businesses.

In 2012 lynda.com will be investing more time exploring the way both individuals and businesses are migrating to the cloud. Office 365, Gmail, Google Docs, Evernote, and Salesforce are only a few popular cloud tools finding permanent homes in businesses worldwide.

We’d love to know what matters to you as you consider integrating or migrating to cloud tools. What questions do you have about cloud computing? Which tools are you interested in? What do you and your business need to know?

Please leave us a comment to let us know what’s important to you and your business and which technologies hold the most promise for your daily workflow.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Interested in more?All business courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Up and Running with Office 365Gmail Essential TrainingGoogle Docs Essential TrainingGmail for Power Users

By Jolie Miller | Thursday, February 09, 2012

Developing your business savvy to become an invaluable team member

Have you ever wished you knew the keys to excelling at your job, understanding your market, or connecting meaningfully with your customers? In our second course in the Invaluable series, Invaluable: Developing Your Business Savvy, Dave Crenshaw teaches you how to become a student of your company, your market, and your customers.

Business savvy is surely something we all intend to develop as we go about our daily jobs. But in the bustle of heavy workloads and demanding responsibilities, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the things that define long term excellence, customer connections, and a clear picture of the market.

For example, how would you answer the following questions?

  1. What does my company want from me?
  2. Where is my company headed, and how do I fit with its direction?
  3. What’s happening in my field, and how does that affect me?
  4. What’s my competition up to?
  5. Who is my customer, and how can I serve that customer?

When I took some time to ponder these questions, I was pleasantly surprised by the volume of insights I gleaned in a short amount of time. Whether you’re beginning a new career or hoping to grow in your current role, you’ll find that Invaluable: Developing Your Business Savvy is full of practical tips to help you explore questions like these.

The quest to become an invaluable professional is one that’s full of self-discovery, tough questions, and big rewards. Please let us know how you’re enjoying your journey in the comments section.

By Jolie Miller | Friday, February 03, 2012

PowerPoint tips and tricks for business presentations

If your year is shaping up to include a lot of business presentations, PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations offers practical insider advice that will help you build painless presentations that convey your message in a way that is clear, meaningful, and engaging.

Author David Diskin starts the course with five quick tips you can use to make your PowerPoint presentations more effective, and continues throughout to offer his insights on ways to compose powerful, cohesive messages that resonate throughout your presentation. David also discusses how to apply successful slide design practices, ways to incorporate gestures, and suggestions for managing question-and-answer sessions. He closes the course with  a look at presentation skills, delivery tactics, and bonus tips to make your presentations run even more smoothly.

One of David’s favorite PowerPoint presentation tips is to add white space to your slides in order to make text more easily distinguishable and memorable.

For a sneak peek at this course, check out Sharing data with charts from chapter three (Successful Slide Design).

With David’s help and the right tips and tricks to guide you, you may be surprised by how fun a business presentation can be.

Interested in more? • The full PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations course• All business courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:PowerPoint 2010 Essential TrainingPowerPoint 2010: Audio and Video in DepthKeynote ’09 Essential TrainingDuarte Design, Presentation Design Studio

By Jolie Miller | Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Time Management with Outlook 2007 and 2010

Time management may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you open your inbox, but our two new courses, Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks and Outlook 2007: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks, suggest that email productivity is well within your grasp.

These courses are designed to help you create appointments and meetings with ease, use flagging and categories to corral all your inbox email, manage tasks and to-dos, and use Outlook Task List options.

Outlook 2007 users will appreciate author Gini Courter’s quick tip on how to create a task from an email (from chapter two of Outlook 2007: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks):

And if you’re using Outlook 2010, check out this handy method of viewing the task list and to-do list (from chapter three of Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks) :

If your inbox gets a steady stream of email every day, you’ll also appreciate these courses’ solid tips for capturing work in Outlook. Another suggestion from Gini Courter is to sort the items that require your action by priority and the amount of time each will take. This sorting then determines whether you set up a task or a calendar appointment and how you take next steps. For more on this, lynda.com members should check out the Capturing work in Outlook movie in the introduction chapter of both Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007 time management courses.

My new productivity motto: Enjoy your email, and make your calendar and tasks work for you in the new year!

Interested in more? • The full Outlook 2007: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks • The full Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendars and Tasks• All business courses on lynda.com • All courses from Gini Courter on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Outlook 2010 Power ShortcutsOutlook 2010: Effective Email ManagementOutlook 2007: Effective Email ManagementTime Management FundamentalsLinkedIn Essential Training

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