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By Garrick Chow | Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Acrobat DC: What You Need to Know About the New Line-Up

the new Acrobat DC

Adobe recently released the latest versions of Acrobat, as well as the new Acrobat Reader and two brand new mobile apps—all of which aim to make it easier to complete, sign, save, and send forms.

Find out what else is new (revised interface!) and other important tips (download trial first!) about the new versions of this popular PDF-authoring and -management tool.

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, May 10, 2015

From Galloping to Gaga to lynda: A Life Learned Online

2015_05_10_PauletteHero

Paulette Perhach can do a lot of things that most people can’t.

She can carry four full dinner plates at a time. She can gallop on a horse. She can split names into two columns in Excel, craft subplots in a fictional story, and do the dance from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. She can make quail traps, tie fancy bows on presents, and produce podcasts.

And she learned it all online.

Just how did she come to acquire this eclectic set of skills? And well … why?

Having graduated college only to realize that she possessed very few useful life skills, Paulette took to the Internet to fill in the sizeable gaps.

“Before I really took control of my own education, I felt like life was always coming at me: another late bill, another bounced check, another photo from a place I wished I could travel to,” says the Seattle resident. “So I started making it a practice to educate myself for 10 minutes a day.

“And life started getting better …”

By Laura Bergells | Saturday, May 09, 2015

You Might Be in Crisis Communication — and Not Know It

crisis communication

I worked in crisis communication for years before I knew that’s what it was called.

In the 1980s, I worked on AIDS-in-the-Workplace policy and training. In the ‘90s, I spent two years researching a report with the actual phrase “A Community Crisis” in it. A training program to prevent executives from being kidnapped and blackmailed? Yes, I was assigned to that “special project,” too.

I wish I would have known all along that I was working in crisis communication; it would have saved me years of quiet frustration. I’d find myself wondering, “Why do I keep getting yanked off my regular work to go work on these other issues? Why do I suddenly have two bosses? Am I going to get fired?!”

Ironically, if I’d known I was working on “crises”—I would have been more calm and confident.

By Justin Seeley | Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unplug for Better Focus, Sleep … and Marriage?!

unplug for better focus

We live in a world where things are constantly begging for our attention. Text messages, Snapchats, Tweets, and Hangouts are always drawing our focus away from the real world and towards the digital one.

The problem is that the more we become a slave to these “social” applications, the more unsocial we become in real life.

This always-connected way of life also has a harsh effect on our sleep cycles, which can lead to a wealth of other problems related to your health.

These are all reasons why I’ve instituted “quiet hours” at my house—times when I completely unplug from my devices. And life has never been better.

By Anson Alexander | Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Three Reasons You REALLY Should Learn to Type

learn to type

Learning how to type properly may not be your top priority—but maybe it should be.

According to a study by technology market research firm The Radicati Group, the average number of emails sent and received per person per day will rise from 122 in 2015 to 126 in 2019.

Beyond that,  think of all of the instant messages you send, documents you compose and searches you perform on a daily basis.

The faster you can type, the faster you can complete all of these tasks—and the more productive you can be.

Here are three reasons you really should learn to type. (And just the type of training you need.)

By Gini Courter | Monday, April 27, 2015

Use Outlook Time Zones to Make Travel Easier

outlook time zones tools make travel simple

As a frequent flyer, I rely on my Outlook calendar and its three travel-related tools to build and manage my travel schedule—so I’m not constantly taxing my jetlagged brain with time-zone math.

First, when I’m scheduling my work in another time zone, I display a second time zone on my calendar so I can accurately visualize my appointment times.

Second, I use the Time Zone feature to display the correct local time zone in all my travel-related appointments.

Finally, whenever possible, I download my travel appointments to my calendar.

These travel tools make it wicked easy to correctly keep tabs on time zones as you travel. Here’s how:

By Garrick Chow | Sunday, April 26, 2015

From Paper to Prezi, Tackle Your Project with Mind Mapping

mind mapping helps organize your thoughts

Whenever you start a new project or pursuit—whether it’s writing a paper, preparing a speech, or making a decision—one of the toughest hurdles is just getting your thoughts organized.

You often have many of the key pieces of information in your head, but you haven’t yet structured them into coherent thoughts. Or you might not yet have identified which pieces are missing.

An increasingly popular technique for organizing and planning a project, and one I’ve been using more and more frequently, is the practice of mind mapping.

I’m going to show you how to organize your ideas with mind mapping — using pen and paper, or software like Prezi.

By Todd Dewett | Monday, April 20, 2015

Online Learning Boosts Employee Engagement

Employee engagement lifts when training is available

Employee engagement matters. It improves morale, productivity, and retention. Stronger engagement means stronger performance.

Many factors influence engagement, including the quality of the leader-follower relationship, trust in management, and the use of recognition and rewards.

Career-development activities—especially training—are another strong and sometimes overlooked contributor to engagement. This is particularly true in the managerial ranks. While we know that management-related training produces better managers, companies still don’t always provide it.

One reason has always been cost, but that simply isn’t an excuse with today’s online learning options. In fact, it’s now possible to add more value than we did back in the classroom—at a fraction of the cost.

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