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By Madeline Simmons | Friday, March 01, 2013

What is the difference between Office 365 and Office 2013?

Microsoft recently launched the new Office 365 as well as Office 2013. You are not alone if the various products have created confusion for you.

To clarify, Office 365 refers to the subscription models for Office, not a specific version, and it delivers the Office programs as part of your subscription. With online storage, sharing and syncing with the Microsoft cloud, Office 365 has features to make it easier for teams to collaborate and communicate with familiar applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

If you subscribe to Office 365 and are running Office on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine, you will see Office 2013 as your user interface. This means if you are a subscriber to Office 365, the lynda.com courses titled with version 2013 will be relevant and helpful for you. Microsoft is expected to push out updates to Office 365 on a quarterly basis, so over time we expect greater differences between these offerings. Rest assured, we are working to address the anticipated divergence between Office 365 and Office 2013 in our future training courses.

Suggested courses to watch next:

• Office 2013 New Features • Up and Running with Office Web Apps • Excel 2013 Essential Training

By Juliana Aldous | Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting to know Office 2013 and Office 365

Now that Microsoft has officially launched Office 365, we’d like to introduce you to our lineup of new Office training content.

You can use our new playlist feature to create your own personalized Office learning path. First determine which version of Office you’ll be using: Will you be starting with the cloud-based subscription Office 365? Or will you be taking the more traditional route with Office 2013? Note: if you are running Office 365 on a Windows 7 or 8, your version of Office will have the new features of Office 2013.

If you’re unfamiliar with the new Microsoft subscription model, I would suggest adding both David Rivers’s Up and Running with Office 365 and Curt Frye’s Up and Running with Office Web Apps to your playlist. David’s course introduces the Office 365 subscription model and how it works. Curt’s course takes you into the individual applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

The best course to start with to get an overall view of the latest Office features is David Rivers’s Office 2013 New Features. David walks you through the major applications in the suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, and Outlook. Get a peek at integrating Office with the cloud. David covers the changes to the user interface, key new features, and product enhancements.

Figure 1 David Rivers shows you the suite.

David Rivers shows you the suite.

Figure 2 David Rivers takes you through the changes in Office 2013.

David Rivers takes you through the changes in Office 2013.

Figure 3 David Rivers shows you how to use SkyDrive with Office 2013.

David Rivers shows you how to use SkyDrive with Office 2013.

Once you’ve watched Office 2013 New Features, you’ll probably be ready to dive into your favorite Office application. We have more coming over the next few weeks, but to start you off we have Essential Training courses ready for SharePoint, Excel, Word, Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

If you use SharePoint, start off with Gini Courter’s SharePoint Foundation 2013 Essential Training. The Essential Training covers all the basics and features. You’ll also get a deeper look at how SharePoint integrates with all the Office applications.

Excel 2010 Essential Training has been one of our most highly viewed courses. Dennis Taylor takes you through all the basics from organizing your data to working with formulas, worksheets, pivot tables, and charts in Excel 2013 Essential Training.

Next up is David Rivers’s Word 2013 Essential Training. Learn the basics of creating and editing documents, using templates and building blocks, sharing and collaborating in documents, and working with tables.

If Access is more your thing, then take a look at Adam Wilbert’s course on Access 2013 Essential Training. Adam demonstrates how to create and work with tables, forms, reports, and macros and how to use that data in other Office applications such as Excel and Word.

Our newest staff author and productivity guru, Jess Stratton, has two Essential Training courses for you: PowerPoint 2013 Essential Training and Outlook 2013 Essential Training. In PowerPoint 2013 Essential Training, Jess shows you the basics of creating, editing, working with, and sharing presentations. In Outlook 2013 Essential Training, Jess gives you a tour of the interface and teaches you how to create, send, organize, and read mail; use contacts; leverage productivity with tasks and notes; and manage your day with Outlook.

Keep an eye on our new release list for more.

Interested in more?

• All lynda.com Office courses • All lynda.com Business courses

By Jen Kramer | Monday, January 28, 2013

Manage unplanned expenses in your web projects

When working on a website design or redesign project, have you ever encountered small, unanticipated fees in the course of doing business? These might include costs for stock photography, fonts, content management system extensions, domain name(s), static IP addresses … the list goes on!

Rather than paying this cost from your own budget, or hitting the client up with a bunch of little fees (which gets annoying on both sides), consider quoting a separate line item for website design and development fees. I typically budget roughly 10 percent of the total for this. This is for any additional costs for assembling the site. There’s no guarantee you’ll use this at all, but if you need it, the money is there!

By Dave Crenshaw | Friday, January 25, 2013

Four steps to professional growth

Many of us understand the importance of investing money to make more money. A consistent investment strategy can help you gain a steady financial footing.

Do you have a similar plan to invest time in your professional development? Do you have a strategy to invest a little time to increase your value at your workplace?

I recommend these four steps to invest time in your professional development:

First, determine how much time, on a weekly basis, you are willing and have available to invest in your professional growth. For most people, somewhere between two and five hours a week is appropriate. Whatever you feel is appropriate, schedule that time in your calendar and set it aside as sacred.

Second, choose your area of focus. Pick an area where you don’t have responsibility yet or have yet to prove yourself. For instance, let’s say you’re a marketing assistant and want to become a marketing director. You may begin studying topics essential to becoming a marketing director and determining what types of projects and topics marketing directors initiate and manage.

Third, select your course materials for your area of focus. What do you need to study to reach your goal? As a lynda.com member, you have a wealth of classes to choose from in several areas. You can also create multiple playlists of courses that interest you and prioritize them to set learning goals. You might invest in relevant books and trade magazines or consult your local library for resources. You may also research software and company systems related to your desired position.

Fourth, make a commitment to deliver an assignment. Go to someone you know and respect and tell them what you are working on. Make a concrete commitment not only to the assignment, but also to a particular due date. Doing this will strengthen your personal commitment. It will also get the other person on your support team and possibly as an invested mentor.

These four steps are just a starting point for your professional growth. What other suggestions would you offer to help others invest in their own career? What actions have you taken that have helped you in your own career? Please comment on this page and I look forward to talking with you.

Interested in more?

• Courses by Dave Crenshaw on lynda.com • All lynda.com Career Development courses • All lynda.com Business courses

Suggested courses to watch next:

• Enhancing Your Productivity• Discovering Your Strengths• Building Your Professional Network

By Lorrie Thomas Ross | Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Three Ways to Connect with Customers During the Holiday Season

Marketing during the holidays can feel more like a “holidaze” for business owners and marketers. The busyness of the season can make connecting with new and prospective customers seem like a challenge. Since the holiday season is a unique time of year, let’s look at opportunities to make your marketing unique and authentic as well:

#1: Focus on your brand experience through service Keep in mind, a brand, more than just a name and logo, is an overall customer experience composed of your products, messaging, promotions, pricing, points of distribution, service, and more. Customer service is an important lever through which consumers can form positive associations with your brand and products. Fortunately, a good customer service experience can turn even potentially negative brand or product experiences into positive ones, such as creating positive word of mouth and building a compelling story of authenticity for your brand.

This holiday season is an ideal time of year to make first-rate customer service a priority. Promotions via email, social media messages, and online ads create a lot of noise on the web. Instead of trying to scream above the promotional noise, look at how you can quietly step up service. Give extra attention to the customers you have in your funnel with the best service possible. Service can be as simple as emailing your customers and providing them with relevant tips for this busy season, or asking them if there are ways you can help them.

#2: Focus on building relationships Your best customers are often your current customers. Have you critically looked at opportunities to build the business with the business you have? Take time to identify your best customers and make sure those customers feel appreciated during the holiday season. If you choose to give gifts, make sure they are meaningful gifts unique to your relationship or your company. If you don’t have a large gift budget, I have seen framed certificates with “Customer of the Year” awarded to customers, and simple team photos emailed with a personal greeting. You can make a big difference by sharing positive news on your website, blog, or newsletter that can remind customers why they chose to work with you in the first place.

#3: Say “thank you” If you are struggling with marketing messaging, then just focus on a heartfelt thank-you. A thank-you message can be shared as a blog post, delivered as an email, snail mailed as a personally written card, delivered on social media, and posted to your website.

Make your marketing matter this holiday season and approach things uniquely and authentically from the inside out. Bridge the art and science of marketing with a little heart to warm up your marketing!

Interested in more?

• Courses by Lorrie Thomas Ross on lynda.com • All lynda.com Business Skills courses

Suggested courses to watch next:

• Insights from an Online Marketer• Brand Building Basics• Sales Skills Fundamentals

By Colleen Wheeler | Friday, April 06, 2012

lynda.com Learning Path: Learning to make sense of data with Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is well-known as the industry-standard spreadsheet program, and it is really a veritable Swiss Army knife of an application. It can be used for anything from making a quick structured chart to a reasonably powerful database. The fact that it’s hard to pin down just how people want to use Excel—anything from managing finances to data presentation—is the precise reason our library is full of specialized Excel courses. So how do you find the courses that will suit your particular Excel needs best?

What if you’re not a math wiz and you just want to learn how to manage the deluge of data that’s coming your way? You could be trying to makes sense of painstaking measurements you’ve documented for your own personal goals, or you could be trying to wrangle a collection of raw numbers from your latest auto-generated sales report. Which of the lynda.com Excel courses are going to help you analyze those numbers so that you can communicate trends, build strategies, and create the justification for a call to action? In this learning path, I’ll take you through some key Excel courses designed specifically to help you manage your data so that it is accessible and useful to you in your life, your work, and your community.

1. Starting from square one: I just need to learn the core Excel features and where they live in my version of the program. First things first, you need to know what Excel can do and how to access the tools that might help your project. Whether you’ve never used Excel before or you’ve only touched it when you absolutely had to, the best place to get started is with Excel portion of our Essential Training series. If you’re using the most current version of Excel, start with Excel 2010 Essential Training, orExcel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, depending on your platform. If you haven’t updated to the latest version of Excel, we also have Excel 2007 Essential Training and Excel 2003 Essential Training available. Regardless of which course you choose, you’ll find everything you need to know to get started efficiently creating your first spreadsheet.

2. Sorting basics: I know how to create a spreadsheet, but I haven’t ever explored the key sorting features. If you’ve only performed the most basic of A>Z sorts, then our course on Managing and Analyzing Data in Excel will help you understand Excel’s quick and sophisticated options for sorting your numbers. For instance, you can teach Excel to recognize non-numerical information like months, days, or other human-centered data. Here’s a movie from the course on sorting based on the order of data in custom lists:

3. Investigating new perspectives: I know how to perform basic ranking and sorting functions, but I need to quickly see the data from different angles. When you have data that needs to be quickly analyzed from different perspectives, by year, by company, or against some other variable, a pivot table helps you dynamically rearrange your table data to find the answer you need. Our Excel 2010 course on Pivot Tables In Depth shows you how this powerful feature works. Even if you’ve never created a pivot table before, this course will walk you through the process. Check out this movie to see how they work and why they are so powerful for data analysis:

4. Preparing data for efficient and accurate analysis: I know how to use the tools, but the raw data I’m getting is inconsistent and in multiple formats. Sometimes you get handed automatically generated, or humanly created information that comes in formats that Excel doesn’t quite know how to read efficiently, if at all. To get some important tips and workarounds for making sure this data is consistent enough to sort, check out Cleaning up Your Excel Data. Here’s a great example on how to create Excel-readable dates from an inefficient mixture of raw date formats:

5. Ensuring valid results: I can perform all the key analysis functions, but my file is huge and I don’t have a way to check my results. Our Excel: Data Validation in Depth course is designed to reveal the various ways you can command Excel to double-check your results for accuracy. In this course, you’ll see how to use features within the program to perform validation on your outcomes. Check out this introductory video from the course to see what Excel tricks you can learn from Dennis Taylor:

Of course, beyond these five jumping-off points, there’s still an incredible amount to be learned about Excel, and we have a wide variety of courses to help you take your next steps. In the library, you’ll find that courses also have alternate options that coincide with earlier versions of Excel, so there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Speaking from personal experience, even as a Mac user, I know that sections of these courses have come to my own number-crunching rescue many times.

What sorts of tasks do you want to do in Excel? How can we help clear a path for you to get to that knowledge?

Interested in more? • See all the Microsoft Excel courses available on lynda.com.

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 Chelsea Adams | Saturday, March 17, 2012

Announcing lyndaEnterprise multi-user solution

LyndaEnterprise multi-user experience

Recently lynda.com released lyndaEnterprise, the newest lynda.com multi-user solution. lyndaEnterprise is an opportunity for any kind of company, whether you need to help designers keep their skills sharp, or your focus is more on smooth software transitions.

With lyndaEnterprise, employees quickly set up their own accounts from the company’s network without any setup administration. Members then get unlimited access to lynda.com anytime, anywhere, on PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Intended for both beginners and experienced veterans, lyndaEnterprise allows employees to choose what to learn, set their own pace, and track their usage with course-tracking reports (which are available company-wide as well as individually).

If you’re interested in lyndaEnterprise or any of our multi-user products, use the Contact Us form on the lyndaEnterprise homepage to reach a Sales representative.

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