Tag Archives: office 365

Getting to Know Office 365

office365So you now subscribe to Office 365, what does that mean? For one, you now have a powerful arsenal of productivity tools at your disposal!

The schematic diagram below represents what I call the core Office 365 ecosystem for individual, home and small businesses. Confusing isn’t it!

the-ecosystemThe Office 365 Ecosystem

In this post I will attempt to shed some light on how you can get to know Office 365 in a realistic manner.

The Ecosystem
The big overlapping ovals represent the productivity programs of Office 365—these are the tools you use to do or create things.

They are shown as overlapping ovals because they have overlapping functionality. So you can write a letter in Word and in Publisher but Word does it better, Publisher will do flyers better. You can create a table of figures in Word but Excel does it better, and so on.

The horizontal rectangles represent programs that provide supporting functions.

The programs that make up Office 365 are tightly integrated and work together very well. So you can compose a letter in Word, include a table created in Excel, and do a merge email using Outlook with addresses stored in Access—you get the picture! It sounds overwhelming, does it not?

The Impossible Learning Curve
The diagram implies a huge amount of learning that awaits you. No, you don’t have to know all of it—nobody does! You learn as you need, when you need.

Each of these programs has a plethora of options, but if you know the core features of each program you will be able to do 99% of the tasks that are likely to come your way.

One advantage of Office 365 is that the programs share many features in common. So once you learn one program, the next one will be that much easier to master.

HMD Training
Knowing how overwhelming learning Office 365 may appear at first, we have adopted a powerful approach to learning. Our courses are project-based. So rather than teaching all the possible features of a program, we tackle real-life projects. It is like sitting next to an expert while they complete the project step by step, from start to finish .

The courses are graduated: the first course uses only the core features of the program. Then subsequent courses tackle more complex projects, but still in the same step-by-step fashion.

We have not yet created courses for all the programs but will do so over time. It takes a lot of time to design and record online courses.

A Strategy
Where do you start, which program to learn first? That depends on what kind of activities you have. An author should start with Word, whereas an accountant may want to focus on Excel. For most people I would start getting to know Word well first.

Then progressively do the introductory courses for the other programs as you have time. This will be easy and fun as you discover new ways of being productive.

Be sure to visit hmdtraining.com to see the range of courses we have available!

Looking Good in the News

example-newsletter-foldedNow that Publisher is included in Office 365, we have access to a powerful page layout tool.

In this post we will describe our unique course, Newsletters with Publisher.

Why Newsletters
Newsletters are an important marketing tool for many organizations. However, you should look good in print! Now Publisher 2016 included with Office 365 makes it possible to create a professional newsletter with ease.

The Course
The course is unique in that it covers not only the tools in Publisher, but also the newsletter concepts that make your newsletter look professional.

This new online course consists of eight lessons and will take you step-by-step through the process of designing a newsletter from scratch using MS Publisher 2016. Every lesson contains extensive notes in addition to the videos.

Along the way you will learn some newsletter design concepts. For example we discuss the importance of repurposing content and illustrate this by using posts from this website for the newsletter articles.

Although the focus of the course is newsletter design, the techniques learned will be useful for many other graphic projects.

This course is part of our Office 365 for small business series.

Visit the course page today


Why Learn Publisher?

Microsoft_Publisher_2013_logo_svg_With Microsoft Publisher now included in Office 365, small businesses have a tool that allows them to create many graphic projects easily and quickly in-house. That’s great, not so?

Well, there is a danger lurking there. And that is the reason to spend some time learning Publisher properly.

What is Publisher
Publisher is a powerful, easy to use page layout program. It allows one to easily lay out graphic projects like flyers, adverts, newsletters and more.

While one could do similar things in MS Word, it was much more difficult. Objects that you had carefully placed on the page, seem to move without apparent reason. Publisher uses frames to place objects and they stay put no matter what you do elsewhere.

The Danger
Graphic design is an art. Publisher is easy to use and so it is also easy to make a mess of a graphic project if you ignore graphic design principles.  Your project can end up looking “home made”!

There Is a Way
We have created a fun course, Flyers with Publisher. In this course we take you step-by-step through the design of two typical small business flyers. In the process you will learn the most frequently used tools and concepts of Publisher.

What is unique, however, is that we teach the basic concepts of graphic design in the way these two flyers are structured! This alone is worth its weight in gold.

This course is part of our Office 365 for Small Business series.

To learn more, visit the course home page


Software for Small Business

Image_AcrossDevices_558x272In the “old days” MS Word was probably the most essential software product that small business would use for every day work. Of course there also were email and accounting programs.

For that reason we have created many online courses showing how to apply MS Word to everyday tasks in a small business or organization.

There are still tasks that are outside the scope of Word, and there we looked at the accessory programs that were included with Windows, like MS Paint and Movie Maker, and we designed several courses around them.

While they allowed one to do most of what a small organization would need, they are limited. So we recommended Adobe Elements which gives you a quantum leap in capability, without breaking the bank. Again we have created many case study courses using Adobe Elements for various small business applications.

Then along came Office 365, which is a subscription service, and changes everything. Because Office 365 is a tax-deductable expense it is worthwhile getting it. With your subscription you get all the Office suite components, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook and OneNote. So theoretically you can do so much more now.

But, included with such a powerhouse of programs, is a steep learning curve!