New Year! New Learning! MOS Study/Support Group Webinar 4

Propeller Geek HatNew Year! New Learning! If you made a resolution for the year, I hope you will resolve to certify in the Microsoft Office application in which you “enjoy” working. We will have Kathi Robinson, CAP-OM and MOS tell us her experience in certifying in 2013 Access which she accomplished on December 29 – Congratulations to Kathi!

Kathi is an Executive Assistant, CAP-OM at American Transmission Company, Madison, WI and she lives in Cottage Grove, WI. She sat for her first MOS exam in February 2008 and completed her Access 2013 certification in December with many tests in between. In fact, she has multiple application certifications in the 2003, 2007, 2010, and now 2013 versions. Kathi will share her experience in taking her first project based exam and her tools she used to certify.

We will close our time with taking a practice Access exam. I look forward to our helping each other in our career and certification paths during the New Year.

Here is a link to the Registration form:

http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB54DC84844639

Thanks!

Greg

MOS Support/Study Group – Webinar 3 and 2015 Plan

My Geek Hat

Hi, Everyone!
Special thanks to Richard Hemma, Senior Director of Sales Corporate and Commercial Pearson – Certiport for his presentation and information. He provided valuable information on the value of certifications, taking exams, location issues, and offered members of this MOS Study/Support Group a free trial of GMetrix – the practice test and training tool for MOS certifications. You will want to register and view this webinar. Here are the links: Registration link and Recording link.

Here are quick notes from the webinar and our plan for 2015.

  • Locations must honor vouchers from IAAP, Certiport, and other organizations. Locations may set their own hours and offerings and may charge a proctoring fee.
  • When taking an exam use the Ribbon rather than keyboard shortcuts, such as CTRL + S for Save, CTRL + C for Copy and so on. Using keyboard shortcuts rather than the Ribbon for commands may make part or all of a question incorrect.
  • You may use the new Office 2007, 2010, and 2013 feature entitled Key Tips as keyboard shortcuts by pressing the F10 or ALT key to activate the badges for Key Tips.
  • In the future there may be a re-certification process similar to the Adobe associate certification; however, once you certify as a Microsoft Office Specialist in a particular application and version that certification lasts forever.
  • Several webinar participants commended GMetrix for the practice tests and using the product.
  • We discussed text books; there are plenty of resources and books available. My personal favorite and that I recommend are the QUE In Depth series which are more detailed that most Office books. Richard concurred that these books follow the domains and learning objectives for the applications.
  • FREE! Richard will provide a free GMetrix trial for those people in this MOS Study/Support Group. I will collect emails and information over the next two weeks and provide them to Richard. If there is a limit to the number, I will prioritize the list based on regular attendance of these webinars including viewing the recording. Look for details in the coming weeks. Email me at creechgreg@bellsouth.net if you wish to be part of the GMetrix free trial offer.

In 2015, we will continue our monthly (or so) webinars with the next webinar in mid-January. We will update our certification plan and process and answer several exam questions for two applications. Plan now to make your New Years resolution about certifying next year and perhaps as you wait for Santa take some practice tests and study! I’ll send the content, date, and time for January’s webinar after January 2. Happy Holidays and Enjoy your learning.

Microsoft Office Specialist Study/Support Group – Webinar 3 – November 4, 8:00 PM EST

We’ll have our third and final MOS webinar for this year on November 4, Tuesday. We are honored to have Richard Hemma, Sales Director at Certiport, as our featured speaker. Please forward questions to me for Richard to address by Monday, November 3, afternoon. While I’m sure he will answer questions on line, let’s plan and prepare in advance as much as possible. Our webinar begins at 8:00 PM EST on November 4, Tuesday, so go vote and then attend our webinar.

I hope you can plan to spend some time studying and preparing to certify sometime next year over the holidays. Certifying makes a great New Year’s resolution. We’ll have our next webinar in mid-January, 2015.
Here is the registration link to attend the webinar live or to replay at your convenience:
Thanks!

Greg Creech
www.gregcreech.biz
404-299-1706

Technology Across America with IAAP’s TEC15

I am honored to present in February – April for the International Association of Administrative Professional’s (IAAP) TEC 15 conferences. These technology conferences cover a wide range of technology and office productivity sessions and span a variety of job titles from Administrative/Executive Assistants to Program Managers/Coordinators, Project Managers and Coordinators, CPAs, Lawyers, you name the job title and these conferences benefit. Here is a list of cities and dates:

Here’s the link for more information: http://www.iaap-tec.org/home.

I’m teaching Microsoft’s Office Applications including Data Analysis and Functions of Excel, PowerPoint Pizzazz, Take Note! It’s OneNote, and performing my popular technology humor show, “Technology Bytes: And it just bit my funny bone” at lunch.

Here are links to some of my sessions:

MOS Certification Webinar 2 and 3

Hi! Here is information about our Microsoft Office Specialist Certification second webinar. My plan for Webinar 3 is to have Richard Hemma, Certiport – Sales Director, answer questions that you provide in advance and give us insightful tips on taking the exams, the process, etc. My plan is to have this the week of November 3 or November 10, so stay tuned. We will plan our fourth webinar for mid-January. I want to thank Vanvisa for the information below and Richard for helping us with Certiport and certifications. Thank you and look forward to our webinar in November.

Here’s a link to replay the second webinar http://www.anymeeting.com/gregcreech/E055DE848346. Please ensure you register for this webinar first and then use your login and password to replay; here is the registration link: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB50DE88894E38.

Thank you to Vanvisa Sivali, CAP-OM, MOS for the terrific and helpful information and links below.

1) IAAP Options Technology
For those who are certified CAP or CAP-OM, there is an additional discount available for Options Technology purchases.  The discount is not available online; this is the link to the information:http://www.iaap-hq.org/events/options

2) 2013 MOS Exam Format
I don’t recall if this was mentioned in the first session, but the exam format has changed for 2013 MOS testing and I didn’t think the G-Metrix exam really reflected the change.  I thought it could be helpful to share the demo video: http://www.certiport.com/Portal/desktopdefault.aspx?page=common/pagelibrary/mos2013.html  I read somewhere on the Certiport website that additional changes to the testing format were being made as well; the changes will be effective this month.

3) MOS Exam Objectives
I found knowing the exam objectives very helpful to prepare for my exams.  I think it could help other people and maybe it would be good just to point them to the link where they can find them: http://www.certiport.com/Portal/desktopdefault.aspx?page=common/pagelibrary/MOS2013-objectives.html

4) Certiport MOS Bundle Offer
I’m not sure if you know about this already, but every so often, Certiport offers a special deal to IAAP members for testing bundles that include online training and testing vouchers which are good for 90 days.  I purchased the bundle for one of my previous MOS certifications and found it useful and economical.  I contacted Certiport to find out the end date for the promotion but customer service said they didn’t have an end date at this time.  It might be good to mention this as there could be IAAP members who are in the study group and ready to take at least one exam sooner: http://ww2.certiport.com/lp/mos/2014/gfbgeneric2014.html?jujrtyghfud135185a1279588a-1a-1a57322&jujrtyghfud415748a1610824a267a4353a57740

MOS Webinar 2 – Upcoming 09/23/2014 8:00 PM EST

TPropeller Geek Hathanks for the great feedback from our first webinar. Our next webinar is Tuesday, September 23 at 8:00 PM EST.  Here’s the link to register: MOS Webinar 2 Join in! You may always replay this and previous webinars at your convenience. Here’s our agenda for Tuesday:

  • Feedback, suggestions, and resources since our last webinar
  • Using AutoCorrect, SmartArt, and other items that span the Office versions, products, and exams
  • Practice exam questions on 2010 Word and 2010 Access (Put on your Geek Hats and lets pass!)

Richard Hemma, Director of Sales, at Certiport will be a featured guest soon on our webinar and we’ll hear from those who have passed several certifications and their experience and advice at future webinars, so enjoy!

 

MOS Webinar 1 Review – Off to a great start

Our first Microsoft Office Specialist Study/Support Group’s webinar held on August 27 got us off to a great start with 76 attendees. I apologize for some of the audio difficulties, and my verbal fillers, such as “ok”, “um”, etc. As a professional speaker, I detest verbal fillers and became a victim with this session. Since this is a very interactive session and I’m nervous taking tests anyway and then to do so in front of 76 folks really added to my anxiety and verbal fillers. In spite of these “challenges”, we learned a lot and had a good time. I believe you will find this webinar helpful as you prepare for your MOS certifications in the months ahead. Enjoy.  Here is the link to replay the webinar.

Also, here are links to the PowerPoint presentation and to the Certiport $75 practice test for a year deal. Also, attendees requested my TIPS form that I use in my management and leadership presentations for mentoring, tasks, and performance management, so I have included the PDF link below to the TIPS sheet. On the webinar, I show my TIPS form for my plan to certify in 2013 PowerPoint by September 30.

PowerPoint presentation as a PDF file.

Certiport $75 annual practice test deal.

TIPS (Task/Time frame, Information, Process, and Status) form that I use for Mentoring, Tasks, and Performance Management.

Let’s plan the next webinar for Tuesday, September 23, 8:00 PM EST. I’ll have an agenda the closer we get to the date. Thanks to everyone and look forward to our time together in the next 18 months.

 

Microsoft Office Specialist – Study/Support Group

Propeller Geek HatI am leading a FREE Microsoft Office Specialist Study/Support group for the next 18 months to help people with certifying in the Microsoft Office suite. Selfishly, I want companions and I need to complete ALL of the 2013 Office application certifications, include Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, and I like to have much support along the way. I am certified in Office 1997 and 2007 as a Master Educator and Microsoft Certified Application Specialist – Instructor having completed all certification exams. I have helped Certiport develop exams, too. I found the certification process lonely and frustrating. I want companions to help me achieve and I want to be a companion to help others.

I have 100 + folks who are tagging along with me and want to certify. I and team members will offer advice, cheer leading, and education to help achieving our certification action plan. The first webinar is August 27, at 8:00 PM EST and will continue for 18 months at monthly or as needed intervals with guest presenters and experts. Here is the link to register for the webinar: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA59DE83864930.

You may join this group until January, 2015 at that time the clock ticks too fast for you to certify in our 18 month program – September 1, 2014 – April 1, 2016. Email me at creechgreg@bellsouth.net to become a member of this team. Webinars are free and you may replay them at no cost. Please remember me for your organization’s training needs, operational projects, entertainment, and emptying trash cans for a modest fee. Thank you and let’s enhance our skills and knowledge in technology.
Remember, no one has ever been fired or not hired because they knew too much about Microsoft Office and certifications never hurt a career.

Smart Guides: A New Microsoft Office 2013 Feature

How Smart it is! Office 2013 New Feature Smart Guides.

Placing pictures, text boxes, and other items EXACTLY aligned can be a painful process in PowerPoint, Word, or Publisher. Microsoft Office 2013 provides Smart guides that pop up to show you when you have items centered, aligned with each other, when you are going outside the margins and other areas. PowerPoint’s Dialogue box at right displays your option. The screenshot at right shows PowerPoint 2013 View tab’s Show group that you may turn on or off your Guides, Gridlines, and Rulers. You’ll find these very helpful in aligning your objects. I’ve circled the Dialogue Box launcher that activates the Grid and Guides options displayed here.

2013 PowerPoint Grid and Guides

2013 PowerPoint Grid and Guides

Windows 8 or Windows Hate: You decide

Read the full article – Windows 8 or Windows Hate: You Decide Article

Here are honest eight points about Windows 8.1 from my clients and me – “average” users (if there ever was such a thing as an average user!). To be fair, four points are Love it and four points are Hate it. You decide – do you love Windows 8.1 or is it Windows hate for you?

  1. Love it! Touch me, Touch me – The touch screen capabilities are great and you can even right click (or secondary mouse click) to get shortcut menus through tap and hold on the screen.
  2. Hate it! So darn buggy it needs an exterminator! Windows 8 has more updates than you could count and will update when you need your computer the most (or so it seems) and the system declares, “Do not turn off your computer.”
  3. Love it! Ribbons and Quick Access Toolbar. Adopting the Microsoft Office Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar interface, the Windows 8 ribbons allow you to get to great features quickly and easily, such as managing your drives, showing your file extensions, and using check boxes to select files.
  4. Hate it! Downgrade instead of Upgrade. After upgrading existing machines from Windows 7, I felt as if I had been downgraded instead of upgraded. Do not upgrade existing computers wait until you purchase a new computer that has a touch screen with Windows 8.1
  5. Love it! Cloudy with a chance of productivity. Windows 8 is very cloud friendly and works fantastic with OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
  6. Hate it! Looked good on paper, but. . The idea of having an operating system appear and act the same on various devices looked good on paper (even I was excited and got Windows 8 on the release date), but in reality, many of us use our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops differently. However, time will tell as we acquaint ourselves with Windows 8.
  7. Love it! Have it your way – I like customizing my desktop and taskbar, plus moving, resizing, and grouping tiles on the start screen apps are terrific
  8. Hate it! Need improved apps. While some of the preloaded Start screen apps, like weather, are good. You may want to avoid some of the store apps you can download. Pay attention to reviews and comments about the app before installing. Use your desktop apps for multitasking, more functionality, split screens, etc. instead of the start screen apps.

Celebrate TODAY() in Excel!

TechTip: Celebrate TODAY() in Excel. The TODAY() function in Excel is versatile. Simply typing =TODAY() in a cell displays your computer’s current date. Using this function in a formula calculates the information in days. For example, in a blank worksheet in cell A1 type 01/15/2014 and in cell B1 enter =TODAY()-A1. Excel may display the result as date, so change the cell’s format to a number as displayed below. Excel displays the number of days (after changing your format to number). This is great for calculating 30-60-90 day money or days since a customer appointment; anytime you want to calculate the difference in days. The calculations for measuring in years is: =(TODAY()-A1)/365.25; my birthday and age appear below (SHAME!). Both calculations display below in a picture. So, enjoy TODAY()!

Excel's TODAY function

Excel’s TODAY function

Welcome Back! New Microsoft Office 2013 Feature

TechTip: New Office 2013 Feature – Welcome back! When you open a document or presentation that you have edited, Word and PowerPoint 2013 provide a bookmark at the right edge of your screen. Hovering on the bookmark provides a message “Welcome back! Pick up where you left off.” The message even tells you the title where you left off and when. Clicking or tapping this quickly goes to where you closed the document ready to begin again. Welcome back, and Thanks!

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

 

E is for Empathy.

E is for Empathy. As I present my “Customer Service Excellence” Workshop at Athens Technical College, the word for today is Empathy. Empathy is a primary skill I learned in acting school and theatre 101 in order to develop my characters and “become” them on stage. Knowing and experiencing what another person endures carries over into many areas of our business, especially when evaluating job performance and providing customer service excellence. Like the old joke says, “Walk a mile in another person’s shoes – you’ll have new shoes plus good exercise!”

Projection Pane Shortcut

TechTip: After connecting your computer to a projector or additional monitor, you may need to change your display settings. On your keyboard, pressing the Windows Key with the P key activates the Project pane for you to select the display you would like, such as Duplicate usually for projectors or Extend usually for a second monitor or display. No need to wade through the Control Panel for these settings. The Windows 8.1 screen appears below; Windows 7 the pane is horizontal but works the same. You may access this through your Charms bar, too.

Project.