The Productivity Hub

  • Publisher Has Your Back

    Designing is a tricky business. One forgotten element—like half a logo hanging off the front page of my company newsletter—can be endlessly embarrassing, for me and my company. I’ve learned to double- and triple-check for problems before...
  • Set Your Text Free by Linking Text Boxes in Publisher

    Some projects take a lot of tweaking in Publisher—a newsletter, for example. What I want to do is lengthen the first column and shorten the second and third columns to make room for a handy upcoming-events section. Shifting text and making everything...
  • Get the Latest Scoop in SharePoint

    Keeping up on changes to my company SharePoint site is essential in my job. I need to know about newly added documents, team discussion responses, modified tasks, and many other changes. But scouring the company site for changes would be an endlessly...
  • Microsoft Publisher—Using the Right Software for the Job

    With all of the templates and features available in Microsoft Word, I have a tendency to never leave its familiar comforts. I’ll spend an hour using the excellent table tools in Word to patch together a complex table before it dawns on me: I don’t...
  • The Best of Both Worlds—Sync IE and Outlook RSS Feeds

    In my last post I talked about how great it is to be able to use RSS feeds in Outlook. Well, it’s also great to use them in Internet Explorer, because there you can add a new feed quickly and view it directly from its website. You know what’s...
  • Have a Blissful Day—RSS Feeds in Outlook

    When blogs first started to go big, it was exciting to check all your favorites for updates. Then you found even more blogs you loved and it got to be a long list of sites to check, and they didn’t all update consistently so sometimes there was...
  • No More “Who’s Doing What?” with Assigned Tasks

    Working as a team means dividing up the work. Clearly dividing project tasks and assigning roles is essential to making sure everything gets done. Everybody hates that awkward silence when you realize you all thought someone else was supposed to do a...
  • Don't Panic - Moving Documents in SharePoint

    When I first started on SharePoint and I realized I couldn’t move files by dragging them, I panicked a little bit. My first instinct was to save the file to my desktop and then upload it again to the new folder. Talk about a gigantic waste of time...
  • Tagging in OneNote

    OneNote is the quintessential notepad because you can use it just like you would a pad of handwritten notes, but it’s much more powerful. For instance, when I take notes by hand, I draw stars next to notes I need to remember. Similarly, in OneNote...
  • Keeping in Control: Document Set Versioning in SharePoint

    When you’ve worked hard on a project, sending your documents off for approvals is a bit like sending your kid off to college—you sure hope others take good care of it, but ultimately it’s out of your control. With document sets, you...
  • Keeping it Together: Documents in SharePoint

    Between the research, edits, and approvals for all the projects on your desk, does it ever feel like you’re barely keeping it together? SharePoint has just the tool to help you keep it together—keep related documents together, that is. ...
  • Cut Down on Meetings - Well, at Least Meeting Invites

    Ah, meetings. Can’t live with ’em, and probably can’t do your job without ’em. From the Monday morning planning meeting over doughnuts to the Friday afternoon review session over pizza, meetings are one of those necessities...
  • Learning to Share in SharePoint

    Remember when learning how to share meant taking turns with your Batman action figure during recess? Well in business we’re still learning the rules when it comes to sharing and collaborating with team members, because technology is constantly evolving...
  • Perfectionist? The Alignment Tool is for You

    If you cringe when objects on the page are just a little bit off , listen up. It doesn’t have to be that way! And it doesn’t take hours of trial and error, either. There’s more to alignment than just dumping text to the left, center...
  • Viewing a SharePoint calendar in Outlook

    Using a calendar out on your SharePoint team site has a few advantages: Everyone on your team can access it and add appointments. Security is managed through SharePoint. If the calendar’s creator leaves the company, the calendar still...
  • Oops! I Forgot to Save It!

    One of the best things about Office programs (and just about any other application, for that matter) is that when I close a file without saving, I get prompted with a familiar message: It’s simple, I know, but I can’t tell you how many...
  • Download new SmartArt for Office 2010

    If you already know how to use SmartArt to convert ideas into engaging graphics , you won't hesitate to download the new SmartArt for Office 2010. The new Converging Text SmartArt is particularly helpful in showing how ideas feed into a process or outcome...
  • Crowd control for your desktop: Managing multiple windows in Windows 7

    It's not unusual—in fact, it's typical—for PC users to keep a number of windows open on the desktop. My neighbor, Joe (not his real name), discussed this very issue with me at last Saturday night's block party and barbecue. At his job, I learned, Joe...
  • Create a pull quote in Word

    If your Word document looks like a wall of text and you have no pictures, tables, or diagrams to break up all of the gray, try adding some pull quotes. Find short statements to emphasize that will draw your readers deeper in to the document. Once you...
  • Embed Office 2010 documents on the Web

    If you have a blog or web site, you no longer need to worry about whether your site visitors have Office installed. You can embed Office documents directly onto your page. First, you'll need a free SkyDrive account at https://skydrive.live.com/ - just...
  • Give yourself more room to work in Outlook

    Depending on what you're working on throughout the day, you may want to de-clutter your view in Outlook to focus just on the task at hand. To hide the Ribbon, just click up arrow on the right side of the Ribbon or press Ctrl+F1 : Don't worry, you can...
  • Save time with Excel shortcuts

    If you've spent any time with Excel, you probably know that the Enter key advances you to the next cell in a column, and the arrow keys move your focus to the next cell in any direction. Here are some lesser known shortcuts you may want to add to your...
  • No rabbits needed: Pull these IE9 tricks out of your hat

    Here, presented for your entertainment (and for the benefit of anyone who values your productivity, organization, or creative flair), are five downright magical tricks built right into Internet Explorer 9. Stash these tricks up your sleeve or in your...
  • Formula Watch - Working with DOLLARs

    In most cases, you want to keep your dollar values in Excel as numbers so they can be used in math functions. But there may be cases where you want your dollars converted to text, say to concatenate them with other text strings. Just use the DOLLAR function...
  • Add popular commands to your Office 2010 ribbons

    The Office team has compiled customers' favorite commands across all Office 2010 applications, which you can download to add as a Favorites tab in Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word. For example...