Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Meeting Management with Whoozin?

meetings image
Courtesy: Jim Larrisonlicense

Pronounced “Who’s in?” the online web application “Whoozin?” is a great way to manage your association committee members, as well as event and campaign volunteers. Whoozin? let’s you send and manage meeting invites and RSVPs.

Managing volunteers or committee members can be difficult in the Association management world. I know that it has long been an issue for me and my association. Being the staff liaison for five committees that meet multiple times throughout the year can be hectic…enter Whoozin?

I discovered this little gem with a Google search. Let me just quickly highlight what I love about it, and why I think anyone—especially association professionals—will like it.

WHY IT’S GREAT

  • It’s FREE! Like all good services, there are paid options, but the essentials are free.
  • I can manage multiple teams. In my account, I have separate profiles for all of my committees.
  • I can collect attendance RSVPs and be updated as “In,” “Out,” “Maybe” or “No Reply.”
  • My invites can leave me messages to review and answer.
  • Invitees can receive email invitations, RSVP reminders and event attendance reminders.
  • From the RSVP page, invitees can also download an auto-generated ICS calendar meeting.
  • In addition to meeting details, date, time and location, I can also upload attachments like meeting agendas or event guides to the meeting.
  • Member vs. Non-member feature. You can designate invitees as member (always receives an invite when an event is created) or non-member (must be invited to the specific event). This is especially handy on the government affairs committee where occasionally I need to invite my association’s board of directors to committee events, but not committee meetings.
  • I can message specific attendees individually, or based on their RSVP type (listed in bullet point 3).
  • You can also cap meeting attendance at a certain number based on your room size. For instance, one of my committees has over 75 members, but our conference room only holds 50 people. Stopping the registration at an appropriate number prevents us from taking the meeting over capacity.
  • Find a meeting time – For those familiar with applications like Doodle Polls, Whoozin? allows you to poll your invitees for the best time to meet if necessary.

These are just some of the great features of this application that in my four days of use has already started to make my life a little easier. Go check out Whoozin?, and I am sure you will find that it makes putting together your volunteer meetings a lot easier and boosts your level of organization and simplicity.

No Sign-In Online Doc Collaboration

Funny RealizationSo some of you may already know this, but for others, this may be a drop the mic and walk off stage moment. I am personally ashamed that I was not aware of this old news. Here it is:

With Microsoft Office Online and OneDrive you can share documents with other that they can then edit online, with no sign-in required. Follow the link below for full details.

https://blogs.office.com/2013/02/08/sign-in-no-longer-required-to-edit-office-docs-in-skydrive/

Sadly, I am disappointed that I was not aware of this “old news.” For Pete’s sake, this was when OneDrive was called SkyDrive! Who remembers that?

This will make your online collaboration easier. No longer do other members of your team or volunteers have to have a Google or Dropbox account to add their input to your online document. With a secure link, your team members can collaborate on and editable online document. #MINDBLOWN


share a doc


 

QUICK STEPS:

  1. Create an office document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and save it to OneDrive.
  2. Right click on the document file to bring up the sharing options and click “Share a OneDrive Link.” By default the link is editable.
  3. Share that link with your team.

Everyone should now be able to edit the document regardless of whether they sign in to an office account. Of course, you could encourage everyone to make an office account. This makes tracking changes much easier when you know who made the change. Do this for your word documents, excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint documents to collaborate on your reports, analytics and presentations!

The ability to collaborate in this way is no good unless you have a plan. How might you plan to use this feature at your own workplace?

By the way, I love free software and features that make online collaboration with your teams easier. Please share in the comments what you are using to collaborate with your teams.

[ CTRL + SHIFT + V ] Sixty Percent of the Time, This Pasting Method Works Every Time

[CTRL + SHIFT + V]
Pressing [CTRL + Shift + V] after copying text from one document will often paste as plain text into your new document or application or give you the plain text pasting options.
Do you ever go berserk when copying and pasting text from one source to another?Many times when we are copying text from one document to the other, we prefer not to bring the original text formating over to the new document. You may be familiar with several different ways to paste into new documents or applications using plain text, but I am quickly going to offer a pasting option that is becoming standard in applications, as well as two other solutions that you should know about when the first option does not work. Having these options ready to go can greatly increase your typing and editing workflow.

[ CTRL + SHIFT + V ] Method

I came across this handy little shortcut while working in a program notorious for grabbing formatting from a copied text’s source — Adobe’s Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver is an HTML editing software for web design. When it grabs formatted text from another source and pastes it into a web page, the result is usually a mess.

In one of the online help guides, I discovered that instead of hitting [CTRL + V], you can simply hit [CTRL + SHIFT + V], and the software will bring up plain text pasting options.

As it turns out, with a little more experimentation, I have found that many other programs (especially in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite) make use of the shortcut.

Where else? Content management systems (CMS) like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress know that when you select [CTRL + SHIFT + V], you want to paste unformatted text into the text editor.

This little trick doesn’t always work; hence the, ‘Sixty percent of the time…,’ but where programs are accepting this method, you can maximize your time spent curating and creating content.

Microsoft Word Method

As I mentioned above, [CTRL + SHIFT + V] doesn’t always work. For example, it does not work in Microsoft Word. However, Word and other programs in the office suite have some built-in short cuts that make it easier.

Microsoft Word Paste

First off, if more often than not you prefer to paste without text, you should simply change your default pasting option. Do this inside of Microsoft Word (2013 & Office 365) by going  to FILE > OPTIONS>ADVANCED. In the “Cut, copy, and paste” section, season to taste the following options:

  • Pasting within the same document
  • Pasting between documents
  • Pasting between documents when style definitions conflict
  • Pasting from other programs.

There are some other items you may want to tweak in this section as well. These options can be changed inside of Publisher, PowerPoint and other office programs.

Additionally, while [CTRL + SHIFT + V] does not work in Office program, you can still use the normal paste command, [CTRL + V]. After doing so, the paste options dialogue box displays. You can click on this box to open it and select your pasting option. Your three default options will be to keep source formatting, merge formatting and plain text only.

To speed up this process, learn the keyboard short cuts. After hitting  [CTRL + V], press the CTRL button on your keyboard, you will notice the paste options dialogue box opens up and displays all three options. The keyboard shortcuts for pasting options are as follows:

  1. Keep the source formatting – [K]
  2. Merge formatting – [M]
  3. Keep text only – [T]

The NotePad (Old School) Method

To do this quickly and effectively, you need to know some shortcuts and become comfortable with the work flow. The goal is to minimize the time spent using the mouse and taking your hands away from the keyboard.

This method is almost obsolete now since there are so many other, better options for pasting plain text. This method works for Windows users. Those using Mac and Linux would need to adapt the workflow below with the shortcuts and text editors for these operating systems.

In case you didn’t know though, pasting into Windows programs like NotePad will remove most formatting picked up in other software programs like Office. You can then recopy the text from NotePad and place it in the document that requires unformatted text. Here is generally the method and shortcuts I use to speed up this process.

  1. CTRL + C: Copy the original text from a document
  2. WINDOWS BUTTON: Type “NotePad” hit ENTER (This opens NotePad quickly)
  3. CTRL + V: This pastes into NotePad simultaneously removing the text formatting.
  4. CTRL + A: Selects all text in NotePad.
  5. CTRL + X: Cuts and copys all text from NotePad
  6. In order ALT – SPACEBAR – C (or ALT + F4): Closes Notepad.
  7. Go to document requiring unformatted text and select CTRL + V

Back in the day when it was more common to use the Notepad method, I had the above workflow down to seconds. It takes some practice to make this method fit into your workflow. Fortunately for you, in most situations, the previous two options I highlight in this post will work best.

There is a Google+ Community for That

Adobe Illustrator Club (Community) on Google+Do you need to learn or expand a skill, but aren’t interested in forking over the big bucks for training? Try joining a Google+ community.

Message boards and forums have long been on their way out. With Google+ communities, you can find like-minded individuals in your areas of interest that range from newbies to pros.

I am not a graphic designer or illustrator by trade, but I am interested in learning more about it as I often find myself needing to use software like Adobe Illustrator. And, while I have taken a few online courses through Lynda.com, my practical knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is limited.

What to do? What to do?

While touring around Google+, I was hearing a lot of buzz about the Communities feature. What a treasure trove I found!

I began joining several communities of interest to me. These included Social Media Marketing, Android and Adobe Illustrator Club. You find these communities to be categorized into several different topics, much like you would a message board or web forum. Beyond that, Google+ communities are leaps ahead of the old way of getting self help. Posting features like video, text, links, pictures and events make your experience on communities vastly superior to other “help” sites.

AIC-Community-Topics
Adobe Illustrator Club Topics

As I mentioned, the community is categorized by topics. You can interact in community discussions; view and share inspirational artwork; watch or make tutorials; grab a couple of freebies or see if there is an online or local event to attend. You can even search the community for a specific subject you are interested in learning more about. The search feature is powered by non other than the all-powerful Google, so you know its good. These categories are different for every community and are created by the community administrator.

Google+ communities have greatly increased my knowledge base and resources I need to do my job and support my hobbies and interests. You can even grow your personal and professional network as you make new acquaintances. This happened to me.

The Personal Touch

I had a question about Adobe Illustrator that needed answering. A fellow community member went out of his way to host a Google+ Hangout on Air to help me out. You can catch it here:

And that is another thing! The ability to connect “face-to-face” with another professional or enthusiast across the country and share your screen for demonstrations makes it all the better. I want to give a shout out to Bill Murphy who helped me and hosted this Google+ Hangout. You can find him by visiting his website www.billmurphy.ca. If you are into Adobe Illustrator or need someone to create stunning illustrations for you, he is well worth your time.

So whatever your interest may be, there is probably a Google+ Community for that. Go check it out. plus.google.com/communities

Google+ isn’t just for Google employees anymore.

Forget the Coffee Shop…Unless You Want Coffee

 

Need free internet access, and want to avoid noisy yuppy environments? How about a private area outside of your home and office to access the internet?

Apart from a great selection of books, movies and magazines, there is a good chance that your public library also has free Wifi access for library card holders. Take it a step further, and they may even have private rooms that can be reserved.

I found myself in need of just such a place a couple of months ago, when my ISP, who will remain unnamed, couldn’t give me a straight answer on how long my Internet would be down. I was getting ready to head to a venue with over priced coffee when the thought struck me that there are a lot of great resources at my local library. Free wifi is one of those resources. As an added bonus, I found out when I arrived that I can reserve a study room in 4-hour blocks. This was a perfect solution, and I now consider it my third office.

So the next time you need a remote office with wifi, consider your nearest public library!