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10 Tips That Can Make Anyone A Microsoft Word Expert

10 Tips That Can Make Anyone A Microsoft Word Expert

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular office suites out there. It’s used by businesses both large and small. There are versions for college students and for home use. It’s available for both PC and Mac and word around the internet grapevine is that it’ll eventually be made available for some distributions of Linux. Even though most people use it, most people do not use it to its full potential. Here are 11 awesome tips to make you better at Microsoft Word.

1. See all of the symbols in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Office tips

    When you type spaces and hit the enter button, you don’t see all that much but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything there. There are actually symbols and characters all over your Microsoft Word document and you may not even know it. If you want to see all of them, Go to File, then Options, then Display, and select to Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen. You can also activate Draft Mode to see what the first doesn’t by going to the View menu and setting it to Draft View.

    2. Master the paragraph

    Microsoft Office tips

      You would be surprised just how many ways you can format a paragraph. You can indent the first sentence or you can indent every other line except the first line. What’s more, the paragraph mark (shown above) is actually fairly powerful. It contains information on how each paragraph is formatted which can make them pretty powerful. If you copy a whole paragraph with the paragraph mark, you end up copying the formatting too. If you don’t copy the mark with the paragraph, the paragraph will paste without formatting.

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      3. Master sections

      Microsoft Office tricks

        By using the various breaks in Microsoft Word, you can better organize your documents. The best way to do this is through the use of sections. You can access the breaks menu on the Page Layout menu. Microsoft Office doesn’t see pages as you and I see them. They see sections. If you set your document up in sections, you can format each section independently and give yourself far more control than you normally would if everything were in one section!

        4. Use styles

        Microsoft Office tips and tricks

          Styles are amazingly powerful. If you create a style template, you can use it over and over again for any document. If you write a lot of memos, you can create a memo style. You can repeat the process for virtually any document type. To see existing styles, to to the Home tab in Word. You can click on the down arrow to create your own. If you write a lot in a similar style, it’s definitely worth turning it into a style so you don’t have to format so much and save yourself some time.

          5. Prepare your document before writing

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          Microsoft Office formatting

            It’s always a good idea to get an idea of your formatting before you actually start filling in the blanks. That way you can format your headers, paragraphs, styles, etc all before you put your document together. Doing so can allow you to alter your document before you make it to make sure that everything fits appropriately. There’s nothing more frustrating than copying and pasting some information and having the formatting be all wrong.

            6. Configure your paste options

            Microsoft Office Paste settings

              Believe it or not, you can actually control how Microsoft Office deals with pasting words. This can be attained by clicking on the Office button (the logo at the top left), navigating to Word Options, and then to Advanced. From there you should be able to see a Cut, Copy, and Paste option that will let you configure your options. This can allow you to do things like disable hyperlinking when pasting and other formatting options to make life easier.

              7. Use full justification formatting

              Microsoft Office justified formatting

                An often unknown option in Word is the ability to use justification formatting. You can see an example of this above. Essentially, it just means that the left and right margins are perfectly aligned. Word is able to do this by altering the spacing of words in each line so that they line up. This gives documents a professional and formal look. To use this, click the Office logo, then Word Options, and then Advanced. Expand the Layout Options and you can set it there.

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                8. Hide the ribbon interface

                Microsoft Office hide ribbon

                  For those who may not know, the ribbon interface is the toolbar that runs along the top of Microsoft Word. Some people enjoy it and others find it distracting and too busy. Thankfully, there is an easy way to get rid of the ribbon. With Word open, click CTRL+F1. The ribbon will disappear. Repeat the process to make it reappear.

                  10. Remove all formatting

                  Microsoft Office formatting

                    Sometimes you need to blow up the formatting and start over. Formatting can get disorganized and your document can end up looking bad. When this happens it’s probably best to start over from the beginning. To do this, select any bit of text you want to remove the formatting from and click the button as shown in the screenshot above. The formatting will be removed and you will be left with just text.

                    11. Use the Spike to copy and paste

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                    Microsoft Office Spike Pasting

                      Spike pasting is actually a lot of fun. Here’s the premise. You cut various words from a document and then you can paste them all together. There isn’t really a specific use-case for this tool but you’ll know when you need it. To use it, use CTRL+F3 to copy. You can do this as many times as you like. When you paste as usual, it’ll paste everything that you copied using the CTRL+F3 command. This can be useful for collecting snippets of a document and putting them together.

                      With these tricks and a little practice, you’ll be able to create amazing documents that’ll look professional and clean. In a word place where just knowing how to use Word isn’t enough anymore, these tips can give you a slight edge that’ll make you stand out!

                      Featured photo credit: New Horizons via newhorizons.com

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                      Joseph Hindy

                      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                      Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                      No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                      If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                      But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                      Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                      Let’s dive straight into the list.

                      1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                        If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                        RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                          If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                          This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                            This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                            Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                              Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                              Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                                There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                                  Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                                  Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                                    Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                                    This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                                    Available on iOS and Desktop

                                    8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                      This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                      This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                        Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                        MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                          1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                          Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                          11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                            When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                              This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                              Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                              13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                                This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                                Available on desktop (macOS)

                                                14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                                  Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                                  The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                                  15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                                    Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                    16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                      Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                      17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                        This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                        Available on iOS and Android

                                                        18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                          Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                          So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                          More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                          Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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