Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hero Arsenal - The Utility Belt

While usually unfashionable, all superheroes have their patented utility belts. The little gadgets that make them seem incredible. Grappling hook, throwing stars, a button to activate stealth, a small rotating saw, cryo-capsules, and anything else the hero would need in battle.
Sure, Batman could have used the stairs, but the grappling hook is so much cooler, right?

We all have our little shortcuts, our utility belts. I am going to share a few of mine, and I hope you will share a few of yours. 

MS Excel – For most this program is a foreign language. If it is for you, put the Rosetta Stone CD away and take an excel course. It will save your life! The automation available in this program is phenomenal and will enable you to turn tedious work into productive process and quick results, quick being the focus word in that sentence. Working in today’s world people want the information now, and the faster you can get it them the better. Excel can boost your productivity, reduce human error, and if used correctly, will earn you a reputation as someone who can get it done. 

ASAP Utilities for Excel - The cheat for Excel, this cheap program enables you to be macro-tastic without the hours of having to learn visual basic and tons of code.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Software - Speech to text has come along way and I have found Dragon to be the winner. Easy to set up and use, Dragon is a life saver when I need to just spout and not worry about typing. Also super handy for spreadsheets when you are copying invoice numbers into a list. 

Ladies Efficient Organizer - I was using an excel spreadsheet for all of my stuff (by stuff I mean a million and one passwords, accounts, software serial numbers, etc. LEO lets me keep it all in one spot and there is a portable version I keep on a thumb-drive, total life saver.
Ginger - This is one I just started using, it is a LIVE grammar checker. I am a grammar dunce so this program saves my skin on a regular basis, they have several different plans based on how much you will use it and it is web based so it can be used on any computer. LOVE IT!

Google Docs (aka Google Drive)– This is a fabulous online resource that too many do not know about. It has saved my butt on many occasions, from the online ability to share a document in seconds without email, to the wonderful survey builder that takes all of the data and puts it into a neat excel file. It takes a few minutes to create the survey; you post it and gather the data when you are done!

Dropbox – Wonderful, easy file sharing program that makes it incredibly easy to share documents between teams while also securing files you do not want to be seen. It is also an awesome place to back up your documents. Instead of emailing files large and small, I save them to the shared box. It alerts the people I have shared the box with, and allows them to download, edit and resave to the same place.  All of your documents are also accessible online, safe and sound. 

Evernote – This is a life saver for those who are out and about or have several jobs, like myself. It is loaded onto your laptops and cell phones. Make a note on your cell and it syncs with your computer and vice-versa.  Your computer and cell are obliterated in a shoot out in Gotham City? Guess what? All of your notes can be accessed online. 

So what is on your utility belt, you can’t live without? Share it with us, you are amongst friends, we promise not to give away all your super-secrets.

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