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Definition of Success

80% of success is being on time.  (Woody Allen)


Planning an Excel spreadsheet

Many users know the formulas basics yet when challenged to create something, we can draw a blank.  One of the best methods is to draw the basics out on a sheet of paper – in this project, I could be making jewelry to sell at craft shows or online.

This involves specifying raw material costs, markups, time to make the article of jewelry.  If I’m selling on Etsy, I also have to factor in commissions, postage, fulfillment costs, managing inventory, possibly salaries of those working for me.  Or I could be wholesaling these to another store – that means something that I make for $5 could wholesale for $10 which in turn will be sold for $25 to the consumer.  As long as the item being sold has an intrinsic value to the buyer, it will sell (think of Nike sneakers that cost about $10 to manufacture yet can retail at the store for $250!

This 16 minute video goes through an oral discussion of what is being planned and the attempt(s) to visualize as well as do the calculations.  Once completed, it can be used to develop costs for many different items being sold.

Is there a difference between studying & learning?

Studying and learning are two different concepts – we study when we have an exam or test.  Learning is something we do while on the job.  Of course, we have to learn while studying so that we can both remember concepts and pass the test.

I cannot give advice on how to study – if you’re reading this blog, I am assuming you’re intelligent and want some useful tips on skill improvement.  Those who subscribe to this blog also know that most of my writings are about technology.  These concepts can apply to mastering nearly anything.

Why do we want to learn?

We want to learn for a few reasons:  a) to improve or grow our careers which means more money, fulfillment, or other reasons; b) personal enrichment (a hobby such as music, art which could possibly lead to additional income, yet typically for the pleasure), c) social interaction (we meet like-minded people in classes).

Best learning techniques

This depends on the person – a) by doing (trial and error), b) in a classroom (feedback from instructor or fellow students),   c) reading a book/going online – kind of like correspondence school not so many years ago), d) on the go – from a colleague or friend who either shows a simple shortcut or spends a bit of time explaining, e) a combination of any or all of the above.

From personal experience, I’d have to say it was E.  Another thing I’ll say is that having written notes – either in a notebook or electronically that you’ve created is the best way to reinforce what is learned.  I often refer to notes.  Things done daily are rote; we know what to do.  However, if it is something done rarely, I refer to notes (like going to a cook book to find the recipe).


We all need to realize we cannot master everything – I know I’ll never be a carpenter or Olympic athlete – neither of those have been my goal yet I am capable of very minor home repairs and can swim a mile (albeit rather slowly!).  We need to enjoy what we’re learning and to connect with the task or skill both mentally and emotionally.  If you love gardening, eventually you’ll have a green thumb (unless you’re all thumbs).  Don’t kick yourself if it takes time – you will eventually master that skill.

Remember, we’re all tomato plants that ripen at a different time.

Introduction to Adobe Acrobat

If you are fortunate to have Adobe Acrobat (part of the Creative Cloud suite or can be rented separately) there are many things that can be done with it.  Even if you have an older version (owned, not rented), there are still many things you can do with it.

This video demonstrates the basics of reducing file size (great for PDFs that are to be online), deleting/extracting pages, rotating images, working with the many tools, editing the PDF with comments, highlighting, searching text.


Alternate headers/footers in Word

Many of you probably realize how Word has made things more complicated with too many choices, options, etc.  In this video, discover how to do a multi-page document where the cover page does not have a number, yet subsequent pages will start as page 1, and having alternate headers or footers for odd and even pages.

This video was done in version 2016 yet is applicable to earlier editions of the software.

Work like a pro with MS Office – class in Greenwich, CT starts 3/15

Regardless of the version you have of the software – PC or MAC – there is so much to learn with MS Office – in this 8 week class, discover many shortcuts, tips, and more working with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.  Either take all the sessions or sign up for individual classes – information at their website.

You may wish to check all the other classes on the Greenwich website – so much easier to learn from a human than poking and struggling when  you have a teacher who’ll help you when you get stuck!

Classes start March 15 – register early as class size is limited.

InDesign CC – adding text/images, # pages

InDesign Creative Cloud – story jumps, adding text, add page #, adding a graphic

This video covers the following topics: (should work with earlier versions of InDesign)

  1. Adding text from an existing document in several columns and converting one column to several
  2. story jumps (page continued on …. or continued from….)
  3. add an image and wrapping text around it
  4. numbering pages

Get Stylish with Word Styles

Styles in Word are great – you can do practically instant formatting with fonts, vertical spacing, tabs, and much, much more.  By using styles and modifying them, you can (almost) instantly redesign a document.  Done in Word 2016, much of what is shown in the video applies to earlier versions.

This video demonstrates the basic features – I’ll be doing a more advanced one in a few weeks – stay tuned (ps, to stay on top of my videos, you can always subscribe to my video channel!)