650+ tips on Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook & Windows

I just discovered this immense catalog of tips made by Karen Roem.

This is a collection of more than 650 tips (654 tips at the date of this post) to make you better at all the Windows and Microsoft Office tools.

Here are my favourite 3 tips from Karen:

1) Top 10 Microsoft Outlook shortcuts

  1. CTRL + 1 and CTRL + 2 – Toggle between Mail and Calendar – tip_259.php
  2. CTRL + F – Forward a mail message 
  3. CTRL + G – Go to a specific date – tip_485.php
  4. CTRL + K – Check names in address fields and resolve them against the Address Book – tip_211.html
  5. CTRL + K – Insert Hyperlink – tip_431.php
  6. CTRL + SHIFT + 8 – Show/Hide paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols – tip_394.php
  7. F3 – AutoComplete Quick Parts – tip_335.php
  8. F4 – Find text in an email message – tip_108.html
  9. SHIFT + F1 – Reveal Formatting – tip_498.php
  10. SHIFT + F3 – Toggle between UPPER CASE, lower case and Sentence Case 

2) Create a bulleted list in Excel

  1. Select the cell where the list is to appear.
  2. Press ALT + 7 on the numeric keypad.
  3. Type your text.
  4. Press ALT + ENTER if you want to insert another bullet in the same cell.
  5. Repeat steps 2 – 4.

3) Shortcuts in Windows

WIN + D can be used as a toggle to minimize and maximize all windows? But what if you just want to have a quick peek at something on your desktop? Check out the preview shortcut! 

Here’s how: 

  1. Press and hold down the WIN key (the one next to your spacebar) and press the spacebar.
  2. Release the WIN key to return to your last used window.

If you like this post, check the 50 time saving Excel Shortcuts.

The 5 WHYs

Description

Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.

The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?”. Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The “five” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.

The method provides no hard and fast rules about what lines of questions to explore, or how long to continue the search for additional root causes. Thus, even when the method is closely followed, the outcome still depends upon the knowledge and persistence of the people involved.

Origin

Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique in the 1930s. It became popular in the 1970s, and Toyota still uses it to solve problems today.

Toyota has a “go and see” philosophy. This means that its decision making is based on an in-depth understanding of what’s actually happening on the shop floor , rather than on what someone in a boardroom thinks might be happening.

The 5 Whys technique is true to this tradition, and it is most effective when the answers come from people who have hands-on experience of the process or problem in question.

The method is remarkably simple: when a problem occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking “Why?” five times. Then, when a counter-measure becomes apparent, you follow it through to prevent the issue from recurring.

Example

Delays in sales in a production company:

  1. Why is the turnover lower by 20% compared with budget?

Because we have delays on 2 major projects.

  1. Why?

Because it takes more time to build the product as normally.

  1. Why?

Because it is a new product and there are new technical requirements which needed to be modified once we moved into production. 

  1. Why?

Because the feasibility of the new technical requirements were not validated beforehand with the production

  1. Why?

Because to reduce the price and satisfy the client’s demand, we changed the design at the last minute without following the normal process of validating these design changes with the production.


Check also this article “The 12 FP&A Principles”.

10 tips for Excel charts to make your life easier! 📈

👉 Get the tutorial Excel file by clicking here: 10 tips for Excel charts
and start training yourself to improve making charts in Excel!

Today I found a simple but excellent tutorial from Microsoft.
You get 10 tips to make charts in a faster and simpler way.

I particularly like the tips number 4 and 9.

This tutorial trains you with the following tips:

1. Quickly make a chart with ALT+F1 shortcut

2. Select specific columns, before creating a chart to show only what you need

3. Expand graph automatically as you add additional columns/row

4. Quickly filter data from a chart.

5. Use PivotCharts when your data isn’t summarized.

6. Create multi-level labels

7. Use a secondary axis to create a combo chart.

8. Hook up a chart title to a cell.

9. Split off slices into a second pie

10. Hover over Chart Elements to get a preview.

Share your other tips in the comment section!

👉 Get the tutorial Excel file by clicking here: 10 tips for Excel charts

 

Power Query Academy

The most underrated skill in the professional world

Imagine working 6 months with your team on a project.

After 6 months, today is the big day! It’s the day of your presentation to the Board.

You have your deck of slides ready, you worked until 11pm the day before (you wanted to make sure that your slides have the best design and that you have an excellent wording). Now it’s your time to shine and you have 20 minutes to convince the board to invest in your project.

You go through the slides (of which you are really proud of) but after a couple of minutes you feel the interest and the attention of the room going down. You find yourself repeating several times the same information because your audience looks puzzled…

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Now you start thinking, what is wrong? Why are they not excited by your project? Why don’t they see how hard you and your team worked over the last 6 months?

Ultimately, the board’s decision comes: “We are sorry but this is not a priority. We can not approve your project”

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Actually, you are not even surprised based on the way your audience acted over the last 20 minutes.

This has to be frustrating, right?

And why? Not because of your work ethics or the quality of your work.

So why? This is simple but overlooked by many of us: your speech and yourself were not convincing enough. You underestimated the importance of public speaking skills to win the positive opinion of your board.

Why I wanted to improve my public speaking skills

I have experienced this in different occasions. In many situations, a finance professional may not articulate well the story behind the figures, no matter how fancy a spreadsheet looks.

This is why, I made one of my priorities to change that. And the change started last week with the help of Ursula Witthöft. She coached me during one day to improve my public speaking skills. It was the best training I had since more than 5 years.

This the reason why I strongly advise you to take a course on public speaking. I wish I would have done it before. But don’t take the advice from me, just see what Warren Buffet has to say:

“If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett told business students that public speaking is the most valuable skill they can learn.

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It’s one of the most underrated skills for professionals. Moreover, it’s rarely taught, neither in the professional world nor at school. But it brings you so much value!

10 things I learned about public speaking during my training:

To close this topic, I wanted to share with you, 10 things I learned about public speaking during my training:

 

  1. Public speaking can be learned by everyone.
  2. The way you look, stand, act and speak is responsible for more than 90% of how your audience perceives your message. Your content counts for less than 10%!
  3. Work on your handshake: put all the chances on your side to make that first good impression.
  4. Work on your posture, your eye contact and the way you walk to win the room (check online for exercise to improve posture)
  5. Activate your body to have a clear mind and all your body aligned (Ursula has a really good exercise called “The Nut” (Die Nuss in German) to activate the core body before a presentation)
  6. Work on your articulation and your tone (your speaking muscles need a bit of stretching and practice, but you see really quickly an improvement
  7. To speak louder, visualize yourself as if you were talking to somebody at the end of the room.
  8. Think about where you place your hands and how you stand (hands should be visible, open and you should be on your two feet)
  9. Imagine the audience being a group of friends and that you are going to tell them a story. You should speak in a natural way.
  10. Get excited about your topic: if you are not excited, who is going to create the excitement in your audience?

Last lesson learned (and for me the most important one): invest time to prepare your performance not just your slides. Don’t only rely on Powerpoint!!!