Tag Archives: spreadsheet

Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

Get Documents and Spreadsheets on the Go with Google

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Invariably, when you’re on the road, you forget a document at home. It’s of course difficult to get to them, especially if no one is at home to send them to you. It’s also hard to get to them with your iPhone… unless you use Google Docs, of course!

If you have a mobile device that has an Internet connection… you can access your documents at any time, day or night. If you aren’t already using them, shame on you! You can easily do all the basics, including making bulleted lists, sorting by columns, adding tables, images, comments, formulas, changing fonts and more. And it’s free!! Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. So go ahead and upload your existing files.

I love this. I love just knowing something is there when I need it, where I need it. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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Google Docs

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Most everyone has some type of office suite installed on your computer, likely Microsoft Office. Did you realize you can do everything that Office can do online… for free? Google has free office tools called Google Docs. You may ask… why would I do them online? Well, it’s simple. How many times have you had to send a document or spreadsheet back and forth to others to be checked over, edited and just shared? By using Google Docs, you can simply upload your existing files, choose who to share them with, and work away! Using Google Docs can increase your productivity by cutting down on the amount of time needed to send the files back and forth via email, wait for the other person, and so on.

Google Docs has applications to build spreadsheets, word documents, and presentations. You can easily do all the basics, including making bulleted lists, sorting by columns, adding tables, images, comments, formulas, changing fonts and more. Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, and more! There are toolbar buttons similar to what you are already familiar with for editing… such as bold, underline and italics.

So how do you get started? Visit docs.Google.com. If you don’t already have a Google account, such as for Gmail, then you’ll need to sign up for a free account. If you do have a Google name, simply log in with it. As soon as you’re logged in, you can click on the “New” button to choose to create a new document, spreadsheet or presentation. Or… click the “Upload” button to upload an existing file. One of the best features of Google Docs is the fact that it automatically saves your work pretty often. You don’t have to click a button, it just saves it for you.

So what about sharing your work with others? Click on the Share button to invite others (via email address) to share in the document with you. Anyone you’ve invited to either edit or view your document, spreadsheet or presentation can access it as soon as they sign in. Multiple people can view and make changes at the same time. There’s an on-screen chat window for spreadsheets, and document revisions show you exactly who changed what, and when. Viewing a presentation together is a breeze, as anyone joined in a presentation can automatically follow along with the presenter.

Working on and saving your files has never been easier. There’s nothing to download; you access your documents, spreadsheets and presentations from any computer with an Internet connection and a standard browser. You can create as many folders as you wish in order to organize your work in a way that is easy for you to manage.

With so many features that are easy to use… and all for FREE, I don’t see why you would want to use anything else! Give it a try, and let me know what you think! Leave me a follow-up comment to this video, or shoot me an email to [email protected]

E ya later!

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What is a Macro?

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – A macro is a series of events that can be recorded and played back at a later date. This can come in handy with many applications, not just a spreadsheet.

A Macro is an abbreviation for a set of commands, so instead of typing a complicated sequence of commands you can simply type the macro’s name. Most people who are familiar with macros have worked with them in spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel. Instead of manually doing the same functions over and over, you can simply do them once, record the macro, and use one click to have the macro perform for you from that point forward.

A good free program to try is AutoIT. This handy little program is a freeware Windows automation language. It can be used to script most simple Windows-based tasks.

If you use Mac OS X, you’re lucky to have the Automator built right in. You can do a search for the Automator robot, and then use it to record a set of commands you wish to use often.

Macros aren’t difficult to use or understand, and they can make your computing life a whole lot easier.

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Managing Passwords Online

Okay, well… I can’t say that my search has ended, but I think I found something that’ll be “good enough” until something better comes along. As I noted in my original post, I was looking for an ASP model for password management (although I suppose a “private” Web-based solution would likely be better). I don’t want a single binary, because I’m trying to share account information with Ponzi – which can’t be done effectively through anything other than a Web-based solution. Someone had commented on my blog about his new password storage tool, but that apparently disappeared into the ethernet – so I hope he comes back and comments in this thread. Here’s the winner: Password Safe. If you search for “manage passwords online,” it’s the number one result on Google. Seems like the perfect solution for me, though its interface is a bit tricky to navigate at first. I can’t find any competition to the product – at least one that’s easy to set up and get going for free. I hadn’t really heard of these guys before, but can’t find anything negative about them on the Web (at least, as far as security and password problems are concerned). Y’all asked for an update, so here you go. Oh – and I realized another thing: I’m far more forgiving with lackluster Web page UI than I am with desktop binary UI (don’t ask me why).

Password Management

Ponzi and I are at our wit’s end. We have a lot of passwords to keep between each other, for both personal and business accounts. Initially, a single password-protected spreadsheet did the trick. However, she saw it fit to add an additional tab with her own account information to the same file – and then we were messing with two versions and (in some cases) two different authentication sets. She’d scream bloody murder whenever a password would change, and I would remind her that I only wanted to keep a single master document between us. “I don’t want to do that” was always her answer, though this response provided no alternative solution (and tech decisions are “always” my responsibility, natch). Started looking around the Web for a password management system today – found a few promising resources, mostly Web-based (for universal access between the two of us and others). I really don’t wanna fuss with desktop binaries anymore.