Tag Archives: office

Top 5 Workspace Tips

Dylan sent the following tips in after he figured out the best methods of shaping up his workspace.

  • Use Blu-Tack – Like many computer owners, I have a laptop as my primary (only) machine, and it is stationed on a desk. I have a keyboard, mouse and printer plugged into the notebook. When I unplug everything so that I can take my laptop with me somewhere, the cords tend to fall behind the desk. This makes it a pain to find them – and untangle them – later on. To fix this problem, I put Blu-Tack wire on the back of the desk. It holds my cables for me so that I never encounter this trouble again. It works for lamp cords, phone cords and more.
  • Photos – I enjoy having pictures of my family and friends on my desk. Due to lack of space, though, there aren’t many to be seen. A simple and inexpensive solution is to buy a clear plastic mat that is two layers. When you want to show off a picture, simply slide it between the two plastic sheets. The photo will be protected, out of the way and easy to look at anytime you wish.
  • Hide those cables – If you’ve ever had a desk that doesn’t come all the way to the floor in the back, you’ve had to deal with a frightening cord mess that everyone who visits your space will see. This is NOT a pretty sight, folks. Why not buy a piece of material, a blanket or even pressboard to tack to the back of your desk? It will hide the cord mess, and make everything look nice and neat once again.
  • We need light to see AND space to breathe. – I need a lamp on my desk in order to see properly without getting a headache. I never realized how much real-estate they took up on my desk until recently. I went out and bought an inexpensive clip-on lamp. It clips to the edge of my desk, taking up a very small amount of space. It’s brighter than my old lamp, and I can adjust it to project light anywhere I might need it.
  • Wrap it up – In order to keep control of the various cords and cables under my desk, I bought a lot of elastic bands. Wires going in the same direction are grouped together, and held close by the bands. This can be done to keep things such as pens and rulers from being scattered around, as well.

How do you keep your office or desk space organized? DO you keep it neat and under control?

LEGO Home Office

Adam constructed my office entirely out of LEGO bricks in his spare time. I think this is a pretty decent representation of what you’ll find inside my home office, don’t you?

This is a video tour of my office that I shot about a year ago now. Take a look at the various things you see in the video, and then compare them to Adam’s LEGO versions. Pretty close, eh? The only thing missing is a Chris Pirillo action figure sitting at the desk.

Great work, Adam. Thanks for sharing!

Microsoft Office 2010 Comparison Screencast

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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Jack has submitted another excellent screencast, this time showing us a nice comparison between different versions of Microsoft Office.

Jack wanted to show us some of the differences between Office 2007 and Office 2010. One of the biggest changes is that Office 2010 now fully supports 64-bit operating systems. Also, Web Applications (allowing you to co-author documents across the web in real-time) have finally been implemented in the newest release, as well. Office 2010 also includes a redesigned Office button, as well as a nice backstage experience.

Differences in Word include the search function. In Office 2010, it shows up in a navigation pane, instead of a small window. Also in Office 2010, you have a paste preview, letting you see what you’re going to paste BEFORE you actually paste it. There are also enhanced picture editing tools. There are new options for working with text, including changing plain text into Word Art, or using shapes and styles.

The differences in Excel include graphs in single cells, instead of only within sheets like in Office 2007. Formatting tools have also been ehanced and upgraded.

There are also many interesting and excellent differences found within Outlook, Publisher and other Office applications. Thanks, Jack, for this sneak peak at what we can expect when we grab Office 2010 for ourselves!

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Microsoft Office 2010 Screencast

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Recently I threw down the gauntlet, asking all of you to submit your best screencasts. I plan to highlight the best of the best here in my channel, and help promote yours. Jack has sent a few in to us now, and they’re fantastic. This one gives you a quick (but excellent!) overview of Microsoft Office 2010.

Jack started off by letting us know that Office 2010 is only available at this time for developers and technical reviewers. Included features include support for 64-bit, enhanced Office button that leads to a back room of sorts, and web applications for Word and Excel.

The enhanced UI includes a minimizer to give you more work space. This hides the toolbar until you click the button again. The new Office button leads you to a backstage experience where you can edit, save, print or share your documents.

New features in Word 2010 include an improved search function. It opens in a new pane that won’t cover up your document. Other new features include a paste preview, which is very nice. Others include improved picture editing capabilities and more text effects.

Some things new in Publisher 2010 now have pages show up in the side window pane, instead of at the bottom. Powerpoint features include new animations and a video editing capability. Excel doesn’t have too many new features, but it does have a few nice improvements.

Outlook 2010 has a new conversation view, that allows you to group conversations, and even clean them up… allowing you to focus on the most important feature.

Jack did a great job with his screencast. Don’t worry if yours wasn’t chosen to be featured today, though. We’ve received a lot of excellent submissions. We’re still going through them all, and plan to upload one per day (when videos are normally uploaded).

Remember, you need to upload your screencast video to Geeks, and then send me an email with a link to your video, a short description, and of course – tell me where we can find you on YouTube (or wherever you want to be found online).

Keep those submissions coming!

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What Does Your Computer Desk Look Like?

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Apparently, my desk makes a lot of people envious. I’m not sure why, unless you factor in all the gizmos and gadgets that I have in here. I’ve uploaded pictures of my desk before, as well as videos of my home office. Ricardo told me about a website where you can talk about your desk!

On Deskography, you can upload a photo of your desk and home office setup, to share it with others. The idea is to be able to invite people from around the world to see where you work. See where people you admire spend their days and nights. Thinking about redoing your office? Browse photos of desks that people in your industry have uploaded.

If you want to brag about your desk, why not upload a picture of your own? I know some of you have sent pictures of your setup to me, and I think it’s great. It would be more exciting to share it with the entire community, right?

I love what I’ve done with my office, but that doesn’t mean you’d be happy with it yourself. Why not check out Deskography and see what else you can find? You may just find the desk of your dreams!

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How Do You Put Together Your Home Office?

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I can’t respond to every email I get, but I do try to answer what I can. A community member wrote in, asking for a tour of my office. He also is interested in buying the same desk that I have, and was wondering how he should go about putting it together, and setting everything up. This will now be the third person that I know of who has gotten the same setup that I have. It’s kinda cool, you know? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! He has some specific questions about my configuration, so let’s get to it!

  • First, he wanted to know how I power the Tix clocks on top of my hutch. Quite simple, really – there’s a power strip mounted to the back of the hutch where the clocks plug in to. If you plug them all in to the same surge protector, you can always hit the switch and reset them all at the same time if you ever need to.
  • Next, he wondered where all my speakers are, were the cables long enough to connect them to the sub woofer, and etc. I have one of them on the corner of the desk, near the bamboo tree. I have the cable for it running along the edge of the desk, and strung through a hole that was drilled into the desk already. The second speaker is behind the iMac. The third one is behind the left monitor. The center speaker is up top on the hutch, and the last speaker is behind me. The sub woofer is over in the corner, near a bookshelf. I keep them hidden, because I don’t need to see them. I just need to hear them.
  • Your UPS and connections – where is everything plugged in, and how do you not overload? I do have a couple of UPS’, and they’re behind the hutch. There’s about a foot distance between the back of the hutch and the wall. I have the two UPS’, a couple of power strips, and the like in order to keep everything plugged in and not suck up too much energy.
  • Your printer/chumby/phone – where are all of these things plugged into? There’s a reason this particular room is my office – it is on its own power circuit in the house. The laser printer itself uses a lot of juice when it’s going, not to mention everything else I have running. The Chumby, my phone, the sub woofer, and the amp are all behind me, and they’re plugged into a regular old power strip. Never plug a laser printer into a UPS, it’s a horrible idea.

That’s it, pretty much. I have my office set up the way that is comfortable and accessible for me. You need to create your own space. It’s really cool and fun that you want to do what I’ve done, but please keep in mind that you need to “own” your own setup. It has to work for you, or there’s no point in all the work you put into it!

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Mac Office 2008 Alternatives

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Tonight’s first phone call had me bobbing my head to my ring tone. The caller says they are thinking of switching to Mac as their primary machine. They are familiar with Open Office, and have heard the Microsoft Office for the Mac… and that it’s not very good. He wonders if there is a good, solid application for word processing for the Mac. He’s in luck. One of our live community members took Open Office, and created NeoOffice. NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database programs) for Mac OS X. Based on the OpenOffice.org office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other popular office programs such as Microsoft Office.

Released as free, open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPL), NeoOffice is fully functional and stable enough for everyday use. The software is actively developed, so improvements and small updates are made available on a regular basis.


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Buying a Desk

I am looking into possibly buying myself a new desk soon. These tips sent in by community member Serores will definitely come in handy for me. I hope they will for you, as well. Currently, I’m using a Bush Series C / Corsa – Hansen Cherry.

  • Size: If you’re only going to be using a laptop and maybe some books and papers, you dont have to waste your money on a huge desk. This way, you can save a lot of money and buy other things to enjoy in your home office. On the other hand, if you have a huge monster computer like the one Chris gave to Kat, you may want a bigger desk. This also depends on the kind of monitor you’re using, and if you want your computer tower on or under your desk.
  • Shape: Chances are, if you’ve had your house for awhile you already have a pretty cluttered office. So, here comes the question of where will you put your desk? If you want it in the corner, get a triangular one. If you want it just on the flat wall get a square one. If you want it on the ceiling, you’re looking at spending a lot of money on duct-tape… so I dont recommend that.
  • Compartments: If you’re the kind of person with a lot of knicknacks, papers, books, and other miscellaneous items, you may want to look into a desk with a lot of compartments. The compartments should be various sizes to fit everything you need. This is where, if you want to get fancy, you can bring a list of things you’ll have on your desk shopping with you, to remind you of what you have. This way, you can look at a desk and picture how everything would go on it.
  • Quality: Simple, if you have a lot of heavy stuff… you dont want your desk to fall over. Also, a good sturdy desk is best when you have kids or pets that are always jumping off the walls. Another exaple of quality is wood smoothness. If you’re an artist like me, you know what it’s like to draw on a table with gaps between the boards when you have no tablet.
  • Look: I know for me this would be the last thing I look at. However, for some this may be of high importantance. Pick something that matches your style and color scheme (if you have one). Also, stay away from annoying bright crazy colors that won’t let you focus on a book or the screen, because you are distracted by your desk.

My Home Office

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People ask me over and over for a tour of my home office. Today, I decided to grant that request. So get comfy, and here we go!

You’re all familiar with my desk, my 30″ Dell monitors, my chair and my Tix clocks. That is the view you see every day as I stream. If we look behind my desk, you’ll notice that there is about a foot of space between the desk and the wall. That is because my actual computer tower is on the floor behind the desk, along with all the cords and connections. I hate looking at cords, and I hate messes. Thus, I put them all behind the desk so I can’t see them.

Next to the desk is a clost that Ponzi feels is way too organized. I dunno why she would think that!! I have some storage shelves and cubes that hold various things, such as software, CDs, manuals, tools and even hardware. Above that on the shelf is my PSP and the games for it. And just to prove what an addict I am, I’ll pop out the game currently IN my PSP, to show you that it is Tetris.

Now over here to the right of my normal setup you see is the Mac Mini that runs the live stream. There is no monitor for it, I run it off of a television. Below that on the shelves of the little entertainment stand, you can see the Xbox and games, along with some DVDs I love, including Christmas ones.

Ahhh, the door to the office. Across the hall is our bedroom, and we are not going on a tour of it today. Next to the door is a little table, and a bench that opens but doesn’t really have anything in it. Then, there’s the other desk that I haven’t even decided what use it should have as of yet. In that corner, you can see a large bookshelf. I love this bookshelf. On it are all my little toys, gizmos and gadgets. We all know what a gadget freak I am!

Lastly, you can see the printer/scanner/fax machine, and the little stand with the phone on it. Then… we’re back where we started. I need to fill my office up some more. The closets and shelves need more in and on them. The other desk is empty. I need THINGS, people! If you have ideas, send them to me! You can leave me a follow up comment to this video, or send an email with your ideas to me at [email protected]

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Office Compatibility

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – A YouTube regular is having problems with Microsoft Office. He has a new laptop running Vista, and Office 07. Documents he saves on his home laptop will not open on his college computer, because the college runs an older version of Office.

The number one thing I can recommend is to download the free Office Compatibility Pack. A compatibility pack is available to make sure that you can open and save Office Open XML Formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office.

Another option available to you is to save your files differently. If you’re just doing Word documents, be sure to save them as RTF (or Rich Text Format) files. This allows a wider variety of compatibility, and will let you open your documents in older versions of Word. Of course, this won’t save special formatting and things. It will save your font, bolding, etc.

Have you thought of using something like Open Office or Google Docs? Both are free programs, and very easy to use. You’ll have a lot more flexibility on opening, saving and editing your documents and presentations from anywhere, using any computer.

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