Office Productivity

Office Productivity refers both to the act of being productive and efficient in an office or professional environment, as well as the software applications used to "produce" information. This includes the development of professional skills, creating work processes, and almost any program used to create or modify a document, image, audio or video clip. However, business application suites such as Microsoft Office, which include word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs, are typically called productivity software, as contrasted with a "utility program," such as a file manager, which is used to organize files and folders on the computer. Many office- and business-oriented groups of programs are organized into suites.

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gSuite help is still terrible.

I have several comments about how using paid support for Office 365 is far superior to the experience using gSuite including my comment on this article from 2015.

Yesterday's call to gSuite support reconfirms.  Problem is a user wants to have access to Android apps on his new Google Pixelbook. Going to settings on the Pixelbook to enable the feature is grayed out.  A call to Pixelbook support confirmed the issue is the user is a member of a business gSuite account and there is a feature that has to be turned on.  I was directed to call into gSuite. Calling gSuite support is about as helpful as talking to my 2 year old niece. The gSuite tech acted as if he had no knowledge of a Pixelbook. I had to explain several times it was a product of his own company. Even going down the Chromebook route didn't help. He could simply point to turning on a feature that was already set. Otherwise, I would have to call the Pixelbook Support.

I have called into office 365 support for many issues. Sometimes the issue went beyond the scope of what the tech should have helped for their own silo, but they still were able to spend 30 to 60 minutes on the phone to solve the issue with great patience and product knowledge.

After the sale support many times goes unnoticed or untested.  When evaluating a service or software, I will call in…
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Thanks for the nudge Andrew.  Perhaps I will do just that.
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by:Andrew Leniart
Please do Scott. I'll be more than happy to edit and get it published for you.

I think a lot of people may benefit from your experiences, and it may just be the push Google needs to provide some decent support.
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Oh, here's another technology I'd like to learn: Google Apps Scripting. There's a lot of common things I do with Google Docs & Sheets on a regular basis and being able to automate some of it seems pretty handy. I know EE has a ton of great stuff about VBA scripting for Excel, Word, and such, but I mostly work in Google Apps and I've had no info at all about scripting for those products. (I honestly expected the Google apps might not have been mature enough to support scripting, but I was completely wrong about that!)

Just looked up Google's documentation site for it, and the whole thing is based on JavaScript (I'm not good at JavaScript, but I'm at least familiar with some basics). That also means I've got plenty of experts in-office and on the site for when I need help :-)

Will have to start experimenting with it this weekend!
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Assigning comments to people in Google Docs
Subject of the week | What software update developed in the past year were you the most excited about?
A favorite update of mine was in Google Docs last fall. They added the ability to "assign" a comment to someone that you mention in the comment. I've found it very handy when using docs for meeting notes that have to-do items. Also great when there's a document that several people need to contribute to. Assign each section to the appropriate person and they can mark as resolved when they're finished with their update.

google docs assign feature
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Expert Comment

by:Juana Villa
Love that feature too!!!
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Oy... You ever make some changes to the underlying data columns in a spreadsheet and then not realize that it inadvertently messed up a whole bunch of other pivot tables and charts as a result? Well, I just did... Fortunately, the Google Sheets revision history feature is pretty darn good and just saved me from having to do a bunch of annoying fixes. Thanks, Google!
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by:Brian Matis
@Kyle
Undo buttons are the best.
I kid you not, but whenever I do anything klutzy in real life (knock over a mug, bang my shin on something, etc.) I mentally try to hit Ctrl-Z. Sadly, it never works... ;-)
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by:Kyle Santos
Truth
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Dear inventor of Skype for Business 'Insert auto-emojis in professional communications at inopportune times, and do not expose a means of turning this off' functionality:  You suck.
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Expert Comment

by:Brian Matis
@Colleen - No idea. Sorry for any confusion, I just went off on a bit of a tangent about the challenges of never quite knowing how the recipient of something will see it and was using emoji as an example.
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by:Colleen Kayter
My favorite rant, Brian. Too often see corporate design guides that spec custom fonts, then they wonder why recipients don't see it with the formatting they intended. No one hates system fonts except graphic designers... :P
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Chat Client Protip—Out of Office:
With email communication, letting people know you're on vacation is a solved problem—just set your out of office notice. But what about when—like most of us at EE—you communicate primarily via chat client and it's hard to tell if you're just away from desk or on vacation?

Well, one of my co-workers here came up with what I thought was a pretty brilliant solution, which was to change his display name to append "ON VACATION" to it. Now it's pretty darn obvious and personally, I've found it very handy. Will have to try it next time I'm out!
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Expert Comment

by:Daniella Barion
That's even better, no doubts.
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Author Comment

by:Brian Matis
Cool, I'll have to try it for when I'm out tomorrow :-)
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Dear Google Calendar Web Client,

I really like that you provide notifications to remind me when I've got a meeting in 10 minutes. I really don't like when you seize control of my browser and switch what tab I'm on to give me this reminder, specially when I'm in the middle of typing something and suddenly I've got a half formed sentence on some other window somewhere and I need to spend the next 5 minutes getting back to it and finishing my thought...

Why can't you offer up a browser notification instead?! Or is there a way to have you do that now that I just don't know about?
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Author Comment

by:Brian Matis
OMG! Yes! Thank you Craig! I remember some time long ago looking for something like that and it must not have existed yet... So I've just sort of lived with it being that way. Glad I decided to rant about this ;-)
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Author Comment

by:Brian Matis
Oh, and if you put together an article with a tip about that, I'd totally endorse it to help you get points ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:Daniella Barion
Sometimes unimportant situations can turn into opportunities.
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I have always thought when I hear people say meetings are a waste of time or that a meeting did not accomplish something, that really the meeting was poorly ran. I really think that successful meetings do involve team members that know and interact with each other. Interesting to see that Google encourages that interaction during meetings. Sometimes off topic isn't the worst thing. Thoughts???
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Expert Comment

by:Daniella Barion
I agree, when the team members  build  a relationship  ideas and discussions flow easily, interaction is high and work can be more productive.
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by:Craig Kehler
100% agree that a meeting is only a waste of time if it wasn't thought through before calling it and/or is run poorly. It seems sometimes people think just calling a meeting will solve a problem. They aren't magical.

I also strongly believe that the more you know a person the better you can pick up on their non-verbal communication which is a major part of how we communicate.

I think our lunch time team sports activities are a big boon to our productivity in this way.
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Setting aside dedicated "focus time" for deep tasks that work better without constant interruption?  That's an idea that's starting to sound very appealing... Fast Company has a great article on the subject.

How I Set Aside Two Days Each Week to Work on Just One Thing
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Amazon just announced Chime.  Looks like they're taking on HipChat/Slack/Hangouts/Skype/etc.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Arciniega
I'm surprised they went with only 2 users in their plus offering as well. Having 5-10 would have allowed for at least a portion of a company to use it and convince the others that it was worth it.
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Expert Comment

by:Brandon Lyon
Yeah I really want to try this but I can't see more than 3 users in a call with screensharing costing $15 per person. They need to work on their offerings.
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Office Productivity

Office Productivity refers both to the act of being productive and efficient in an office or professional environment, as well as the software applications used to "produce" information. This includes the development of professional skills, creating work processes, and almost any program used to create or modify a document, image, audio or video clip. However, business application suites such as Microsoft Office, which include word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs, are typically called productivity software, as contrasted with a "utility program," such as a file manager, which is used to organize files and folders on the computer. Many office- and business-oriented groups of programs are organized into suites.