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Three easy tech tips … plus three more

September 20, 2011
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Photo by CapCase

In penance for a guilty feeling that they were getting carried away with news about new technologies, ProfHacker recently offered Three tech tips that don’t require you to learn a new tool.

  1. Backup Your Most Important Project Right Now
  2. Write for an Hour in a Plain Text Editor
  3. Organize Your Files for One Project

The tips were aimed at “technophobes, techno-curmudgeons, and Luddites”, but they are good ideas for anyone. The full article provides more details.

Here are three additional ideas to help you become more comfortable with a program you already use.

  • Explore the Help menu

Go to the menu, open the little help box, and see what’s there. If you’re not in a panic it may actually make sense. See how things are organized. Take a minute to read a random topic that looks interesting.

  • Play with a feature you have not tried before

Open a new blank Word document and attempt to draw a shape. In your email program, try to create a second signature. See if you can figure out how to make folders for your browser bookmarks.

  • Learn a keyboard shortcut

Look on the menus and discover the keyboard command for one action that you do all the time. During a PowerPoint presentation, pressing “B” turns the screen black, for example. On a Mac, command-H hides the program you’re using.

The more you know about a program, the less it will intimidate you. With any kind of tool, you will feel a growing sense of empowerment as you learn more about how to use it – whether we’re talking about a microscope, a table saw, or a vector graphic editor.

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