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Most users only scratch the surface of common office software

Do you feel that you know everything about the software you use everyday? Or do you feel that you only know a small portion of what the software has to offer? The reality is that most of us use the same commands over and over again while skipping over several command icons on the toolbar. And why is that? Some might feel as if we are losing time trying to figure out what those other buttons do, while others are just fine doing things the way they have been doing it for years.

Habits are hard to break

As we get to a point of familiarity with the software and we are able to do our daily duties then we are not going to change, it simply becomes a habit. So the likelihood of us using any unfamiliar icon will be low, and those commands will simply go un-clicked. Sometimes the introduction to those unused icons is by a fellow coworker and at that point you realize that command would of made your job a bit easier. Only if you had known about it earlier.

The learning curve

When using something new there is always the dreaded learning curve. What if I told you that the learning curve on all those unused icons is really not that curvy. That this learning curve is designed to be as flat as possible. The computer gurus that create these software are aware that most of us aren't computer nerds and need these things simplified. Part of the reason for the software upgrades, that seems to be available every year, is to add improvements and ease of use to these software. So if you are still doing things the same way through the last upgrade you are probably missing out on some improvement which can make your life easier.

Not learning about new features

I'll admit that I'm guilty of this myself. I'm an instructor and I have been teaching the same course for several years and through several releases of the software. Even though I know how to use this software I am always learning something new. Sometimes I'm introduced to a new features by one of my students, either the student is familiar with it or he/she stumbles onto it by mistake. There is always something new to learn on the new releases for all experience levels.

How to increase my knowledge?

Most companies require their employees to search for available training to complete a determined amount of training hours per year because companies know the importance of increasing employee knowledge on the software they use everyday. They made an investment not only on the software but also on their employees, so getting their max return on their investment will likely be a priority.

Becoming more efficient at work is a good thing for you and your employer but realize that this knowledge is for you to keep anywhere you go, even at home. Most of us may also have some of these software at home on our own personal computers. In my case I share this knowledge with my kids who at times work on home projects where presentation is part of the grade. At their age technology comes easy to them so they pick it up quickly since they are willing to learn and have not yet developed habits.

For me learning how to use software to their fullest is just a natural interest. And due to this interest, I have realized that learning more about the software I use everyday has been key to working more efficiently and making my job easier.

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