Save Yourself Hours of Frustration!

read-layout-ms-wordI happened to be in a friend’s office yesterday when they were reading their email. One of the emails had MS Word document attached and they opened it. Looking at her, I noticed a slightly frustrated look on her face and asked what was wrong. She told me that she can’t stand how Word documents always open up in “reading layout” instead of “print layout”. I told her that she can just close it if she wanted to change the view but she already knew that.

She said that she’d been closing the “reading layout” every time she opened an attachment from an email which is about 5 times per day, for the past 5 years. Doing the math, considering that she probably works 5 days per week and 50 weeks per year, that is a total of 6250 times that she had to close the “reading layout”. It only takes about 2 seconds to click “close” and another 5 seconds for MS Word to process the command each time but if you add it all up, she wasted over 12 hours just trying to change a layout. That doesn’t include all of the frustration that could have led to other problems, slowdowns or wasted time.

I got so frustrated with Microsoft Office a couple of years ago and how slow it is that I started using Google documents and other tools to get my work done and open email attachments so I didn’t have the answer for my friend offhand but I did offer to help. I clicked on “Help” in the menu bar, and then typed in “change default view”. Within 30 seconds, I had the answer and changed her default settings.

From now on, my friend can save time and frustration on a daily basis, be more productive and all it took was about 30 seconds. Just think of all the things you can save time and frustration on if you are willing to invest 30 seconds or even a couple of minutes to solve. If you want to learn more about solving your little technical problems, read “The Wise Man Gets Lucky” or “Just F’N Google It”.

What should you learn in 2 minutes that can save you hours of your life?