Are You Committing Any of These Five Deadly Sins When Using Word

Are You Committing Any of These Five Deadly Sins When Using Word

How much time do you spend working with Word documents?  Are you building documents from scratch?  Does it feel like you’re a lion tamer when you try to apply consistent styling?  Word is a powerful tool, but if you’re making any of these five cardinal sins you could be wasting precious time you should be spending with your customers?  So, what are these sins, and why are they such an issue?

Five Deadly Sins

Repeating Yourself

The first deadly sin is one of repeating yourself.  This might not seem like that much of an issue, but it adds up. Imagine typing “@em” and it expanded to your email address.  Depending on the length of your email address, this could save you quite a few keystrokes and potential typos.  I know this is a bit of a simple example, but I bet you can think of a few phrases you use repeatedly in a document, that simplifying like this would really help.

Not Using Styles

Next, not using the built-in styling for Word.  You do not want to be in the business of having to set the font style and size for all the blocks of text in a document.  Especially since Word has the built-in capability to handle this for you.

Not Using Keyboard Shortcuts

This might not be as easy to see this as a sin, but if you are not using keyboard shortcuts, you are missing on a powerful technique to eliminate keystrokes and the need for a mouse.  Take for instance selecting all the text in a document.  Normally, people click by the first letter, hold shift,  and drag their mouse down until every word has been selected.  Not a problem for a one-page document, but how about one that has 100 pages!  Compare this to using ctrl+a, two keystrokes and the whole document has been selected.  Don’t underestimate the power of keystrokes!

Reusing Documents

Of all the sins, this one is the most likely to cost you time and possible embarrassment.  It is reusing an old document for another client.  Not only does this open you up to the possibility of overwriting the original document, but you can fail to replace all the text that needs to be updated.  Nothing is more embarrassing than having the wrong customer’s name in a document or having text missing or included when it should have been.  It even opens you up to possible legal issues if confidential information is leaked. 

Not Using Macros

Finally, we come to the last sin, not using Macros.  Macros are nothing more than a string of commands put together and executed together.  What makes not doing this a sin, is the potential work you could eliminate by using them.  Need to insert a signature block or add a pre-defined table, let the macro do it.  There is a lot of flexibility with Macros, so I couldn’t even possibly begin to outline all the scenarios they could be used for.  Additionally, Macros in Word can interact with other Office products so, for example, you could pull data from Excel.

If the Shoe Fits

So, you find yourself one of those people who are committing the above sins.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that unlike smoking, it is very easy to stop them cold turkey!  For the keyboard shortcuts, you can view all of them on Microsoft’s Website here.  Find tasks you do often and look to see if there is a shortcut that could help you.

The other sins require a bit more setup which is why I created my e-book “5 Days to Productivity in Word.”  In the time it takes you to let your favorite hot beverage cool to the perfect temperature to drink, you will learn a new lesson that you can use immediately in your work.  Your time is too valuable to spend it wasting time and effort on tasks in Word at the expense of working with your customers.  Act now to take back control from Word so you can have a more productive day!  All you need to do is just download my email and get started.


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