14 Bookmarklets to Keep You Organized and Boost Productivity

If you are a sad outcast from maintream society, who spends most of your time on your computer, then you probably want to be more efficient with your time. So you can spend more time on your computer.

I care less and less about my writing “career” here every day, so here is my latest insipid (and utterly useless) offering about boosting your productivity.

Instapaper

Apparently, this is a ” simple tool for saving web pages to read later on your iPhone, iPad, Android, computer or Kindle.”

Beacuse up until to now, we didn’t know how to return to a URL we’d just encountered. FFS.

Amazon Wishlist

You can add to your Amazon Wishlist antything your little heart desires with this bookmarklet. Whenever you’re surfing and find something you’d like to one day own, like a pen, just add it. Because you’re worth it. And couldn’t work out how to save links in a document.

Chrome Dual View

If your are befuddled by the ambiguous title of this plugin, it only works in the Google Chrome browser. It lets you split your window in half so that you can view two web pages at once. I don’t know about you, but ever since the birth of the internet in 2003, I’ve been yearning for a way to view two web pages at the same time. I have two eyes for crying out loud. And two underused brain hemispheres.

Cli.gs

Because what everyone needed was yet anoher URL shortening device. It provides analytics, social media monitoring and geotargeting. So really useful, then.

Read it Later

Like Instapaper, this plugin lets you save web pages to read at a later time. This begs the question: why copy something that is already available?

GQueues

I can’t even be ***ed to finish this right now. I’m just going to publish it and complete it after I’ve cut my head off and taken it for a s**t.

Good job I’ve got so many tools to boost my productivity. Now I have more time to contemplate the bleak futility of my seemingly worthless existence.

How to Edit Your Google Documents in Microsoft Office Using OffiSync

Both Microsoft Office and Google Docs are good places to work on your office documents. Google Documents harnesses the power of cloud data storage, while Microsoft Word has a more powerful interface with loads of features that make working on a document easy. Now, we can combine the power of both applications using OffiSync, and work on the documents stored on Google servers using Microsoft Office.

Availability Of OffiSync

The current version of OffiSync requires Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 operating systems (or above). OffiSync requires Microsoft’s .net framework version 3.5, but you don’t need to worry about this requirement as it will automatically install it on PCs that don’t already have it installed. OffiSync also requires Office 2003, Office 2007 or Office 2010 (or above).

How To Use OffiSync

  • Download and install OffiSync. It will detect if Microsoft Office is installed on your system and integrate itself automatically.
  • Once OffiSync is successfully installed on your computer, open Microsoft Word. Here, you will notice a new tab called OffiSync in the ribbon.
  • Open the offiSync menu and click of Settings > Accounts. Click on add a new account in the dialog box that opens.
  • Type in your Google login credentials and authenticate your account.
  • To view or edit any of your documents, click on the open button in the ribbon from the OffiSync tab.
  • Select the document you want to work on.
  • When you have finished editing the document, save it using the Save button in the Offisync Menu.
  • Any changes made in the document will be reflected in your Google account as well.

You can also share your newly created (or amended) document with your colleagues by clicking on OffiSync Share or permission from the ribbon. Just add the email addresses with the permission privilege.

Although I have used Microsoft Word in the tutorial, Offisync will work flawlessly with other Office tools as well such as Excel. OffiSync also works on Google Apps.

How to Create a Blog Post in Microsoft Word 2010

Editor’s note: don’t create blog posts with Microsoft Word! Word is a word processor, not a blogging platform. Using WordPress to publish your blog does not require a degree; you can do it! With that said, below is that blog post (not created in Word, by the way) from one of our hapless authors before we fired him.

In versions of Microsoft Word prior to 2010, blogging was never a good option. Microsoft Word has developed a well deserved reputation for messing up a blog post so badly that you’d never want to try using it again! Microsoft Word 2010, however, is a different fish kettle. It makes publishing a blog post so easy that you might just be in total amazement (raptures even). For the purpose of this post (and since it’s the most popular blogging tool), I’m going to be using WordPress. (edit: see, I told you)

Select The Blog Post Template

Starting your blog post is just like starting any other new document. Go to File, New and then choose Blog Post (in available templates). Then, click on the Create button.

Register Your Blog

You’ll then be prompted to register your blog now or later. There is no time like the present, so go ahead and do that now. Click on the Register Now button and follow the cues. First you’ll need to select your blog provider. As you can see below, there are quite a few providers available for you to choose from. Then, you’ll enter the URL of your website, and login details and Word will attempt to connect to your blog.

Setup Picture Options (Optional)

If you happen to choose one of the other options blogging platforms, like Blogger for instance, you will have to setup your Picture Options. Luckily this is not difficult with WordPress, since the My Blog Provider option will already be selected (the options you see in the image below are for Blogger). So, you can just skip this step, unless you want to host your images somewhere other than your WordPress blog server.

Enable Remote Publishing

Skip this step if you already have this option enabled. If you don’t have Remote Publishing enabled, then Microsoft Word will not be able to connect to your account and you won’t be able to publish any posts.

This is a simple step: log in to the dashboard (/wp-admin) and go to the Settings category. Click on Writing and then look under the Remote Publishing options. Select the checkbox next to XML-RPC to enable publishing from any 3rd party applications (including Word).

Publish Your Blog Post

Once you’ve written your blog post, you can choose to publish it or save as a draft. Unfortunately, Microsoft Word still doesn’t let you add things like tags, custom fields, SEO options, etc (edit: which is one of the reasons why using Word to write blog posts is still a bad idea); so it is probably a good idea to choose the Publish As Draft option so that you can add those things in your blog before publishing (edit: yes folks, instead of doing everything in WordPress, the author recommends that you split an otherwise simple task into two: create the post in Word, finish off in your blog. Why bother??). You can however add a category in Word (edit: wow). The category shows as if it’s in the post, but when published it will not appear in the post.

10 Ways To Go Green At Your Office

Note: one of our guest writers contributed this piece, my own edits are clearly marked. Needless to say, we are still recruiting.

In today’s world, work offices are one place where a lot of earth’s resources are consumed and (more significantly) wasted. Whether you’re the boss or an employee, adopting a few practical measures can lay the groundwork for an environment-friendly workspace.

At your office, there will undoubtedly be many ways in which you can not only help save the planet’s resources but also save some money. In this post, I will present ten ways that can help you go green at your workplace.

1. Reduce Power Consumption

Computers are the biggest consumers of electricity in many offices. Setting your computers to energy-saving mode goes a long way in saving electricity. Most importantly, devices such as printers and scanners do not have to be connected to the computer all the time. They can be plugged in as and when needed. (edit: some may see unplugging devices as an impractical measure as an office with a large number of workers will need to service many print request, for example.)

Also, during breaks and at the end of your day’s work, do not leave your computer on standby mode. Waiting for an extra 30 seconds while switching the computer on wouldn’t hurt. (edit: actually, sometimes it would hurt. Some workers connect remotely from home to work, and this is impossible to do if they switch off their computers.)

2. Go Paperless

Going paperless whenever possible is a quick and, often, easy way to go green at your office. In the modern digital age, it’s a shame to be using piles of paper at work when the same storage of data can be done by a hard disk taking practically no space at all. Also, make it a habit to think before you hit the print button, even if it concerns a single page print.

(edit: There is always an exception though, and in our attempts to go paperless, there are many exceptions. Some documents need signing, some people find it easier to read documents on paper, etc.)

If there is a good alternative, you should always consider it. Send emails instead of letters, review documents on screen rather than using printouts and so on.

3. Reduce Fuel Consumption

Using public transport instead of private cars to reach your workplace makes a lot of difference in fuel consumption. If for any reason you are unable to use the public transport system, you can car-pool with your co-workers. By doing this, you are not only helping the environment but also reducing your fuel and parking costs. (edit: for god’s sake what kind of ill-thought out utopian rubbish is this? For many (most?) people their public transport system just doesn’t serve their needs. A 2 hour journey both to and from work is a nightmare.)

Another way to reduce fuel consumption, is by using bicycles to work if your workplace isn’t too far from your residence. Using bicycles not only helps you go green but also takes care of a little morning exercise. (edit: how near to their workplace do most people live? Does your workplace provide showers for your smelly arrival? Can you cope with getting a puncture halfway to work whne you are already under pressure to meet deadlines?)

4. Efficient Designs

Redesign your office and give it a lot more windows. (edit: jesus, this guy thinks everyone is a builder who has the freedon to hammer through walls to make windows!) Take advantage of natural light sources rather than electricity. Even if you have to switch on the lights, make sure that you use energy saving light bulbs like fluorescent bulbs, LED Lamps, etc.

Do forgive me for cutting the article short at 4; I’ll resume in another post when I recover my will to live.

How To Change The Aspect Ratio Of A PowerPoint Presentation

By default, all presentations you create in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 have an aspect ratio of 4:3. This screen ratio is OK if you are viewing your presentation on old monitors or legacy projector screens, but when it comes to new monitors with 16:9 or 16:10 as their default aspect ratio, you will see two vertical black strips on the left and right sides of the screen.

If you ever need to display your work on a 16:9 screen, follow these steps to make your presentation fit on the screen without those black sidebars.

How to Change the Aspect Ratio In PowerPoint

  • Step 1: Start Microsoft Office PowerPoint and click on Page Setup under the Design menu.
  • Step 2: In the Page Setup dialog box, select your required aspect ratio from the list of available sizes and select ok. You can manually specify the size and also change the orientation of your slides in page setup.
  • That’s all there is to it. Next time you are presenting on a new high definition monitor, your presentation will fill-up the entire display area with no more black sidesbars at the edges.

Additional Points

  • If you are converting a a 4:3 presentation to an aspect ratio of 16:9, have a look on all the slides before you present your show. There is a possibility that your text might bounce off the margins of the slide. Always test your changes!
  • If you are taking the show file (.PPS or .PPSX) on your USB stick to a conference or a meeting, make sure you keep a copy in both the aspect ratios, as you never know what kind of monitor you will have available.