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Course Review: Google Calendar Advanced Tips and Tricks

Teacher: Jess Stratton
Length: 52m (course link)

This course covers a lot of the same material as Jess Stratton’s course Google Calendar Essential Training. As such, I found myself skipping past various sections in order to get to new material. A further explanation of video events was quite useful, allowing me to make sense of a service that I will likely use in the not-so-distant future.
If you are new to Google Calendar, then I highly recommend that you do Google Calendar Essential Training instead. However, if you are looking to brush up your skills in Google Calendar, then Google Calendar Advanced Tips and Tricks offers good value due to how condensed the material is.


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Course Review: Google Calendar Essential Training

Teacher: Jess Stratton
Length: 1h 42m (course link)

In the course Google Calendar Essential Training, Jess Stratton gives comprehensive training in Google Calendar, both the free and paid business option. Google Calendar is one of the big three calendar services in the west in modern time. It is also one of the numerous apps available with a Google account.
I have been a member of Google for many years and have made some use of Google Calendar during that time. This offered some familiarity with the free version going into the course. I did, however, learn a few new things over the span of the different modules.

The course material is targetted at newcomers to the product yet builds on the complexity over time until the student has a comprehensive understanding of Google Calendar and Google Calendar for Business. Jess Stratton never lingers on a subject for too long, giving just enough time for each topic. She also delivers the material in a conversational and friendly manner.
Though I was aware of the sharing functions, I had never used them before. After doing the course, I have considered ways in which I can make use of this function in order to share information with loved ones. I also found myself thinking of ways to use Google Calendar more effectively.

In conclusion, this course is a must for anyone looking to use Google Calendar for planning and organisation. If you have a google account and want to get more organised, then Google Calendar Essential Training is a great way to become familiar with the features that you’ll be using.


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Course Review: Managing To-do Lists

Teacher: Suzanna Kaye
Length: 43m (course link)

In this third course in the Improve Your Organizational Skills learning pathway, Suzanna Kaye offers some great tips and advice regarding how to organise your life better using to-do lists. She covers both paper and digital systems, including online and software-based offerings. This is all brought together in a fast-paced but manageable forty-three minutes.

I was mildly familiar with some to-do list apps going into this course, but it seems that there is a wide variety of both paper and digital systems available. The idea of breaking larger tasks into small steps is not a new concept. However, many of us fall back into poor habits that often lead to decreased productivity and effectiveness in achieving our goals. This is why building in the habit of maintaining and applying a to-do list is so important.
This course helps with deciding which system to use. Suzanna discusses numerous paper systems in some detail, allowing us an overview of what we need to begin. This might be a journal or ring binder that uses index cards. It is likely the most expensive system as well. We then get an overview of several apps on Apple and Android devices as well as online options. The focus is on apps that sync over multiple devices as this reduces the chance of having all of those tasks destroyed in the event that a mishap occurs. I ended up installing one of the suggested apps on my Windows 10 PC.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to organise their life more. If you anything close to my level of chaos, it will likely lead to a few decisions on your part. In any case, you are likely to learn something of value in this course.

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Course Review: Outlook 2016 Time Management with Calendar and Tasks

Teacher: Gini von Courter
Length: 2h 54m (course link)

As mentioned yesterday, I started a learning pathway on LYNDA. Outlook 2016 Time Management with Calendar and Tasks is the second part of the Improve Your Organizational Skills learning pathway. The previous course encouraged the use of calendar software that syncs across various devices, which is where Outlook 2016 comes into play.
As a small caveat before I continue, I haven’t used a version of Outlook for many years. To be honest, I am more familiar with versions of Mozilla Thunderbird from at least five years ago. Whilst I can see a purpose for this sort of software, I find it easier to use a browser for managing my emails. However, I do use the app One Calendar which is connected with my Google account.

Gini von Courter gives a comprehensive look at the features of this product. As with David Rivers, she uses the fictional business of Landon Hotel to base her lessons on. Over time, the basics covered in the beginning are built upon giving students a good working knowledge of the features.
Whilst students will get a good working knowledge of the software, the longer lessons might be unappealing to some. The materials were well-organised, to be sure, but they tended to drag on longer than needed to get the material across for me personally. If you don’t mind taking a bit longer, this will be less of an issue.

In conclusion, this course did a great job of making me familiar with the features of Outlook 2016. Whilst I doubt that I will change to it anytime soon, I highly suspect that the course will be a great help to anyone using Outlook 2016 in a work environment where they will coordinate with numerous people. I’d also recommend to anyone considering purchasing the software.

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Course Review: OneNote 2016 Essential Training

Teacher: David Rivers
Length: 3h 46m (course link)

In lieu of a desire to fix the plot of a book, I decided to learn more about the software that I’ll be using to plan out the story in great detail. I first became aware of OneNote nearly a decade ago. A couple that I was in the early stages of collaborating on a setting with mentioned it during a Skype conversation. I did some research and played around with a trial version. It was neat but I wasn’t ready to jump in headfirst as yet because Office was and still is quite expensive. Years later, Microsoft released free versions of the software. Unfortunately, I only recently started taking advantage of this.
Please note that OneNote 2016 is different from the version available on the Windows App Store. I found this out the hard way. So, if you plan to learn the software, install the standalone application available at the Microsoft website. That will allow you to follow along with the materials without the annoyance of having to deal with a different layout and features.

In this course, David Rivers gives an extensive look into the various features of OneNote 2016 using a mock business called Landon Hotel. The pace was appropriate to what was being covered. The course structure was also well-suited to the learning outcomes.
Although I was passably familiar with the software beforehand, I regularly came across features that I was unfamiliar with. I had a few questions going in as well and these were quickly addressed. Whenever other questions popped up they were answered one or two videos later.
To accessibility, this course is designed to give beginners comprehensive training in the software. Don’t worry about the material being dumbed down though because David does a great job of building upon complexity in an entertaining way. He also avoided lingering on a subject beyond what was necessary.
I don’t have any issues or complaints about the course or course activities.

I learnt a lot from this course. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in making use of this neat piece of software. If you have other software in the Microsoft Office Suite, LYNDA has a bunch of in-depth courses that offer comprehensive training.