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Tag: IT Services Chicago

10 Feb 2019

OneNote an Awesome Office 365 Tool

Office 365 has great tools
Office 365 has many great tools like OneNote

Tips for using OneNote for Project Management

Hopefully by now your IT Support team, or the Managed IT Support company you are working with has introduced you to Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a powerful project management and online notebook tool. The best part is that it is part of the Office 365 cloud suite. So if you have Office 365 you don’t have to pay extra. You now no longer have to spend a lot of money on expensive project management software because OneNote is not only available on all devices but it can also be used for a number of projects. OneNote can be configured according to your needs and the type of project that you are working on. Following are some of the tips that can prove to be very helpful if you decide to use OneNote for project management. Your IT consulting team can help get you started but its not overly complicated

Train your team to use OneNote:

The essence of project management is teamwork. Your team must be able to effectively collaborate to make any project successful. Another important factor is that your team should be skilled at and comfortable in using the tools being used for project management. One of the major advantages of using OneNote as your main project management tool is that it can be learned very easily with minimal training. If the people working in your team are familiar with Microsoft Word they would have no difficulty in getting used to OneNote. There are plenty of guides available online that can help you and your team in getting comfortable with the software. As one of Chicago top IT companies we can provide you training also. Our most popular cloud offering is Office 365!

 

Customize according to the project:

One of the unique and very useful abilities of OneNote is that it can be very easily customized according to your preferences or the project you are working on. If you force yourself to work on a software that doesn’t look or feel good you will find a lot of hindrance in your creative process. The simplest customizations can be done from the View tab. By using this tab, you can change the settings from the default view to full page view. You can also use this tab to dock the pages to the side of the screen while you take notes from different online sources. More fancy customizations can also be easily found in the Options area when you click on the Display option. Even if the project that you are working on is a simple one, some customizations like changing the color of the pages can really mean a huge difference in the end result. By learning to use customizations to your advantage you can have increased work efficiencies in any given project.

Using custom page templates:

Page templates can be a big lifesaver when it comes to project management. In any project of any size, there is a high possibility that some objects or tasks are repeated. This is where page templates can save a lot of time and effort that you and your team put into the project. One of the features of OneNote is that it not only allows you to use the preexisting page templates but it also gives you the option to create your own custom page templates from scratch. All you have to do is to go to the Insert option and then click on an insert page template to add any template. Using page templates can dramatically reduce time especially when you are duplicating any information. This information can be anything, recurring meetings, interviews with different clients, task processes, idea discussion meetings etc.

Follow an organization strategy:

OneNote is equipped with multiple options such as pages, categories, subcategories, notebooks, sections etc. But in order to use these features to their full potential, it is necessary that you use an organizational strategy to keep things in correct order. One of the best practices that can ensure a good organization strategy is to make sure that you add a table of content at the start of the project. This additional page should have clickable links to different content in the project so that you can navigate easily. Another important feature in this regard is the search feature in OneNote. This feature can be used to search for any file or page in the project. When the conventional methods of finding anything fails tags can be used to quickly search for the items. Tags in OneNote is another very useful feature that can be used to properly categorize different items in the project. They can help you in quickly getting to the required data.

Some other great Office 365 tools include yammer and teams. Yammer is a bulletin board type of tool and great for company wide communications, broadcasts, and announcements. Microsoft teams is another Office 365 tool that can be used for communication between project teams, have a central repository for project files, and other project related functions/

Hope this information helps. If want to work with one of Chicago’s top IT Companies, and a top Office 365 provider feel free to email info@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370

09 Dec 2018

“Likeability” and Attitude, The keys to a Great Chicago IT Support Team!

Chicago IT Solutions
Managed IT Services for Small Business

IT Support Technicians Need a Great Attitude

As a business leader from time to time you need to make a decision about getting IT Support for your business. Do not make attitude and likeability an afterthought when it comes to selecting your IT Support team. As a matter of fact, these attributes can make or break the success of your technology investment. Time after time I have seen some great technologies and IT solution projects fail because of the poor attitude of the IT support technicians and IT consultants delivering the solution. I am seeing this happen less frequently as more younger IT support technicians become advanced and trained. The old guard “know it all” IT support engineer has gone from being irreplaceable to quickly replaced with someone with a great attitude. A good Managed IT Services firm will have people in place with great attitudes!

What’s a great Attitude for IT Support?

In my mind a great attitude means the ability to explain things in a language people can understand. It also means being able to document processes and train other people to fill their role in the event of an emergency. And most importantly to smile while they do it. If you sense that your current IT support team holds the keys to your kingdom, and you are unsure of what they do sometimes you are not alone. Your IT support team needs to empower you, and not make you feel they speak a language you don’t understand. They have to bridge that gap and help you understand technology in a way that empowers you to run your business more effectively. They have to have a great attitude!

Selecting the right IT Support Team

Here are a few considerations to review when selecting an IT Support Firm. Again the most important thing when selecting an IT Support partner is the likeability factor. Information Technology experts are a different breed. Today’s IT Support technicians and IT Consultants need technical experience and business experience. They need to be able to solve business challenges with technology. Technology just for the sake of technology is not going to drive your business forward and meet your needs. On top of being able to understand the business pieces of technology your IT support team needs to have people you like to work with and trust. This may go without saying, but you can have the most brilliant technically savvy IT consultant, but if that person is not easy to work with, it’s going to cost you a lot of money and give you many headaches.

It’s about your Business not Technology

Remember it’s not about the technology it’s about your business. If you find your current IT Consultant or IT support person speaks in a technical language you can’t understand that is a red flag. Today’s IT Consultant has to be able to communicate in a business language you and your people can understand. Secondly they have to have patience. Today’s IT solutions move so fast, between the cloud, VOIP, Managed IT Services, and other IT technologies your tech support team needs to be able to slow it down, communicate and make sure your business is getting the most out of its technology spend. They also need to be able to explain the technology to your people and train them to use it. That takes teamwork, communications, patience, and compassion. I’ve often found IT Companies that have implemented some great technologies but the platforms have failed to deliver because of lack of training, communications, and follow through.

The roles of IT Consultants, IT Support Technicians

And of course another key consideration and factor when hiring is putting the IT support people in their correct roles. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the square peg in a round hole expression. This is an extremely important concept when it comes to IT Support. You wouldn’t have a plumber doing brain surgery would you? That’s why a help desk support person is different from a network engineer person. A help desk support person needs to have a great attitude, patience and communications skills. Why? Because these are the technicians that are responsible for customer support and satisfaction. Someone who works in a Network Operating Center will not make a good customer facing help desk support person, it’s two entirely different roles. Most Network Engineers don’t like to deal with end users, they want to be in the plumbing not handing out glasses of water. So don’t assume that because you’re hiring an IT Consultant they will be able to be all things to your organization. Hire a Network Engineer to do engineering not to do help desk. That’s why it’s also important to understand an IT consultant may not have the same skills as an IT Director. And expecting them to have the same skills will end up in disappointment. It’s about having round pegs in round holes!

If you would like information about IT Support Services please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370. Or if you need an IT Health Assessment give me a call.

02 Nov 2017

Help your Company– Change Your Passwords – It helps the IT Security Solutions you have in place!

IT Security Solutions are a cornerstone to protecting your company’s data! Make sure you help your company and adhere to good password habits!

Your company could be spending thousands on their IT Security Solutions. But if you don’t respect password management, and strategy it could be money wasted.  Making sure you have a good password strategy is key to a successful IT Security Solutions! We have passwords for everything – our computers and cell phones, our garages, and, for some of us who can’t control our snacking habits, even our refrigerators are password protected. Many services that you use such as email, online banking, and your apps for shopping will automatically prompt you to reset your password with a new one; but how often should you really be changing your passwords to keep your information protected?

Personal vs. Shared-Device Passwords:

First thing’s first: we all know that we have the same password, or a variation of it, for everything we use. Of course, that’s the easiest way to keep yourself from having to send your forgotten password to your email, which you’ll then have to sign into, and change your password yet again. While it saves time and energy to have the same password for all of your logins, it’s never a good idea to use your personal passwords for shared computers. And your company works hard to make sure data is safe and the IT Security Solutions they have in place do the job!

This isn’t to say that you have a malicious coworker (which, you might) who would sign into your personal accounts using the password from your work computer, but, as the saying goes, it’s always good to keep your work life and personal life separate. The same goes for your work and personal passwords.

What Passwords Should I Be Changing?

The sweet and simple answer is: all of them. If you want your information to have maximum protection, you’ll need to periodically change your passwords to ensure that you don’t get hacked. If you made an email account specifically to get your fourth free trial of your favorite online radio streaming service, no need to go back and change that password. But it’s safe to say that the more you use a particular website, email address, or online service, the more you should be changing your passwords. Help IT and make sure their IT Security Solution is effective!

How Frequently Should I Change Them?

The current, most common recommendation for changing your password is once every 90 days, but do you really need to be changing your passwords that often? For your most important accounts that need the most protection, like your online banking account, you’ll want to change your password at least once every 90 days, if not more frequently. And that doesn’t mean you can be lazy and change your password from “password1” to “password2” – if you really want to maximize your protection, you’ll have to get more creative than that. Something as simple as adding an “e” or “b” to signify that it’s your email or bank password will be a reminder for you and a head-scratcher for a hacker. For other passwords, such as your social media profile or movie-streaming account, you can wait as long as a year to change your password (or longer, if you really feel that daring).

Tips for Changing Your Password:

Though it’s a little extra hassle, keep a list of all of your passwords somewhere safe – and not on your computer. Have a hard copy of your passwords tucked away in your desk or on a thumb drive so that they’re easily accessible to you, but not to your potential hackers. Keeping all of your passwords similar, but not exactly the same, can also help when it comes to trying to remember what exactly you chose a few months ago. If you find yourself forgetting whether or not you’ve changed your password, set a schedule to change all passwords at the same time so that you never have to search through the depths of your memory to figure out what password you used when you signed up for your account in 2009.

Just like wearing a seatbelt, passwords can be annoying to remember but are there for your protection. Don’t get caught with your proverbial pants down and leave your personal or professional information up for grabs.

To learn more about how employees enable hackers;

Go Here:

https://www.itriskmgrs.com/8-ways-your-employees-enable-hackers