Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Work Smart Guides updated. Don't write your own "how to use X/Y/Z Microsoft tech," download and customize these!

Education - WorkSmart Guides - Updated ready-made IT user documentation


One of the godsends for me was a set of documents called Work Smart Guides, which walked me through the basics of some of the new technology I was encountering.

As our IT team describe it, Work Smart Guides bridge the gap between technology and users. Work Smart guides provide employees with scenario-based, best-use productivity aids on Microsoft products and technologies.


Updated ready-made IT guides

The Microsoft IT Team have just updated the published versions that you could modify and publish for your users. This is a great step – I’m guessing that lots of schools, TAFEs and Universities are either producing user documentation for staff, or want to. And I bet that 80-90% of the content is identical in each institution. So these guides would make a good starter for 10, either for the format, or the instructions, or simply the screenshots. As an example, here’s the Email Basics one.

The subjects covered in the step-by-step guides for users include:

  • Protecting data with BitLocker
  • Getting started with email
  • Transfer files and settings to a new computer
  • Collaborating with SharePoint
  • An overview of collaboration tools
  • Customising SharePoint sites
  • SharePoint workspaces
  • Integrating Outlook with SharePoint
  • Basics of managing email (Are you a stacker or a filer?)
  • Office tips for Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word
  • Outlook email signatures
  • New features for users in Windows 7
  • Securing Windows Phone
  • Get started with Outlook Web Access
  • Successful meetings with Lync
Download the Work Smart Guides

There are 36 of them, and they come in one big Zip file for you to play with:

..." [GD: Click through for the download]


These are short and sweat guides that you can use as the base for your internal guides. Update the logo and style and you've got professional looking internal doc's. Remember good writers borrow, great ones steal...



Related Past Post XRef:
Work Smart (by letting someone else do the icky document creation grunt work) – “Work Smart Productivity Guides” from Microsoft for your end-user training, re-use and tweaking pleasure

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