Of course there is the brilliant program MS Project for project management but perhaps you need to do something a bit quick and not as involved as what you can do with MS Project. Well you could have a go at using Excel. The think in Project that makes it useful is a Gantt chart, a visual representation of your project over time, lets just call it a timeline. That’s built right in. What’s great is that as you make changes to durations, start dates or even move tasks the Gantt chart instantly updates.
Now in Excel you can add the data like the task, start date, duration, resources etc. But it would be nice to have the Gantt chart too, however, you have to create the Gantt chart yourself and might not have some of the features of MS Project. Excel, however, can be useful.
Here in this video I show you how to create your own Gantt chart in Excel.
I think we all want to know that we keeping our audience engaged when we are doing our PowerPoint presentation. So how many of you rehearse your presentation either in our heads or out loud?
Now if you do rehearse have you got someone giving you feedback? And if you do what sort of feedback are they giving you? Now Microsoft have added a feature into PowerPoint called Rehearse with Coach and I’ve got to say I love it. It gave me feedback that I have not had before, some of it was reassuring but it also got me thinking about other areas that I can improve on.
The great thing is it give you feedback as I rehearsed including things like do I “umm” and “ahh” and also if I used a word or words too often. I also told me that I was talking too fast and slow down.
When I completed it I got a report telling me how many slides and how long I took. It then showed me the filler I used like “uhh” and any repetitive language, it can even tell you if the language you are using is inclusive or not. It did tell me my pace, that is words per minute, and it seems my pace is just right at 140 words/min. You can see your pace over time too.
The pitch told me I wasn’t monotone. That’s a relief as that could put your audience to sleep.
You might have heard the term “death by PowerPoint” when someone is just reading their presentation from the slides. The rehearse with coach will tell you if you reading from the slides. I’m pleased to say I didn’t. I like to keep the information on the slides relevant but to a minimum, think of it as something help show what you are talking about and also as a prompt for yourself. I don’t use the notes as I use my slides as a prompt.
Here is a video I made to show you how it works and do a small part of my presentation to show you the feedback and report in action.
One of the many tools in Excel that speeds up how you work is Fill, used to be called AutoFill way back, it is how you can quickly make a series or copy values or formulas by simply clicking and dragging on the bottom right hand corner of a cell. I’ve always loved this feature.
However, when you use Fill it also copies the formatting and you might not want to do that. For me the most frustrating thing is that it usually messes up how I have formatted my cell borders.
But there is a solution and that is to right click and drag and not left click. You then get options like Fill without formatting, there is also an option to just copy the formatting.
Here is a video I made to show you how it works. I’ve also included some links to other useful videos to do with Fill including one of my favourites, Flash-Fill, it is so clever.
I’ve been using this great app called DoubleTake, it allows you to record with two of the cameras on your iPhone at the same time. This means you can record with the front and back camera at the same time. Useful for interviewing, explaining something so your audience can see you and what you are demonstrating.
If you have more than one camera on the back then you can choose a combination of these so you could have a wide angle and telephone recording at the same time and then you can choose which shot to use when editing.
There are three options when recording. You can have split screen, picture-in-picture or discrete. With split screen and picture-in-picture it records one file and you can’t change the position of the recordings afterwards. Well you kind of can with the split screen with a bit of cropping and repositioning. If you record discrete it creates two separate files and you can edit them independently afterwards. They are the same length and start at the same time so easy to line up. They also both have the audio track.
To get the files from your iPhone to your computer you can AirDrop them or save them to your camera roll. You can also edit directly on your iPhone too. I like using LumaFusion but do also use iMovie When on the computer I use Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, if you are interested.
The maximum resolution is 1080p
If you have the iPhone 13 Pro or the Max version you can record in ProRes.
Check out my video below to show you how it works, by the way I use a gimbal, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, to help keep the shots steady when I’m walking. I also use the Rode Wireless Go II to record the sound. Links below the video.
More people I know have spent time recording their screens on their Macs for teaching and demos than ever. Unfortunately this had a lot to do with lockdowns and trying to show how things worked on their computer screens. Some resorted to having to purchase software such as Camtasia, which is a great bit of software that I use all the time for creating tutorials.
However, you might just want to record a one off or perhaps you just don’t have the budget just now for purchasing another bit of software.
If you are a Mac user you will be pleased to know that QuickTime, built right into your Mac and free, does just this. You can do this by opening QuickTime or by pressing these three keys, command+shift+5.
Here’s a video I made to show you how it works and what your options are.
One of the great things about computers and tablets is the ability to do more than one thing at a time, that’s right multitasking. You can multitask with the iPad. Maybe like you I really enjoy using my iPad. There is so much you can do with it, I’ve even started video editing and processing my photos on it thanks to apps like Lumafusion for the video editing and Adobe Lightroom Mobile for my photos.
Multitasking was a little fiddly on the iPad having to drag and hold and drop it in just the right place. But with iPadOS 15 Apple fixed that and made it so much easier to. Now there are three dots at the top of the screen with any app that allows you to multitask, not all apps can multitask.
In this video I show you how to multitask on your iPad with iPadOS 15
If you are like me you often take a photo of something so that you have the information handy and can then make some notes. Perhaps it is a poster, business card, some notes or other text. Now in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 you can actually copy the text directly from any of your photographs and paste them into wherever you can add text like Notes, Word, Pages, Excel, an email, you get the idea. You can even copy that email address and add it to an email, a website address copied into Safari.
This is something I have been using all the time, I not only find it useful but it saves me time too, and also reduces errors, you know those typos when transferring something you are typing out.
If you want to see how it works check out this video I made for you.
Do you ever have those moments when you need to set the timer on your watch but you also need to set a timer for something else and perhaps another one. I know I do. There are certainly times I have more then one thing on the go. Such as when I am cooking.
Now the one problem with timing more then one thing and that is knowing what the timer is for. Thankfully you can do that with the latest update in WatchOS 8. Using Siri you can set a label for the timer so you know which timer is which.
Here is a video I made so you can see how it works.
Gimbals are excellent devices for photography and video. They are really useful for vlogging and capturing video when you want to move keeping the video steady avoiding camera shake. The gimbal is really a camera stabiliser and you can get models that have built in cameras or cameras you can attach, including smartphones. In the video below I use one that uses my smartphone.
I also like that it has a joystick so can do nice smooth pans and tilts.
The nice thing is that they are light and portable and can easily fold up so that you can put them in your bag. Bigger gimbals that use mirrorless or DSLR cameras are perhaps too big to fit in your bag but that would depend on how big your bag is.
Aside from smoothing out motion as you move it also has some other features such as tracking to keep what you have selected in view but moving the gimbal to try and keep it in shot. You can also do time-lapse.
The model I have has a stand so you can put it on a surface but I can also attached it to a tripod without the stand.
It is useful for photography too as it can keep the camera steady. It will do panoramas and automatically stitch them together, it does it quicker then the built in panorama feature in my iPhone, probably the same for an Android phone too. There is a fun feature that was recently added to the DJI app and that is Clone Me. It does a panorama taking three shots, you have five second between each shot move and appear up to three times in the same shot.
Check out the video below to see what the gimbal can do.
If you have been using Zoom chances are you have either used breakout rooms or seen the button at the bottom of the screen. Breakout rooms allow groups to have discussions, work on things like presentations or perhaps you just want them to network.
Recently Zoom have added the ability to share your screen across the breakout rooms. So you can share ideas, leave some bullet points of the tasks or perhaps take part in an activity.
When you share across the breakout rooms it does stop any screen sharing they are doing within their session. Yes, each breakout room can have someone share a screen within the room.
The screen share is done from the main session. They cannot hear or see you in the breakout room, just the screen share.