10 Excel Shortcuts Meant to Save You Time

Keyboard Shortcuts / Flickr.com / BookGlutton

Image Source: Flickr.com / BookGlutton

Disclaimer: These tips are known to work in Excel 2010. They may or may not work in other versions of Excel.

Excel can be an extremely powerful business tool, if you know how to use it correctly. Take the hassle out of locating commonly used features, and save some time, with these 10 useful Excel shortcuts.

CTRL + Page Down / CTRL

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+ Page Up Move Between Worksheets

Both of these commands work the same, by moving you quickly through the workbook tabs at the bottom, but which command you use depends on which direction you want to go.

CTRL + Page Down will move through the tabs from left to right. This is helpful when you are on the first workbook tab, and want to move to others in the series.

CTRL + Page Up will move through the workbook tabs from right to left. So, once you’ve viewed your last workbook tab, you can easily move back to the first tab (or any other tab before the one you’re on) by pressing CTRL + Page Up.

CTRL + SHIFT + & Apply Borders

Pressing CTRL + SHIFT + & applies a thin black border to the selected area. Cells must be pre-selected before using this shortcut for this command to work.

CTRL + SHIFT + _ Un-apply Borders

Similarly, pressing CTRL + SHIFT + _ un-applies the border to the selected area. Again, cells containing the border you wish to remove must be pre-selected before using this shortcut.

CTRL + SHIFT + ~ General Number Formatting

With the applicable cells selected, press CTRL + SHIFT + ~ to format a cell with General Number formatting.

CTRL + SHIFT + $ Currency Formatting

Press CTRL + SHIFT + $ to apply currency formatting to the selected cells. Formatting will include two decimal places.

CTRL + SHIFT + % Percentage Formatting

To apply Percentage formatting, with no decimal places, highlight the applicable cells, then press CTRL + SHIFT + %.

CTRL + SHIFT + # Date Formatting

To apply date formatting (with month and year), highlight the selected cells, then press CTRL + SHIFT + #.

CTRL + SHIFT + @ Time Formatting

Similarly, to apply time formatting, including hours and minutes, AM and PM, select the appropriate cells, then press CTRL + SHIFT +@.

CTRL + ; Enters Current Date

To enter today’s date into a cell, select the cell, then press CTRL +; (semi-colon).

CTRL + SHIFT + : Enters Current Time

Similarly, to enter the current time into a cell, in AM / PM formatting, select the cell, then press CTRL + SHIFT + : (colon).

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you enjoy your computer experience. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

How to Save a Wet Phone – The Rice Trick

Phone in Rice - Flickr.com / husin.sani

Image Credit: Flickr.com / husin.sani

If your phone gets wet, do you know what to do to save it?

As soon as you hear the splash, your stomach flips, your heart pounds, and your mind races thinking of all the important items on your phone that you haven’t backed up. If you’ve ever had a wet phone, you know this feeling all too well.

When faced with this situation, there is one crucial step you can take to help prevent disaster, and all it takes is something you probably have at home already – rice.

Please note the most important factor in saving your phone is time. The longer you wait, the more time the liquid has to penetrate the internal workings of your phone. To greatly increase your chances of success, you must act as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: This trick isn’t always guaranteed to work, and depends on the severity of the incident. However, I have seen rice perform miracles on a digital camera that fell into a river, so it can work if you act fast enough.

Once you realize your phone is soaked, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the phone.
  • Dry the outside very well, using a clean, dry, absorbent cloth.
  • Remove any external connections, such as the charger.
  • Open the case, removing as much of the cover as possible (take care not to break your case).
  • Remove the battery.
  • Remove the SIM card (if applicable).
  • If possible, use a wet / dry vacuum to remove any excess moisture. DO NOT use a hair dryer to dry your phone, it could damage your device.
  • Get a Tupperware container or plastic bag, and partially fill it with rice (any type works). Place the phone in the container, and then cover the phone completely with more rice.
  • Let sit overnight. (24 hours is preferable, if you can go that long without your phone.)

Tip! Once in rice, rotate your device every hour or two, turning it different ways so that the water has a chance to escape your phone.

Once the phone has sat overnight, place the phone on a towel, paper towels, or something else absorbent, and then let it sit for a few minutes, allowing any excess moisture to be absorbed by the towel.

Clean and dry your phone, and put it back together. See if it works. If it does not, take the battery out and put it on the charger. If it works without the battery, you need to replace your battery.

The “rice trick” is a great quick-fix solution for dealing with a wet phone. However, if you are more accident prone, and tend to get your phone wet a lot, you may want to consider another option – Liquipel.

Relatively inexpensive, starting at around $59 per device, Liquipel is a lightweight, protective coating that covers your phone inside and out. With Liquipel, when your phone gets wet, the liquid beads-up and rolls off, protecting your phone because the liquid doesn’t have a chance to penetrate any parts or pieces.
For more information about Liquipel, visit their website, or check out this video.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys finding new ways to help you with your technology woes. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Motivating Employees to be More Productive


Image Credit: Flickr.com / opensourceway

Everyone knows that the best way to keep employees productive is to offer them monetary rewards as an incentive for productivity, right? Wrong. In fact, studies are finding that these types of rewards actually demotivate your employees. Instead, create a better, more productive work environment with a different kind of incentive.

Traditionally, productivity is viewed in very basic terms – if you do this, I will offer you this amount of money as a reward. This system is much like getting a horse to work by dangling a carrot on a stick in front of him. But employees aren’t horses. They aren’t motivated by the carrot. And, dangling a carrot in front of your best and brightest employees may actually cause them to seek employment elsewhere.

Contrary to popular belief, money isn’t a motivating factor. It can only motivate your employees for so long before it no longer becomes incentive enough for them to continue working as hard. This is because as humans, our brains aren’t hardwired for money.

Instead, humans are purpose driven. In order to be productive, and more importantly happy, employees must feel like what they are doing has a purpose, and that this purpose will better their life in more ways than the accumulation of a few extra dollars.

How do you empower your employees with purpose instead of leading them with a carrot? By using these 3 factors as motivation instead.

Autonomy: The ability to be self-directed and direct their own lives and workflow in the office. If you want employees who are engaged and energized in the office, allow them to be their own manager when it comes to their specific work.

Mastery: People desire to master difficult things. The need to master something difficult is the whole reason people play instruments on the weekend, or learn to program for fun. They don’t do it because they are getting paid to learn these things; they do it for the thrill of learning and mastering something difficult.

Purpose: Having autonomy and mastery often leads to purpose. People want to feel like what they are doing matters. If an employee doesn’t understand the purpose behind their work, the bigger picture of who they are helping and why, the work becomes meaningless, and over time can stifle the creativity and potential of the employee, ultimately demotivating them.

So what kind of business do you want? One where employees that “toe the line” and follow orders, never innovating or growing the business; or one where employees are energized to come to work, happy to help and ready to innovate because they feel like what they are contributing really makes a difference in the world?

In order for your business to survive today, the answer is clear – chuck the carrot. For more information about how autonomy, mastery, and purpose are more motivational than money, check out this animated speech by RSA.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys bringing peace and calm to your business.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.