Google I/O 2018 - Watch Live!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for Google Fans! ;-) And you can watch the live streams here:

Quick Tips: Alternatives to Microsoft Office


If you need the functionality of Microsoft Office, but don’t have access to or can’t afford it, there are other options!

Option 1 - Google

While not (yet?) offering the depth of functionality you see in Microsoft Office, the tools and features you use most often are available:

  • In place of Microsoft Word, use Google Docs
  • In place of Microsoft Excel, use Google Sheets
  • In place of Microsoft PowerPoint, use Google Slides

Other Google tools include: Google Forms (for surveys and other form-based functionality), Google Draw (for basic drawing/workflows, etc.)

If you need additional functionality, there is a library of extensions you can choose from - some free, others at a nominal cost. These tools are web-based, but there is also an “offline” option for those times when you don’t have an internet connection handy.

You can also upgrade (for a price) to GSuite to get “extras” such as: Business email through Gmail; video and voice conferencing; Smart shared calendars; 24/7 support by phone, email, and online; security and administration controls; and more. 

These work on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Cost: free for the basics/$5 - $10 per user for GSuite

Option 2 - LibraOffice

LibraOffice is a downloadable replacement for Microsoft Office that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

  • In place of Microsoft Word, use Writer
  • In place of Microsoft Excel, use Calc
  • In place of Microsoft PowerPoint, use  Impress

Other LibraOffice tools include: Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), Math (formula editing), and Charts (ability to create and embed charts).

Cost: free but you can also make a donation if you wish

Option 3 - Microsoft 365:

But if you need to have access to "the real deal" for a short time you probably still don't want to pay full price. No problem! For $6.99 (at the time this was published) you can get 1 month access to Microsoft Office 365.

This includes access to:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft Publisher (PC only)
  • Microsoft Access (PC only)

Just make sure to cancel before they charge you for the next month!

These work on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems (except as noted).

Cost: $6.99/month

Words Matter, Even If We Try To Believe Otherwise

I always cringe when someone says “I won’t let anything happen to you” - what an awful thing to say to someone. Can you image a life where nothing ever happened? Of course, that's not what they mean. What they are trying to say is that they won't let anything *bad* happen to you.  Which may be unrealistic, but at least has good intentions.

But it's still not right; not when you speak or when when you write.

And then there's this one..."I could care less." 

Yea, that one, sorry, the eye roll is not optional if you are going to insist on saying that one.

If you could care less, that can only mean that you care. So, saying that when you don't care is wrong. Just flat-out, 100%, wrong. If you don't care, then "I couldn't care less" is the phrase you are looking for. 

Think This Doesn't Matter?

Sure, no one says anything about it to you. And maybe "you know what I meant" is true. But you should know that when you make these types of mistakes:

  • it distracts from what you are saying
  • it may cause misunderstandings
  • it damages your credibility

Yes, that's right, I'm saying that people silently judge you for this. Maybe you're OK with that. But maybe you shouldn't be. 

Want to do better? Here's a great reference:

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
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Details Matter...

For example, check out Amazon's package tracker during the holiday season:

Amazon adds a holiday touch to their package tracker page. Come on, admit it, you smiled!

Amazon adds a holiday touch to their package tracker page. Come on, admit it, you smiled!

Google I/o 2016

I’m looking forward to another exciting Google I/O - this year it’s running May 18 - 20, 2016.

For easy access to the online session, feel free to come back and check this out:

An Easy Way To Make Customer Service Easy

Everyone says that they want to offer excellent customer service, and most-often think that they do. But when they find out that customers are unhappy there is a laundry list of reasons why “it’s not our fault.”

It’s Not That Hard to Make Your Customer Happy

Seriously, I can give you one easy step to turn those customer grumbles into customer grins. Heck, those unhappy customers will start signing your praises. You just need to do One Little Thing.

And I’m such a sweetheart, I won’t even charge you for this secret. Yep, I’m that wonderful!

OK, got your pen and notebook ready? Do you maybe want to sit down for this?

Follow up

When you say you are going to do something, DO IT. For example, if you tell a customer that you will put a note on their prescription to hold it until the customer can get in to pick it up, DO IT.

When you tell a customer that you will look into a problem/request/etc. and let them know - DO IT. Check out what needs to be researched, and contact the customer with the information right away. If it turns out that it will take longer than you thought, contact the customer to let them know you are working on it; that you did not forgot them.

Go on, give this a try. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at the results.