Using Technology to Better Manage Your Projects


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Using Technology to Better Manage Your Projects, presented by Kathleen Brockel at the New Mexico Bar Legal Service Provider Conference, June 2009

[General topics: Meeting Wizard, Basecamp, MS Word, MS Excel]

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  • LSNTAP provides technology support to the poverty law community through trainings, direct support, as well as coordinating the development of several legal services specific technologies. A central part of NTAP’s mission is our trainings. They’re available through – we hold regular webinar trainings that are free to the legal aid community. Topics range from web-related technologies like we’re discussing here, to Office Suite of products, to case management systems. You have some information about them.
  • Organizer can enter up to 12 dates and times, indicate the length of the meeting and adjust the timezone.
  • Organizer enters participant email addresses and a message
  • This is a sample of the email that a potential participant receives. Participant clicks on the link. The organizer also receives a confirmation.
  • Participant checks the days and times they are available and can also enter a message.
  • Both the organizer and participants can view the chart. Organizer confirms the meeting date and time and an email is sent to participants.
  • Once the organizer confirms the meeting time and date, the participants receive a confirming email.
  • This is a Doodle scheduling sample – very similar to Meeting Wizard.
  • Project management tools come in a variety of flavors and have all sorts of different functionality built into them. In general though, these tools help you organizes all aspects of a project – whether that’s people, deadlines, drafts, documents, or communications – and organize them all in one centralized location where they are easy to access for all participants.Online project management tools have not been widely adopted in the legal aid community. However, organizations that have used project management tools have generally found that it’s a far better system than using your email inbox, or relying a spreadsheet, or some of these other ad hoc approaches to managing a project. So these tools are going to work within your existing framework.And I also think it’s important with something like online project management, which is new for a lot of folks, to understand that you can integrate it with existing tools and software you use. The tool we use – Basecamp – integrates with email and RSS. SharePoint is strongly integrated with Microsoft Office and Google Sites works Google Apps.
  • Show of Hands: There are many online project management tools out there. For today, I wanted to talk about my organization’s experience with the Basecamp system to illustrate you the functionality and the benefits of these systems. I also wanted to mention a couple more options out there that are being used in Google services. Those are:SharepointCentral DesktopGoogle Sites
  • Milestones displayed on a Google calendar. Click to open for detail. Can link back over to Basecamp.
  • All messages within the project are captured here along with comments back. Captures the whole conversation. User can also attach a file to the message & edit the message. When posting a message the user checks off who should receive it.
  • Click to notify people via email
  • Set up project for folks outside your organization to participate. They only see what you allow them to see. Sample list of NTAP projects with outside collaborators. I.E. Board members!
  • Most documents you do not start from scratch – you cut and paste and use items from other documents and resources. How to best do this? Need proper formatting tips.
  • Word 2007 Paste Special: Home>Paste>Paste Special or Alt+Ctr+V
  • Ctrl “V” brings up this paste icon box>click to choose source formatting or destination formatting.
  • Double clicked format painter then chose the items I wanted to format and the new formatting was applied.
  • Use the clipboard to stack up items to copy and paste in a document. Can copy items from numerous sources, stack up to 24 items then paste all at once or paste individually or delete. Here there are items from a word document, PPT and screen shots. Open the clipboard and the left hand box appears>choose paste all or chose each item.
  • File>Office Clipboard> box pops opens on the right hand side
  • Two ways to do this: #1.To change default typeface setting in Word 2007: Right click normal > modify> In pop up box, choose typeface in drop down menu > click “new documents based on this template” > then hit “ok”.
  • Second way: Click on the tiny X of the font box> choose new font type and size and click default>yes.
  • The main difference between 2003 and 2007 is the display. It will take time to learn the new menu arrangements—no magic bullet here! Other than that, most features remain the same. 2007 is just a beefed up version of 2003, with better looking graphs and more computing capacity and power. If you’re wondering whether or not to switch, there is no hurry to get to 2007 version.
  • The boxed number “10000” is actually from the Budget 1 worksheet cell C10. Notice the formula in the upper box. By linking these if I change the Budget 1 Cell C10 it will automatically update here.
  • So let’s say you have a worksheet tracking your CLE attendance over the past several years. Maybe you’re compiling this because you haven’t been tracking it in one place. Well wouldn’t be nice if you didn’t have to type similar information, such as month and date over and over each time? That’s exactly what the fill function will do for you. In this case I’ve already type month and date for 2006 and 2007, but now I’ve just learned about the fill function and I’m going to try it. I’m going to start out by entering January 2008 into cell 5 and then press enter. Excel automatically recognizes dates that are some kind of standard format, and it puts it into a default year/month format that the program has.
  • So I’m going to select the date format that I have used in the other cells, which is abbreviated month dash the year. Now I’m ready to try my fill function
  • The fill function didn’t quite get it right; I want to make sure Excel knows I want a series of consecutive months. So I’m going to click on the little box that appears in the lower right hand corner
  • And then it will let me select the type of series that I want (fill months)
  • Here’s my finished product. Now the fill function is good for much more than filling it dates and time. It is always a useful tool when using formulas. For instance, if I had columns of information that required similar calculations, such as a sum, I could use the fill tool to save me time by filling it in for me. But to understand how to use the fill tool appropriately with formulas, we have to grasp the concept of relative and absolute references.
  • The highlighted box formula is C6+C6, just like the one above C5+D5. These are using relative values just like you often use.
  • Formula: Dollar sign>cell letter> : Dollar sign>cell number>$D$5. Here the D5 cell is the number that I want as absolute. So going down the column F, each of the sequential C column cells are added to cell D5 (714). So box F6 is c6 +d5 or 10,000+714 = 10714.
  • Freezing the pane below the first line
  • Example of frozen panes, lines 1 and 2 remain in view even thought we are scrolled down to line 78.
  • Click box under and to the right of the panes you want to freeze (often the top row)>View>Freeze Panes
  • Using Technology to Better Manage Your Projects

    1. 1. Using Technology to Better Manage Your Projects<br /><ul><li>Meeting Wizard
    2. 2. Basecamp
    3. 3. MS Word
    4. 4. MS Excel</li></ul>NM Bar Legal Service Provider Conference,<br />June 2009<br />
    5. 5. Presenter<br />Kathleen BrockelExecutive Director, LSNTAP<br />Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project<br /><br />
    6. 6. NTAP<br />Technology leadership to the poverty law <br />Online law office technology trainings<br />Tech library at<br />Website development<br />LegalMeetings online conferencing<br />
    7. 7. Today<br /><ul><li>Objectives: using technology to manage projects:
    8. 8. Meeting Wizard
    9. 9. Basecamp
    10. 10. Objectives: using Word & Excel more effectively
    11. 11. MS Word
    12. 12. MS Excel</li></li></ul><li>Today<br /><ul><li>Meeting Wizard
    13. 13. Basecamp
    14. 14. MS Word
    15. 15. MS Excel</li></li></ul><li>Meeting Schedulers<br />Get rid of the 20 emails it takes to schedule a meeting!<br /><br />Doodle<br />Meet-o-Matic<br />
    16. 16. Step 1: Proposed dates & Time<br />
    17. 17. Step 2: Emails & Message <br />
    18. 18. Step 3: Email to Participants to Log Availability<br />
    19. 19. Step 4: Participant Responds<br />
    20. 20. Step 5: Chart Showing Participant Availability<br />
    21. 21. Step 5: Confirmation to Participants<br />
    22. 22. Doodle Sample<br />13<br />
    23. 23. Today<br /><ul><li>Meeting Wizard
    24. 24. Basecamp
    25. 25. MS Word
    26. 26. MS Excel</li></li></ul><li>Online Project Management<br />Allows you to organize all aspects of your project using an online system, including deadlines, drafts, communications and more<br />Supplements other applications you already use. Many project management tools integrate with other programs, including email <br />15<br />
    27. 27. Why use a PM Tool? <br />Many poverty law staffers are involved with<br />more than casework: <br />Courts on self-help initiatives<br />Working with social service agencies on outreach projects<br />Working with other offices on hotline development<br />Sitting on various state task forces<br />Working on staff or website committees<br />Attending statewide or regional conferences<br />Implementing some new procedure or technology...and more. <br />16<br />
    28. 28. Project Management Tools <br />LSNTAP Case Study <br />Basecamp <br />Other Project Management Solutions <br />Microsoft SharePoint<br />Central Desktop <br />Google Sites<br />
    29. 29. LSNTAP’s Experience<br />Fully virtual organization with employees spread across the US<br />Work on several large projects that require collaboration<br />Manage grants with substantial reporting requirements<br />Work closely with partners – vendors, consultants, and legal aid offices<br />
    30. 30. Basecamp <br />
    31. 31. Project Pages <br />
    32. 32. Organize Projects with Categories.<br />
    33. 33. Project Milestones<br />
    34. 34. Milestones in Google Cal<br />
    35. 35. Add To-Do List<br />
    36. 36. File Sharing<br />
    37. 37. Email notification that file was uploaded.<br />
    38. 38. Message function with replies.<br />
    39. 39. Writeboards for brainstorming and notes.<br />
    40. 40. Writeboard with additional comments.<br />
    41. 41. Writeboard email notification<br />
    42. 42. Collaborate Outside Your Organization <br />
    43. 43. Today<br /><ul><li>Meeting Wizard
    44. 44. Basecamp
    45. 45. MS Word
    46. 46. MS Excel</li></li></ul><li>MS Word<br />Formatting Tips:<br />Paste Special<br />Format Painter<br />Clipboard <br />Change Default Typeface <br />Keyboard Short-cuts<br />
    47. 47. Formatting<br />Paste SpecialFormat PainterClipboardChange Default Typeface Keyboard Short-cuts<br />
    48. 48. PasteSpecial: Why is it Important?<br />Paste Special allows you to copy-and-paste information without transferring unwanted formatting code.<br />
    49. 49. Examples in Use<br /><ul><li>Cut-and-Paste from Email into Document
    50. 50. Cut-and-Paste from Website into Document
    51. 51. Cut-and-Paste between Documents</li></li></ul><li>How to Paste Special?<br />Word 2003: From the Menu Bar:<br />Edit &gt; Paste Special<br />Choose Unformatted text<br />Click OK<br />
    52. 52.
    53. 53. Paste Special – Dialog Box<br />
    54. 54. Paste Special in Word 2007<br />Word 2007 Paste Special: <br />Home&gt;Paste&gt;Paste Special <br />or Alt+Ctr+V <br />
    55. 55. Copying text from a webpage.<br />
    56. 56. Note: Without Paste Special Original Formatting <br />is Transferred<br />
    57. 57.
    58. 58. Text formats identical to the rest of the paragraph.<br />
    59. 59. Paste Icon<br />Ctrl “V” brings up this paste icon box&gt;click to choose source <br />formatting or destination formatting.<br />
    60. 60. Formatting<br />Paste SpecialFormat PainterClipboard Change Default Typeface Keyboard Short-cuts<br />
    61. 61. FormatPainter<br />What? Looks like a paintbrush in Toolbar. <br />Why? Can apply formatting you have in one part of a document to any other part of the document with one click. <br />
    62. 62. Format Painter - Application<br />Character Attributes: <br />copy font style, font size, bold, italics etc. <br />Paragraph Attributes: <br />copy alignment, indentation, bullets etc.<br />Copy Attributes to …<br />A Single Location<br />Or Multiple Locations<br />
    63. 63. How to Use Format Painter <br />Select the text with the formatting you want applied elsewhere in the document.<br />Single Location:<br />On the Standard toolbar, click Format Painter icon <br />Select the text you want “painted” with the new format. The text takes on the new formatting.<br />Multiple Locations: <br />On the Standard toolbar double-clickthe Format Painter icon<br />Select multiple words, phrases, or paragraphs to apply the formatting. <br />Press ESCwhen done!<br />
    64. 64.
    65. 65.
    66. 66.
    67. 67. Formatting<br />Paste SpecialFormat PainterClipboard Change Default Typeface Keyboard Short-cuts<br />
    68. 68. Using Clipboard in Word 07<br />Clipboard&gt;box pops open on the left side of the screen.<br />
    69. 69. Clipboard in Word 03<br />File&gt;Office Clipboard&gt; box pops opens on the right hand side.<br />
    70. 70. Formatting<br />Paste SpecialFormat PainterClipboard Change Default TypefaceKeyboard Short-cuts<br />
    71. 71. Right click normal &gt; modify&gt; In pop up box, choose typeface in drop down menu &gt; <br />click “new documents based on this template” &gt; then hit “ok”.<br />
    72. 72. Click on the tiny X of the font box&gt; choose new font type & <br />size & default&gt;yes.<br />
    73. 73. Formatting<br />Paste SpecialFormat PainterClipboard Change Default TypefaceKeyboard Short-cuts<br />
    74. 74. Keyboard Short-cuts: The Standard Short-cuts “You should know by now”<br />
    75. 75. Keyboard Short-cuts: Diacritic Marks<br />
    76. 76. Today<br /><ul><li>Meeting Wizard
    77. 77. Basecamp
    78. 78. MS Word
    79. 79. MS Excel</li></li></ul><li>Excel 2003 vs. Excel 2007<br />
    80. 80. Excel<br />Linking Worksheets<br />Fill Function<br />Relative and Absolute Values<br />Freeze Panes<br />
    81. 81. Why link worksheets? <br />How do you link worksheets?<br />Equal sign&gt;Tab Name&gt;exclamation point&gt;cell number<br />Linking Worksheets Together<br />
    82. 82. Linking Worksheets<br />=Budget1!c10<br />Equal sign&gt;Tab Name&gt;exclamation point&gt;<br />cell number<br />
    83. 83. Excel<br />Linking Worksheets<br />Fill Function<br />Relative and Absolute Values<br />Freeze Panes<br />
    84. 84. Fill Function<br />
    85. 85. Fill Function<br />
    86. 86. Click on lower right-hand corner until a + shape appears. Keeping your mouse button depressed, drag below to the cells you want filled. <br />Fill Function<br />
    87. 87. Fill Function<br />
    88. 88. Fill Function<br />
    89. 89.
    90. 90. Excel<br />Linking Worksheets<br />Fill Function<br />Relative and Absolute Values<br />Freeze Panes<br />
    91. 91. Relative is the default.<br />Relative:<br />Copies formulas across a worksheet, but does not copy a fixed value in a static cell. <br />Absolute:<br />Copies a specific cell reference and its value to other cells.<br />Relative v. Absolute References<br />
    92. 92. Relative Values<br />
    93. 93. Absolute Values<br />Formula: Dollar sign&gt;cell letter&gt; : Dollar sign&gt;cell number&gt;$D$5<br />
    94. 94. Excel<br />Linking Worksheets<br />Fill Function<br />Relative and Absolute Values<br />Freeze Panes<br />
    95. 95. Freezing a row and/or column can make spreadsheets much easier to edit, by keeping your primary headers always in view <br />Freeze Panes<br />
    96. 96. To Freeze a Row:<br />Put cursor in first cell immediately below the row you want to freeze.<br />Go To “Window” on the Menu<br />Click ‘Freeze Panes’<br />Notice the Line that demarks it as frozen<br />To Unfreeze:<br />Go to “Window” on the Menu<br />Click ‘Unfreeze’ <br />How to Freeze Panes Excel 03<br />
    97. 97. Freeze Panes<br />
    98. 98. Freeze Panes<br />
    99. 99. Freeze Panes Excel 07<br />
    100. 100. What will you incorporate?<br />Meeting Wizard<br />Basecamp<br />Word<br />Paste Special<br />Format Painter<br />Clipboard <br />Change Default Typeface <br />Keyboard Short-cuts<br />Excel<br />Linking Worksheets<br />Fill Function<br />Relative and Absolute Values<br />Freeze Panes<br />
    101. 101. Thank you<br />Kathleen Executive DirectorLSNTAP<br />