Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Productivity tip: Email your Outlook Calendar

Ever needed to let someone know when you are available for a meeting?  And you spend time typing in your schedule?  Well Outlook allows you to email a person a copy of your calendar:

1) Click On Calendar in Navigation Pane


2) Under My Calendars, Right Click on Calendar


3) Left Click on “Send Via Email”


4) Chose the Date Range and amount of detail you want to send


5) This is a piece of what my next seven days worth of appointments showing just availability would look like sent in an email:


Monday, September 22, 2008

Information Overload: The real problem is Filter Failure!

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Clay Shirky (shirky.com) It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure.

Clay Shirky makes an argument that Information Overload has been with us for a long period of time; it began with the invention of the printing press.  He backs up his argument with some interesting points:

  1. Books always had built-in filters because of the cost of publishing
  2. With the cost of publishing to the web relatively cheap, the filter is no longer built in to the system

Web 2.0 Expo

Saturday, March 01, 2008

VBA - What is it and How can it help you?

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a programming language built into Microsoft Office. I first learned about it When I started working for my current job. My supervisor taught me the basics of it and I ran with it. Currently 70% of my job is spent writing code for projects that will make people more efficient. Now you may be wondering how this might affect you:
  1. It may be used to speed up repetitive tasks. Ex: I am taking a Management course currently and the professor has strict formating guidelines. So, what I am doing is writing code to do all the formating for me. All I need to do is press one button, instead of 2-3 minutes of clicking.
  2. You may be able to create features that were not originally in the program.

I think is is useful for anyone who uses Microsoft Office. Everyweek, I find other ways to use it. If you want to learn it I would suggest:

  1. Record a few macros in Excel and Word and look at them. This is a good starting point but you may have to alter them for them to work correctly in the future.
  2. Read a few books on VBA - I currently have about 30.
  3. If you still need help go to the great website VBA express. The people there are always willing to help. Here is a link: http://vbaexpress.com/forum/

In the future I will post some code here that I think would be useful for students. If anyone else has any code that they think may be beneficial for students email it to me and I will Post it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How to Study Chinese

China is the fastest growing economy in the world. Many experts believe that one day they will surpass the United States as the world super power. Whether or not you believe that is irrelavant. The study of their language, culture, and history is in high demand in the business world. I have already begun to study about their culture and language. Some of the tips that I have come up with to learn the language are helpful for any language but some will only be useful for character based languages.

Here are the tips:
  1. Buy a wide rule notebook - I know, I hate them as well but especially when you first start with characters you need the extra room to write them.
  2. Get a language exchange partner - A language exchange partner is someone you help with english and they help you with their language. Some people will be so impressed with you wanting to learn their language that they would be willing to help you even if they don't need help.
  3. Use Flash Cards - Use Index Cards to make them. Put the character on one side and both the pinyin and english on the other side.
  4. Carry a little notebook with phrases - You can use this to study important phrases while you have 5 minutes waiting on line.
  5. Listen to Chinese while exercising or driving - If you have language CDs copy them to a MP3 player and listen to them while you are at the gym or have any free time.

That is all I have for now. If anyone has any other ideas please post them.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Skills you should have learned in High School but probably didn't.

High school is supposed to prepare you for College. The question is did you feel prepared in your first year of college? Chances are you felt overwhelmed or underprepared as I did. However over time I began to relieze a set of skills that would help me in my pursuit of an education:

  1. Speed Reading - to read assignments much quicker
  2. Critical Reading - To make your reading more efficient
  3. Note Taking - Better organization of notes will make studying easier and more productive
  4. Typing - Typing reports will take less time.
  5. Mental Math - Makes checking of answers much quicker in higher level math courses
  6. Memorization Techniques - from neumonics to linking systems
  7. Communication - verbal and written
  8. Computer Skills - to help facilite writing reports and doing projects
  9. Time Management - to help with all your commitments
  10. Problem Solving - to help chose what to do in tough situations
  11. Project Management - to help with more complex tasks
  12. Critical Thinking - to help formulate better arguments
  13. Research - to help find the information you need for your assignment

Next time I will start to go into some of the tools, techniques that are useful for these tools. I will also discuss excellent books for more information on these topics. Furthermore, I am planning on adding links to useful sites for students in the coming week.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The difference between getting an Education and getting a Degree

So, why do people go to college? Do they go to college to get an education or do they go to get a degree? I know there are other reasons for going to college (like your parents told you that you have to) but I want to talk about the two reasons I just mentioned.

Many people believe the two reasons are the same thing. However, I disagree. It is possible to go to college and get almost no education and still get a degree (but did you earn it or are you ready to get a job in your field). If all you do is go to class and do your assignments and take your tests this will happen to you. I believe in a different approach to going to college and have set some rules for myself.

  1. Make every required course useful in my field not just interesting. ex: I am a business major and in business you need to be a good communicator if you want to succeed. So, while I was earning my associates degree, I filled up my electives with Public Speaking, Voice and Articulation, Small Group Communication, and others to help myself become a better communicator.
  2. If rule number one doesn't seem to fit, examine what I will learn in the class and apply it to my major. ex: I am taking Western Civilization at the moment and it is not a typical History class, it is based on concepts (hegemonic Discourse, Diaspora Communities, etc..) not dates. Many of these concepts are used in Economics and Political Science, which are very useful courses in Business.
  3. If the material in the course is too easy learn something else from it. ex: Last semester I took Introduction to Business Computer Information Systems and it was extremely easy (I have a background in computers). So, I went to the professor and asked for an extra assignment. We agreed on a research paper on Software Piracy in China.
  4. Learn outside the classroom also. ex: At my last college, Kingsborough Community College, I was a member of Student Government where I learned a lot from other students (Beth, Ebony, Henry, Kara, Leah, Sonia, and many more) and I also learned from the Faculty (Anna, Arnab, Ray, the secretaries of Student Life, and many more). I think I learned more about dealing with people and being a leader than I could have ever learned from a class.
  5. Use every spare moment to learn. Ex: While I am at the gym, I listen to Chinese on my MP3 player.
  6. Go beyond a bachelor's degree.

Next time, I will go into "Skills you should have learned in High School but probably didn't".

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why Student Hacker?

You may be asking why I am blogging about being a student. Well, I am a second time around student working on my bachelor's degree in International Business at Hofstra University. Over the years, I have learned a lot about better ways to study, read, and succeed in school. Most of what I learned I picked up from books and my friends Derek, Yaniv, and Kara. Some things I have figured out through trial and error. As difficult as school can be, I thought by starting this blog I can put together almost like a rule book for succeeding in school. I not only welcome but I encourage any tips anyone else has. We can all learn from each other.