An Introduction

Well, greetings to all of you in cyberspace and welcome to the first installment of the Office Guy Mailbag. Before I go into the details about what the mailbag is and how I’ll hope it works, please allow me to introduce myself – The Office Guy.

You may be wondering what qualifies me as The Office Guy – is it the fact that I’m a guy who works in an office? No, far from it. What it means is that over the course of the last 22 years, I have been teaching all the products in the Microsoft Office suite (the old mainstays Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook plus several of the lesser known applications such as Access, Project, One Note and a few others…). And in that time frame, I’ve seen the Microsoft Office products evolve through several versions, from Office 97 right on up to the current 2016 release as well as the online versions available via Office 365.

As an applications instructor, I don’t teach to IT professionals, rather, I deal with people who need to use these applications throughout the course of their jobs. I have been exposed to many different industries and professions, which has given me a lot of insights into the creative ways people can use these applications in their careers and businesses.

One common thread in my work has been the “if only I knew you could do that…” response I get in my classes when students are shown a feature or technique available in the applications they have been using for years. Let’s face it – most people are too busy doing their jobs to have the time to dig deep into the workings of each application to know all the options available to them. Also, most end users are self-taught – they know what they know from trial and error or they pick up tips and tricks from their co-workers.

That is where I hope the Mailbag will help. It’s going to be a monthly series devoted to helpful features available in these applications, plus tips, tricks and techniques that you may not have time to discover on your own. Some of the features may be newer and only available in later versions, but there may be features you could have been using for the last several years (if only you knew…).

However, I don’t want this to be a one-sided conversation. While I have lots of tricks in my bag, I want to see what types of questions you might have about using these products. So, here’s my e-mail address:

I do wish to emphasize that this is not meant to be an online help desk. I’m not going to be able to answer individual questions in a short time-frame. Rather, I’m going to respond to questions that may be of interest to a wider audience on a monthly basis.

So, in closing, where did the name Office Guy come from? Well, I come from the South side of Chicago, and growing up in the age where social networks meant talking directly to people or calling them on land-line phones, the phrase “I got a guy…” came up all the time. As an example, I’m a homeowner whose wife will not let me near any projects that involve plumbing, electricity or the use of power tools. So, if I needed to have something done around the house, I’d call around to my friends and eventually someone would say “I got a guy who does that!”.  Well, I can’t help you with household projects, but when it comes to Microsoft Office – you got a guy – The Office Guy!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Looking forward to your questions in the Mailbag.

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