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Keyboard Shortcuts in Word: Invest Effort to Save Time

Do you write or review documents? Keyboard shortcuts can make your life easier, and even if you are already a fan, there may be some you have overlooked. It’s useful to review them every so often to find one or two that will save you lots of time. First, You Might Have to Move the… Continue Reading

Choosing Names for Your Materials: A Rose Is a Forrest Is a Joy

If you are creating a number of examples, practice items, or test questions where it’s useful to personalize them with first names, it’s helpful to have a ready source of names that help you to make good choices. Here are some choices to avoid: Quirky names (distracting) Unique names of people in the news (distracting)… Continue Reading

Better Grammar | More Impact

Let’s say you are an instructional designer or a performance consultant of one kind or another. Guess what? You are, most likely, also a writer. Better Writing | Fewer Sharp Spines We end up writing a lot. For example: Proposals, project definitions, design documents Training materials, job aids Change management or communication plans Framework descriptions… Continue Reading

Have Image, Add Words: So Easy with Pablo

Buffer has released a new application that you can use on the web to add text to images in just a few minutes. They say it takes about 30 seconds. If you’re starting from scratch with your own or others’ images (with permission, of course), you may want to crop them to the size they’ll… Continue Reading

When a Draft Isn’t-Can’t-Shouldn’t Be a Rough Draft

Right there on the project plan it says that a draft of your document is due on Friday. It’s going to clients and subject-matter experts for review. You may be thinking that editing for punctuation, grammar, and spelling at this point is a waste of time. After all, it’s a draft. What you want is… Continue Reading

When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Sometimes it helps to start with an Internet search or two and then a mind map. It doesn’t hurt a bit to reflect on goals. And when it seems like sleeping would be a lot better idea than writing, I ask the Google for advice. When all else fails, I use my own tips for… Continue Reading

Getting Started with an Online Presence

Let’s say you want to share your expertise, and you’d like to make sure that people notice you, too. One of my readers, who is considering writing a blog of her own, wrote to ask these questions: “How do you manage to find the time to keep a quality presence on multiple platforms?” “Are you… Continue Reading

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Have trouble remembering when to say less vs. few? How about stumbling over who vs. whom? Or maybe you find yourself pausing before saying affect or effect? That vs. which? Toward or towards? Or what if there are pitfalls that you haven’t learned yet? I see examples all the time. Alot is not a word.… Continue Reading

10 Ways to Write Better for Learners

When I was studying instructional design in graduate school, nobody mentioned this: People Don’t Like to Read …at least, not so much for training. Here’s what I’ve noticed since then: People Like to Read (Endlessly) The Internet Novels Stuff about their hobbies People Want These to Be Quick Prework for training Training materials Manuals January… Continue Reading

Journal Me This

When I was still in grade school, I read Anne Frank’s diary. After that, I started to write. I kept it up through childhood, boyfriends, university days, family changes, work life, and the general ups and downs of the past many years. Photo © Jeanne Farrington Journaling is great for (at least) these things: learning,… Continue Reading