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Know Your Software and be More Productive

by Nick Usborne

 

If you want to make more money, you need to be more productive...in every way.

 

This speaks to one of the challenges of being a solo-entrepreneur. There is just one of you. That means the billable hours you get paid for are yours alone. Every minute or hour you’re not doing something you can invoice for, you’re not making money.

 

One way in which you can improve your level of productivity is to become proficient in the software programs you use.

 

Computers and software have had a huge impact on how much work we can get done in one day. However, if you don’t know enough about the features and shortcuts of each program you use, a few things could happen:

- You’ll waste time trying to figure out how to use a feature you’re not familiar with.

 

- You’ll produce documents that don’t look as finished or professional as they should.

 

- You’ll take longer to complete tasks simply because you don’t know the tips and shortcuts you can use.

Where to get started...

 

The first programs you should look at are the basic Microsoft Office applications, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

 

Many of us use these programs on a regular basis, but probably use only about 10% of their features.

 

As a freelance writer, think about your use of MS Word for instance. Or WordPerfect, for that matter.

 

Your word processing software is the basic tool of your trade. It’s the plumber’s wrench. The farmer’s plough. It’s the most important application in your professional toolbox.

 

But how well do you know it?

 

It’s amazing to think there are so many writers out there who remain so casual about the potential of their core business software tool.

 

Have you ever heard of a professional designer who is casual about his or her use of Photoshop? Or a web developer who knows only a little about XML?

 

Other professionals buy books and training videos, or even attend conferences, so they can get the best from the software tools they depend on.

 

So why wouldn’t writers and copywriters take the same professional attitude?

 

Next steps...

 

Once you have mastered the core programs you use, it’s time to move on to other programs you may use only occasionally. For instance, if you use PowerPoint, albeit rarely, it still makes sense to learn enough about the program to use it professionally and efficiently when the need arises.

 

The same goes for Excel, or any accounting software you use.

 

Concluding thoughts...

 

Knowing your software means you will work more efficiently, waste less time and produce more professionally finished documents.

 

Put this on your list of things to do. Become more proficient with your software programs, and you’ll soon see a benefit in your bottom line.

 

NOTE: To increase your productivity as a writer, follow the 5 rituals I lay out in my guide for writers, Writing Rituals. Learn more at the Writing Rituals web site...

 

 

Related learning materials:

 

Nick Usborne's Million Dollar Secrets to Online Copywriting

The demand for print and direct mail copywriters is static, to say the least. The real demand right now is for copywriters who have the skills to write effective copy for the web. This is a professional-grade course that will make you a specialist in online copywriting. This is where the future for copywriters lies! More about this online copywriting course...

 

 

Michael Masterson's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

Improve your copywriting skills and enter the very lucrative market for direct marketing copywriters. This is a comprehensive course and my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to write copy that drives results. Read my in-depth review

 

 

Writing for the Web

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Get your copy of Writing For the Web #1 - 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.

 

PLEASE NOTE: This is my new newsletter, for my site at nickusborne.com, and replaces the old Freelance Writing Success Newsletter. However, the focus is still on writing for the web and freelancing. So don’t be confused when you find links to my nickusborne.com site in each issue! : )

 

Sign up NOW and I'll send you the link where you can download this 35-page guide...

 

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