How To Write An Effective Email

With Virtual offices, global clients and multiple time zones, most business communication is happening over email. Yet, most people struggle at writing great, effective and professional emails.

The result:  People judge you by your emails. If the email seems unprofessional, or buggy with mistakes, your and the company’s reputation is immediately tarnished.

Fortunately, it is extremely easy to write effective, and professional emails within a few minutes. Just remember to take note of the following tips.

1.  Subject lines: Always use a simple, to the point subject line. Ideally, it should be no longer than 5-7 words. Most people look at the subject line to decide if they are going to open, and read the email, or simply delete it, irrespective of the content.

2. Greet: Always provide a simple greeting at the beginning of the email. It could simply be Hi Susan, or Hello Richard.

3. Thank for something: If this is a follow up email on something, or you are replying to someone’s email, it is a good idea to thank the person for replying to you. Thanks a lot for getting back to me so quickly. or Thanks for your time on the phone, or Thanks for the meeting. By thanking the person, you make it a more pleasant email, and the recipient is put at ease with your nice comments.

4. Reason / Objective of Email: The key reason for writing the email should be very clear and concise. No need to write long winded emails, as noone has time to read that much. People nowadays scan emails to quickly find the most important thing, and then decide what to do with it.You should quickly come to the point, like

We need to meet for a short while to discuss and resolve xyz, or
I need your help to review xyz, or I am writing with regards to xyz.

5. What you Want them to do / Ask: People scan emails to find out if they have to do anything about it – keep it, file it for future, or take any action or not.  If you want  them to do something for you, you must state it clearly. If this is not clear, then they won’t do anything.Keep it short, simple and easily scan-able. For example,

* I want you to arrange a meeting between the 3 parties – possibly by 15th of the month.
* I would appreciate if you could review the attached proposal, and get back to me by the 15th Nov.

*Could you please reply which time suits you better – Monday at 11am or Tuesday at 4pm? 

By putting an action, and an action by date, you clarify what the recipient has to do, and by when. There is no room for ambiguity, and you are more likely to get what you wanted, by the due date.

6. Add Closing Remarks: It is a good idea for you to thank the recipient one more time, and add some nice, polite closing remarks, like: Thanks for your help and support.

Thanks for your cooperation and support.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  I look forward to hearing from you.

7. Signature: It is a must to have a simple yet clear signature. You should not end with Cheers or See Ya unless it is a friend you are writing to. For business writing, you must always say, With Best Regards, or Sincerely, or Thank You. Regards, Richard.

8. Spell Check & Grammar Check: It is essential to always do a spelling check and a grammar check. Nothing spoils a good email than a few typos. All good email packages have a built in spell check. You should make use of it, and even set your email configuration to always do a spell check before sending.This can make your emails more professional and set up you in the eyes of the recipient.

Common Pitfalls in Writing Professional Emails & How To Avoid Them:

          * Writing in All Capital Letters: Writing in all caps is considered offensive, rude on the internet. You should write Subjects in Title Case to stand out. The email body should be using normal English language rules – first letter is in capital, and the rest in small case.Use appropriate punctuation, and avoid using too many exclamation marks or question marks etc. It looks quite amateurish.

          * Using Vague Subject lines: Do not try to fool the recipient to lcick your email by sending surruptious email subject lines or shady ones.Click for BONUS, or Find the Good Stuff <<<-CLICK HERE, or SEE WHAT JOHNNY DOES TO GET THE PASSES are quite spammy, and should be avoided.

          * Attaching a huge image or attachment: Don’t attach huge files as attachments unless really required. You can always upload the file to some server or dropbox etc and provide them with the link to download if they wish to.This way you won’t become their enemy for jamming their mailbox with huge emails.

          * Not Using Professional language: While you could use the English language to the fullest, and use big words, it is not always recommended. You should write emails as if a high school kid is going to read it. Most people’s vocabulary is not huge, and they don’t read much books or learn new things beyond school years.Some experts go so far to say that you should stick to a Primary 6th grade English to be perfectly clear to everyone.

          * Not Using Formatting, Paragraphs, Headings: Do space out your emails with paragraphs, and points, or headings. Don’t write in huge block paragraphs of 8 to 10 lines or more in each block. It becomes pretty difficult to read, and you can lose a lot of people from getting your message.Use bold or underlined text in some important areas to make them stand out, but don’t bold every thing.

          * Lengthy emails That Are Not To the Point: Write only as much as you need. Don’t start a long winded email that goes on and on.We are writing an email, not a sales page.

          * Use of Emoticons: For processional email,s, it is not recommended to use any emoticons. So don’t try to act cute on business emails.Stay to the point, clear, and professional as possible.

Related Training: Learn the Art of Professional Business Email Writing & Email Etiquette in our 1 day workshop. Full of exercises and practical examples, it is a totally immersive workshop that will work wonders to your email writing skills. Do check it out here: Writing Professional Emails

Conditional Formatting in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel training at Intellisoft

In Microsoft Excel, new features are sparklines and slicers, and improvements to PivotTables and other existing features, can help us to discover patterns or trends in the data. In the previous post we had a look at the Sparklines and slicers features of Excel 2010 and Pivot table features of excel 2010, so now we will look at the improved pivot table feature of excel 2010.

Improved conditional formatting

Conditional formatting makes it easy to emphasize important cells or ranges of cells, highlight unusual values, and visualize data by using data bars, color scales, and icon sets. Excel 2010 includes further more formatting flexibility.

New icon sets: In Excel, we  can access to more icon sets, including triangles, stars, and boxes. We can also mix and match icons from different sets and more easily hide icons.

For example, we might choose to display icons only for high profit values and remove them for middle and lower values.

More options for data bars: Excel 2010 comes with new formatting options for data bars. You can apply solid fills or borders to the data bar, or set the bar direction from right-to-left instead of left-to-right.

Not only that, data bars for negative values appear on the opposite side of an axis from positive values.

excel trainingIf you would like to learn more about these new features of Microsoft Excel 2010 or 2013, or would like to attend the Microsoft Excel Training, do contact us at Intellisoft Systems.

If you have any further questions then contact us through email training@intellisoft.com.sg or call at +65 6296-2995!!!

Trainer: Vinai teaches Advanced Excel Techniques, Dashboard Techniques using Excel, Data Interpretation and Analysis Training courses at Intellisoft. He has trained over 5000 students in over 18 countries, and regularly conducts Excel Workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, India, Dubai, Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc.

Microsoft Access – New Features

Using Templates in Access 2013

Using templates in Access 2013 is easy because, as with other Office programs, you can select a template right on the new document screen. Office 2013 in general boasts a lot of helpful templates to get you started on projects more quickly, and you’ll notice some interesting ones in Access 2013. There is a selection of table templates. You can take a pre-designed table with the required details. You can also start with design that somebody else has made for a particular type of data.

You can put documents together pretty quickly in the other programs and can customize on your own. An Access database can have so many elements that using something like an inventory database with reports already set up really made sense. These templates are usually adaptable enough that they make document creation easier in other applications, too. You can also try this by joining us.

Apps in Access 2013

Application in Microsoft Access 2013

Access 2013 users will notice a new emphasis on apps–as in building your own, in addition to using pre-made apps. You might group a couple of templates into an app or create an app dealing with customer data, for example. All this is made easy thanks to a user-friendly interface for general users.

So as far as apps go, you have the option to find one in the Office store, find a Web App Template, or customize your own Web Apps.

Want to learn all these features?

A Focus on the Web: Office 365, SharePoint 2013, and Access 2013

Focus on Web

Companies have been able to host their own database through SharePoint and SQL Server on their internal network.

A company that also subscribes to certain Office 365 plans with SharePoint can now host Access 2013 databases in the Cloud, set with public or private permissions.

A focus on the web is seen throughout all Office 2013 applications, with easy sharing to SkyDrive and social media.

SQL Server: Behind the Scenes of Access 2013

SQL Server

SQL Server has been improved in Access 2013, which translates to more opportunities as well as better speed and reliability.

Specifically, SQL Azure Databases will be available for some Office 365 business plans.

Because of all the SQL improvements, now you also have more options to manage connections in Access 2013. Permissions are more advanced in Access 2013. You will also be able to more readily incorporate advanced reporting tools such as Power View, Excel, and Crystal Reports into your Access 2013 database. These allow for greater analysis of data.

If you have any further questions or want to join Microsoft Access 2013 Training class then contact Intellisoft!!!

New Features in Excel

Do you know that Microsoft Excel 2013 comes with a plethora of new features. It is worth investing the time to learn these features, and make the most of the latest and greatest spreadsheet software by Microsoft.

So what is so great about Microsoft Excel 2013? Plenty. Our Master Trainer, Vinai Prakash take you to a tour of the new features in Excel 2013.

1. Quick Analysis Tool: The new Quick Analysis tool allows you to convert your data into a chart or a table in just two steps. Preview your data with conditional formatting, spark lines, or charts, and make your choice stick in just one click.

2. Instant Flash Fill: Flash Fill enters the rest of your data in one fell swoop, following the pattern it recognizes in your data.

3. Chart Recommendations: With Chart recommendations, Excel recommends the most suitable charts for your data. Get a quick peek to see how your data looks in the different charts, and then simply pick the one that shows the insights you want to present.

4. New Functions: There’s a whole slew of  new functions in the math and trigonometry, statistical, engineering, date and time, lookup and reference, logical, and text function categories.

5. Smart Pivot Tables: In Excel 2013, When you create a PivotTable, Excel recommends several ways to summarize your data, and shows you a quick preview of the field layouts so you can pick the one that gives you the insights you’re looking for.

In the new Excel Data Model, you’ll be able to navigate to different levels more easily. Use Drill Down into a Pivot Table or Pivot Chart hierarchy to see granular levels of detail, and Drill Up to go to a higher level for “big picture” insights.

6. Improved Collaboration Tools: Working with other people on shared files in real time is a double-edged sword. While it’s useful to do this, you will face problems when two people try to change the same item at the same time. In Excel 2013 you can share and work collaboratively on files with others via SkyDrive using the Excel WebApp, and multiple people can work on the same file at the same time.

7. Standalone Pivot Charts: A PivotChart no longer has to be associated with a PivotTable. A standalone or de-coupled PivotChart lets you experience new ways to navigate to data details by using the new Drill Down, and Drill Up features. It’s also much easier to copy or move a de-coupled PivotChart.

Learn Excel 2013 in 2-3 Short Day Training: With so many new features, it is important that you learn these features, to improve your efficiency, productivity, and make use of these new  features. After all, what is the point of using the latest software if you do not use its latest and greatest features.

Learn to use Excel 2013 features like Vlookup, Macros, Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts, Tables, Advanced Functions and Formulas, Sharing, Collaboration, Removing Duplicates, and much more…

Do contact us at Intellisoft to attend our Basic Excel 2013, or Advanced Excel 2013 training courses at our training centre, or have a Customized Corporate Training on Excel 2013 at your office.

We also provide WSQ Funded courses for Excel 2013, which means that up to 95% of the course fee is funded by the Singapore Government. Terms & Conditions apply, so contact us for more information on training fees, Grants and customized solutions for your company.

New Features in Microsoft Access

Practical hands-on MS Access training in Singapore

If you’re searching for a more flexible data management system, a database might be just the salvation you’re looking for and Microsoft Access 2013 provides an excellent option. With Access 2013 you will experience new interface with different look and feel. It has got sleeker look and it has more colors to make it more modern style.

You can not only save the document which you can access anywhere but at the same time you can collaborate it with other people.

Microsoft Access 2013

Features of Access 2013

Access 2013 has changed the tabs of ribbons and made it capitalized which was not there before.

Also if you have not worked with SkyDrive before that’s something which is going to be new for you. Want to explore this?

So when you are trying to open any new or existing document you don’t only have a option of choosing it from Recent but also you can also select it from SkyDrive.

After entering your account details it enters into your SkyDrive and then you can browse your database the same way as you browse in windows explorer. Like downloading we can also upload our local database to the SkyDrive.

Access 2013 has moved towards the Cloud and can now produce Web Apps which can be accessed through a browser.

There’s a quantity of Wizard help available in constructing these, so you’re not working from the skretch up when constructing one. Navigation and different views are pre-constructed, as long as the Web App you’re after can be based on one of the database templates provided.

Here are the top features you should explore in Access 2013.

  • Using Templates in Access 2013
  • Apps in Access 2013
  • A Focus on the Web: Office 365, SharePoint 2013, and Access 2013
  • SQL Server: Behind the Scenes of Access 2013

If you would like to learn more about these new features in Microsoft Access 2013,

or would like to attend the Microsoft Access Training, do contact us at Intellisoft Systems.

Avoid Crowded Worksheets with this button

One simple way to reduce worksheet crowding is to rotate your column labels so that they read up, down, or vertically.

Add them to the Format toolbar, as follows:

  1. Choose Tools + Customize.
  2. Then Click the Commands tab.
  3. Under Categories, choose Format.
  4. Under Commands, find the Vertical Text button and drag it into place on your Formatting toolbar.
  5. Repeat Step 4 to drag the Rotate Text Up, Rotate Text Down, and, if needed Angle Text Upward and Angle Text Downward buttons to the Formatting toolbar

Now, whenever you want to angle or rotate text, just select the cell(s) and click the appropriate button. It will save you space, and make it easier to read and avoid eye strain

Sparklines Microsoft Excel

Practical hands-on basic Excel training

In Microsoft Excel, some of the new features are sparklines and slicers, and improvements to PivotTables and other existing features, can help us to discover patterns or trends in the data. To get started with the features of Excel, first we will look at the details of the  Sparklines and slicers features of Excel.

Sparklines

Sparklines are tiny charts that is used to fit in a cell to visually summarize trends beside the data.

Since sparklines show trends occupies less space, they are exclusively useful for dashboards and other places where we need to show a glimpse of the business in an simple practical visual format.

In the image to the left, the sparklines that appear in the Trend column lets us have a quick look of the performance of each department in the month of May.

Slicers

Slicers are visual controls. They let us quickly refine data in a PivotTable in an interactive, automatic manner. If we insert a slicer, we can use buttons to quickly segment and refine the data to display appropriate results.

Not only that, when we apply more than one filter to the PivotTable, we no longer have to open a list to see which filters are enforced to the data. Rather, it is displayed on the screen in the slicer.

We can make slicers relate to the workbook formatting and easily reuse them in other PivotTables & PivotCharts.

excel trainingIf you would like to learn more about these new features of Microsoft Excel 2010 or 2013, or would like to attend the Advanced Microsoft Excel Training, do contact us at Intellisoft Systems.

If you have any further questions or want to join a training on how to use Sparklines, contact Intellisoft for Corporate Training on Excel 2010 or call at +65 6296-2995

Trainer: We have certified trainers who excel in imparting their knowledge and are very patient. Master Trainer Vinai teaches Advanced Excel Techniques, Dashboard Techniques using Excel, Data Interpretation and Analysis Training courses at Intellisoft.

He has trained over 5000 students in over 18 countries, and regularly conducts Excel Workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, India, Dubai, Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc.

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