Blog Oklahoma Podcast 075: Office Apps
I recently had to create a list of all the software I've been using at the ol' day job office. So, I thought I'd share them with you in hopes you'll find them as useful as I do. I won't be dumping the whole list on you. Instead, I'll break it up into types. Since I mentioned "office", let's start there.
Welcome to Blog Oklahoma
First off, I'm all into using Microsoft 365 (aka Microsoft Office). Word, Excel, OneDrive, and Outlook are invaluable for my day-to-day. Unfortunately, some time ago Microsoft moved to a subscription model for Office. So, there's a hefty yearly cost to using it, and I'm willing to pay for it. However, I do have an alternative that is just as good as Microsoft Office, but not nearly as costly. That's LibreOffice.
LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite on par with Microsoft Office. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. LibreOffice Writer and Calc are the equal to Word and Excel. You can open many Microsoft Office documents in LibreOffice. I keep a copy of LibreOffice on my Linux laptop in case the mood strikes to do some offline writing.
Speaking of offline. You may consider using a cloud service like Google Workspace. Google Docs is quite usable, and I find Google Sheets very handy. However, all those documents are stored in the cloud. If your internet connection is not that reliable, you may just lose access to all those documents.
I was big into Google Docs; I would type up everything in there. I used to do all my podcast scripts in Google Docs. Then one day in the middle of a big project, no internet. Somewhere a fiber-optic line got cut. The internet was off for the entire day. From then on, I decided that any important documents I may be working on were stored locally, offline. So, I move from Google Workspace to Microsoft Office for work and LibreOffice for personal. Later I just completely switched to Microsoft 365 for everything.
Now, this is nothing against using cloud services. I use many cloud services. I'll mention a few in a moment. I'll store and backup many of my documents on OneDrive, Dropbox, and even Google Drive. It's just when you're writing something like a podcast script, a novel, or an important client proposal you don't want to be stopped because some yahoo didn't call OKIE before they dug.
Alright, let's continue.
You might have noticed I didn't mention OneNote in my Microsoft Office list a bit ago. I'm just not a fan of it. It's usable if it meets your needs, but it just wasn't for me. So, I use Notion for taking notes. Notion is a very flexible and powerful tool for keeping notes organized. Notion is available on pretty much every platform. You can use it for free, but it does have Pro and Team level tiers for extra features.
Task management is a tool everyone needs in their office toolkit. Microsoft To Do is an adequate task manager, but it just doesn't have the options I needed. So, I use Todoist. I can literally say I use Todoist every day. It's multi-platform and can be used for free. I pay for the pro tier. Not only do I use the extra features, but I also want to support the developer. You can use Todoist for something as simple as a shopping list to a full-on prioritized and scheduled project management power tool.
At the office, we've all started using Trello for task and project management. It's also multi-platform and can be used for free, but also has pro and team level tiers. If it was just me, I could keep all my projects in Todoist or even Notion, but since I'm part of a team Trello has worked out much better. Trello is another one of those power tools that can be a simple or complex as your tasks need.
Okay, next up is a Calendar. Depending on your needs almost any calendar will work. At the office we use Google Calendar for office scheduling and Trello for project scheduling. For Blog Oklahoma though I needed something that can be used publicly. So, I settled on Teamup. I've mentioned Teamup before in a Blog Oklahoma Bonus episode. I love it. It's easy to use and share. It's great for teams. I will always recommend Teamup.
For my day-to-day Calendar, well this one's a bit different. I could be using Outlook Calendar, which is fine; Google Calendar which is perfectly usable; or even Teamup. However, the one I'm just all into right now is Fantastical.
I've imported all my calendars from Google, Microsoft, iCloud, Trello, and even Teamup into Fantastical. I've attached Todoist to it. So, I can see all scheduled tasks in one place and even check them off as I finish them.
The only downside to Fantastical is its Apple only. You can use it on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone. No Windows app. But since I have a Mac at the office as my secondary workstation, I leave Fantastical open all day.
The last app we'll go over, you might not think of as an office app and more of a graphics app. If you ever need to create a brochure, a flyer, an infographic, a business card, or a quick sign that says turn off the damn coffee pot before you leave, Canva is your tool.
You can use Canva in your browser or from an iOS or Android app. It's free to use, but they do have a pro tier. It is worth paying for. This is another one of those services we can spend an entire episode on. So, I invite you to open it up and make a quick image for your next social media post. You'll just fall in love with Canva and discover why it'll be invaluable for your office day-to-day needs.
Well, that's enough for now. Hopefully, you'll find these apps as useful as I do. Everyone has different office needs. Your needs could be met by using the Apple apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote; you can be an open-source person and work inside of Nextcloud, or you could be using really old equipment, and WordPerfect and Lotus 123 are your jam. Heck, I even use Notepad as part of my office toolkit and I'm pretty sure I can find a disk with PC-Write on it somewhere in my disk library.
I'll have links to everything I've mentioned in the show notes, so please check them out. And let us know what your go-to office apps are. I'll have a discussion thread up on the Blog Oklahoma subreddit.
As a reminder, we're in an election year here in Oklahoma. The general primary election is Tuesday, June 28, 2022. If you're not registered to vote yet, you only have until June 3rd to get registered.
Oklahoma has a closed primary system. This means only people registered Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian can vote in their respective primaries. The Democratic party however has invited Independents to vote in their primary. So, if you're a registered independent you can still vote in this primary election.
If there are any run-offs from this primary, those will be held on August 23, 2022. And the general election where everyone needs to go vote is November 8, 2022.
For more information on this election or how to register to vote, please visit the Oklahoma State Elections Board at Oklahoma.gov/elections.
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Links From This Episode
- Office Apps
- Primary Election
- Blog Oklahoma
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This episode was recorded in front of a live teddy bear audience in beautify just off downtown Elk City, Oklahoma. During this session we used a MXL 990 microphone or Behringer Ultravoice XM18005 microphone connected to a Behringer Xenyx 800 audio mixer using a Behringer U-Control UCA202 USB Interface to feed into Audacity. Our audio episodes are hosted on Libsyn and our video episodes are hosted on YouTube.
The Blog Oklahoma Podcast episodes are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
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