Showing Off Graduation Moments With Sway

Disclosure: I am an Office ambassador. All thoughts, awesomeness and opinions are purely my own. I am about to make your summer! No, seriously! If you have had a graduation recently, you will totally thank me for this. Better yet, if it's not your kid's graduation, you can totally put this together for a family member or friend. Because...amazing!

Graduation_Sway

What is Sway?

Your lifesaver. The thing that I am currently in love with. The new situation that I will talk your ear off about. All these things define Sway.

Also? Sway is an app for expressing your ideas in an entirely new way across your devices. Images, PowerPoint presentations, video, PDF's. These are all things you can add to Sway.

So, here's what you need to collect:

  • Pictures of the graduate on the special day.
  • Pictures of when the graduate was a baby (for high school and college folks).
  • Inspirational quotes.
  • Videos of graduation moments.

And here are the instructions:

  1. Take yourself over to Sway and getchu some!
  2. Create a new Sway. Here's what you will see...Sway_Screenshot_1
  3. Add your content. It's awesome because you can drop in text, groups of pictures, and even Tweets!
  4. You can select different layouts/themes. I, personally, like to hit the remix button at the top and watch how my Sway looks with different themes. I don't have to do a ton of changes, I just need to hit the remix and stop when I like what I see. I can also make changes (like fonts, colors and such).
  5. Bask in your own awesome at your creation!

Can't picture it? Check this out:

I loved putting my graduation Sway together. It's been great because I can now pull out my phone and get to present folks with the cool Sway I created. Also: I can simply send the link to family and friends that couldn't make the graduation. Side note: it looks like I worked my behind off doing this. I did not. Sway makes it easy to drop images. You can select from your computer, OneDrive and other cloud storage.

In fact, it was so easy that I copied my Sway and created a personalized version for the Frog Princess's BFF. Because I'm considerate like that, folks!

The best part is that you can use it on your PC, Mac, tablet and phones. Yassss! Did I mention this is part of Office 365? Because you need to know this.

Of course, this is all a crazy ploy for me to show you all of the feels from a certain scholar's graduation. Without further ado, I present to you my Frog Princess Graduation Swag!

Creating a Media Kit With Microsoft Publisher

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Disclosure: I am an Office Champion, an ambassador for Microsoft. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I've often struggled with putting together my media kit. As bloggers know, a media kit is a collection of blood, sweat and tears that never quite tells it all. Amirite? 

For me, the last few months have brought with them web host shenanigans of gigantic proportions which made me feel like only my Mami in heaven was reading my blog. But, I digress. We are talking media kits!

I'm a wiz with resumes and I took some of those sample principles and applied them to my media kit. I like to tell people, if you don't tell folks how awesome you are on your resume, how will they ever know? I tell you the same thing for your media kits.

One many occasions, I get asked what program I use to create my media kit. It's simple: I use Publisher.

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[box type="shadow" align="" class="" width=""] <rant>Some days I feel as if Publisher is Microsoft Office's red headed stepchild. Play with the baby! Go ahead. It won't bite. Trust me, Publisher is the business!</rant> [/box]

I decided to make my media kit look like my site. On the first page, you can find the same header, a side bar that included some info about the blog, pictures of the girl and I, and some stats. I give my social media numbers and blog stats up at the top. No looking around for it. (note: the page views shown are not accurate, I'm just visualizing.)

Media_Kit_Sample_1

If PowerPoint and Word had a baby, it would be Publisher. I love that I can move objects around and insert images, text, charts, etc. I find the ribbon is similar to the other Office products and things are easy to find. For page one, I added circles then started typing in them and changed the color of the text and the color of the object with a right click and "format text box" or "change text". 

On page 2, I thought I'd share a little information about my audience. Who they are, what they read. I think this information helps brands figure out if you're a good fit but it also helps you as you decide who to pitch to. It's all about balance, my peeps. I insert links where appropriate (I'll save this as a PDF later and those links will be live and ready to roll for whoever receives this via email).

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One of the things I like to do is ask my partners how they like working with me. Don't be shy to ask for a testimonial. I love including them within my media kit. I think it goes a long way. On this last page, it means highlighting a favorite testimonial.

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Notice I'm not giving you a ton of how to's. I don't want to. I think that it's important for you to find your way around Microsoft Publisher and the only way to do that is to play with it. Go ahead! Create a media kit, or a Father's Day card or a Summer Calendar. The possibilities are endless.

You can even create a planner! Did you know that my Organizada Blogger Planner was created in Publisher? Well, now you know! As you can see, I use it for everything. I've even used it for iron ons for the frog princess's shirts:

Though she be but little, she is fierce.

This quote speaks to my girl and my Publisher. Fierce, people. Absolutely fierce!

I'm feeling ultra vulnerable because I'm giving away one of my secrets. I hope you make good use of this! Go ahead and take it for a spin. Download a trial copy and tell me what you think.

Here's a video that will lead you to a series on creating products in Publisher. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note and I'll try my best to answer it.

Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office ambassador and I'm compensated for my work. All opinions and awesome use of circles are purely my own.

OneNote Must Know

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Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office Ambassador. All thoughts, excitement and faded receipts are purely my own. A lot of my posts come about because I am simply too busy to want to repeat myself. If I'm honest, it's the reason I created the blog. Because I got tired of telling the story over and over again. And so, here I am, talking about OneNote. I've said these things no less than a half a dozen times in the past week and so, I knew it was time to let you all know what's the what (because obvs, you are taking a page from the Frog Princess's "this is 5" handbook and not listening to a word I'm saying).

What Is OneNote?

OneNote is my digital notebook. The keeper of my task lists (the ones that can't be found in Organizada). It holds meeting notes, meeting audios (yes, folks, you can record meetings and take notes at the same time!) and can even hold video. Best of all, it's on all of my devices and on the web. OneDrive rocks my socks, what can I say?

All Devices, Sili?!

Madam or Sir! What did I say?! Yes! Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phones, Surface, Android Tablets...etc etc etc.

Can I Drop Pictures Into OneNote?

Absoludelytudely! Better than just dropping pictures? You can use OfficeLens! 

Office Lens is a scanner in your pocket. You can use it to take pictures of things like business cards, receipts (this is necessary for tax purposes for me), notes on whiteboards or blackboards. And unlike the 32 sticky notes currently in my filing cabinet, you won’t lose track of your ideas when you capture them with Office Lens.

I'm about to start using it to keep the Frog Princess's art collection handy. It's pretty amazing. And now I can sit down with my phone and a friend and show off her talent! 

Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures readable. Weird angles are straightened, shadows are cleaned up and the images are automatically synced to OneNote, so you can get to them on all your devices.

When your picture includes printed text, such as a poster or business card, OneNote on a PC can recognize the text with optical character recognition (OCR) so you can search for words in the image (example: airport receipt!). You can edit the text, or copy and paste it into apps like email and documents (again: see taxes).

A year ago I could throw it in your face that it was only on Windows Phone. But now, you can getchu some of the awesome on Android and iPhone! Check out this little video:

The possibilities are endless, folks. This is the perfect way to keep all that you need, quite literally, at the tip of your fingers. 

I welcome you to try OneNote. It's FREE! It won't cost you a dime but I guarantee it'll be priceless in your arsenal of productivity and awesomeness.

As always, I invite you to take a look at the entire Office 365 Suite of products. Because OneNote is just one part of it. It ain't yo mama's Microsoft! Trust me, I'm a Mami!

This Ain't Yo Mama's Microsoft

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Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office Champion. These are my stories. I was having a convo a few weeks back and it occurred to me that I needed to do a "back to basics" post. Just because I wrote about something before doesn't mean you read it (and don't think I'm not holding you accountable for that).

I get asked about what tools I use regularly. And when I say Office, sometimes folks look at me funny. And so, I have basically taken to saying "This Ain't Yo Mama's Microsoft". I might trademark that (I probably can't but, this is how seriously I take the statement).

Y'all, there's so much that you can do with Microsoft Office! The beauty of Office 365 is that it doesn't really matter what hardware you use, you can always use 365. I'm not going to write a super long post (#iLie). I just want to give you a glimpse of why I say what I say.

What Is Office 365?

Remember when you used to have to dish out lots of moola for a copy of Office? No? Then you're probably too young to be reading this post!

Enniweighs, software was not necessarily cheap. And you also had to pay for upgrades. Now with an Office 365 subscription, you're all covered. For $99 you can get a year's subscription for the home edition. Any updates that happen to any of the programs in the Office family come to you free of charge. And you're not limited to one license. You can load that bad boy on up to 5 devices.

"Sili, I don't have a Windows machine", you say. Ain't nobody tell you you had to have a Windows machine! Y'all stay making me give you the side eye!!! 

Though I have no idea how you operate without the awesome that is the Surface Pro but, I digress.

You can install Office 365 on your PC or Mac, on tablets (including iPad and Android) and smartphones. Yasss, baybee you read that right. Every.damn.where.

What is OneDrive?

If OneDrive was a man, I'd ask it to marry me. Hell, if OneDrive was a woman, I'd ask it to marry me too (thank you Supreme Court!). OneDrive is the cloud of goodness. It is the home base of all of the documents, files, images and videos for me. That way, when I need to access a file to send from my phone, it's in there. Need to download that sweet meme I made the other day? No problem, it's in there! 

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Oh and did I mention you get 1TB of STORAGE. Sit with that for a minute. Basically OneDrive is the Prego of cloud storage systems. Note: if you don't remember the "it's in there" Prego commercial, you might be too young to be reading this post.

Where was I? Oh yes, all this leads me to...

What is OneNote?

I get sooo excited when people say they don't know what this is. And they, in turn, get scared. Because my excitement is...not lacking loudness.

I keep my LAIF in OneNote! It is the holder of my secrets, my dreams, my to do lists (and there are many) and generally my plans to take over the world. You can keep notebooks and then tabs within each notebook and pages within each tab. It's fabulous, I tell you! Of course, it's also on my phone. And my new favorite discovery (I knew about it but the Mami brain concealed it for me so that I could be newly excited for it): I can make recordings and they will save to my pages. This helps when I need to start dictating books for my personal assistant to type up (sadly, an assistant does NOT come with OneNote).

I can put my shopping list in here, I can drop in PDF's and WRITE ON THEM if I want to (see previous statement regarding Surface). Oh and I can take a picture from the Office Lens app of, let's say, my receipts, have them dropped in to OneNote and it'll be searchable later when I'm going crazy calmly collecting all my tax documents for the accountant. I can share my notebooks with awesome people like Kristin and we can collaborate in a seamless space that always tells us who wrote what.

Okay, that's all I'm going to give you for now. I will have more to discuss later! I lied, one more thing: you can try the OneNote app for free. Don't say I never gave you nothin'!

Tell me, can any of these tools be useful to stepping up your awesome?

Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office Champion. All thoughts, excitement, awesome memes and Office Swag are purely my own.