Paul Wherly

Bells and Whistles – Who needs them?

Bells and Whistles – Who needs them?

Over all the years I have been delivering training be it to small groups or to a whole organisation it has become clear that the IT Training Company’s role is not just to teach the new bells and whistles of software. It is to help staff get things done more quickly, to use a well-known phrase “work smarter not harder”.

Bells and Whistles
Bells and Whistles

New bells and whistles are fun (at least I think so!) however when a new version of software is introduced there is often a lead in time where the new features can confuse before staff understand the benefits.

Change from Office 2003 to Office 2007 2010 and 2013

Take the change from Microsoft Office 2003 to the newer versions with the Ribbon – gone is the familiar menu bar with its drop down lists, gone are the standard tool bars that everyone was used to.


Word 2013 Ribbon
Word 2013 Ribbon

For example, I teach people how to use Quicksteps in Outlook. Quicksteps are ways of creating short easy rules that allow you to:

  • File email with one click
  • Start a message to your line manager
  • Set up a group message with one click
  • Create a quick template
  • And a whole lot more….
Quick Steps Gallery in Outlook 2013

I find them invaluable for keeping me organised and for those repetitive tasks that I do on a regular basis. My learners have told me the same.

So whilst we might think that the new bells and whistles are superfluous and a way of making us buy more software, they are also there to help us get things done more effectively.



Without training your staff to use them properly, you are losing out on a whole lot of tools which will help you to stand out from your competitors.

As a result of training, your staff will be creating better documents, more visual spread sheets which enable them to get their message across and brilliant presentations. So enabling you to sell more of what you do, services or products.


What do you think?

Till next time….


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