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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Email Signature Strategy

The email signature is an often-overlooked opportunity for an organization to appear that much more professional. Here, we’ll look into how to set up your email signature in Gmail.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part II

Part two of our desktop buying guide will dig into the details of RAM, or random-access memory. We hope to clear up misconceptions about what RAM actually is, as many users don’t understand the difference between storage and memory. Who knows? You might learn a thing or two to take with you when you purchase your next desktop.

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Tip of the Week: Usability of the Taskbar

If you take a look at any computer in an office environment, there is a solid chance that it is running the Windows operating system. Whenever we have the opportunity, we like to share tips and tricks to help both normal and power users alike get the most out of their operating system. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make navigating your computer just a little bit easier.

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Tip of the Week: Easy to Remember Windows 10 Tips

Windows 10 calls on the success (and failures) of previous versions of the operating system to deliver a truly dynamic solution to users. To get the most out of your Windows 10 workstation, we recommend following these five tips. They are simpler than you might think, and you can get unprecedented value out of them.

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Tip of the Week: Organization Inside Windows 10

If you don’t take care of your PC’s files, you will quickly discover that it’s easy to lose track of where everything is. You have countless file types, folders, and applications sitting around without any real sense of organization or continuity. Today, we’re going to focus on how to help you better organize your files in a way that it easy to find and understand. You should be able to do so in either your operating system file explorer or in your cloud-based file storage.

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Tip of the Week: Extremely Useful Tips

All Windows machines are capable of leveraging built-in shortcuts. While it might sound ludicrous, using keyboard shortcuts can eliminate the eight days that the average employee spends every year moving between the keyboard and mouse. Shocking, right? Keyboard shortcuts let you retake all of that lost time and use it to be more productive.

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Office Work

Working in an office is the reality for a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant one. There are plenty of ways to make life easier while working in an office. Here, we’ll review five simple adjustments you can make to streamline your time throughout the workday.

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Tip of the Week: Navigating the Taskbar in Windows 10

Computers are great tools to get work done in the office, but only if they are used effectively. Employees looking to get more out of their Windows workstations can utilize the taskbar to get around faster. We’ll discuss some of the ways your business can take better advantage of the taskbar, as well as what it’s capable of.

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Managing Millennials May Be Challenging, But Worth It

Generation Y (or Millennials, as they are more commonly known) have a rough reputation in the business world. Whether they’re being blamed for the death of entire industries or mocked for their fondness for avocado toast, it isn’t often that millennials are taken seriously - especially in the workplace. However, if nurtured correctly, this group has the potential to produce some of your top performers. Here, we’ll get into how to do so.

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It’s Never Too Late for a Business IT Resolution

Now that we’re halfway through the new year, how well have you kept up your New Year’s resolutions? If it isn’t well, don’t worry - you can make or adapt them at any time. This loophole even includes any resolutions you may have set for your business operations this year. So, let’s call this a do-over regarding your IT improvement resolutions.

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Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.

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Social Media Can Cause Security Concerns

Social media is a great tool that your business can use to communicate with clients and prospective customers, but in an age where you can expect your employees to have their own accounts, it can be devastating to overlook the security issues associated with it. Today, we’ll examine how you can protect your organization from its employees’ social media use.

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Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work (and What to Do Instead)

In the business world, productivity is everything, which means that many will try to boost their productivity however they can. Many swear by multitasking, or the practice of juggling tasks to keep themselves fresh and productive. However, evidence shows they are mistaken. We’ll go into why, and offer a few more effective alternatives.

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Tip of the Week: Change Your Display in Windows 10

Customizing your display settings is one of the best ways to make Windows 10 feel like your own experience. There are a ton of settings you can change to your specifics. This week’s tip will walk you through how you can change the settings on your displays, whether it’s a new monitor or the old one you’ve been using since the beginning.

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Tip of the Week: Download the Second Windows 10 Update of 2018 Now

Windows 10 just got a second update for 2018. Some experts think this many major updates to the OS is too many, but when you start to look at the features available through this second update, you may be happy that Microsoft has decided to release it (and re-release it). Today, we’ll take a look at the new update, and a couple of the helpful features that it has rolled out to users.

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Tip of the Week: Easy Android Use Tricks

Android devices are known for being customizable, which doesn’t always translate well to user-friendliness. However, if configured properly, these devices feature some nifty shortcuts to just about any function you might require from your device. Here are just four easy ones:

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Tip of the Week: Easy to Remember Tricks for Windows 10

Working with your computer for so much of the day means you need to get as much productivity out of it as possible. If you can speed up some of the ways you access specific information, you can get even more done. Shortcuts are very helpful to this end. Here are some of the easiest and best ways you can save time while working with a computer.

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Getting to Know Technology: A/B Testing

The best way to attract your audience is by understanding what they want from your business. Even something as simple as changing up the color of your branding to be more inviting can be extremely helpful. This kind of process is called A/B testing, and it can help you make improvements to the way your business operates.

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Tip of the Week: Evernote as a Productivity Tool

Smartphones are handy little devices for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which their availability when a note needs to be taken and the apps that are available for just that purpose. One of these apps, Evernote, stands a step above the rest, especially for use in a business setting. For our tip this week, we’ll go over some of the features that Evernote offers that can help out your business.

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Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Windows PC

The personal computer is a remarkable tool, allowing us to accomplish levels of productivity and efficiency at speeds that were once only dreamed of… at least, that’s how it feels at first. However, it doesn’t take very long for a computer to seem like it drags on and on before performing the task requested of it. Why is that, and how can this be resolved?

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Make Using Word Better

Microsoft Office is possibly the most well-known suite of software solutions out there, with Microsoft Word probably being the first of the suite’s included programs to come to mind. We’d also wager that most people don’t know all of Word’s capabilities. This week, we’re taking a closer look at some of Word’s handiest, but relatively unknown, features.

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Power Off, or Leave It On?

At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, you might want to consider which option benefits you the most. Here are some of the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.

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Tip of the Week: Use Excel Like a Pro - Graphing

Excel is the premier spreadsheet builder, and it’s extremely valuable that your organization get the most out of it. Spreadsheets are ideal for showcasing information in a compact manner, but without a couple of charts, your users will just be staring at cell after cell of boring old numbers. By using charts in Excel, you can take your spreadsheet building to the next level.

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Tip of the Week: Better Ways To Use Microsoft Excel

There is no denying that, of all the application suites in the world, Microsoft Office is the most famous and most popular. Regardless of their size, businesses rely on these programs in order to function--so much so, that a working knowledge of Microsoft Office is often a prerequisite for employment. However, despite so many people using these programs on such a regular basis, few understand their full capabilities. Take, for example, Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet program.

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Tip of the Week: Closed a Tab Accidentally? Here’s How to Restore It

Everyone has accidentally closed an important web browser tab before they were finished with it. What can you really do about it, though? You might expect that you have to search for the page again, but there’s a much easier way to do it. In your Google Chrome browser on a PC or smartphone, you can reopen closed tabs relatively easily.

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Tip of the Week: 3 More Useful Microsoft Word Features

Microsoft Word has long since established itself as the primary word processing software in the business world, but even some power users don’t necessarily know about all of the hidden features that exist in it. Here are three of the best Word capabilities that you’ll be sure to use next time you’re in a pinch.

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Tip of the Week: Shortcuts To Improve Your Use Of Chrome

Is Google Chrome your preferred browsing experience? While you might find it to be great for your business or personal browsing needs, you can enhance the experience significantly through the use of keyboard shortcuts. Here are a few of the best shortcuts that you can use to get more use out of your Google Chrome browser.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Tips to Turn You Into An Outlook Power User

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email clients in the world, especially for small and medium businesses. The most recent version of Outlook has some cool features to make your life easier. Below are three Outlook life hacks to help you make the most of your tools.

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Tip of the Week: Did You Know About These Windows Features?

Does your business use Windows 10? If so, there are all sorts of hidden tips and tricks that can help you gain even more value from your workstations that are running Windows 10. Here are a few of these secrets and how they can help your staff save time.

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Tip of the Week: 10 Tech Practices That Make Work Better

Each worker within an organization is delegated some sort of responsibility based on their role. Managers are responsible for managing, while human resources keep all workers accountable for their responsibilities. Yet, there are multiple responsibilities designated to all employees who use technology for their everyday duties.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Better Ways To Use Excel

Microsoft Excel is more or less synonymous with spreadsheet creation. However, even power users may not know all the tricks that are hidden in the program that can help them save significant time. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some Excel shortcuts that you may not have known about.

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Tip of the Week: Tab Basics For Better Browsing

The use of a browser’s tabs has become the default way that many people move around the web. In fact, there’s a good chance that this blog is just one of many browser tabs you have queued right now. However, there’s an equally good chance that you aren’t using browser tabs to their full potential. For this week’s tip, we’ll explore some of the features that browser tabs offer.

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Tip of the Week: How to Legally Download Videos From Netflix

Netflix is a great way to keep yourself entertained while on the go, but you can’t take it wherever you want. One great example of such a restriction is while you’re on a flight, where Wi-Fi isn’t permitted (or unnecessarily slow and expensive). Thanks to a couple of innovations implemented by Netflix, you can download videos for offline viewing through its mobile app.

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Tip of the Week: Download All of Your Google Account’s Content in One Fell Swoop

An active Google user will inevitably accumulate a stockpile of photos and videos via their account’s Google Photos app. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to download all of this media to a local device.

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Not so Fast! Why Your Deleted Files May Still Be on Your Hard Drive

b2ap3_thumbnail_this_happens_to_deleted_data_400.jpgMarch 31st is World Backup Day! Just as important as having a plan in place to backup your data is having a way to recover your files. Do you have a way to restore files that get lost, corrupted, or accidentally deleted? To highlight this need, we want to explain how a deleted file can actually be recovered.

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Tip of the Week: Save Precious Seconds With Your Mouse’s “Snap To” Feature

b2ap3_thumbnail_snap_to_location_400.jpgYour workstation might be designed to save time, but sometimes shaving off seconds doesn’t have to be complicated. A few seconds here and there can really make the difference when it comes time to wrap up a major project. Taking this aspect to a whole new level is the often-forgotten mouse feature, Snap To.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Underestimate How These 3 Mistakes Can Ruin Your Computer

b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_mistakes_400.jpgNothing can damage a computer quite like user error. It’s sad when this happens because it’s often the case that the resulting issues could’ve easily been prevented if the user simply knew of PC best practices. Take for example these three easily-preventable PC mistakes that will do your computer harm.

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Tip of the Week: How to Save Your Keyboard from a Drink-Spillage Nightmare

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_my_keyboard_400.jpgIt’s a best practice to avoid placing drinks and food near the computer, but for the busy business owner, this practice is often ignored in preference to getting more work done. While it’s typically extremely unhealthy to forsake your lunch break to continue working, some workers might feel that it’s impossible to get all of their work done without doing so. Inevitably, this leads to everyone’s worst nightmare: spilling a drink, most likely coffee or some kind of soda, on your keyboard.

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Tip of the Week: Get the Most Out of Windows 10 With These 4 New Features

b2ap3_thumbnail_more_for_windows_10_400.jpgWindows 10 is here and many users are becoming familiar with their new system and finding out what it can do. Like with any good OS, Windows 10 has advantages over its predecessors. Here are four of our favorite features.

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Tip of the Week: What it Takes to Prepare and Deliver a Dynamic Presentation, Part 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_tips_for_presentation_400.jpgPresentations are always an important part of being a business owner, be it for a trade show, webinar, conference, or sales demonstration. If they scare you to death, don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, up to 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety (glossophobia), meaning that they have a tough time getting in front of a crowd and showing off their knowledge. Despite this fact, you can kick glossophobia to the curb by being proactive about your preparations.

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Tip of the Week: Practical Ways to Make Your Smartphone Distraction-Free

b2ap3_thumbnail_no_distraction_celly_400.jpgMobile devices like smartphones and tablets are marketed as powerful productivity tools. However, some workers may find their device’s time-wasting apps to be more of a distraction than an aid to productivity. What’s a distracted smartphone owner to do?

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Tip of the Week: Use Ctrl+F to Become a Search Master

b2ap3_thumbnail_find_what_you_want_400.jpgWith an endless amount of content available on the World Wide Web, a person who’s skilled at Internet searching is a valuable asset to any company. Knowing how to use search engines like Google is a huge help, but there’s another tool that allows you to narrow down a search even further: Ctrl+F.

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Tip of the Week: How to Change the Size of Your Desktop Icons

b2ap3_thumbnail_desktop_icons_400.jpgThere seem to be thousands of different ways a user can customize their desktop experience. Almost every nook and cranny of a system can be adjusted, even right down to the icons on your desktop. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to adjust the size of your desktop icons.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid 7 Common Communication Blunders

b2ap3_thumbnail_not_like_that_400_20150204-141300_1.jpgAt this point, running your business is easy as pie; however, you might still be having issues dealing with your team. The problem might lie in how you’re communicating with them. Even something as simple as changing the way you make small talk in the office could drastically improve your reputation in the eyes of coworkers, and increase employee morale.

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Tip of the Week: How to Safely Use a Public PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_public_computer_security_400.jpgPublic computers are like public restrooms. You really don’t want to use them unless you absolutely have to. Coincidentally, the reason to avoid each public service is the same; viruses--both of the biological and the digital variety. Thankfully, there’s a way to sanitize your data so that you can safely use a public PC.

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Tip of the Week: How to Save Your Browser’s Bookmarks from Data Loss

b2ap3_thumbnail_browser_bookmarks_400.jpgIt’s a good feeling to have your workstation’s web browser set up exactly how you like it. With all of your favorite websites bookmarked and your most-visited sites quickly appearing in a drop down menu as soon as you type in a letter or two, you’re able to efficiently navigate the Internet and quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. But what happens to your bookmarks when your hard drive crashes?

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How to Be an Efficient Speller with Microsoft Word

b2ap3_thumbnail_Microsoft_Word_2010_400.jpgRemember back in elementary school when you memorized lists of words and studied hard to become the top speller in your class? Thanks to spellchecking technology from word processing applications like Microsoft Word, memorizing spelling words is about as worthless as cursive handwriting. Here's how you can use Word's spellchecker more efficiently.

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How to Get Your Business Started with Twitter

b2ap3_thumbnail_twitastic400.jpgSocial media has become a big part of business, and Twitter is one of the top sites. You may know Twitter as an app that lets you send short messages to "followers," however, there's so much more to this useful tool that has been embraced by 218.3 million users worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Twitter and how to utilize it for your business.

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 3

b2ap3_thumbnail_endsearch400.jpgIn parts one and two, we shared tips on how to search the web. By now, you should be able to hone in your Internet searches and find almost anything you're looking for, but you can't yet call yourself a Search Master.

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How to Permanently Delete Your Files and Cover Your Tracks

b2ap3_thumbnail_trashed400.jpgAfter you've finished with that incriminating file (you know which file we're talking about), you will drag and drop it into the Recycling Bin. You may think that just because you selected "Empty Recycling Bin" that the evidence is gone forever, but that's not exactly how the Recycling Bin works. You will need a more permanent solution to completely cover your tracks.

 

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Don't Make These eBay Mistakes

b2ap3_thumbnail_ebay400.jpgSince 1995, eBay has become an online giant, and an obvious choice in the ecommerce industry. Buyers and sellers have taken to this online platform as a convenient solution to acquire things they want, and sell things they don't.

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4 Characteristics of a Fake Facebook Friend

b2ap3_thumbnail_facebuk400.jpgWith all the personal information users entrust to Facebook, it's no surprise that scammers are also on Facebook, often posing as friends. When using Facebook, you will need to be aware of this scam in order to keep your personal information safe. Here are four characteristics of a fake Facebook profile that you should consider before confirming a friendship.

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