The At Work Holiday Survival Guide Part 2

Hello again! This post, I’m going to show you how to save time, money, AND the planet. We’re also going to make the task of keeping the family up to date on your life, much less hassle.

Two uses of Microsoft Office come into play here – Newsletters, and Cards.


If your family your family is anywhere near as large (and nosey) as mine, you could easily spend your entire Christmas catching up with them all individually. However, if you do this, you probably won’t have much time to yourself. This is where the family newsletter comes in. It saves me loads of time every year, whilst making sure people who I may not have plans to meet with, don’t feel unloved. However, using this method successfully is as much an art as it is a science. Here are my tips:

- Keep it short. I tend to keep it no longer than one page. This strikes a good balance between giving you enough space to write something interesting, but not overwhelming people.

- Keep it interesting. Think about what your audience will find interesting in your life this year, and write according to that. Throwing in one or two short, humorous anecdotes will also help keep people reading.

- If you’re going to print it, do it on paper that is easy on the eye. I once had an aunt who used to print her newsletter on the most horrendous pink, yellow and red paper. With patterns down the side. You know, I’m not sure I ever got to find out what had gone on in her life, as immediately after opening the newsletters I usually fell into seizures induced by the paper.

- Add photos or clip art (or both) to bring what you’re talking about to life and break up the text.

- Let us do the donkey-work for you. Download a template, customise it to fit your needs, and Bob’s your uncle - you've saved yourself half an hour of work.

Here are some links that should help:

* Holiday newsletter template

* Family Christmas newsletter

* All newsletter templates

* Clip Art and Media Homepage

* Images and photos from the Office Marketplace


I’m consistently amazed by the ridiculous prices that shops can command for small pieces of card at this time of the year. I'm also amazed at the amount of paper that is wasted each year, given how much we are all trying to avert a global warming-induced wasteland.  With these two things in mind, you should remember that with Office you can create your own cards, create as many copies as you need, and save yourself a bundle. You can then email them to some or all of the people on your list.  And, if you do want to print them, many of the Office card templates work with the specialty papers (card, envelopes, labels, etc) that you can buy at the shops - so your card will look pretty swish.

Here are some card templates to get things started:

* Word Holiday card

* Word Christmas card

* Word Kwanzaa card

* Word Hanukkah card (with dreidel)

* Happy New Year card (Chinese, half-fold)

* Season's Greetings card (Korean, half-fold)

Or, if you’re using Publisher (which, I should say, is a really good tool for this):

* Celebrate the holidays using Publisher greeting cards


See?  Time, money, AND the planet. Not bad for a productivity tool...

Thanks to the Crabby Office Lady for the links.  Happy holidays all.