In the admin world, procedures are the foundation of efficient and smooth operations. Whether you’re a seasoned admin or just starting your career, documenting procedures are essential for maintaining consistency, efficiency, and clarity in your work.
While the thought of creating procedures might seem daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools at your fingertips, it can be a seamless part of your day when you harness the power of Microsoft Office and Google Workspace apps to streamline your procedures documentation.
Why Microsoft Office and Google Workspace?
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about why Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote) and Google Workspace (Docs and Slides) are ideal choices for procedures documentation:
- Accessibility: These suites are the office standards in the business world, making them accessible to most professionals. Chances are, you are already using them at the office or at home.
- Familiarity: Because many of us are already familiar with these apps, using them reduces the learning curve.
- Collaboration: Both Microsoft and Google apps offer robust collaboration features, allowing multiple team members to work on procedures simultaneously.
- Integration: These apps seamlessly integrate with other office tools and cloud storage solutions, making for easier document management and sharing, which is vital for procedures storage and access.
Now, let’s explore some of the built-in functionalities of these apps that make them indispensable for procedures documentation.
Microsoft Word and Google Docs
These word processing apps are your go-to for creating detailed, text-based procedures. Here’s why:
- Formatting: Use styles, headings, and bullet points for clear and organized documentation.
- Templates: Leverage pre-designed templates for consistency and a polished look.
- Table of Contents: Automatically generate a table of contents to navigate lengthy procedures effortlessly.
- Comments and Suggestions: Collaborate with team members by leaving comments or suggesting edits.
Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides
While you may not need a formal presentation app for your procedures, Microsoft PowerPoint is very useful for creating audio, video, and capturing screen recordings to help with your procedures documentation. Google Slides also allows you to transcribe speaker notes which can be helpful for converting audio instructions into typewritten text. Here are some examples:
- Record Audio, Video, and Screen Actions: PowerPoint allows you to capture audio, video, and screen recordings from within a presentation. It will insert it into the slide you have open. Once it’s created, you can then right click and save it to an external source. These files can easily be inserted into other procedures documentation you create.
- Create Transcripts: Google Slides allows you to dictate speaker notes on a slide which essentially creates a transcript of the words you are speaking so you can copy and paste them into another document to edit for procedures use.
- Create Graphics: Both PowerPoint and Slides have the ability to create diagrams, charts, and images to enhance your procedures documentation.
OneNote is an unsung hero for capturing and organizing your procedures. You can create your OneNote digital notebook to mirror the tabbed sections and pages of your three-ring, print binder which makes it a fantastic option for digital procedures use and access. And the search functionality of OneNote is outstanding for locating anything you store in your digital notebooks.
- Notebooks: Create notebooks for different procedure categories.
- Sections and Pages: Organize procedures within notebooks using sections and pages.
- Tags: Use tags to highlight key points, action items, or important details.
In addition to these apps, don’t forget about the power of cloud storage and collaboration. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace offer cloud-based solutions that allow you to access, edit, and share your procedures from anywhere.
When you use Microsoft Office and/or Google Workspace apps, you can simplify your procedures development, ensure consistency, and improve clarity. And by leveraging the tools you’re already familiar with, you’re keeping the process simple, while creating a procedures manual that will benefit you, your team members, and your organization for years to come.
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© 2024 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures, and Prove Your Skills! With a Powerful Professional Portfolio.