Never Stop Learning

learningThere’s an idea that we go to school to learn. (And it’s true, of course, that we learn at school.) But the flip side of this idea is the notion that we no longer need to continue learning once we are done with school. Sure, work and other aspects of our lives educate us about certain things (and perhaps allow us to acquire some wisdom along the way), but many of us don’t go out of our way to keep learning–maybe because we don’t know there is more to learn about something that could benefit us. (One statistic floating around on the Internet says that 42% of college graduates never read another book again.)

In this age of software, such a narrow mindset is a detriment.

I remember learning to do basic tasks in Microsoft Word: I could use templates and format my text and even merge names into form letters. If someone had asked me if I knew how to use Word, I would have said, “Yes.” But then, at a new job, I saw what others were doing and learned so much more, such as how to use style sheets and create bookmarks, and insert graphics, and format those graphics. I was rather surprised by how much the software let me do because I had stopped learning the software after I got the basics down. Now, if someone asks me if I know how to use Word, I am more humble: “Yes, but I’m sure there are things it can do that I don’t know how to do yet.” Am I taking the time to learn about every feature in this software? I admit I am not. (My time is spent on learning everything I can about our own software.) But part of me thinks I should. I suspect there is still untapped potential in Microsoft Word.

Some software has much to offer and takes time to learn. Robust project management software, such as the Spitfire Project Management System, cannot be fully learned in a day or a week or even a month. It doesn’t take too long to learn enough–enough to get basic tasks done, enough to see improvements in workflows, enough to feel comfortable with the new software. But it would be a mistake to stop learning then. For chances are that there are other features that would make work even easier.

Here at Spitfire, we have started offering our clients monthly webinars to highlight some of the lesser known features and “tips and tricks” of our software. Because we believe that learning is a process that never ends, and none of us should ever stop learning.

Whatever software you use, make sure you are getting the most out of it by learning how to use it fully. You may be surprised by what you learn.

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About Soni York

Soni is the lead technical writer and communication specialist at Spitfire Management, responsible for user documentation, newsletters, webinars, social media and the website among other things. (She changes hats frequently.) She is also a trainer (see, another hat) who enjoys teaching new users the basics of the Spitfire Project Management System. Her postings on this site are all her own and don't necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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