5 Tips to Finding the Time to Learn New Software

July 27, 2015

5 Tips to Finding the Time to Learn New Software

After my mom got her first cell phone, it took her a good six months to learn to check her voicemail. We’d show her, and she’d be able to check it that day. Two days later, she'd call me asking how to check her voicemail. We had to write down instructions on what buttons to press and reminders of her voicemail box password.

When we finally upgraded to cable TV in my household in 2007 (this was eons after all my friends had cable), it was quite a while before my mom could turn on our TV. We had to write down step-by-step directions to tell her how to turn on the TV. What came naturally to my sister and me might as well have been nuclear physics to my mother.

It takes time to learn to use new technology, especially if you didn’t grow up with a computer in your house or an iPhone in your hand. Whether you’re implementing a new church management software, email service, or computer system, it’s important to find the time to really learn a new technology despite your busy schedule.

Utilize provided training materials

Most church management software come with training manuals, video tutorials, or online help systems (sometimes all three!). Don’t ignore these. Although they may be boring, they are helpful resources. Even if you think you know how to use the system, these materials may show you a shortcut or a feature you didn’t know existed!

Play around in the system

Training materials are useful, but you also have to jump in with both feet and just use the software. Sometimes you’ll stumble across a feature that you didn’t know was available, or you’ll figure out the best way to input data. Doing this doesn’t require any extra time—just click around when you’re using the software for your position.

Dedicate 30 minutes every day

Don’t take a whole day away from your work to watch training videos; your mind will be overloaded with information and you won’t remember anything you learned. Commit to reading a chapter a day in the training manual or watching two training videos per day. The next day, try to review what you learned the day before.

Call software support

Sometimes, you can’t solve problems on your own. To avoid losing information or corrupting data, call or email software support. Most software will offer free customer support for at least the first 30 days, if not for the entire time you use the product! Their techs will be able to talk you through your problem or possibly show you how to work the product by remoting into your computer.

Avoid interruptions

Your time is precious, so put a sign on your office door to let people know you’re in training. Don’t completely ignore your duties (the phone wont stop ringing!), but try to avoid casual twenty-minute conversations. Learning this software is part of your job, so take a message and get back to the caller after your training session is done.

Your job is time-sensitive, so plan your training time accordingly. Take the time to really understand the product. New software is difficult to learn, but learning it properly will help you in the long run.


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