IT Services
Training Tips

Training tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the wide array of useful technologies and services available at the University of Chicago. Check out IT Services on Twitter every Tuesday for the latest #TrainingTipTuesday.


Training Tip: Schedule Meetings More Easily with Outlook

When you are hosting a meeting, Microsoft Outlook Calendar tools can assist you with selecting the best time. After you create a new meeting invitation and add attendees, check the Scheduling Assistant to view a grid of when your attendees are free or busy. You can also use this feature to see when meeting rooms are available and reserve space for your meeting. The Room Finder tool suggests the best times for your meeting based on when most attendees are available.

Now UChicago staff have the ability to schedule meetings and view free and busy status for staff from The University of Chicago Medicine and Booth School of Business. Learn more about scheduling meetings in Outlook.

Training Tip: Get to Know Workday Time and Absence

UChicago Time has been replaced with Workday. All staff will now use Workday to submit and approve hours worked, absences, and requests for time off. Workday will also host accruals of time off.

To help you get acquainted with the Workday time and absence system, you can access how-to videos, quick reference guides, and recordings of training sessions. Instructor-led training sessions are also available based on role (human resource partners, time approvers, staff, and hourly paid student workers). Visit the Workday Time and Absence Training Resources web page for details.

Training Tip: Create Accessible Word Documents

When you are creating a Microsoft Word document, there are some simple steps you can follow to ensure the content is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. It’s best to include alternative text to images, make headers consistent, and use hyperlinks.

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education and WebAIM developed one-page accessibility resources to assist anyone who is creating accessible content. This year they published a guide for Microsoft Word 2016.

View more of these accessibility cheatsheets for other Microsoft Office and Adobe applications.

Training Tip: Recycle Your Old Tech Devices on Campus

With the new University fiscal year starting soon, you and your colleagues or staff may be ordering new computers and other electronic devices for your department. The University of Chicago has an e-waste recycling service where you can properly dispose of your old tech for no charge.

Used computers, monitors, and other electronic equipment that are disposed of improperly have the potential to contaminate our environment, and prematurely fill our existing landfills. Recycling or processing e-waste to extract the minerals trapped inside and reusing the rest of the components is a practical solution to solve the hazard of e-waste.

View the University’s Waste and Recycling Resources website for information on campus e-waste drop-off locations and how to arrange an e-waste pickup.

Training Tip: Take a Restorative Walk with the ReTUNE App

The next time you plan to walk somewhere on campus or in the Hyde Park area, you can plug your starting location and destination into the ReTUNE app to find the most optimally natural route. By maximizing your interactions with natural elements while walking through urban environments, you can get the benefits of nature exposure while completing your daily errands.

Coverage currently includes locations in Hyde Park and parts of Woodlawn, Kenwood, and Washington Park. Visit to start exploring.

Training Tip: Master Your Gmail Inbox

Whether you forward your UChicago email account to Gmail or use it for a personal email account, tap into some features to organize your inbox.

In the default Gmail inbox setup, you can opt to sort your emails into different inbox tabs, like Social or Promotions. Alternately, when you choose the priority inbox setting, your emails are automatically split into three sections: important and unread, starred, and everything else. Choose options that best help you focus on the important emails in your inbox.

To further sort mail, create folders and specific labels. Labels work like folders, but you can add multiple labels to a message.

Training Tip: Organize Your Outlook Inbox

Many email clients have built-in functionality to help you organize your inbox. In Microsoft Outlook, you can use the Clean Up feature to have the system automatically move redundant, read messages to the Deleted Items folder.

To make sure emails containing requests or tasks don’t get lost in your inbox, you can copy the message to your Tasks. Luckily, you don’t have to re-enter all the information. Instead, click the message and drag it to Tasks on the navigation bar. The contents of the message, except attachments, are copied to the body of a new task. From there you can set a due date, add a reminder, or assign the task to someone else.

Finally, you can highlight and group related messages using color categories. Assign a color category to a group of interrelated items—such as notes, contacts, appointments, and email messages—so that you can quickly track and organize them. You can also assign more than one color category to items.

Training Tip: Study Better with Less Interruptions

If you’re a student studying for exams, don’t let your phone calls, texts, and other notifications distract you. Set up your devices so they won’t break your concentration.

On your iPhone, turn on the Do Not Disturb setting when you’re studying. You can also schedule Do Not Disturb for a specific time, like at night when you should be sleeping.

As an Android user, you can also use the Do Not Disturb setting on your mobile phone. Check with your device manufacturer for particular functions and instructions.

You can also turn off or manage app notifications on your computer. Get instructions for Windows 10 or macOS High Sierra.

Training Tip: Transfer Files Ahead of Graduation

As you prepare to graduate from UChicago, it’s a good time to assess what files you have stored in your UChicago G Suite or UChicago Box accounts.

As a graduating student, you will have G Suite access for two academic quarters (approximately six months) after graduation. After this time, any files not migrated will be deleted as your account closes. To learn how to download or maintain your files, view instructions in the article UChicago G Suite Account Closure.

You will also have access to your UChicago Box Account for two academic quarters after graduation. After that time, simply reset your email address and password to continue using Box.

Learn more on the UChicago Box FAQ.

Training Tip: Create a Website or Blog with UChicago Voices

UChicago Voices provides faculty, students, and staff the ability to build websites, blogs, portfolios, and more. For instructors, Voices offers a platform to host content for your students in a user-friendly way or to assign blogging as a means for students to document and reflect on their learning experiences.

Regardless of the application, Voices allows you to choose an easy-to-use theme to personalize your site. View the Getting Started guide for step-by-step instructions on how to build a website, including details on how to select a theme.