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Microsoft Office for All of Your Holiday Planning


I’m a Microsoft Office geek through and through. I create most of the Life Your Way printables and ebooks in Word and there’s nothing like using an Excel spreadsheet to track your budget or freelance income!

So when Microsoft offered me the opportunity to try Office 2010, I couldn’t resist. They’ve made some really great upgrades with each of the recent versions, and I was glad to see that Office 2010 stands heads and tails above the rest.

You may wonder what Microsoft Office has to do with holiday planning, but if you’re looking for custom DIY printables, Office has you covered, and I especially love the set of holiday templates from Martha Stewart because they’re useful and pretty:

1. Christmas Cards

Use the photo editing tools in Word 2010 to customize your own holiday newsletters, greeting cards or party invites with templates from

2. Photo Slideshows

Create a PowerPoint 2010 slide presentation that says all the things you love about someone special. Go to the Photo Layouts tool to select one of the built-in SmartArt picture styles to create eye catching photo layouts that will make them smile.

3. Shopping Lists & Budgets

Check your shopping list twice with Excel 2010. Keep track of your holiday budget while organizing wish lists for family and friends. Access your shopping list on the go with Excel Mobile on your Windows Phone 7.

4. Christmas Carols

Bring classic holiday carols to life with PowerPoint 2010. Apply seasonal images from the library of over 200,000 high quality, royalty-free images, and make the words big enough for everyone to follow along.

5. Party Planning

With the Excel 2010 menu planner by Martha Stewart, everyone will know what to bring to the cookie swap this year. Share the menu with family and friends via the Excel Web App on SkyDrive so they can view and update the menu.

6. Digital Recipe Books

Save your recipes directly to OneNote 2010. Back up all your family favorites in this digital notebook, and never lose a recipe again. You can even use a key word search to locate that beloved eggnog recipe.

7. Place Cards

Add that personal touch to special meals with Microsoft Word 2010 place cards designed by Martha Stewart. Use the custom templates to make gathering around the table with the whole family even more meaningful.

8. Job Hunting

Is finding a new job one of your New Year’s resolutions?  If so, check out the Career Center for Job Seekers, which has resume samples and templates for everyone – from high school and college graduates, to people looking for a career change, to experienced professionals.

9. Address Labels

Use Outlook 2010 or Excel 2010 to convert contact information for your family and friends into a sheet of unique holiday mailing labels. This will help ensure your holiday letters and cards are sent in a snap.

10. Holiday Calendar

Color-code different calendar appointments in Outlook 2010 to keep track of work, family, and community activities.  Then easily print, or share your calendar online with family, friends and co-workers to plan your holidays.

If you’re ready to upgrade to 2010 but not sure which suite is best for you, use this handy table to find out.

I’ll definitely be offering more Office templates in the New Year for Life Your Way readers as well, so be sure to watch for those!

Do you use Microsoft Office? What do you use it for the most?