During your working week, you are probably used to doing some tasks repeatedly.

The same might apply to words, phrases, information or charts. If that’s the case, getting to grips with building blocks in Microsoft Word is a smart move.

You may find yourself needing to add your signature ending to letters, contracts or reports. You may realise that you are copying and pasting a particular paragraph or section of text from one document to another on a regular basis. There could be a header or two you always use in producing weekly reports.

If that’s the case, the building blocks feature is going to be a best friend for life.

It allows you to take pieces of copy and content, and to use them again and again (without the hassle and faff of having to type it all out each time you want to use it).

The building blocks could be words from the body of a document or items like headers, lists, tables and text boxes.

A Wonderful Time-Saver


How many times do you find yourself using the same content or pieces of a document?

Imagine the timesaving by having each piece ready to hand, ready to drop onto the page whenever required. It could give you back several hours every month.

That’s time to help you stay on top of it all. That’s time you can set aside for other things.

Maybe you want to do more research on a project? Perhaps you want to find space in your day for creating some ideas or problem-solving? Or maybe it allows you to add some extra polish to that report, presentation or white paper that needs to be on somebody’s desk pronto?

If you’re working for a boss, your efficiency will reinforce how helpful you are to the organisation. If you’re working for yourself, you can use the time to see how you could add even more value to what you offer clients – or even take on a new client.

Right Under Your Nose


Life can be busy. Work can be busy. We can be so focused on the tasks of the day that we take them for granted. We start doing them one way and then carry on doing them that way.

Unless we know better, why would we change?

Sometimes it takes someone else to shine a light on a situation, make an observation or point us to a different way of doing things.

That’s the purpose of this piece.

I want you to reflect on how the minutes and seconds saved on repetitive tasks and typing add up over time.

It may not sound much, saving 20 seconds to use a feature like building blocks in Word, but just think about that for a moment. If you did that task every day, after 30 days it would add up to 600 seconds. That is 10 minutes saved every month.

And that’s just for one task

Do you see how knowing shortcuts and faster ways to complete tasks is such an advantage for the professional VA, PA or EA?

There are many other ways to get more done in less time with Microsoft Word.

If you create documents for several different clients (or perhaps departments within an organisation), you may be required or asked to add specific branding or style presentation to each one.

If the thought of that leaves you even a tiny bit stressed, I have an online course to Work Smarter with Style in Word. There’s even a customised version of the training for Mac users.

To learn about Building Blocks – take a look at the How to Use eBooks and Lead Magnets course where I show you how to add Cover Pages, Autotext, use AutoCorrect and a whole lot more.

Once you know how to do something properly, it’s like riding a bike. You know how to do it for good and, even if you’ve not been in the saddle for a while, it’s easy enough to get back on.

It’s your career. It’s your business. You choose how best to use your time.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes