It Still Doesn’t Work

April 7, 2011

Later today, I’ll start another CorelDRAW Unleashed Training Boot Camp. The users joining me will come away with increased knowledge of CorelDRAW and there is no doubt their productivity and profits will soar. On the other hand are users who simply think things don’t work and aren’t willing to take the steps necessary to get answers.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post titled It Doesn’t Work with stories of how users don’t provide the information needed to solve a problem. Part of my motivation for writing the post was a specific user who wanted help and yet wouldn’t provide the information needed for anyone to give help. Later this same user didn’t want to try suggestions provided and admitted not wanting to take the time to provide the requested information. No surprise when many of those attempting to help said they would no longer answer any questions from that user.

That is an unfortunate story. I also heard from someone who had a very nice system for gathering and saving the information that would help in such situations. Gary Carpenter gave me permission to include his method and I’ve quote it below. It might not be the perfect method for you, but I think you might get some good ideas from reading it.

***

Read the Manual…. over the years, most of the frustration came from not reading the manual thoroughly. The only time I have had issues with that ….a plotter system I purchased was made in Europe. Europeans (at least the origin of this manual) – have different terms to describe certain items, and seem to have different logic for how they describe things. It was a very frustrating experience, and should have been a seamless process, if the language had been ‘Americanized’. Great machines though.

The most important thing I learned about computer systems and related. I keep a three ring binder labeled ‘trouble shooting journal’ right next to the system. When there is a pop up advisory or some other operations anomaly, I always journal ( in as much detail as possible) – the issue / the text of error message / the technician if I talk to one / time and other things that seem unusual. After awhile I also designed formatted pages with common data that was routinely needed. This also has all the serial numbers / product information. Over the years it had save me so much headache….for just the reason you wrote this blog today. [ of course the first thing is —- is it plugged in. ha ha ]

Lastly…..thanks for the declaration about “even advanced users, not knowing all there is to know in Corel”. I think you could apply that to many of today’s advance software programs. I have found the so-called experts, probably know a significant percentage of the software’s tools / capabilities, but these systems often have obscure tools that unless you work in a unique industry application….are rarely used, and henceforth not understood.

***

There are several takeaways in Gary’s message. First, you really need to read the manual. It might just have the answer you need. Next, take detailed notes of what went wrong and what you were doing when it happened. I also liked that he kept a detailed log of serial numbers. I do the same thing as an Outlook note so that it will be available to me whenever I need it. If you can take these simple steps, I think you’ll find that things may just work a little bit better.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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