Hi! I’m Kelly Marshall, an excitable tech nerd and Microsoft fan girl who loves sharing computer productivity tips and tricks with learners of all ages and skill levels. Many thanks to Q Academy and Q College – Learn to Code family for bringing me on board as the newest guest blogger to join the blog roll.
Every day I come across new time-saving techniques in the world of technology, and am itching to share them with the world. My goal is to share a handful of posts each month – from quick tips and tricks and top 10 lists on general Microsoft topics to more detailed “how to” posts featuring new ways to use the tools in the Microsoft Office Suite focusing on Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Before we get started, I want to share part of my story of how I got here, and give some insight into where my passion for technology began.
Who is Kelly?
The Wonder Years
I was born in the early eighties on a humid afternoon in a suburban district in Toronto, Ontario. It was the dawn of the home computer as a common household item, later transforming the way we work, play, and live. My family swiftly moved half way around the world, to the location of my earliest childhood memory as a toddler sitting in my father’s office at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, learning my ABCs by playing rudimentary 8-bit pixelated digital flashcards.
Despite using computers from an early age, as a kid, I was never a computer prodigy or whiz kid. Math was my mortal enemy. I never had dreams of saving up to build the ultimate gaming pc or challenging cyber security with my “l33t hacking skillz”. Yet, I did hang out with my computer a lot, partially due to being an only child, and the isolation of where I grew up – in the deserts of the Middle East and later, the top of a mountain on Vancouver Island.
I’m not saying I was a loner, but I also wasn’t a cool kid. Oh, no, far from it. Glasses, retainer, questionable fashion sense, and an insatiable curiosity for the quirky mix of things that interested me – Lego, Pirates, detective stories, and ballet. Intellectual and academic pursuits were hard work. And I did play a lot of computer games – albeit educational ones such as Reader Rabbit, Treasure Mountain!, Gizmos and Gadgets, Carmen San Diego, Myst, etc.
When I was a teen I messed around with creating websites using Dreamweaver and some fundamental HTML (before the days of CSS). The results were pitiful much to my current chagrin, as webtools such as the Wayback Machine website could surface some painful skeletons from my past. Notable eyesores include a baby blue themed tribute site to my favourite band as a pre-teen, Blink 182, and later, the slightly more credible, yet still rough around the edges, Canadian Underground, where local Victoria indie, punk, rock, and metal bands were featured and reviewed by my field reporter Joni Sandler.
I dabbled in the Adobe Creative Suite during by BFA at the University of Victoria in the early 2000s, primarily using Photoshop CS3 for photo manipulation and Adobe Final Cut Pro for video editing as part of my Visual Arts degree. My photography and video work was conceptual, nothing aesthetically appealing that you’d hang on your wall or play in the background at a party.
In my working career, I had the opportunity to try my hand at Adobe InDesign, publishing print-based documents, and taking photos and writing content for corporate Intranets. I later dove in and fixated on the Microsoft technologies – working with the Office Suite at a local training company for various sales and marketing projects.
I later moved into the Microsoft SharePoint space, helping train organizations on how to create and manage their own Intranets and internet websites. I also immersed myself in Microsoft’s cloud technology, and founded the Victoria Office 365 Users Group with fellow techie, Sean Wallbridge.
In 2014. I fell madly in love with Microsoft OneNote, and became the first Canadian to receive a Microsoft OneNote Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, given to community leaders who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft technologies.
When I’m not staring at a screen, I can be found beach combing with a digital camera in hand or hanging out at home with my fiancée Rick, our cat Butters, and our snake Fluffy.
And here we are! A lot has changed in the world, and with technology. The one thing that has remained a constant for me is the knowledge that there’s always something new to learn. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these discoveries with you here.