Sean Boots

Technology, public services, and people. But mostly people.

Category: Public service tech tips

Public service tech tip: Get yourself some good audio gear

Hybrid work is here to stay, which – for all of us as public servants – means a lot of hours in Teams or Zoom meetings. If you’ve ever had someone say “can you repeat that?” on a video call, this post is for you. Even if you can already hear your colleagues well, just using your computer’s normal microphone and speakers, that doesn’t mean that they can hear you. Here are some fairly cheap options that can make a big difference, when it comes to making it possible for other people to hear you better. Read more →

Public service tech tip: Get better home wi-fi routers

As public servants, we’ve mostly all been working from home for almost two years now, and I think it’s safe to say that some form of hybrid work will be normal from here on in. That means: meetings by MS Teams and Google Meet and Skype and WebEx are going to be a regular part of our working lives. When your internet is working well, these can be really great; when your internet is struggling, it’s not a good time. As the saying goes: the best time to upgrade your home wi-fi was March 2020; the second best time is now. Read more →

Public service tech tip: If you create “vanity URLs”, expect people to spell them wrong

If you’re working in government communications, you’ve probably come across “vanity URLs” before. These are easily-written-out shortcuts to webpages that typically have longer, more complex web addresses. You’ll often see them in TV or online advertisements, spoken out on radio ads, or included on billboards, posters, and other printed communications. With vanity URLs, people are frequently typing them in “by hand”, in the address bar of their web browser. That’s partly why they’re so useful, but it also means that people are likely to type them incorrectly. Read more →

Public service tech tip: Paste without fonts and formatting

We’ve all been there, fellow public servants. You’re copying and pasting something, you hit “Paste”, and your Microsoft Word proceeds to turn the entire rest of your Word document into a bewildering mix of fonts and colours from whatever you just pasted. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to prevent this from happening, by changing the default paste settings in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Read more →

Public service tech tip: Please use headings

If you’re creating documents, one of the most important things you can do is to use real headings. They’re easy to use and easy to customize, and they make a huge difference – both to people using accessibility tools and to anyone converting your document into a webpage or other format. Here’s a detailed guide on how to get started. Read more →