As MS Office’s database application, Access is one of those organizational tools that can be tremendously useful… and incredibly confusing all at once. But those who don’t know how to use Access miss out on the benefits.
Those who take the time to learn the program get a lot of organizational goodies out of the program.
Access is generally the program people turn to when it’s time to organize large chunks of data. Event planning is made easy with Access, for instance, as the various tasks can be managed in detailed fashion using Access’s many features. Access picks up where normal Word or Excel scheduling leaves off, allowing for management of potentially problematic data with a few clicks.
When you start Access 2010 for the first time, you’ll be greeted with the new Microsoft Backstage View screen. This will let you open up an existing database, create a new database, or even find information about other databases that you can work with.
You can also view featured content from Office.com related to Access. It’s quite a handy screen and a great first look at what you’ll be working with.
Templates are the essential guiding force of Access 2010. From the Backstage View screen, you can pick a ready-to-use database template that’ll serve your needs. Templates can be used to accomplish a number of different tasks, including contact management, issue tracking, and even expense or resource recording.
To apply a new template, click on the File tab and click New. From there, click on Available Templates and select the one that suits your needs.
Recent Templates will reveal templates you’ve previously used, of course, and My Templates allows you to access custom templates you may have downloaded or installed previously. From there, you can click on Create and the database will spring to life ready to use.
It’s a little more complicated to create a database from scratch, so we’ll dig into that in another entry. Suffice it to say, templates make database construction easy, and it’s probably best for new users to start with an existing template to familiarize themselves with the program.