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What is your number-one productivity shortcut that you use all the time?

Quick-to-read info, tips, and factoids blasted out of our content!

How to be More Productive

As soon as we stop measuring the success of training programs by how many hours people attend, the sooner we can begin to focus on tasks, competencies, and outcomes that drive better designs. For experienced designers, it’s all about reducing the time it takes to find the answer. Performance adjacent support means meeting the needs of the full spectrum of learner proficiency and point of need, based on proven and known competencies for job or project outcomes. Give the employee the answer immediately at the point of need and nothing more than the answer.

How to Use AutoCAD Sheet Sets

Regardless of what you design, sheet sets enable you to efficiently create, manage, and share your entire set of drawing sheets from one convenient location.
The first step in implementing sheet set functionality is to create a sheet set. You can create a sheet set using an example sheet set or by simply importing existing drawing layouts as sheets. In order to create a new sheet set based on existing drawings, those drawings must use layouts. This process does not alter those drawings. It simply creates a sheet set file—a file with a .dst file extension—which includes pointers to those drawing files.
To create a sheet set, you must first open the Sheet Set Manager. Therefore, open the Sheet Set Manager if it is not already open. In the Sheet Set Manager palette, expand the drop-down in the upper-left and choose New Sheet Set…. Or, in the Application Menu, choose New > Sheet Set. Either of these actions opens the Create Sheet Set wizard, which will step you through the process of creating a new sheet set.

How to Use OSL Shaders in Your Renders

OSL, or Open Shading Language, developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, is an open source shading language that allows you to create programmable shaders in advanced renderers like Arnold. The implementation of OSL in 3ds Max is done using both an OSL map and independent OSL textures.
One of the benefits of using OSL is that writing shaders for it is simpler than working with other methods like C++. Another advantage to OSL is that you can find hundreds of shaders available online through various repositories. Searching for “OSL shader download” will turn up several locations where you can download OSL shaders that can be used along with the OSL map.
The OSL implementation within 3ds Max is available when using both the Arnold renderer and the Nitrous based Quicksilver renderer in 3ds Max 2020. Note that you must be using 3ds Max 2016 or newer with Arnold 5.0 or newer. Also make sure you have the latest version of the MAXtoA plug-in for 3ds Max. The version number can be found on the Arnold Renderer tab in the Render Setup dialog.

How to Perform a Revit Systems Analysis

Revit provides systems analysis tools that can help users choose the right HVAC system from the start of the design. Conceptual, analytical, or detailed designs all follow the same five-step workflow:
1. Add Analytical Systems: Start by adding zone equipment, air systems, and water/refrigerant loops in the Analytical Systems System Browser.
2. Add System-Zones: Sketch in lines or shapes to specify the rooms and spaces that will be served by that equipment. Then, in the Project Browser, assign the specific zone equipment that will be servicing each zone.
3. Assign Analytical Spaces: Add spaces using the Assign Spaces Automatically option. Create an Energy Model, and it will automatically create the Analytical Spaces and assign the zone equipment you specified.
4. Modify Analytical Spaces: Assign Space Types to all the spaces. Go through each space and assign what it will be used for, in order to create a realistic simulation of the entire HVAC systems behavior.
5. Run Systems Analysis: Click Run Systems Analysis to start analyzing your system!

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The learning industry is starting to embrace a few key terms and phrases that I’ve been using for years before they became all the buzz. It’s not course completions, it’s outcomes. It’s not taking a course, it’s consuming content. It’s not beginner, intermediate, and advanced, it’s roles, goals, and competencies. Why? Because if your objective for your team is to help them become more competent employees, then you must figure out how to leverage these terms so they can grow their knowledge and skills. It’s no longer about course completions with generalized content. Content needs to be targeted!
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Many companies attempt to gauge employee productivity over time by recording the number of repetitive tasks completed in a day or the number of units produced and then comparing it to a similar snapshot taken weeks or months later, to see if that employee’s output has improved. While this can be an indicator of efficiency in some industries—think an assembly line or an Amazon warehouse—it does not work well in more technical fields, particularly those that utilize design and engineering software. Furthermore, if you simply use the new version of your software exactly the same way you used the previous version, you are likely missing out on a lot of potential productivity improvements.
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Industrialized work-ethic isn’t born. It’s made. And it can be one of the greatest productivity skills you can have at your disposal. The true key to maintaining consistency is to industrialize processes. My first learning experience with this was my first day in the dish pit when I worked in a restaurant in an affluent part of town right after college…
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Fusion 360 is a very capable and flexible design program, and many users create multipart assemblies, not just individual parts. However, working with multipart assemblies presents its own set of challenges, since the  program files need to be organized in a way that makes sense not only to the designer, but also to any other user. This is especially important if you intend to share your design online. Try these tips to keep your Fusion assemblies organized and easy to work with.
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For me, the key to being productive is two-fold: being organized and staying focused. If, like me, you are among the 41.8% of fully remote employees here in America, you’ve had to find ways to keep yourself accountable and on track while working from home. It’s a challenge that requires both discipline and self-discovery. So, I’m sharing my best productivity habits in the hopes that they can be implemented in your workspace to help you stay focused.
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Building trust within your team will increase productivity. It may seem like trust and productivity are two completely different things, but they are inextricably linked. Having a trusting relationship between yourself and your coworkers allows for a strong foundation for mutual respect and recognition, which then leads to open, honest communication, which leads to confidence that everyone on the team is doing their part. And when workers are confident that they can rely on their managers and each other, they are more motivated to get their work done. Try implementing these ten ways to build trust in your team.
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