There are certain things we get asked how to do on PCs, laptops, tablets and phones more than any others…

…here’s how to find the answers…

Here at Helpful Books, we get asked certain questions all the time.

  • Dear Helpful Books, how do you do such-and-such on a smartphone?
  • Dear Helpful Books, how can I do so-and-so without paying for a fancy program?
  • Dear Helpful Books, what’s the meaning of life, the universe and everything? No, wait, maybe I imagined that one… more like “How do I do such-and-such on my laptop?”

It’s often the same questions over and over again – not surprising really as many people want to do much the same things with their devices.

After all, unless you can get PCs, laptops, phones and tablets to do what you want, they’re just expensive doorstops or paperweights.

In fact I’ve counted them up and there are 71 questions I get asked all the time – everything from how to use online accounts to making greetings cards and address labels. From how to share photos online to how to pay for things with your smartphone…

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People have been asking us these questions (or similar ones) for a long time…

What people wanted to do on their PCs 16 years ago… but now on tablets and phones, too
Back in 2007, we wrote two books called “Next Steps on your PC” – all about the things people asked us how to do on their PC. They were hugely popular – but they’re out of print now. And they only covered doing these things on PCs.

But then tablets and smartphones came along and you can do all sorts of things on them. Not only that, you can do more on a PC or laptop than you could back then… and not only that but it’s often even easier than it was – once you know how.

So in 2019, we brought out all new versions of these books – but this time covering phones and tablets too. But as I’m sure you know, 4 years is a long time in the world of technology!

The more things change…
You know what they say: “The more things change, the more they stay the same” – and although you can do much more now and you can use a tablet or phone instead of just a PC, some of the problems are exactly the same. For example…

Using all these devices can be confusing unless someone has shown you exactly how to do it… it can be hard to make sense of it… and sometimes you don’t even know what you can do with the device!

There might be things you’d love to use it for… if only you knew it was possible – but the manufacturers don’t exactly make it obvious…

But this might make it all simpler…
That’s where our brand new edition of these books comes in: Next Steps on your PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone – 2nd Edition. The books show you how to do the things most people want to do with their devices, not just how to operate the device itself.

Not to mention that it can be nigh-on impossible to work out how to get it to do even things that you know it can do – there are often no buttons on the screen or anything to make it obvious. You have to already know about certain apps or know when to swipe off the side of the screen or whatever.

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Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

These are the things people ask us about more than any others. (Both because they want to do those things… and because they need help with them!)

Everything is explained nice and simply, step by step, in plain simple language. There’s no jargon – except where we explain what it means in case you come across it somewhere else. There are lots of pictures of the screen, showing you where to click, tap or swipe and it tells you exactly what you need to do.

For example, in Vol 1 of Next Steps on your PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone, you’ll discover:

  • What the difference is between using an app to do something and using the website. Page 2
  • What might happen if you shake your tablet (whether it’s out of frustration… or because you know this odd little trick). Page 3
  • On a PC, this trick will often let me help people even when they’re stuck in a program I’ve never seen before in my life! Page 6 (page 7 has the equivalent for tablets and smartphones).
  • Have you ever been sure you saved something to your phone or tablet but don’t know how to find it?  You wouldn’t be alone!  Pages 24-25 will help you track it down.
  • People talk about “The Cloud” – and 9 out of 10 of them couldn’t even tell you what it is. (I have a sneaking suspicion some of the others would get it wrong, too). Here’s a nice, simple explanation that makes sense. Page 27. It also explains the 4 reasons why you might want to actually use it.
  • 7 ways you can use Bluetooth – and the way I use it nearly every day. Page 44
  • What “Honey” and a badger have got to do with browsing the internet, and how to use them to save money and keep your browsing secure and private.  Pages 52-54

And there’s more in
Next Steps on your PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone Vol 2:

  • Sharing photos with friends and family – my cousin used one of the services on page 11 to make a lovely present for my mum.
  • Designing and sending your own greetings cards – even if you don’t have a printer! Page 26
  • Printing labels – whether you want a whole page of identical labels (eg with your new address on when you move) or lots of different ones (maybe for Christmas cards).  Pages 30-33.
  • Creating documents: from formal letters to posters for club events, plans for trips, club newsletters or anything else – all using free programs and apps.  Chapter 4
  • The special trick on page 51 that makes all sorts of documents easier to do a good job of.
  • A single website that lets you do all sorts – from claiming your pension, to ordering a new passport to taxing your car.  You can do it all online these days.  Pages 65-66

That’s not all, of course. There are lots of other useful things – the things people have often asked us how to do… the things most people want to be able to do with their PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones… whichever they have.

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Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

But don’t be put off by how much there is – you don’t have to use all of it. Have a look, pick the bits that are relevant to you and ignore any things you’re not interested in, for now at least. You can always come back later on if you are interested in them then.

It’s all explained nice and simply, in plain language with plenty of pictures of the screen to show you exactly what to do.

Who are the books suitable for?
They’re only suitable for you if:

  1. You have a smartphone (either an iPhone or one running Android), a tablet (an iPad or one running Android) or a PC/laptop (running Windows).  If you’re not sure, you can always ring and we’ll help you check.
  2. You’re not a tech expert – these books are written for “ordinary” people, not techies.
  3. You’re not an absolute complete beginner – you should already know how to use a mouse if you have a PC and how to tap on the screen if you use a tablet or smartphone. If you’ve got that figured out, you should be fine (if you haven’t, have a look at our “One Step at a Time” range which covers all the absolute basics for PCs, tablets and phones).

So how much are the books?
These devices you’re using can be really expensive. Even the cheaper iPads tend to be £350 or so – and you can pay an awful lot more.

But you might not be getting all you could out of it – half of what it could do for you might be being wasted!

These books can help with that and they won’t cost anything like as much as the tablet, phone or PC did. Each book is just £12.97 and there’s only one lot of P&P of £3.99, no matter how many books you order.

But don’t take my word for it – all you need to do is say “maybe”

Order a free trial set now and you don’t have to pay a penny until you’ve got the books and decided you’re happy with them. Otherwise send them back to us and owe nothing.

Just click here or call 01229 777606 if you’d prefer to talk to Jade, Shannon or Shanice to order your copy. We’ll pop it in the post to you straight away – you don’t have to pay anything until you’ve got your books and are happy with them.


The Helpful Book Company

PS Of course, you don’t have to try all 71 things – at least not for now. Pick the ones you’re most interested in to start with and you can always come back to the others later on…  Why not get your copies of the new books ordered now, so you can have a look?