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  • feedwordpress 16:30:00 on 2017/08/04 Permalink
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    5 Tools to Help You Automate Your Work 

     

    automated_work_tools

    One of the greatest advantages organizations achieves from automating various processes is saving time, among other resources. In the entire history of human development, the need to make work easier, faster and even cheaper comes naturally. This is what has led to various discoveries and developments of tools that automate work. Phenomenal examples include manufacturing, mechanized farming, retail, and many other sectors.

    It is also evident that automation will continue to get more advanced with time and will expand to in scope and nature to touch fields that have not as much to write home about in regards to automation.

    Social psychologists argue that the human brain tends to create short-cuts when it is faced with long and tedious tasks, for which decision after decision has to be made. Thus, by automating some tasks in the cause of the day, you make easier the processes that exhaust you mentally, physically and even psychologically. Choosing the right tool might mean selecting the best fax machine, which refers to choosing optimum working capacity for your work flow. The tools discussed here have the potential to give individuals and organizations a highly effective turnaround in work output and general achievement in tasks.

    1. Zapier

    Is described in some quarters as a third-party connector, for its ability to connect several web apps and eventually helping to automate various tasks. Zapier connects over 700 apps moving information across web apps automatically thus reducing the time and energy used hopping from one app to the other. An app such as Evernote can be linked to task running apps like Trello and Asana and even to your Google calendar. You can also link your PayPal to a Google spreadsheet making it easy for your calculations.

    2. If This Then That (IFTTT)

    IFTT is one of the tools that are making automation even more interesting. Just as its name suggests, one thing leads to another. For instance, you can post a photo on Instagram and in turn, it is downloaded in Dropbox. The flow is from one web app to the other. IFTTT has the ability to connect to just about any application and even has a platform that allows app developers to integrate new apps with the IFTTT system, making it easier for clients to see the new app, download and use it. One of the most revolutionary tools by IFTTT is Applets, which has the ability to perform numerous tasks across several operating systems and apps.

    3. RoboTask

    RoboTask allows repetitive tasks on your Windows PC to get easily automated. There is a host of tasks you can do with RoboTask including launching apps, checking emails, creating backups and moving files, downloading and a lot more. It is built for both simple and complex tasks automation, involving conditional IF/ELSE statements, loops, custom variables and other advanced options.

    4. Pocket

    This is an interesting App used to schedule tasks for later reference. With Pocket, articles, videos, photos and more can all be viewed later. The app helps you save media directly from a browser and apps such as Twitter and Flipboard, and once you are ready to read them and view, you do not necessarily have to be connected to a Wi-Fi. It is one of the efficient tools that automate work especially for later review without internet enhancement.

    5. Mint

    Mint is an app that is highly effective for integrating your accounting system. With Mint, you are able to manage your savings, credit cards, your checking system, neatly organizes and display transactions and formulate graphical representation. In addition to this, Mint sends reminders of pending bills and those that are due.There is no doubt that automation integrates systems and makes it easier for you to access items that are of greater priority. It is, however, important to look out for tools that work best for you. Although most tools that automate work can do most tasks with minimal errors, it is important to counter check, to be sure that the tasks performed are up to your expectation. Automation is meant to make work flow easier to manage and enhance the outcome so that more is achieved within a given time.

    The post 5 Tools to Help You Automate Your Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:05 on 2017/08/02 Permalink
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    Is it ok to leave the office for lunch? 

    administrative_responsibility

    Each month we feature a question from our friends at Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Forum. Please enjoy engaging in a conversation over this month’s question.

    Question:“I’m starting to feel a little natural pressure to eat lunch at my desk—not because I’m so busy, and not because anyone’s recommended it, but just because there are so many people around me who do it, and I get the feeling that when I leave the building for lunch, there’s the perception that I’m not quite as dedicated as others are. Simply staying in my cubicle seems to give off the impression that I’ve never broken stride, even though I’m simply eating and browsing the web. Has anyone else felt this way? Do you think you gain points somehow when you stay desk-bound (but idle) at lunch as opposed to heading out?” – Maeve, Publishing Admin

    Comment below, and send your own question to editor@adminprotoday.com.

    executive_assistant_training

     

    The post Is it ok to leave the office for lunch? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:41:42 on 2017/07/21 Permalink
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    Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter 

    Admin_TrainingPhysical clutter can damage your health. In a study done by the University of California Los Angeles, women who described their houses as cluttered, disorganized, disordered, or haphazard had daily patterns of the stress hormone cortisol that are normally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue, and early mortality. These women were also more likely to feel depressed.

    If you’ve ever spent a morning trying to track down a lost file on your hard drive or searching through a decade of email, you know that digital disorder can also take a toll on your wellbeing. Most people handle a constant flow of text messages, emails, photos, videos, and other digital information. When all that digital data piles up, it can slow you and your devices down. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to downsizing and organizing your digital clutter.

    Get organized

    Does your documents folder or email inbox resemble a junk drawer with everything tossed in together? Do you usually rely on your search box to help you find files? An organization structure can help you declutter, share, synchronize, move, and easily track down files. Follow these simple steps to get your digital life organized:

    Designate Categories

    Browse through your files and emails and determine the major and minor categories they fall into. For instance, you may be able to divide photos into “work photos,” “family photos, “head shots,” etc. Within those categories, you may have subcategories.

    Make Folders

    Once you’ve determined what categories and subcategories you want to use for each type of file, make folders or subfolders for them.

    Develop Naming Guidelines

    Librarians who manage large digital collections use consistent, meaningful, and descriptive names to identify what’s inside each file. Follow suit, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to track down specific files and photos when you need them. For documents, designate a naming structure such as “descriptive keywords-type of document.” For example, this article might be named “digital-decluttering-article.” For images, create a structure such as “descriptive keywords-month-year.” For example, vacation photos might be named “Hawaii-vacation-March-2017). For emails, use descriptive subject headings.

    Automate Email Organization

    Email inboxes can become unmanageable quickly. Depending on your email provider, you can automatically filter incoming emails into certain folders. For instance, all newsletters can be sent to a “newsletters” folder, and emails from colleagues can automatically be sent to a “work” folder.

    Declutter Your Digital Past

    Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve sorted through your digital data, you may need to do a major purge to get back on track. As with any big organizational project, the hardest part can be getting started. Set aside plenty of time, and commit to going through everything saved on your computer, mobile devices, external hard drive, or in the cloud, including photos, files, and personal records.

    How Long to Keep Digital Files - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Decluttering can be an emotional process. Set a relaxing tone by listening to music and treating yourself to your favorite beverage. Repeat the decluttering motto: “If in doubt, throw it out,” and begin sorting files into folders. If you find yourself deliberating for more than a minute about keeping any item, create a “maybe” folder, and put it there.

    Most of us accumulate a lot of photos and videos, because it’s so inexpensive and easy to snap and upload them these days. Photos and videos can hold a lot of sentimental value and can be difficult to downsize. However, it’s worth it! Not only are these files large and expensive to store; you don’t want to have to scroll through hundreds of files to find the photos that are meaningful to you.

    Start by purging the following:

    • Blurry photos
    • Duplicates
    • Extremely similar photos
    • Photos with poor lighting
    • Poor quality videos
    • Photos or videos that no longer hold sentimental value
    • Photos or videos that are no longer meaningful to you

    Back up Important Files

    Once you’ve purged and organized, you’ll be left with only those files that are important and meaningful to you. Ensure that they’re safe! Computer hard drives don’t last forever and are susceptible to mechanical defects, virus and malware attacks, accidents, and other threats. Most experts recommend saving important data in three locations. For instance, you could save one copy on your computer’s hard drive, one in a cloud service, and one on an external hard drive.

    Digital Decluttering Schedule - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Make a Plan

    Digital clutter builds up quickly. Get out your calendar, and schedule regular recurring dates with yourself to keep your data in order.

    Keeping Data Safe Long-Term - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Destination Peace of Mind

    Decluttering, organizing, and securing your digital data can be a big task, especially if you haven’t dealt with it for a while. However, your efforts will pay off. You’ll not only keep your computer and devices running well; you’ll likely enjoy greater productivity and peace of mind.

    http://repettilab.psych.ucla.edu/no%20place%20like%20home.pdf

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15677/zen-and-the-art-of-file-and-folder-organization/

    http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/systems/digitalinitiatives/docs/filenameguidelines.pdf

    https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6579?hl=en

    How long do hard drives actually live for?

    Author: Abby Quellen

    Original Source: eReplacementParts Blog

    Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    The post Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:51:50 on 2017/07/10 Permalink
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    Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) 

    administrative_assistant_trainingTo end my 4 part series, I wanted to share my quick list of tips with you. In case you missed the rest of the series, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here. Remember that doing several little things throughout your day can also improve your productivity. You can pick and choose which ones you would like to try. Best of luck.

     

    1. Standardize processes.

    2. Focus on tasks of high value.

    3. Clarify objectives.

    4. Learn to think on paper.

    5. Anticipate upcoming work events or projects.

    6. Avoid backlogs of work by keeping information flowing.

    7. Flexibility leads to control. Use your “to do” list or other tools, but don’t let them control you.

    8. When given a project or task, get all the information you can at once.

    9. Excuse yourself from idle chatter after a few minutes.

    10.When involved in discussions, stick to the issue at hand.

    11.Finish what you start; avoid jumping around (multitasking).

    12.Keep an organized workspace.

     

    I hope you enjoyed this 4 part Series.

    The post Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:30:07 on 2017/07/10 Permalink
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    Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) 

    training_for_executive_assistants

    To end my 4 part series, I wanted to share my quick list of tips with you. In case you missed the rest of the series, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here. Remember that doing several little things throughout your day can also improve your productivity. You can pick and choose which ones you would like to try. Best of luck.

    1. Standardize processes.
    2. Focus on tasks of high value.
    3. Clarify objectives.
    4. Learn to think on paper.
    5. Anticipate upcoming work events or projects.
    6. Avoid backlogs of work by keeping information flowing.
    7. Flexibility leads to control. Use your “to do” list or other tools, but don’t let them control you.
    8. When given a project or task, get all the information you can at once.
    9. Excuse yourself from idle chatter after a few minutes.
    10. When involved in discussions, stick to the issue at hand.
    11. Finish what you start; avoid jumping around (multitasking).
    12. Keep an organized workspace.

    I hope you enjoyed this 4 part Series. I hope you continue to enjoy your summer.

    Joan Burge

    This blog was created from our Monday Motivators series. Monday Motivators is a weekly note offering practical ways to create a new mindset, change behaviors, develop positive relationships and thrive in the workplace with energy, effectiveness, and excellence.

    admin_training

    The post Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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