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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 



    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

    Is it ok to leave the office for lunch? 


    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.



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

  • feedwordpress 03:03:01 on 2017/07/25 Permalink

    Quick Tip #69: Develop soft skills for your next job interview. 

    You need more than a great resume to land your next dream job. Learn how to develop people skills to help you stand out.

  • 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.





    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 03:37:20 on 2017/07/21 Permalink

    If your public presentation is boring, blame yourself not your topic. 

    My team and I were recently hired to conduct speaker training at a global meeting. Before participants joined us for breakouts and coaching, we sat through their meeting where experts presented information. Surprisingly, each speaker was worse than the next. Their slides were text heavy, written in sentences, as the presenters read through them while randomly waving laser pointers at no particular place on the slide.

    It was a scientific meeting being held to educate attendees on a specific subject. Following, these attendees would work us in breakout sessions to learn how to effectively communicate this information and engage different audiences.

    It struck me as unfortunate that the company putting on the event missed a huge opportunity to select presenters who could exemplify how to be great speakers and set the tone for the meeting.

    Instead, the meeting chair led off apologizing for the dense slides; as he shoved his hands in his pockets, appearing bored at what he was about to share. He spoke far too quickly, without pausing to give listeners a chance to process what he was saying and spent a good deal of time talking to the slide instead of his audience. It was a global audience where English was not everyone’s first language so it was likely listeners struggled to keep up.

    The best way to become a good speaker is to start by watching good speakers. Being captivated by a strong communicator often inspires you to up your game so others want to listen when you talk.

    Given we’ve been coaching speakers for more than two decades, I can share the most common reason people, especially scientific and technical experts, say they can’t convey complex information in an interesting way.

    “My subject is different than others because I need to present very dry technical information that isn’t exciting.”

    Your subject may be different, but it’s up to you to present it passionately and in an interesting way. Instead of blaming your topic for being boring, look for ways to excite your audience. When you change your mindset, you will change the way your audience sees the subject. If you think of your subject as dull, then you will likely come across that way.


    Start by summarizing the key take away of your talk in one sentence as if it is a headline. As an example, if you are speaking about a new therapy, you may start by saying this new therapy can protect your children against future disease. If you’re delivering financial information, you might begin with a startling number or statistic to peak your listener’s curiosity. Always think about your listener when you create content. If you were them, what would you care about?


    When we converse, we are typically animated and have inflection in our voices. We tell stories and share examples that support that story. Your presentation should do the same. Think of your talk as a story and use analogies, examples and case studies to bring the information to life.


    An oncologist I once worked with was presenting at a medical symposium packed with colleagues. Instead of launching into the new study data right away, he began by talking about problems oncologists face and then discussed how the study results may help them address these problems. He instantly had their attention.


    While your talk may be longer than ten minutes, Ted Talks are great examples of how to make any topic interesting. There are talks on house painting, making tasty pizzas and even one on doodling. Instead of delivering a 45-minute talk ripe with spreadsheets, text and bullet points, you’ll observe techniques good presenters use to make listeners feel like active participants which keeps them interested. You’ll also notice powerful delivery techniques such as the pause.


    As a former reporter, I learned how to breathe life into my stories. The same applies to organizing business talks. Like developing an outline, pick three to five key concepts you want to convey. Look for places to insert the three V’s: vignettes, videos and visuals. The more interactive you make your talk, the more involved your audience will become.

    At the speaker training I referred to at the top of this article, the closing speaker, unfortunately, was as dull as the opening speaker. Instead of leaving her audience with a key take away, a call to action or a powerful reminder of why this information is important to them, she ended by presenting a slide that included approximately 200 words in small font, written in sentences.

    In what seemed like an eternity later, she said “this is the take home message”, which was highlighted in dull blue at the very bottom of the slide that people in the back of the room struggled to see.

    Everyone applauded and at first, I wasn’t sure why. Then I realized they probably weren’t clapping at the take away. They were applauding because her talk was over.


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