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  • feedwordpress 16:30:00 on 2017/08/04 Permalink
    Tags: , Technology, ,   

    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 13:45:04 on 2017/04/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Technology   

    10 Apps for Administrative Productivity and Organization 

    This is the second article in a two-part series on productivity apps for admins by Julie Perrine. You can read part 1 here.

    As an administrative professional, you need to be productive and organized wherever you go. But hauling around your work laptop 24/7 isn’t exactly practical. The solution? Smartphone apps! Here are my 10 app category favorites.

    1. Travel Planning Apps: Whether you’re the one traveling, or simply attempting to get your executive from point A to point B, travel planning apps can be a life saver. Tripit, my personal favorite, creates a mobile itinerary available at the tap of your screen. Just forward your confirmation emails to the app (hotel, rental car, airline tickets, etc.), and Tripit will organize them all in one place including directions between locations. I also recommend SeatGuru, GateGuru, and the apps for a hotel, airline, and ground transportation companies you use the most.
    2. To-Do List Apps: Long on to-dos and short on time? Enter your habits, tasks, and hobbies into a to-do list app such as SuperNote, Wunderlist or Timeful. Timeful will suggest the optimal time to complete them. This smart app even “learns” your schedule and adapts to your busy and available times.
    3. Project Management Apps: Teamwork is, by far, my favorite project management app. It’s what I use to keep my own team on track. You can update statuses, track time and tasks, and get real-time updates on all your projects. Others you may want to research include Trello, Asana, and Basecamp.
    4. Virtual Meeting Apps: For far-flung teams or admins supporting on-the-go executives, online meeting apps help keep everyone on the same page. My team uses GoToMeeting, Skype, and Facetime to meet “face-to-face” using technology. Chat by phone or video conferencing, record meetings, and share screens to keep each other up to date, even if you’re continents apart!
    5. Cloud-Based File Storage: Tired of attaching documents to emails and relying on track changes to keep up with multiple people editing the same files? Need to access your work from any device, anywhere? Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive may be the solution. Update, backup, and share files with your executive and team – no flash drives needed!
    6. Note Taking Apps: A robust note-taking solution, such as Evernote or OneNote, makes it easy to organize, capture, and share everything from that awesome picture you took of the sunrise to your administrative procedures binder. Work from anywhere on any device and capture everything in one handy digital notebook!
    7. Currency Converter Apps: Quick, what’s the current exchange rate for the yen? I don’t know, either – but Convert Pad does. It quickly converts any currency, but it goes a step above and beyond by converting measurements, too – inches to centimeters, kilometers to miles, etc. There are a lot of free currency converter apps available, so search for the one that is simplest to use for your specific needs.
    8. Time Zone Converter Apps: Time zones can be tricky, especially if you or your executive is working virtually from another state or country. I use the Time Zone Converter by TimeAndDate. Another cool one is World Time Buddy. It not only lets you check the time in any part of the world, it also shows you color-coded business hours in your specified time zone, making it easier to schedule meeting times.
    9. Business Card Scanning Apps: Anyone who’s ever attended a conference or networking event knows just how quickly all those business cards stack up. WorldCard Mobile scans those cards, adds the info as a new contact or updates an existing one. It even allows you to connect to the person straight from their business card!
    10. iBooks, Kindle, or Other eReader Apps: Want to catch up on the latest industry trends on your lunch break or finally finish that novel on a long flight? Don’t lug your entire library with you. An eReader makes your bookshelf portable and saves space in your briefcase or carry-on bag.

    The days of being tied to a desk or a computer are long gone. With these apps, productivity and organization are literally at your fingertips. Take a few minutes to explore the app store for solutions you need, and turn your smartphone into a productivity powerhouse!

    What are your favorite productivity and organization apps? Share your favorites in the comments below.


    About Julie Perrine

    Julie Perrine is an administrative expert, author, and all around procedures pro. She is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, a company dedicated to developing innovative products, training, and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie’s upbeat, step-by-step approach to handling the opportunities and challenges facing administrative professionals provides proactive strategies for developing a plan, creating forward motion, and achieving great results.

    She is the author of two books: The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation In Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity.

    Julie will be one of the featured speakers at the 2017 Conference for Administrative Excellence in Las Vegas this October. She will be presenting a general session on What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do: The Productive Admin’s Guide to Managing Time.

    Connect with All Things Admin on LinkedIn and on Facebook. Follow Julie on Twitter.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    The post 10 Apps for Administrative Productivity and Organization appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:49 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Technology,   

    5 Productivity Apps You Probably Already Have on Your Smartphone 

    Productivity_Apps_For_AssistantsThis article is part one in a two-part series on productivity apps for administrative professionals by Julie Perrine.

    While there’s certainly a case to be made for banning phones from the workplace – confidentiality concerns, Facebook faux pas, employees who spend more time on Snapchat than spreadsheets – some smartphone apps, when used properly, can make your job a lot easier. The following are five apps you probably already have on your phone, and how you can use them to be more productive.

    1. Audio recorders. Have you ever been in a meeting where the information comes fast and furious or sat across from your executive as he or she verbally dumped out the details for an important trip or memo they need drafted? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a way to record those words, rather than giving yourself carpal tunnel syndrome attempting to scribble down notes?

    Enter audio recording! Simply push the button on your app to capture their words verbatim, and then transcribe it when it’s convenient for you. If transcription is a pain point, these three apps will do it for you: Dragon Dictation, Evernote for Android, and Voice Assistant!

    2. Notes. We’ve all been there. Your executive says something in passing that you need to remember, so you hunt down a pen and a sticky note to jot it down.
    But why? Your most powerful note-taking software is already in your pocket or sitting on your desk! Whether you use OneNote, Evernote, or the default notes app that came with your phone, you’re just a few keystrokes away from documenting these important comments in a place where they won’t get misplaced or thrown out.

    3. Tasks. As an admin, your to-do list is usually a mile long, and it can be difficult to remember what you need to do and when.

    A task app can help! Enter the specifics – description, due date, etc. – and you’ll be able to see at a glance what needs to be done and when.

    4. Calendar. When is that important meeting? What date is the budget report due? What time is your executive’s flight to Cleveland for the big conference?
    With a calendar app, you’ll never forget an important date again. Set reminders, alerts, and alarms, sync to Outlook or other email programs, and never miss an important meeting or event.

    5. Podcasts. If you want to develop your business acumen, you’ll need to stay up to date on the latest industry trends, news, and developments. But as a busy admin, where will you find the time?

    With a podcast app, you can download and save relevant streams and peruse them at your leisure – during your morning commute, on your lunch break, or as you relax on the couch after a long day at the office.

    While there are numerous productivity apps out there – these five likely don’t require any research or downloading since you (probably) already have them. So pick up that phone, test them out, and put them to use today!


    About Julie Perrine

    Julie Perrine is an administrative expert, author, and all around procedures pro. She is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, a company dedicated to developing innovative products, training, and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie’s upbeat, step-by-step approach to handling the opportunities and challenges facing administrative professionals provides proactive strategies for developing a plan, creating forward motion, and achieving great results.

    She is the author of two books: The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation In Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity.

    Julie will be one of the featured speakers at the 2017 Conference for Administrative Excellence in Las Vegas this October. She will be presenting a general session on What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do: The Productive Admin’s Guide to Managing Time.

    Connect with All Things Admin on LinkedIn and on Facebook. Follow Julie on Twitter.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    The post 5 Productivity Apps You Probably Already Have on Your Smartphone appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:53:26 on 2016/12/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , communication tools, documentation, , Facebook, increase safety, , smartphones, , Technology, , twitter, workplace safety, workplace technology,   

    4 Ways Smartphones Can Increase Workplace Safety 

    As a manager, you might be concerned that the smartphones that employees seem to have attached to their hips might tempt them to spend time on Facebook or Twitter rather than tend to their job duties.

    As it turns out, these small technological devices can actually help to keep your workers safe while on the job. Whether your employees bring their own phones to work or you have issued smartphones to everyone on your team to help stay in touch, check out the following ways that smartphones can help everyone stay safe:

    Long Battery Life for Improved Communication

    When it comes to hardware improvements, mobile phones have advanced a lot in recent years. A great example of this is battery life. If your workers are out at remote locations where they cannot easily charge their smartphones, a generous amount of battery time will allow them to stay in touch with you back at the main office. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge features 36 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time. Workers can use this flexibility to call in updates, report any problems they have encountered or simply check in to let you know they are okay.

    Use the Camera as a Documentation Tool

    New smartphones come with cameras that allow users to take still shots and videos whose quality rivals that of many professional devices. The smartphone camera is a terrific tool to use during inspections or investigations or anything that requires documentation. For example, if you are concerned with the way your employees are performing a particular task, you can snap a photo or take a quick video.

    Put Social Media to Good Use

    Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can also be used to boost workplace safety. You can set up closed social media groups on the site of your choice that are available only to your staff. Employees who are working in the field can use their smartphone internet connection to access the social media site and communicate with other employees. This “virtual” office will let you see who is consistently checking in and posting updates; those who rarely show up in the closed groups can be given a friendly reminder to use the closed group to let everyone know where they are.

    Harness the Power of GPS

    Most newer smartphones come equipped with a GPS feature that can really boost the safety of your employees. In addition to helping ensure that your workers will be able to get to remote locations and/or clients’ homes thanks to GPS directional advice, the feature can also help you to keep tabs on where everyone is.

    There are several apps that will allow you to track phones; these include Find My iPhone, the Android Device Manager and Find My Mobile. If you have not heard from an employee in some time and are getting concerned, you can use one of these apps to help track where the phone and employee are currently located. Or, if an employee is out in the field and he calls in to say that he is completely lost, you can use the tracking feature to see where he is and give directional advice on how to get back to the office or to the appointment.

    The post 4 Ways Smartphones Can Increase Workplace Safety appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 10:21:49 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , career advancement, , , , , , , masterminds, Mentors & Masterminds, mentorship, , , , Technology, ,   

    Facebook Live Interview with Mentors & Masterminds, Tara Browne 

    Mentors & Masterminds, a dating service for administrative professionals looking for their perfect mentor match! Tune in and hear Tara’s story on how this project was formed and where it’s going. It’s an interesting journey and we would love to know, is this something you’ll be using to advance your career?

    Special thank you to Debbi Shaffer, Audacious Admin, for taking the time to conduct this interview during our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. Both of you are excellent examples of Revolutionary Assistants!

    The post Facebook Live Interview with Mentors & Masterminds, Tara Browne appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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