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

    5 Tools to Help You Automate Your Work 

     

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    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 13:45:27 on 2017/04/21 Permalink
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    How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work 

    At some point, in any professional’s career, there comes a time when enthusiasm wanes. It’s natural, after all. Even as an assistant, a role where “no two days are exactly alike,” the day-to-day operations can eventually become monotonous.

    When you feel a lack of enthusiasm for the work you do, it can really take a toll on your quality of life. You feel more tired and discontent. Ultimately, it can also impact your quality of work. When you’re not energized by what you’re doing, you tend to cut corners and settle for “good enough.”

    So, what’s an assistant to do when he or she feels that lack of enthusiasm? How do you get back on track? Here are some simple, but effective, recommendations.

    Tackle Stretch Projects

    Nothing is more exciting than a project that challenges your capabilities. These kinds of projects give you goals that are outside the normal, everyday realm. They’re risky, no doubt. But hey, risk is exciting! It gets the blood moving. It forces you to think differently and deeper. It pushes you to see things from new perspectives.

    Volunteer to do something you’ve never done before. Suggest an innovative solution to a problem that’s been plaguing your team for ages. Offer to own that project that no one else wants to do.

    You are capable of much more than you (or your manager!) probably even realize. The feeling of growing is, in and of itself, a great energizer. Plus, as you tackle these challenging items, you’ll enhance your reputation and contribute more meaningful in your role. It’s a win-win.

    Shake Up Your Routine

    Routines are useful because they make us more productive. However, it’s easy to shift into autopilot when you’re doing the same things, in the same way, every day. Sometimes a minor shake up can help you re-engage. Even something simple, like taking a different route to work in the morning or climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator, can help you feel more awake and alert.

    When I’m feeling a lack of enthusiasm personally, I rearrange my to-do list. I move the tasks I enjoy most to the end of the day, that way I can look forward to them. I’m able to power through the more unpleasant work with the knowledge that my afternoon will be filled with more enjoyable items. Or, I save the best stuff for Fridays. These are simple tricks that I find helpful when I’m struggling.

    Optimize Your Environment

    This is another strategy that I rely on personally. The physical environment can have a dramatic impact on your mental perspective. When I need a good hefty dose of renewed energy, I reorganize and redecorate my workspace. It never fails to lift spirits. I can find new ways to enhance the functionality of even a tiny space, and when all is said and done, I can enjoy a fresh new perspective.

    Try this and see how it feels: Remove all the clutter from your space and re-evaluate why it’s there. Exchange your personal pieces of flare for more recent photos or important mementos. Switch up the location of your computer, your phone, and your work-in-progress files. Empty your drawers and find new places for your stockpiles.

    In my experience, a few minor adjustments can have a powerfully positive effect.

    Reconnect with Your Value

    Finally, one of the best things you can do to reignite your enthusiasm is to remember why your work really matters. Consider the impact you have on your executive and the organization as a whole. Imagine what things would be like if you weren’t there. Remember the overall goals and mission of the organization.

    You are an essential part of something that is very important to many, many people.

    Remember that work is not the same as play. It’s okay if you aren’t filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement each and every day. Save that for your trip to Disneyland. However, it is absolutely possible to find something at work, each and every day, that brings you a sense of joy, enthusiasm or fulfillment. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.


    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

    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.

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    The post How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:49 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
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    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 16:00:18 on 2017/04/14 Permalink
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    The 43 Folders Method (Paper System) 

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    I mentioned the 43 folders method in my Core Administrative Skills Always Need Improving post and a lot of you wanted more information on this method. This information is in our Executives and Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide to Success. Because we love you and it’s our Blog-A-Thon, I would love to share it with you!

    This is a popular system advocated by productivity and time management experts around the world. I have been using this system for years and highly recommends it. Use it when you have paper trigger items or paper associated with next actions.

    You need 43 folders (31 labeled “1” through “31” and 12 more labeled with the names of the months of the year).

    • Keep the daily files in front, beginning with the file for tomorrow’s date. For example, if today is the 10th, the first folder will be labeled “11.” The files that follow all represent the rest of the days of the month in the correct order (12 through 31).
    • Behind the “31” file is the folder for the next month. For example, if the current month is October, the next file is November.
    • Behind that are the rest of the daily files (1 through 10).
    • Behind that are the rest of the monthly files (December through October).

    How it Works

    Imagine you have a paper item that needs to be used to trigger an action in the future—say, an agenda your Executive wants you to give to him on the day of a meeting two weeks from now. You take the agenda and put it in the file that has the date of the meeting on it. So, if the meeting is on the 21st of this month, put the agenda in the folder labeled 21. If the meeting is happening in another month, put it in the folder labeled with the name of that month. At the end of each day, you pull the file folder for the next day. Go through each item and determine whether to place it in:

    • Your “to do” tray; meaning you will take action on it the next day
    • Your “to call” tray for the next day
    • The folder of items to discuss with your Executive the next day in your Daily Huddle
    • Your Executive’s office for his or her retrieval
    • A later date for follow-up, if appropriate
    • The “round file.” The item or action may no longer be necessary and therefore can be tossed in the trash can.

    If today is the 20th, toward the end of your day, you pull the file labeled 21 and see the agenda you need to give your Executive for his meeting. Every afternoon, you process your system like this. When the folder is empty, you put it in the back of the numerical system, allowing the next day’s number to be at the front.

    At the beginning of each month, the next month’s file should reach the front of the pack. So, on October 31st, the November file will be in front, with the files labeled 1 through 31 behind it. Open the month file and disperse the materials to the appropriate day’s folder if needed. The November file would then be refilled in the back of the monthly folders to represent November a year from now.

    This is a perpetual system—at any given point, it represents the next 31 days and the next 12 months. It’s incredibly useful but you have to really commit to it and work the system every day, pulling the contents and adding them to your priorities list.

    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.

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    The post The 43 Folders Method (Paper System) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:15:55 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
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    Administrative Professionals Day 2017 Blog-A-Thon Celebration 

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    In honor of Administrative Professionals Day, Office Dynamics loves to hold our annual Blog-A-Thon for the entire month of April.

    April is a month that can change your career if you’re an administrative professional.

    We love this time of year and it’s time to shine the spotlight on our favorite office professional, you, the administrative professional.

    While we serve the administrative profession all 365 days of the year, this is the month that you get a week of recognition or at least a day. And if you’re friends of ours, well…we’re giving you the whole month.

    It’s time to kick-off a special event we’ve been hosting for years here on our blog that we hope you will enjoy!

    At Office Dynamics International we’ve been working hard to organize a special event just for you that will not only be fun and pump-you-up with excitement for your career – this event will provide you with expert tips and trade secrets, real-world advice and solutions you can take back to your desk and implement right away.

    Not only will we be sharing our expertise, we’ve rallied together a whole bunch of experts we’ll be introducing as we journey through this April Blog-a-Thon. 

    There are chances to win great prizes, all you have to do is engage with the blog posts by commenting as well as sharing the post on social media.

    Hint: Never miss a post by subscribing to our blog on the upper right of this screen. You will be notified by email each time we add a new entry to our blog.

    What is a Blog-a-Thon?

    Our Blog-a-Thon is a free online event. We update our blog daily with posts from our team or our partners adding content for you daily. You enter to win prizes by engaging with these blogs by commenting and sharing.

    How to participate in the Blog-a-Thon.

    • Simply comment and share any of the blog posts during the month of April for a chance to win.
    • If you have strict corporate policies that restrict your from receiving gifts – don’t let that hold you back from participating. Please just let us know if you waive the right to win your prize and we’ll draw another name.
    • Multiple comments do not equal multiple entries on the same post.
    • Commenting on multiple posts does equal multiple entries. The more posts you visit and leave a comment on, the more chances you have to win.
    • Sharing the post on social media will also be a bonus entry – please tag us in your posts so we know when you share them.
    • Twitter @OfficeDynamics
    • Linkedin @Office Dynamics International
    • Instagram @OfficeDynamics
    • Facebook @OfficeDynamics

    Why do we host a Blog-a-Thon in April?

    Our Blog-a-Thon in honor of Administrative Professionals is held once a year  (April). This is the time of year the administrative profession gets a lot of attention with the last week of April traditionally being Administrative Professionals Week and this year (2017) Administrative Professionals Day is Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

    We enjoy providing an abundance of tools and resources for the administrative professional to enhance their career throughout the month with continuous blog posts. Offering educational programs to administrative support staff through free resources, products, services, and events are something we focus on all year long. This is a great time of year to highlight why we’re here and that we are here for you.

    Please share this event with the administrative assistants, executive assistants, administrative professionals, and other office professionals in your life.

    Don’t forget to subscribe in the upper right corner so you don’t miss any of these amazing blogs.

    There is still time to join Joan Burge in Chicago for Administrative Professionals Week. You must register for Building A Star Partnership One-Day Workshop by April 10, 2017. There is only a handful of seats left so act fast.

    webinars_for_assistants

    The post Administrative Professionals Day 2017 Blog-A-Thon Celebration appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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