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

    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
    Tags: , , , , , Workplace Tools   

    The 43 Folders Method (Paper System) 


    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.


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

  • feedwordpress 13:15:55 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Workplace Tools   

    Administrative Professionals Day 2017 Blog-A-Thon Celebration 


    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.


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

  • feedwordpress 15:25:13 on 2017/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: Workplace Tools   

    Spotting Dangerous Habits in the Workplace Before Accidents Happen 

    Dangerous_Habits_in_the_WorkplaceGood housekeeping isn’t just for your home. It is a practice that should be implemented in the workplace as well. There are a series of things you can do as a managing professional to ensure that your workplace is safe and free of dangerous habits. Here’s what dangerous habits you should be looking for at work and how you can prevent potential accidents and injuries.

    Deter Dangerous Behavior With Surveillance Cameras

    If you don’t know that employees have dangerous habits there is no way to fix the problems. We all like to think that our workplaces are safe. But that is simply not the case. Some of the most common workplace injuries are falls and over extensions. Consider installing surveillance cameras in public spaces, so you can spot bad habits before they result in an accident. For example, Lorex security cameras offer a variety of systems and offer easy remote connectivity. Whether you find an employee standing on a chair to place a box in storage or moving a desk improperly, you can spot it and address the issue immediately. Additionally, having monitoring systems in the workplace can give your employees a sense of security, and it can even deter workplace crime, like theft.

    Keep Cluttered Walkways Clear

    It may not seem critical, but a cluttered or messy workspace can lead to dangerous accidents and even serious injury. According to workplace data reported by Abrill, the second most common cause of workplace injuries is slipping and tripping. These can be falls on slippery, wet floors or trips over clutter on the floor. As a manager, you can help prevent trips and slips in the workplace by keeping an eye out for potential hazards. If a spill is spotted, clean it up right away to prevent slipping. And if there is clutter — such as boxes, tools, or supplies — obstructing walkways, remove it right away. It is important to have a set of safety guidelines in place to ensure these potential hazards are addressed quickly.

    Offer Ergonomic Support for Office Employees

    Vision problems, muscle strains, and arthritis later in life are all common problems that come as a result of repetitive stress. This includes excessive typing and other computer-related tasks. However, as a manager, you can take action by implementing proper ergonomic support, from office chairs to ergonomic computer mouses, to keep your employees comfortable and protected from repetitive stress. Managers should also encourage consistent breaks. As much as you’d like to think that your employees who camp out behind their computers all day are All-Stars, they likely have some bad habits. Break those habits with regular breaks away from the screen.

    Frequent Reviews of Workplace Safety Guidelines

    Do your employees know the current workplace safety guidelines? In order to achieve a safe workplace, all employees need to be actively involved and engaged. If there is a lack of understanding of safety guidelines, rules are being broken, or corners are being cut, there should be some red flags raised. As a manager, you can work to teach your team the importance of workplace safety. Managers must be clear when addressing workplace safety, and managers must make sure employees understand that workplace safety guidelines are non-optional — they are mandatory. If there are employees who consistently ignore the safety guidelines, it is a manager’s responsibility to hold said employees accountable by issuing repercussions for not practicing the workplace safety guidelines.



    The post Spotting Dangerous Habits in the Workplace Before Accidents Happen appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 14:30:25 on 2017/01/24 Permalink
    Tags: , managing your time, , , , tips for time management, , Workplace Tools   

    Top 8 Time Management Tips To Hack Productivity 

    Time_Management_Tips_Hack_ProductivityAmongst the hectic schedules and infinite demands of modern life, we often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything we need to done. This pressure has resulted in many self-aware individuals seeking ways to save time throughout their day. Some of this is relevant to work life, some to home life, but all time management hacks end up with you being more productive while you work and having more ‘me-time’ as a result. Every office in the world wants their staff to be as productive as possible, so get ahead of your colleagues and enjoy unprecedented levels of success without doing any extra work yourself.  Here are my top 8 time management tips to hack productivity.

    1. Plan Your Day With An Organizer

    Putting pen to paper and writing down everything you need to do in a day can make you more committed to getting it all done, as well as really hitting home how much there is and how long it will take. Using an organizer can help you plan what you will do and when, which helps you prioritize, focus, and manage your time effectively.

    2. Know When To Outsource

    There are certain tasks in business that just don’t fall into everyone’s specific skill set or experience. One of these tasks is often writing, whether it’s a business proposal, a speech, or even web content. To boost your confidence and ensure the best quality possible of the work you’ve produced, you can place an order online to have your piece reviewed by a professional at UK Writings. If you’re not able to send work product out to a professional, then you can review it yourself quickly and effectively using online tools, rather than spending hours agonizing over your text. These online tools include the Hemingway App which can detect spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as too many adverbs, or overly complicated sentences. You can also make sure that your text is not too difficult or too simple by using Readability Score.

    If you want to prepare before you start writing then there are some amazing tips and tricks available in free guides with Australian Help which could inspire you before you start typing. If writing is becoming an increasingly important role in your work, then it could be time to commit to a full writing course, such as the one offered by Academized.

    3. Make A Time Limit For Every Task and Stick To The Limit

    Many of us get caught up in e-mails or running late as we’re striving for perfection. The truth is that sometimes we drag out something boring while we procrastinate, and this eats into our time for other tasks. Be reasonable in your time limits, but do your best to stick with them.

    4. Take Some Time Off Overtime

    While some people believe that working late makes them better employees – which may sometimes be the case, sometimes it actually makes you less productive. If you’ve accepted that you’ll be leaving work late, then you’re less motivated to speed up and get everything you need to done by 5. Try aiming to be out of the door by five for a week or so, and you may be surprised at what you can accomplish in one day.

    5. Stay Focused

    Some of us are constantly trying to do five things at once. Trying to get through five tasks, we may feel like we’re accomplishing more, but we’re actually not at all. Focusing all of our attention on one thing means that we can do it quickly and do it well. Put a stop to multi-tasking and give undivided attention a try.

    6. Get Rid Of Distractions

    Being constantly surrounded by technology is one of the biggest contributing factors to low productivity. If your phone is constantly going off, it’s time to switch it off. Close Facebook, sign out of your emails, do whatever you need to in order to achieve a clear mind and uninterrupted thoughts.

    7. Prioritize And Delegate

    While you might be used to doing everything all by yourself and all in one go, this is not the most productive way to work, and it is certainly not the most productive office environment. Figure out what’s important and do that first while you have plenty of time and energy, knowing that you can whizz through the less important tasks later. Delegate to – the most productive teams share the weight, so stop trying to do everything yourself, as you’re actually holding yourself back.

    8. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

    Saying no to work you know you don’t have time for is better for you, and better for the work that needs to be done. It ensures that you don’t end up with too much to handle, and also means that the work will be done in time, by someone who is free. By having a cut-off point, for your working day, for meetings, or for lunches, you ensure that nothing drags on and you don’t fall behind later.

    While working hard is always going to be the most important aspect of productivity, following the above steps helps your hard work become much more effective.



    Sharon Conwell has been a content manager and ghost writer at over 20 online projects, now she is a part-time educator and an editor at Big Assignments. She’s specializing in content creation and optimization. She loves coffee, tulips and her Shih Tzu named Bobby.


    The post Top 8 Time Management Tips To Hack Productivity appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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