Announcing the next course in Laura Stack’s Productivity University Series!

Become a Microsoft Outlook Email Cracker-Jack with Laura Stack! Managing Your Workflow and Keeping Your Inbox Empty Start 2017 with an empty inbox! Participate in five one-hour training sessions with Laura and then complete assignments in between. You’ll receive a detailed workbook for each session with screen shots and step-by-step instructions, as well as a recording of the session to review again and again. Don’t worry if you can’t attend the sessions live or miss one, because you can watch the recording any time you wish. Five Mondays starting 11/14 at 10:00 to 11:00 AM mountain (i.e., 9:00 Pacific, 10:00 Mountain, 11:00 Central, 12:00 Eastern) 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/5 12/12 You need this course if you currently: Put things to do on your calendar Use your … [Read more...]

Your CORE Time Management System

Your CORE Time Management System by Laura Stack #productivity

To manage your time effectively, you’ll need to track all the information required to keep your life and schedule moving along smoothly. To a large extent, this will depend on the personal time management system you adopt—paper-based, electronic, or some hybrid (combination) method of both. Information arrives and gets stored in myriad ways today, due to all the new technologies constantly being introduced. Most people track contacts, communication, meetings, notes, and to-do lists within their personal systems, which could include: Information delivery software such as Outlook or Google, intranets, and instant messages. Texting and apps using your favorite Smartphone, tablet, or handheld, such as Droid, iPad, Kindle, or Blackberry. Information capturing methods, including sof … [Read more...]

Laura Stack’s “Staying on Top of the Inbox” course on Udemy.com

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Laura Stack receives the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) in Outlook 2007 credential

The Productivity Pro(R), Inc. is delighted to announce that Laura Stack has received the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) in Outlook 2007 credential.  A Microsoft Business Certification shows employers that you have the technical skills to solve real-world problems by using advanced features of Microsoft Office programs.  Not only did she pass, but the test administrator remarked that Laura's test results were the closest to a perfect score she had ever seen on the exam. The Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) credential is a globally recognized standard that validates skills with using the 2007 Microsoft Office system and meets the demand for the most up-to-date skills on the latest technologies from Microsoft.  Candidates who successfully complete the pro … [Read more...]

Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments Part III of III

21. Journal your meeting notes.  Many people don’t know how to use the Journal feature in Outlook or even what it’s for!  If you’ve ever accidentally clicked it, you’ll get a pop-up box that asks you if you’re SURE you want to turn on the Journal.  Most people freak out and click NO.  Next time, click yes.  Open a new Journal entry, type up your meeting notes, put in the day/time of the meeting, indicate in the Contacts field who was at the meeting, and select a Category for the meeting name or project.  When you select that Contact and click the Activities tab, you’ll be able to see the Journal entries (notes) from every meeting you’ve ever had with that person. You can also pull up your Journal entries by Category to review meeting notes as far back as you’d like.  OR give your notes to y … [Read more...]

Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments Part II of III

11. Keep your calendar up to date.  It’s frustrating when your colleagues are trying to set up appointments, and it appears that you’re open, so they send out a meeting request to a large group.  You respond, “Sorry, I have a conflict on that day/time,” to which they respond by banging their heads on the desk in frustration, asking, “Then WHY didn’t you have it on your calendar?”  Truly, if an organization is going to predictably use shared calendaring to coordinate meetings, you must keep yours current.  It’s fine to use a traditional paper method as well, but if you schedule something on your “other” calendar, make sure to update your electronic one at regular intervals as well. 12. Include travel time in a single appointment and put the actual meeting time in the subject.  If your meeti … [Read more...]

Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments Part I of III

Numbers 1-10 of 30 scheduling tips: 1. Determine if you really need to meet in person.  How many times have you attended a meeting and asked yourself, “Why am I here?”  Hopefully, you’ve started protecting your time from every person who wants a piece of it.  If my clients want to meet in person, I charge a consulting fee.  For telephone calls, no charge.  Ninety percent of the time, a conference call will suffice.  Extra travel time and expenses are involved when meeting in person, so avoid it unless dialogue and brainstorming are required. 2. Have meeting requests and responses go to your delegate, not to you.  Don’t wade through all the responses; that’s why you have an assistant (if you do).  Under Tools, Options, Delegates, select “Send meeting requests and responses only to my deleg … [Read more...]

Protecting your calendar from others: managing availability

While working with Teresa Gavigan, one of my clients, on her office organization, we talked about the challenge she was having with an overly booked calendar and what to do about it.  She had recently taken over another entire division and was splitting her time between the two groups, which were in two different buildings.  She had ceded her calendar over to her assistant but hadn’t set any boundaries around what meetings to accept and what to decline.  Her assistant was accepting meetings tentatively, which resulted in Teresa often being double and triple booked.  She told me she frequently felt like she was “having a Lucy Ricardo moment” as she dashed over to one meeting, then over to the next, then back to the other, never wanting to let one or the other down.  After months of running … [Read more...]