Microsoft Outlook virtual training series announced with Laura Stack

Our first virtual Microsoft Outlook webinar series was such a huge success that we're doing it again! The new series begins May 22, 2009 with Microsoft Certified Specialist Laura Stack. I’m going to present 10 modules covering various aspects of Outlook, step-by-step. This isn’t just computer training. It’s real-world, reality-based workflow processing that helps you actually be MORE productive with Outlook, instead of wasting hours every day playing with it. I will share my desktop and show my computer screen LIVE using my actual Microsoft Outlook software. This is not PowerPoint! It is a real-time demonstration. Even you Outlook experts will be shocked by what you don’t know you don’t know! Each webinar is very affordable at $39 per person. If you attend all ten, the price is … [Read more...]

Microsoft Outlook Virtual Training with Laura Stack

Announcing The Productivity Pro® Microsoft Outlook virtual training series! Attend “live” training with Laura Stack, a Microsoft Certified Specialist in Outlook, from the privacy of your home or office. I’m going to present ten modules covering various aspects of Outlook step-by-step. This isn’t just computer training. It’s real-world, reality-based workflow processing that helps you actually be MORE productive with Outlook, instead of wasting hours every day playing with it. I estimate most people know 10-20% of the capacities of Outlook. Even if you think you’re an “expert,” you’ll be shocked by what you don’t know you don’t know. I’m making each one-hour webinar very affordable at $39 per person. If you attend all ten, the price is discounted to $349 per person. If for some reason you … [Read more...]

Paper Planners are Not Over!

I'm the Day-Timers community expert on productivity.  So I asked them to put a brief survey on the Day-Timers Web site, asking, “When you think of something that you need to do, what do you usually do?”  In this day and age of technology, the surprising answer was overwhelmingly “Write it down.”  To date, 55% of respondents chose this option over others.  This demonstrates that even with Blackberries, Outlook, cell phones and web based to-do lists, we still need and use paper and planners.    Picture this…you’ve dutifully put all of your information, appointments, phone numbers etc. into your Outlook and synced the information with your handy-dandy Blackberry.  All is well. You hop on a plane for a business trip, Blackberry in hand.  You’ve arrived at the Miami airport and whipped … [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 … [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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Me, You, and the Handheld

These days, most of us use handheld technology in all aspects of our daily lives, blurring the boundaries between work and home. Has this made you feel more overworked and less energized? If so, you need to learn how to break free from technology, turn it off regularly, stop letting it control you, and unplug in ways that boost your energy. Let's chat about your electronic habits, and about how to regain control. 1. Plan your screen time and stick to it. It's unnatural to focus on a computer or TV screen for hours on end instead of interacting with people. Yet this is precisely what most people do -- and the subsequent feelings of social isolation and depression can be quite damaging to your energy level. 2. Put your life first. Don't let technology eat up your free time; technology … [Read more...]

It’s About Time

Its About Time Pareto is very busy in the sales world.  You know the 80-20 rule.  In this case, it means that only 20% of salespeople spend 80% of their time on selling activities.  Are you in this group?  See if you recognize yourself.  If not, here’s how you can join the group.       Put your fingers on it fast.  Laura Stack is a professional speaker and author of Leave the Office Earlier® and Find More Time.  She sees several time wasters that cost salespeople valuable selling time.  One of the biggest time wasters is lacking a system to track client history.  The system should include notes on conversations that took place, with whom, and when they took place.  Stack says, “To be truly organized you should be … [Read more...]

Eliminate interruptions for better concentration

Interruptions abound—a co-worker drops by to chat, the phone rings, and your boss sends you an email to handle something, pronto—all at the same time.  With a flurry of activity, you respond to these various demands.  All prove to be low priority, and an hour later, you return to your initial task, your energy waning.  You decide you’ll work on the project in the afternoon, when your energy picks up again.  Of course, after lunch, there’s some crisis, and after fielding a volley of phone calls and unscheduled visits from co-workers, the day ends, and the project is yet again unfinished.  You’ve lost your momentum.  Much like your car has to work harder to accelerate from a complete stop, so does your brain.  Although interruptions are a normal (and … [Read more...]

Addicted to Email

I have a friend who jokes there are always three people in her bed: herself, her husband, and her Blackberry.  I was in California last week on vacation with my family and witnessed people typing away on their Blackberries while at Disneyland, with their children tugging at their pants legs, asking to go see Cinderella.  I was presenting a seminar yesterday, and one participant kept looking up to say, "Would you repeat that"? not because I wasn't clear, but because she wasn't paying attention to me---you got it---checking her email during class.  Examples abound but the bottom line is Americans are addicted to email.  Slaves to the Send/Receive button, countless workers sit at their desks, waiting for the next Desktop Alert, beep, cursor change, envelope in … [Read more...]