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...]

Social Media: What, why, and how to be productive

Like it or not, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are here to stay – and it isn’t just kid stuff anymore.  In fact, businesses and individuals worldwide keep finding interesting ways to use social networks and other interactive online media to do some pretty amazing things – from building their brands to getting to know their customers. Where do you stand in this new phase of the internet revolution, which many techies are calling “Web 2.0”?  Perhaps you avoided it altogether…or you’re an addict…or you’re somewhere in between. Like most technology, social networks and other social media tools are great resources but lousy masters.  You could spend all day hopping around to different sites, updating your information, and connecting with people all over the world.  … [Read more...]

Here's a great site to calculate how much time you waste on Twitter! … [Read more...]

Are Your Social Networking Profiles Helping or Hurting You?

Social networking is all the rage today.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace - the list goes on.  It seems like everyone has one or more of these services, but how many people are thinking about how it can affect them professionally?  And how does it affect your productivity? In terms of your professional image, there have been many news stories and articles about people getting fired or not getting hired for jobs because of the things they post on their profiles.  In one of my time management seminars, a participant told me she didn’t hire an applicant because she researched his social sites and saw that he “wanted to do as little as possible for as much money as possible.”  If you want to keep your social networking just "between friends," pay close … [Read more...]

Organizing Your Blog Reading

There are many terrific blogs on the Web that I enjoy reading.  However, it's easy to waste a lot of time book marking each individual blog in your “favorites,” and then visiting each one individually when you have time to do some reading.  It can be even worse if you have numerous email subscriptions clogging up your inbox. When you have more than just a few blogs you like to read, make it easy on yourself and try a free, simple solution like Google Reader. Google Reader allows you to organize your favorite blogs and read them all in one place.  When you subscribe to the RSS feed of a blog, instead of opting to receive emails, select Google Reader as your method of delivery.  You can organize your feeds into folders much like your favorites or bookmarks in your browser.  That way you can … [Read more...]

How to Set Up an Effective Office Space in Your Home

I’ve worked full-time from my home since 1992 and can’t imagine doing it any other way. Whether you work full time out of your home, occasionally telecommute, catch up on work in the evening, or run a household, you need some sort of dedicated “office” space in your home. Offices can serve as the family computer center, a place to do paperwork, and the occasional work-at-home office. The first big question is where to locate your home office. Until the last few years, most builders didn’t catch on to the popularity of a built-in home office. If you have a computer, you probably need more than an antique writing desk in the living room. But if you only use your “office” to pay bills, write letters, and return phone calls, you can get away with a corner of the kitchen. In most homes, … [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...]

The Paperless Office? What a Joke!

No matter how technologically savvy we become, we can't seem to eliminate paper. In fact, studies estimate that we generate up to ten times more paper than we did before the advent of the computer! How much of that paper is sitting in stacks on multiple surfaces all over your home and office?  To tame those mountains of paper, try throwing these ideas at them. 1. Consistently purge your files without fear. Before you embark on an overhaul of your filing systems, purge all the old junk first. Why spend time dealing with paper you're just going to toss anyway? 2. Create and maintain a filing system that allows you to find papers easily. If you can't find a particular piece of paperwork when you need it, it might as well not exist. Pick a logical filing scheme and follow it … [Read more...]

Being Productive While Working Out of a Suitcase

Being Productive While Working Out of a Suitcase

Not everyone has the natural ability to live out of a suitcase or do business from a laptop bag. However, with a little practice, you can learn how to make the most of your travel time. It’s amazing what you can get done when you put some miles between yourself and the usual distractions of everyday life.So how do you make the most of your time away? Here are some tips that work for me. I hope a few of them will help you become as efficient when you’re away from the office as you are when you’re there.Pack efficiently. It all starts with being organized and thinking ahead. Did you ever stay up half the night packing and spend an entire trip frustrated, exhausted, and wondering what it is you forgot? Don’t let it happen again. It’s pretty rare that a trip will pop up at the last minute, but … [Read more...]

Reduce the noise

Feeling overwhelmed?  Try this little experiment---turn off your computer volume. Your psyche is constantly bombarded with all the little clicks and dings your computer makes when it performs the smallest operation—simply decide you don’t need it!  You only need the volume turned up if you’re watching a file with sound, such as a video.  You will be completely amazed at how much more calmness you exude and how much peace of mind you feel if you try this!  Encourage your co-workers to turn off their computer volume as well, to minimize the overall background noise in your office.  This is especially helpful if you work in an open-space office with several cubicles.  To further reduce noise in your life, trying driving with your radio off.  You don’t have … [Read more...]