25 November 2013

Travel Planning for Administrative Professionals Hi everyone, I will be presenting a new webinar on travel planning. Please join me on Jan. 13 from 1 to 2:15 p.m. For more information and to register, please click on the following link: Or if the link does not work, please cut and paste this link and put it in your browser: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/plp/49673/index.html?campaigncode=757PR I am excited to do this new webinar so I can share everything I've learnt over the years about arranging travel. Patricia P.S. My blogger is not working properly and I can't put in a proper title so I hope this views OK.

27 October 2013

Calendar Management

I share the CEO's Outlook calendar with my assistant.  Since we both book meetings for him, it is important if we have proposed dates for a meeting that we secure them in his calendar so one of us doesn't use it for another meeting.  We do this by putting a hold on the date and time with a brief note with what the meeting is about, for example 'HOLD Strategy mtg w/DCEO'.  You can also set the meeting as tentative, but since your boss may not be familiar with the various Outlook settings, it is best to put HOLD in the name.  Of course it is then important when you finalize the meeting date that you go back and take the holds out of the calendar.

We use a meeting sheet and note the dates we offered, the purpose of the meeting, attendees, location and a notes section to write anything we need to remember such as any items to bring forward or if we need to remember to make a reservation.  This is helpful if either of us is away so we can easily take over from the other.  Even if we use meeting tools such as www.doodle.com to offer dates, we still like to use the meeting sheet to document our progress in arranging the meeting.  Getting the dates is just the first part of meeting organization.

For most of us, meeting organization is a huge part of the job.  The more organized you are, the better the experience will be for you and your boss.  And if you share the calendar like we do, it is very important that you are both on the same page.

For those of you who take minutes, I am giving a minute-taking webinar on November 22, 2013, if you would like to join me.  It's at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and you can register at this link. Rhttp://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/plp/49284/index.html?campaigncode=740PR

27 August 2013

Filing Rules

I found this great site with basic filing rules for names.  I found it very useful so I thought I'd share: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/recmgmt/forms/FilingRules.pdf?mswitch-redir=classic

I've also added it to my sidebar under Filing for your future reference.


11 August 2013

Minute-taking Webinar

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

My next Minute-taking webinar is on August 30. I hope you can join me.  The more you can learn about it, the less scary it will be.


15 May 2013

Minute taking can seem scary at first but once you know what you need to record, you will get better at it over time.  My next minute-taking webinar will be on May 31 at 1 p.m. EST and I will go over the basics of minute taking as well as the actual process so you will feel more confident in this role.  This webinar is well suited for those who have never taken minutes but want to learn, beginners or those at an intermediate level.  If you are interested in joining me, please click here to register.

Business Management Daily also offers an advanced minute taking course with Christy Crump and I would encourage those who are interested in that webinar to sign up for it here

30 March 2013

How do you stay organized?

I replied to this question on a Linked In forum so thought it was worth repeating here.  If I was an employer, I would want to ask this question of any admin who was applying at my organization.

Since it is almost second nature to most admins to be organized it is sometimes a difficult question to answer, but it is just for this reason that it needs to be asked. An admin has to be a strong organizer and an employer doesn't want to hire someone who isn't.

When answering this question think about what you do when you first come in in the morning. For example, this is what I do when I come in in the morning: After I turn my computer on and it is loading, I check my voicemail messages and write anything down that I need to follow up on, action or pass along. I then go through my emails and prioritize what is urgent for the day. Our job is to keep our boss organized, so at the end of the day I get everything ready for him for the next day by providing meeting materials, travel tickets, reservation information etc. I do this by having a good bring-forward system and then I explain my system of ensuring I have everything when I need it.

I make checklists so nothing is missed and I have a to-do list for daily work but also for projects to keep things on track. To keep my boss organized, I also need to be organized by keeping my desk clutter free and having a place for everything and within easy reach. I also pile my work to the left of my computer in order of priority. It often gets reprioritized as more urgent matters come up but it is a good system. I have what I call a Wait bin where I put things that I am waiting for an answer. I go through this each morning to see if there is any follow up I need to do. I also do this with my emails and have a TO-DO folder where I put anything I need to follow up on and go through that each day.

You should always try to give real examples in an interview. Think about a big project you've successfully completed and then walk them through how you accomplished it. They will then have confidence that you are able to to the job.

A big mistake some employers make is to assume that anyone can do our job. It is a smart employer who asks this question.

14 December 2012

Happiness is an Empty Inbox

I have mentioned it a few times that when my desk is cluttered then I feel cluttered.  I like to put everything in its place so I will find it easily.  Is it any wonder if my Outlook is messy and cluttered that I feel the same way?

I was at a recent IAAP Chapter meeting and we were discussing best practices for organizing our Inboxes and there were a lot of good ideas.  The bottom line is to keep it simple.  I've been meaning to tackle my Inbox so decided I would try that theory and is it ever nice.  My Inbox is empty and it feels wonderful!  Similar to when I have a nice and tidy desk.

The first step is take control of your emails and don't let them take control of you

One of the things I have found helpful is to turn my email notification off.  I don't miss anything as I check my Inbox regularly and the good thing is if I am in the middle of something, I don't get distracted by that little message in the corner that tells me I have new mail.  My only exception is for emails from my boss.  I opened a new folder for him under my Inbox and set a Rule for all his emails to go there and set a special ring so I know it's him and can then check the folder.  It works well.

The next step is to do something with the email right away
The key is to get it out of your Inbox as soon as possible even if it means just dragging it to a To-Do folder to deal with later.  I know, I know, that seems scarey but I've tried it and it works.  I named the folder _TO DO so it files right under my Inbox and therefore is very noticeable.  Sometimes the email is such that you can just answer it with a simple yes or no and that takes care of that email.  You need to determine what is best to do with it but you need to do something.

Finally, have four or five key folders that work for you
Other than my TO DO folder and the special folder for my boss, I opened folders specific to my job such as BOARD OF DIRECTORS and another one for SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM.  Anything that is for action goes in my _TO DO folder and once I have handled it I can either delete it or put it in one of the other folders that it relates to for easy reference. 

I also have a folder for READING, where I put anything that is for information that I can read later and one for PERSONAL, where I drag all emails that are not work related.  Now my Outlook is very organized and easy to use. 

Making use of Rules can also be a time saver.  Under my Sent folder I have sub folders for emails that I send my boss, the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team.  When I send anything to these groups it automatically moves it into the appropriate folder.  I find that this helps me to find the emails quickly and narrows my search down.  Instead of searching through all my Sent items, I can quickly do a search in a specific folder and that eliminates finding other things with similar subjects.  By setting the Rule I now don't even have to drag it to a folder as it just goes there automatically.

When we were talking at the table what interested me was that people were using their email folders for filing and that was never its intent.  I save any important emails on my Server just like any other correspondence, because that is what it is.  We use email more and more as our first choice of business correspondence so it should be filed the same way.  I am not saying you shouldn't store some emails as it is helpful to have them there when you need to go back and check what someone said but they shouldn't be kept indefinitely.  I usually clean out my folders every six months to free up space.  If I haven't used it in six months and I've saved anything that is important, then I can be fairly certain I can delete it.