December, 2015

40 Excel hacks for assistants

Practically Perfect PA

If I had to make a list of all of my favourite office technology and software Microsoft Excel would most certainly be missing from the top ten (urm… it probably wouldn’t make the top 100). I do hold a grudge against Excel I must say. Mostly because of all the time spent on Excel doing expenses for Executive’s that had that habit of chucking months and month’s of receipts at me with no idea where they came from or what they were for.

2015 182

15 Lessons You Can Learn From Jedi Master Yoda

Dumb Little Man

“Do or do not, there is no try.” Yoda He’s the size of a small dog, green, and talks funny. But he’s also a wise master, and a great warrior. He took the world by surprise in 1980 in The Empire Strikes Back, and has been shaping culture ever since. He may be old, but he’s a badass. He has a fun sense of humor, and he’s a great mentor. Here are some lessons you can learn from one of the greatest Jedi Masters of all time.

2015 159
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After 14 Years in Business I Did This

Office Organization Success

Last month I celebrated 14 years in business. Wow — that’s quite an achievement! And to celebrate I became an LLC! It was something I’d been thinking about doing for the past few years but never really got round it. And finally, I made an appointment with my attorney and let her handle it all. The driving force behind going this route is simply for legal reasons; I wanted to protect my personal assets and have a very clear division between business and personal.

2015 138

Small Business Trends for 2016

Small Business Labs

Over the past 8 years we've published an annual top 10 small business trends list ( click here to see last year's list and a link to prior years). This year we decided to shake things up a bit. Instead of our usual 10 trends, we're covering 3 broad trend areas. And in addition to trends you should pay attention to, we've add a few technology trends that are getting a lot of hype that we think you can ignore in 2016. The Economy. We're forecasting moderate U.S.

2016 133

End-of-Year Exercise: Rate Your Career Fulfillment

Eat Your Career

It’s that wonderful time of year again…where we all drink eggnog and sing merry songs as we reflect on the past and make plans for the future. It’s the perfect time for a quick career reassessment! That’s why I’m sharing this super-fast exercise to help you determine your End-of-Year Career Fulfillment Rating. It’s a very simple tool, but helpful nonetheless. And by the way, this is something you can do anytime, even daily if you so desire, not just at the end of the year!).

2015 116

How Wastewater Recycling is Changing to Save the Environment!

Eco-Office Gals

Clean water is crucial for human survival and health. For thousands of years, many civilizations have risen and fallen on the ability to secure sources of water and use them to their advantage. To this day, there are parts of the world that have low water security and have to rely on water that may be contaminated with pathogens, chemicals or both. There are two major ways to produce water that is fit for human consumption.

2015 116

A day in the life: Bethany Fovargue, EA Data Interchange

Practically Perfect PA

I have recently changed roles, becoming EA to the Commercial Director at Data Interchange, where I have worked for four and a half years. My new role is exciting; I am supporting the Commercial Director, working on new projects for the business and in areas such as marketing and with our partners, so I have some new challenges ahead! What do you enjoy most about your role?

2015 154

More Trending

What Some Girls Scouts Can Teach You About Careers

On The Job

Yesterday, I received an email that I want to share: My Girl Scouts and I just wanted to take the time write you a little thank you note about your wonderful page, [link] because it's been such a major help. My Girl Scout Troop is having a program to help empower young women and build confidence within themselves. Your page taught them a lot! As another small token of our appreciation, we thought it would be nice send along a helpful resource that we came across.

2015 144

Merging Machines and Analytics with the Internet of Things

Small Business Labs

GE, the large industrial conglomerate, is re-positioning itself as a digital company. Their recent ads describe GE as an "indugital" and "digidustrial" company. And yes, I agree these marketing efforts are still a work in progress. They've coined the term  "The industrial Internet" to describe their efforts and market.

2015 122

Decluttering in Depth

Clutter Coach

by Okay, so maybe it is time to declutter than closet. This basic technique works for desktops, drawers, cupboards and any other spots where you keep a lot of stuff together. It’s not for attics or out of the way storage spots where you’re allowed to keep things that are rarely used and off-season clothes. This is for high traffic spots. The idea is that you have to take all the stuff out of where it is now in order to properly sort it.

2015 100

Completely Unprepared For The Holidays and What I Did About It

Simple Productivity Blog

OK, I really don’t have a good reason. After all, every calendar I have seen for the past two months has reminded me that the holidays were barreling down on me like a freight train. And yet, I didn’t start my shopping until the 19th, when I was in bed, frantically trying to find things that were Amazon Prime. My cards are still not mailed. Heck, they’re still in the place I put them after last holiday season.

2015 100

How to Stay Organised as a Personal Assistant

Practically Perfect PA

Modern personal assistants have come a long way from secretaries working in typing pools. These days, a personal assistant is more likely to be involved in making key decisions, even managing budgets. Personal assistants now work with chief executives and, in some cases, perform roles on their behalf. The increased job spec of personal assistants can be traced back to the economic downturn of the 2000’s, which caused many employers to reduce staff numbers.

2015 153

5 Simple Mindsets To Make You Happier Everyday

Dumb Little Man

Happiness is not determined by what is happening around you but how you perceive those circumstances. Often you must have noticed that some people manage to remain happier than the others most of the time. Dejection and depression tend to affect them much less as compared to others. They seem composed and gratified at all times and often, bringing cheerfulness wherever they go. Ever wondered what makes these individuals stand out?

2015 131

End-of-Year Exercise: Rate Your Career Fulfillment

Eat Your Career

It’s that wonderful time of year again…where we all drink eggnog and sing merry songs as we reflect on the past and make plans for the future. It’s the perfect time for a quick career reassessment! That’s why I’m sharing this super-fast exercise to help you determine your End-of-Year Career Fulfillment Rating. It’s a very simple tool, but helpful nonetheless. And by the way, this is something you can do anytime, even daily if you so desire, not just at the end of the year!).

2015 100

Nanotechnology and the "Golden Age" of Materials

Small Business Labs

The Economist's New Materials for Manufacturing covers what it calls the "golden age" of materials. Key quote on what this means: New, high-performing substances such as exotic alloys and superstrong composites are emerging; “smart” materials can remember their shape, repair themselves or assemble themselves into components. Little structures that change the way something responds to light or sound can be used to turn a material into a “metamaterial” with very different properties. The

2015 116

How to Make New Year's Resolutions

Clutter Coach

by This year, don’t let your New Year’s resolutions be just another list of to do’s that you never get to and feel guilty about. Here are some tips on how to make some resolutions that you can actually keep. Don’t pick too many. Challenging yourself is a great idea, but be kind to yourself too. Keep in mind that a resolutions typically involve major changes in lifestyle and habits, and those don’t occur overnight.

2015 100

Making The Most of Sales

Simple Productivity Blog

One of my readers asked me how I keep track of sales. She wanted to know the magic formula for getting the best prices. The truth is that I really don’t shop around. I refuse to go store to store tracking down prices. I would rather sit and home and let my fingers do the work. So today we will look at my method of making the most of sales, without having to use a third party tracking or anything other than your basic search. Making the Most of Sales: The Google Search.

2015 100

The work life balance of a successful Assistant

Practically Perfect PA

Let’s face it most of us don’t sign up to this assistant malarkey because of the short hours. We kinda know that we are not going to start the day at 9am and be out the door at 5pm. The hours are unpredictable and we are often the last to leave and the first to arrive. We also expect to get the odd phone call in the evening / middle of the night / break of dawn.

2015 149

10 Insights I Wish I Had Known In My 30?s

Dumb Little Man

Have you ever noticed yourself saying, “I wish I knew then what I know now”? As someone in my late forties, I say that constantly. The past decade has been a time of growth, loss, and new beginnings; and I’ve gained more insight than in all the previous decades combined. Here are ten things I’ve learned in my forties that I would share with anyone still in their twenties or thirties. Do work you love. Your work takes up one-third of your day.

2015 128

New job, new culture, new language

Laughing all the Way to Work

Starting a new job is more than just changing where you work. You have to learn a whole new way of doing things, from how to log onto the computer to filling out a purchase order form. There is a new work culture to adapt to and a new language of acronyms to try and sort out. Even though they can seem like small things, at the beginning you are trying to do your best to impress and can feel a bit helpless when the phone rings and you realize you don't know how to answer it.

2015 122

Women Dominate Mobile Shopping

Small Business Labs

BI Intelligence's 2015 E-Commerce Demographics Report (paid subscription required) nicely covers the mainstreaming of online commerce. According to their report, almost three quarters of online Americans shop online. This is not surprising. But what was interesting and bit surprising are the online shopping differences by sex.    BI Intelligence reports that in 2014 women accounted for 57% of online shoppers in the US last year and men for 43%.

2015 116

You May Go on Vacation, but Your Email Doesn't

Clutter Coach

by Going back to work after vacation is often a let down. On top of that, there’s all the work that’s been waiting for you and the dreaded email inbox that, if each message were printed out, would bury your office knee deep in paper. A very concise and easy to use method for cutting that inbox down to size is provided in a post from one of the David Allen Co. blogs.

2015 100

The T-Minus List: A Powerful Tool

Simple Productivity Blog

The whole point of having a checklist is so that you don’t have to remember to do things over and over. You do the thinking once, it is captured, and it is there whenever you need it again. One of the most powerful applications of this way of thinking is the T-Minus list. The T-Minus list gives you the ability to plan out what you need to do before an event, capturing it so you don’t have to think about it again. Definition Of A T-Minus List.

2015 100

5 reasons to learn a foreign language to further your career

Practically Perfect PA

In today’s global society being bilingual is one of the most advantageous skills you can have. With several financial, employment, as well as social and health benefits to knowing a second language, it is surprising that only one quarter of Brits are actually able to speak in another tongue. Learning a new language takes time and dedication, but the development of smartphone technology has brought new opportunities to fit learning into your daily routine.

2015 143

Increase Your Productivity With These 9 Morning Habits

Dumb Little Man

The things you do in the morning, truly set the tone for the rest of your day. If your mornings are disjointed, rushed, and fraught with crises, chances are the remainder of your day will unfold the same way. Similarly, if you move slowly and sluggishly through your morning routine, you’re probably going to operate in slow motion as the day continues.

2015 126

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Laughing all the Way to Work

It's funny how as I have moved through my career from office to office the way I organize myself has changed. When I was at the law firm, I used tasks extensively and had a wait bin where I put things I was waiting on. I had a lot of trigger dates I needed to remember such as when to file a statement of defence after receiving a statement of claim, or putting in a reminder when the mandatory mediation kicked in.

2015 116

The Shrinking U.S. Middle Class and Economic Uncertainty

Small Business Labs

Pew Research's The American Middle Class is Losing Ground helps illustrate one of the most powerful trends impacting society - rising economic uncertainty. The reason economic uncertainty is growing is fairly straight forward. Middle income jobs have become harder to find, employment in general is less stable and wages and household income's have been stagnating.    After much debate, there is broad consensus around this topic.

2015 109

2008 Organizing Awards: Vote Now!

Clutter Coach

by John Trosko , president of NAPO in LA, just reminded me that it’s time to vote for your favorite organizing product, helpful organizing technology, best organizing TV show, and more! Voting is open to the public and continues through December 31. You can read more about it and vote here on the NAPO LA website. Help spread the word about whatever it is that helps make your life easier, more productive and better organized! The post 2008 Organizing Awards: Vote Now!

2008 100

4 Ways to Ask for Help From Your Network

On The Job

Is it difficult for you to ask for help? For many people it can be tough. While you may have no problem making a request on behalf of a colleague or a boss, when it comes to asking for assistance for yourself, you shut down. It might be because you believe you will come off as weak if you ask for help. Or, maybe you're afraid you will be turned down. But the problem is that you can really hurt you career by thinking you can go it alone.

2015 116

10 reasons to attend Assist 2016

Practically Perfect PA

Over the last few months I have been busy behind the scenes working on the programme for Assist 2016. It is coming together beautifully so I thought now would be a good time to share 10 reasons why I think you lovely lot should attend. It is on Friday 26th February in London. We have packed the day full of brilliant content, speakers and lots and lots of practical sessions designed for you to take back to the office with you. Places are still available for only £300+VAT.

2016 122

FINISH!- 8 Important Keys to Finishing What You Start!

Dumb Little Man

I have to say it…I’m not a quitter. But those few times that I have, have been painful! Your self-esteem and even long term confidence can take a blow! So I’ve discovered that there are 8 important keys to finishing what you start! Why Know why you’re doing it in the first place. Is it something you have to do or something you want to do? Whatever the case, the reason why has to be big enough that the benefits of finishing goes beyond satisfying any selfish intentions.

2015 124

Skeleton Staff

Laughing all the Way to Work

During the holidays it is important to have people in the office to keep things going. I like working during this time because you can get so much done that you normally don't have time to do. Here are some of the things I will be doing: Cleaning out my desk drawers - I just started this job a little over a month ago.

2015 116

Real Estate Developers See Airbnb Opportunities

Small Business Labs

We get an weekly email from John Burns , a real estate consulting firm. What caught our eye was their discussion of Airbnb. Key quote: We recently conducted an apartment feasibility study for a proposed new building where the developer was considering including some units devoted to Airbnb users. Even at conservative assumptions on rental rates and occupancies, the Airbnb apartments were likely to generate more revenue per unit than the standard leased units.

2015 109

Don't Just *Open* Your Mail

Clutter Coach

by Does this happen to you? You get home from work and you’re looking forward to relaxing, having a nice dinner, maybe going out. But you really want to get that mail out of the way so it doesn’t pile up on the kitchen counter. So you stand there and open everything. You dutifully toss the junk mail into the recycling along with any other mail you know you’re not interested in.

2015 100

How to Manage an Unlikable Employee

On The Job

A previous post focused on how to make yourself more likable at work, but what about when you manage such a person-- and he or she has no inclination to become more likable? This is a common headache for managers, who often deal with it by ignoring it. This avoidance of the issue leads the "unlikable" employee to become even more obnoxious or more withdrawn. The workplace atmosphere becomes more unpleasant, and pretty soon people are dusting off their resumes and looking for a new job.

2015 116

Why print is still important in business presentations

Practically Perfect PA

In the 25 years since its launch, PowerPoint has become the most popular presentation aid, holding 95% of the presentation software market. Nowadays, most presentations are given with PowerPoint or similar digital supports. Despite their popularity, these presentations have also become synonymous with repetition and boredom. We’ve gotten used to the same screens with pie charts, graphs and carefully bullet pointed information.

2015 109

How to Overcome Self-Doubt and Follow Through with Your Goals

Dumb Little Man

If you’re like a lot of Americans, you probably struggle from time to time with procrastinating, getting started, and following through on your goals. You may have a meaningful conversation with a friend or loved one, or watch or listen to something inspirational, and be motivated to achieve a new goal. You think about how great it will be when you have reached your goal(s) and are successful, and it feels so easily within reach.

2015 122