March, 2016

40 Outlook hacks for assistants

Practically Perfect PA

In the next series of posts on tech hacks for assistants we are going to look at MS Outlook. Outlook is the absolute key piece of software for assistant and all of us should be advanced users on this one. As an assistant juggling a number of diaries and inboxes I was practically on Outlook all day.

2016 196

Top 6 Reasons to Buy Her Flowers, and What Every Man Should Know

Dumb Little Man

Despite the common belief that women are very complicated creatures, it’s the smallest acts of giving – like the right bunch of flowers – that can make even the most intricate female melt. It’s a simple, thoughtful and loving deed that can brighten up your boo’s world in a matter of seconds. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to do it either. Spoiling the love of your life with a fresh bouquet of blooms should be something you do just because.

2016 160
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2016 153

Jobbatical Raises $2 Million to Democratize Expat Assignments

Small Business Labs

Jobbatical is a startup online talent marketplace that connects people looking for short term experiences combining work and travel with global employers offering short term gigs. Their tagline is: Travel. See the world. Connecting talented professionals with inspiring career adventures at startups around the globe. In other words, they provide access to expat assignments.    In the past expat assignments mostly went to a small number of employees at large corporations.

2016 136

How to Banish Procrastination, Wasting Time, and Crappy Productivity (Not to Mention Drama and Guilt!)

Virtual Moxie

A good one, this! Maquisha, a new VA, wrote to ask: "Some days I feel like I get nothing done! It’s so wasteful. I start the day with a plan, and somewhere, I find something else that catches my attention and I do that, instead, procrastinating on everything else and blowing up my whole day. And when I get to the end, I have more thoughts in my head than I started with, but nothing to SHOW for the time I sat there. I’m scared I’ll never get anywhere if I keep wasting time.

2016 133

It’s OPEN – Spring Business Building Giveaway Event

Office Organization Success

The Build Your Brilliant Business: Spring Giveaway is now OPEN! I’m excited to be one of the business professionals participating in this special spring giveaway. We’re a group of business coaches and professionals who want to support entrepreneurs like you by providing the tools you need to ensure that your 2016 gets off to a brilliant start. These tools are available absolutely FREE – but only if you act now.

2016 116

A day in the life: Bethany Burns, First Mate to the Captain at Brewdog

Practically Perfect PA

What are the main aspects of your role? As First Mate to the Captain, my primary responsibility is to maximise his efficiency. If James isn’t working at full capacity, then the business isn’t being driven at full capacity. I think one of the reasons that BrewDog is so successful is because it operates at light speed. There aren’t the bureaucratic layers.

2016 159

More Trending

6 Ways to Use the Cloud to Boost Your Productivity

Productivity Bits

Cloud Productivity, anyone? Years ago, the word “cloud” had an entirely different connotation. But now, in the business world and beyond, almost everyone is aware of cloud computing services. With the cloud becoming ever more popular, there’s a good chance it’s become a part of how you do business. Cloud Productivity Hacks You may even have heard that the cloud can increase productivity for you or your business, but maybe you weren’t sure how.

2016 109

Small and Independent Brewers Continue to Gain Share

Small Business Labs

According to the Brewers Association , small and independent craft brewers continued to gain share on beer industry giants in 2015. Key quote from their press release: In 2015, craft brewers produced 24.5 million barrels, and saw a 13 percent rise in volume and a 16 percent increase in retail dollar value.  Retail dollar value was estimated at $22.3 billion, representing 21 percent market share. The 21% revenue share is up from just 6% in 2008.

2016 116

He's a User. You're a Fool.

Virtual Moxie

I’m a fan of Dan Savage , a brilliant author and sex-advice columnist. He’s smart, and incredibly fun to read. Late last week I was reminded of an old column of his that clearly impacted me (when I say old, I mean I must have read it three-or-more years ago, so remembering it means something). In the column, a couple of men wrote in about a friend who was involved in a relationship with a younger, down-trodden, out-of work, no-money-in-the-bank kinda guy.

2016 116

A Step Forward for the Auto Industry – Sustainability through Airless Tires

Eco-Office Gals

From high levels of carbon emissions to absurd amounts of waste production, the auto industry is often associated with rampant disregard of environmental concerns. While there are many areas in which the industry as a whole would do better to reconsider certain aspects of its processes, a step forward can be seen in the area of tire manufacturing. Enter airless tires.

2016 109

The future Assistant

Practically Perfect PA

Following her Q&A at the Assist Conference, Bonnie Cookson, EA at Hailo, talks about her experience talking at the event and her relationship with her Executive – the CEO of Hailo… When I was approached to do a panel session with my boss at Assist Conference initially I felt nervous about going on stage and talking about my relationship with him – in front of him! Any EA will know that there are certain things that could potentially get uncomfortable.

2016 158

8 Hustle Tips for Introverts and Creative Souls.

Dumb Little Man

As an introvert and creative I have found hustling to the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur. I love people and I want to help them as best I can, but I get exhausted from attending social events, meet ups, conferences, and doing what it takes to “get my name out there”. It’s not that I don’t like doing it; I love talking about the work I do and meeting new and interesting people, but it takes everything I’ve got.

2016 159

10 Steps to Survive a Business Disaster

The Small Business Blog

In business, it sometimes pays to take a risk. But in the face of natural disasters, like floods and fires, or criminal activity like cyber hacking, your Recovery Procedure Plan needs to be as safe as houses. After all, everything is on the line. The PwC’s recent Global Economic Crime Survey makes for scary reading.

2016 155

The Stunning Growth of Small Business Globalization

Small Business Labs

Every so often a report comes across our desk that makes us go "wow!" " McKinsey's Digital Globalization: The new era of global flows is such a report. It claims that "soaring flows of data and information now generate more economic value than the global goods trade."

2016 116

Expand What Over-delivering Means to You in Order to More Easily Make it Happen

Virtual Moxie

Thanks to Shakisha, I recently learned a powerful new term. It's, “stalking your email.” She used it in a conversation we were having to describe what she had been doing while waiting for a reply from me, but then later the same day, I serendipitously got this question from Mya that used the same term. I love when that happens, don’t you? Mya asked: "I want to have Moxie standards for my business, and I have a conflict. I’ve seen you write about over-delivering, which I want to do.

2016 116

5 Communication Rules to Improve Your Client-Virtual Service Provider Experiences

Tips From T. Marie

I’ve heard a lot of sad tales about failed attempts to work with a virtual assistant or other virtual service provider. In some cases they are valid, perfect examples of why you shouldn’t just trust some virtual assistant service to find the right kind of help for your business. In other cases, bad experiences could have been avoided with attention to one thing. Communication. It’s important in any working relationship, even traditional in office situations.

2016 103

How to create an assistant handbook

Practically Perfect PA

On March 26 th I joined some of the PA community’s most motivated and inspiring representatives at the annual Assist conference, speaking in a case study slot on “Future proofing your career” One of the best ways to add value, progress, and drive change is by creating a handbook for assistants at your company. Having led the development of a handbook for two global organisations, my session focussed on the process from start to finish: Systematically planning the handbook.

2016 155

3 simple and effective practices to deal with pressure and stress

Dumb Little Man

3 Simple and Effective Practices to Deal with Pressure and Stress When someone asks you “What is the essential part to leading a life?”, ”, the answer would be “oxygen” from anyone. But in today’s fast-paced era, the answer should also include “relaxation” from the pressure of daily routine. It became an impossible task to think of life without stress and pressure in our daily routine.

2016 159

Christine Arylo on self love, success and clutter

Clutter Coach

Creating an organized space makes it easier for you to lay your hands on the things you need and helps you be more effective because you now have time for the important stuff. It's also an essential part of taking care of the most valuable person in your life, yourself.

2016 100

The Rise of Internet Middlemen

Small Business Labs

One of the most persistent myths about the Internet is that it's eliminating the need for middlemen.    Since the early days of the Internet when Bill Gates wrote in his book The Road Ahead  that the "information superhighway" would become the "ultimate go-between" and that "only the humans involved in a transaction will be the actual buyer and seller" there's been a constant theme that middlemen are finished.

2016 109

Relaxing a Standard to Help With a Problem? Maybe.

Virtual Moxie

Yvonne wrote a follow-up question to last week’s post. Thanks, Anastacia. I too love the front seat. And in that particular instance, there wasn't a question or a problem. But what if there had been? Who navigates the bus while we're off duty? Will there be instances when we do need to break our standards to respond to a true problem?" Great question! To me, this goes directly to the distinction between allowing people to depend on us and allowing them to be dependent upon us.

2016 116

Eco Domain Names Are Finally Coming This Year

Eco-Office Gals

The fight to bring.ECO domains to the general public began as far back as 2009 when Al Gore, the former US vice president, backed the efforts of the company Dot Eco LLC to allow ecologically friendly businesses to enjoy the new TLD. According to Al Gore, the new domain will provide a unique opportunity for environmental movements such as his Alliance for Climate Protection (ACP), to enjoy increased online visibility.

2016 100

Practical Project Management

Practically Perfect PA

After speaking at the Assist Conference Heather Dallas from Dallas Development has written a great follow up blog on her popular Project Management for Assistants session… Taking on a project is a great way of raising your visibility and getting you the recognition you deserve. You may want to volunteer to organise the office move, the Christmas party, run a training course for the other support staff or organise an event.

Be The Solution, Not The Problem

Dumb Little Man

If I were to ask you what you want in life, you might say you want more money, a better love life, or better health. That is the answer most people would give. But I want to go deeper than that. What it really comes down to is happiness. We all want to live a long, happy life. But most of us don’t know how to be happy. The problem is we look for happiness in all the wrong places.

2016 160

Nag Me, Please

Clutter Coach

by Nagging is just another form of reminding, isn’t it? How you feel about the subject dictates whether you think of a reminder as a nag or as a helpful productivity tool. There are lots of ways to nag yourself; put books by the door that you have to kick out of the way if you’re not going to pick them up (and return them to the library), stick Post-Its on the mirror where they block your view, leave things out where they’ll visually bug you till you do something about them.

2016 100

What is Fractional Availability?

Small Business Labs

Regular readers know we like new buzzwords here at Small Business Labs and "fractional availability" is a new one to us. We found it in the GigaOm article The Game Changing Economics of Fractional Availability. The article covers the on-demand customer care company Directly. They provide on-demand apps that allow companies to recruit and pay power users to answer customer support questions.

2016 109

As Intuit Shutters IPN, How Will You Accept Payments From Your Clients?

Virtual Moxie

Getting paid via the Intuit Payment Network has been a real boon for the VAs at AssistU. With a fee of just $.50 50 per transaction, it beat using PayPal—hands down—with clients who wanted to pay from a checking account. But Intuit announced last week that they are shuttering IPN at the end of June, leaving lots of people wondering what the smart choice will be for accepting client payments moving forward.

2016 109

6 Ways Office Architecture Design Can be More Eco-Friendly

Eco-Office Gals

The world is a big place. From it, we have derived everything we, as a species has ever owned, sold, built, and demolished. And while the planet may seem (to some) capable of continuing to cater to our endless wants and desires, there is one question that eventually permeates the mind of every ecologically-inclined person: just how long can the earth sustain our voracious appetite for material possessions?

2016 100

Why Double Denim Could Affect Your Performance

Practically Perfect PA

After Jonathan’s fantastic motivational keynote at the Assist Conference I was keen for him to share his knowledge and experience. Here is his take on how unconscious bias can mean you miss out on the best personal and professional relationships. As a PA you are constantly meeting new people and how you connect with them is fundamental to your professional role. However, did you know that there are various things about a person that may unconsciously affect your perception of them?

2016 141

Be the Change You Want To See in the World

Dumb Little Man

So you’re addicted to success. Right now, take a minute to imagine you’ve got it all. Everything you want. Now imagine you’ve got it all, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Hmmm… Being a billionaire doesn’t seem so great anymore… Because let’s face it, personal success is great and all, but without an awesome world to live it out in, then I imagine it wouldn’t taste so sweet. So here’s the question. What vision do you have for the world around you? What is the world of your dreams?

2016 159

Time Management is You Management

Clutter Coach

by Here are some helpful hints from Jan Hayner for managing your time , courtesy of the Clutter Control Freak Blog (sponsored by Stacks and Stacks , which has some fab organizing products). These hints are especially helpful for those of you who have a hard time saying no. This means scheduling things during lunch so that you have no break time (not to mention no lunch) and otherwise feeling compelled to fill up your entire schedule with requests from others.

2016 100

The Good and Bad of Freelancing

Small Business Labs

Every so often we need to remind ourselves that freelancing is neither just good or bad. We need to do this because most media coverage present freelancing and independent work as either really good or really bad. Only a few articles point out that freelancing has a good side, a bad side and many shades of grey between the good and the bad. The Huffington Post's Freelance - The Double Edged Sword  is one of the few.

2016 109

My search for the best kitchen knife

Professional Assistant Blog

I have recently taken up a part time catering course at my local adult college. I love cooking and preparing meals for my kids. I even encourage them to help me in preparing the vegetables and making the family stews. Now that they are that little bit older, I have a little extra time to myself and so therefore I thought that enrolling in a cookery course would be a fabulous idea to learn more recipes and how to prepare food correctly.

2016 100

The Influence of Technological Advancements on Employees’ Productivity

Productivity Bits

How to increase employee’s productivity? The world of modern business is a cold and unforgiving place where the big fish eats the small one. Unfortunately, as a startup or a small business, you will most probably be at the bottom of the food chain. Still, this is the way it goes and this lack in size can be compensated for quite easily. All you have to do is find some cost-effective ways to utilize your productivity and that of your employees.

2016 100

Five top tips for using a unique event space

Practically Perfect PA

Event Management is now one of the main tasks for assistants – practically every assistant I talk to has organised something! Be it the office Christmas party, team building events, off site board meetings and committee to large scale global conferences. We are doing it all! Finding venues that cover all of the different types of events we organise can be tricky.

2016 140

5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR TRUE SELF

Dumb Little Man

It’s quite common that the advice we all get from our elders most of the time is to be yourself and we try to do that. But nobody tells us how exactly we should do that. I tried to solve the mystery of who I really am, but realized that my brain is a very noisy place. It says so many things at the same time and it confuses me which one of those personalities are truly me. So, I tried to jot down the things which can help me unlock my true self and they actually did help.

2016 159