How to use your voice to get more done

microphoneI just bought the iPhone 4S. I couldn’t resist.

I did have a business reason for making this purchase, it wasn’t only for fun and games. The main reason was to meet Siri. As it turns out, I like her so much, I’ve made her part of my team.

Who is Siri? In my mind she’s my new assistant. In the real world, she’s Apple’s voice recognition software, and she came built into my new iPhone.

Here are the top five things Siri does for me: [Read more…]

5 Reasons to Use a Digital Calendar for 2012

calendar on a smartphoneI was with a colleague the other day and we were setting up our next meeting. I whipped out my smartphone, she sheepishly reached into her briefcase and pulled out her paper planner. Then she whispered, “I still use a paper planner, isn’t that pathetic?” Now, she may have been embarassed because my focus is helping people use technology to work smarter. But the fact is, if you’re using a paper system that works for you, then that in itself is working smart.

But for those who are currently using a paper calendar and contemplating switching over … this blog is for you. (For those who are digital already, read on. There may be some features you didn’t know about.) [Read more…]

5 Ways to Stop Junk Email in its Tracks

 

no spamFew things are more overwhelming to me than seeing a jam-packed inbox. The energy it takes to go through each email, deciding which ones stay (and where to put them … but that’s another blog) and which ones go, leaves me exhausted. The kicker is many of these emails I consider to be junk (or spam as they are also called).

If only there was a way to curb the number of junk emails I receive.  How can I do this? How can you do this? It’s easy. Just follow these 5 simple steps. [Read more…]

Top 6 reasons to send e-cards this year

image of a mailboxIt finally came. That dreaded first holiday card of the season. I know I should welcome it with open arms, but I can’t get past the gentle reminder it sends: Get your butt in gear and get your own cards done.

Faster than a flying reindeer, my holiday card project is at the top of my To Do list, knocking the others tasks way, way down. Have I ordered my cards? Is my mailing list up-to-date? Have I bought stamps?

In business, it’s even more urgent to get your cards out earlier than later. Your clients may take extra time off during the holidays. You don’t want to miss them, and you definitely don’t want to be the card they open in January. Very embarassing.

This year, after much thought and research, I’ve decided to abandon the traditional paper greeting card and send out e-cards instead. Why, you may ask? Well, I have a bunch of reasons. [Read more…]

5 Benefits of Using Skype for Your Business

SkypeMy husband travels. Usually he’s only gone for a day or two, but the last few times it’s been for at least 2 weeks. We miss him when he’s away for so long, but we’ve found a solution that’s a real improvement over a telephone call. It’s called Skype and it’s a software application that allows you to chat over the Internet using voice, video, instant messaging and texting. The best part? It’s free.

You may be thinking: What a nice little glimpse into your personal life, but what has that got to do with my business? Well, by using Skype for my personal use I’ve learned what a valuable tool it can be for my business. [Read more…]

Tips for making a videoblog

Hollywood slate boardDo you have video envy? I do. I look at my competitors’ websites, and if they have video I feel left out of the party.

If you’re like me, you really want to add video to your website, but something is holding you back. Maybe it’s seeing yourself on camera. Maybe it seems too technical and complicated. Whatever the reason, it’s time to move beyond the excuses.

Marketing gurus tell us that in order for people to purchase from you, they must know, like and trust you first. One way to build that type of relationship online is through video.

Here are some quick tips to help you move from consideration to action. [Read more…]

Dealing with Post Conference Clutter 

pile of receiptsI’m still on that post conference high. I’m motivated, invigorated and full of great ideas to take my business to the next level. I can’t wait to get started. Oh, but wait, there’s all those pesky business cards and receipts I collected. I have to get those out of the way first. Then there are those great handouts. I need to do something with those too. Argh. So I guess I will have to wait to get started. I can feel the euphoria leaving my body.

It’s all those administrative tasks that keep me from doing what I really love. Organizing. As a small business owner, I get it. I HAVE to do this stuff. It’s part of being an independent professional. But sometimes, it just plain sucks. But there is a solution. [Read more…]

How to be More Productive at a Conference

Stack of notepads with blue penI just got back from a three-day conference. I learned a ton and met so many great people. It was time well spent. My least favourite task at a conference is taking notes. It’s a chore for me. I usually buy a pretty notepad to get in the mood, but it never works. I write all these notes and then the pretty notepad gets put on a shelf. Ignored and then forgotten.

At this conference, I vowed things would be different. I had to put some purpose into my notetaking. It had to be fun and efficient. But how?

[Read more…]

Tech Tools to Increase Your Efficiency at Conferences

Image of a Conference AgendaThere’s nothing like a conference to energize you. To motivate you. To connect you to your profession and the people that work in it. There is, however, a dirty little secret to every conference. The dark side that no one likes to discuss. (And you’ll never see it mentioned in the conference materials.) More on that later.

I’m getting ready to go to a three-day conference put on by Professional Organizers in Canada. I will be basking in the glow of productivity and efficiency. It seems fitting that I should write a series about how you can use technology to be more efficient before, during and after a conference. Don’t you think?

The first part in the series will focus on The Three Top Tech Tips for Preparing for the Conference

[Read more…]

Three Ways to Be Productive on Your Next Flight

Working on a PlaneI just returned from a trip to Phoenix. Beautiful scenery and the weather was hot. Perfect conditions for lounging and relaxing.

While reclining by the pool, I couldnʼt help but notice how many people were hooked into technology. Laptops and smartphones were everywhere … and it was obvious it was work-related use based on the serious expressions. Those are likely the same people who come back home feeling just as worn out as when they left.

If only they had used their travel time to get their work done.

[Read more…]