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Productivity

When and How to Leave the Details

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I’m a big fan of the detailed message, whether it is by phone or email. But, as Mary Jane Copps mentioned in her article The Illusion of the Detailed Message, they aren’t intended to build relationships – they’re intended to save time. From a customer service … Keep reading…

Mary Jane, Lianne and Linda

What’s best when… Phone vs. eMail

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Over coffee at Starbucks last summer, Mary Jane Copps, The Phone Lady, and I were chatting about the benefits of using the phone versus email for business communication. We decided to take our debate to the public. In September, we announced that comedian Lianne Perry … Keep reading…

13 Ways to be Productive when Your Internet is Down

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It’s been well over a week that I’ve been unable to do much online. For a small business owner, a forced vacation during the holiday season isn’t such a bad thing. But there were some essential tasks that I needed to do before December 31st … Keep reading…

Automate to Boost Productivity

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Aside from your traditional newsletters and promotional messages, you can also use your bulk email application to automate some other processes. You might not think of iContact (or whatever app you use) as a productivity tool, but it can be. Here are a couple of … Keep reading…

The Speed of eMail

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When I sent out my last newsletter, almost 400 people opened it in the first 2 hours. If you need to reach a lot of people fast and at the same time, email is definitely the medium of choice. For one thing, sending an email … Keep reading…

reading confusing email

7 Tips for Communicating Details by eMail

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Email is an ideal way to communicate details, such as meeting minutes, action lists, project updates, instructions, reference data, decisions, event info, checklists and much more. Sending previously prepared information is a snap – just attach, or copy and paste. When I started specializing in … Keep reading…

Put your Reputation on the Line

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It’s a bit like telling all your family and friends when you’re starting a diet or quitting smoking. Your reputation is on the line. Powerful incentive for task completion! We all know how easy it is to put off things that are a little risky. … Keep reading…

Stop Saying “Feel Free”

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The next time you start to type “Feel free to phone or email me” — Stop. If you’re in business, shouldn’t it be obvious that you want calls and emails? “Feel free…” is a little wishy-washy, like using the word “just”. Instead, use a more … Keep reading…

When Perfect is the Goal

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Perfect is an impossible goal. Some would say that if you strive for perfection, you are setting yourself up for failure. I agree. To the point that I don’t think you should beat yourself up when you miss the mark. Because you will. We all … Keep reading…

Content That Saves Time

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This is worth getting excited about – the best kind of content possible. That’s because content that saves you time also helps you meet so many other goals. How can taking the time to create content actually save you time? Well, you create content out … Keep reading…

10 Email Predictions for 2013

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1. Your inbox will continue to be full. 2. You’ll check your inbox at least 5 times a day. 3. The more emails you send, the more you will receive. 4. You will spend significant hours just organizing your emails. And then you’ll spend even … Keep reading…

The Devil is in the Details

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Mistakes happen – appointments get missed, deadlines slide by, and that phone call doesn’t get returned. These things happen to everyone sooner or later. Sometimes these are things that can be avoided next time, sometimes they’re unavoidable, and sometimes they’re just plain old stupid mistakes. … Keep reading…

Sh*t Happens!

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I recently had to take a week off work unexpectedly and dash off to Ontario when my step-son went into the hospital. An hour before we hit the road, I was emailing clients and friends with promises of finishing up projects as soon as I … Keep reading…

How I Emptied My Inbox!

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This is what an empty inbox looks like! It’s the first time I’ve seen mine like this in at least a couple of years, maybe longer. It looks kind of strange, doesn’t it? Even a little hard to get used to. What a boost of self-gratification … Keep reading…

Get a Head Start

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Start thinking about your next newsletter issue as soon as your last one has gone out. Set up a place to gather your content ideas – an ‘idea catcher’. I use a folder on my Windows desktop. If you’re not always sitting at your computer … Keep reading…

Becoming A Master of Change

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Which is more important: efficiency or customer service? Stop and think about it because the answer isn’t as obvious as you might think at first. I spent a good portion of my adult life working in the industrial sector managing logistics people and processes. One … Keep reading…

Accountability: More Than A Deadline

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If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you’ve had the discussion about accountability with at least one other business owner – and will continue to have that conversation with other business owners. We all struggle with staying focused and getting things … Keep reading…

A Season of Shedding

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I’ve started off the year by getting rid of things. Jane, my organizer friend, would say that’s a good thing. But I’m not talking about emptying closets and trips to the curb. I’ve been shedding bits and pieces of my business. It feels like a … Keep reading…

Deciding to Delegate

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If you are a control freak like me, you’ll know that delegation is a BIG decision. There are lots of things to consider. The question of what to delegate should be easy but often isn’t. You want to delegate things that… you don’t like to … Keep reading…

Pay your Bills Automatically

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Getting statements and paying bills online is convenient, but it’s even more convenient to have them paid automatically. Consider having all your business expenses automatically charged to one credit card (that gives you airline mileage or other perks). Then have that credit card statement automatically … Keep reading…

Beat the Business Blahs

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This is a blah time of year. The lack of sunshine is making me listless. I’m anxious for spring… and my garden. My enthusiasm is waning a bit. Are you feeling it too? Running a small business is hard. We can’t afford to show it … Keep reading…

Doodle

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A cool little online app that you can use to coordinate decision-making among a group of people… and it’s really simple! You can ask for available dates for a meeting or ask for input to a decision.www.doodle.com(Thanks to Joan for this handy tool!) Click to … Keep reading…

Action and Email Don’t Mix

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Reactionary Workflow – reacting to what’s coming in rather than being proactive. It’s a new term but a familiar feeling… and it sure did resonate with me. Being constantly connected means that it’s really easy for people to contact us. As a consequence, our ability … Keep reading…

The End Result

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We all have the same 24 hours daily to accomplish our tasks. They come in a myriad of forms: phone calls, emails, projects, operational and administrative work, appointments, meetings and more. Priorities conflict, distractions tempt us and it’s hard to keep our eyes on the … Keep reading…