Suite Minute - An Award-Winning Technology Blog by Peggy Duncan

January 12th, 2014

12 Fast Ways to Answer Email in Outlook (video tutorials on new membership Website)

No Comments, Outlook, Training, by Peggy Duncan.

Are you feeling overwhelmed just thinking about email? Are you finding it harder to focus and manage the never-ending demands on your attention? Are you scrolling through hundreds or thousands of unread messages all day? Are you spending too much time giving the same answers to similar questions?

The best way to handle an overflowing Inbox is to get into a meeting with it, and handle it one message at a time. For the messages that deserve an answer, you’ll finish quicker once you discover little-known, Outlook commands and a few workarounds.

Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert and author of Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook, has pulled together her best tips for answering emails fast. She manages her life inside Outlook and shares ways she uses it that its creator probably hasn’t even thought of.

· Create good, solid answers once, and use them again and again.

· Grab information you need often, and send it before you can blink.

Investing in this video series will be the best decision you’ll make this year, and it’ll take a little over 30 minutes to change your life. The videos will play on any device, plus PC and Mac, and all browsers.

Here’s a Free Sample from the Course

You can collect text and graphics from other Office software, the Web, a PDF, and so on, store them in the Office Clipboard, and use them to quickly answer an email. This tip also works in all other Office applications.

So clear your calendar, get quiet, and learn how to breeze through your Inbox, one message at a time, by learning ways to answer them faster. And for the ultimate success, use your desktop computer to manage it and your mobile to monitor it.

A one-time investment will give you lifetime access. This way, if you forget how to do something or the technology changes, you’ll be able to come back and brush up on whatever you need. Each tip is in a separate video to make it easier if you need a refresher later…just click the one you need.

You don’t have a second to spare! Don’t waste another minute digging through your Inbox. Invest in this training because, unlike dieting or exercising, the results are immediate!

Check out the site, choose the training you can use immediately to make your life a little easier, and sign up today!

PEACE.

June 2nd, 2014

Time Management Expert Shows How to Organize Sales Receipts for Clothing

No Comments, Organizing, by Peggy Duncan.

receipt organizerWhen it comes to returning items to the store, I want it as painless as possible. No digging through drawers or the trash looking for receipts for me! And I definitely don’t want to end up procrastinating about returning it because I can’t find the receipt.

Here’s a system that I’ve used for years, and it’s simple enough to maintain. Take a few minutes upfront so you won’t have to waste time later. Since I’d rather get my money back than a store credit, I take those few minutes every time.

  1. Remove all tags from garment. I don’t want to strut out the door thinking I’m looking cute with a tag hanging somewhere so I remove everything when I’m reasonably “sure” I’ll keep it.
  2. Write a description of the garment and the purchase date on the tag. Write a description in your own words…something that would make perfect sense to you later when searching. (For example, I purchased a pair of beige strappy shoes when I was in Durham NC, and that’s exactly what I wrote on the tag.)
  3. Staple any tags together that you need to keep…per garment. Too many tags on a garment I just don’t get. I only keep the ones the store will probably want if the item is returned. I staple each set of tags in a different place they I know immediately which ones go together (because multiples items are listed on the receipt).
  4. Write matching identifiers on the main tag and the receipt. This is such a timesaver. I’ll write A” on the front tag and the corresponding “A” on the receipt for that particular garment.
  5. Write the date and receipt number on the receipt. The ink on store receipts fade eventually so this is my backup.
  6. Staple the tags to the front of the receipt. Keep everything together with the tags in the front. That’ll make it easier to find the right one faster.
  7. Store in a logical place and keep everything together. One organizing solution is a receipt pack. Since I have different things itemized per receipt, keeping them by quarter works for me (Jan-Mar, etc.). Or keep everything together in a drawer with the most recent purchases on top.

That’s it. It’s always easy and quick when I decide to return something. Do you have a system you use? Hopefully, you’ll create one if you don’t.

P.S. Yes, I’ve tried that scanning thing, and I procrastinated. Although I’m a technology lover, this manual method works better for me.

 

PEACE.

April 11th, 2014

Do You Ever Have Time to Do Nothing? Absolutely Nothing?

No Comments, Personal Productivity, by Peggy Duncan.

imageI had a face-to-face conversation with a woman the other day. Her entire demeanor spelled S-T-R-E-S-S. She started talking about all the things she was involved in (church, social clubs, etc.). Wore me out just listening to it.

She has entirely too much on her plate, and it showed. Way too much volunteer work added on top of paid work. It was obvious that she never has time to stop long enough to think, reflect, or do nothing. This is not healthy living, and if she ever decides to change (or is forced to), the solution is quite simple.

  1. List all the things you HAVE to do (work, cook, etc).
  2. Next, list all the things you CHOOSE to do (e.g., volunteer work).
  3. Consider the most important person in your life – YOU—and ask yourself what can be eliminated.
  4. Take a deep breath, make some calls, send some emails, and do it!

Don’t worry, they’ll either find someone else to do it or drop it because it wasn’t as important as you thought…not your concern because you need to focus on you right now.

PEACE.

March 25th, 2014

Get Media Interviews by Showing Up in Google–DIY SEO

1 Comment, Public Relations, by Peggy Duncan.

Kindle_ShamelesscoverA reporter from Pilates Style magazine is interviewing me tonight about managing email. When she typed “email overload expert” in Google, I’m on the first page. That’s how I get all my interviews. I’d never heard of this popular magazine, and I certainly would not have thought to pitch them a story about email.

On another note, this month, I’m quoted in three different articles in SUCCESS magazine. Didn’t have to do a thing but be available for questions.

http://www.success.com/article/our-10-favorite-productivity-apps

http://www.success.com/article/1-on-1-stay-focused

http://www.success.com/article/the-productivity-dilemma-to-do-or-not-to-do

It’s so much easier to let them find you when they need your expertise than it is to figure out who, when, and what to pitch. Order my ebook, Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO, and find out how to get your business found online based on what you do or sell.

PEACE.

March 21st, 2014

EMAIL TIP: I use my iPhone to MONITOR email. I MANAGE it on my computer.

No Comments, Outlook, Personal Productivity, by Peggy Duncan.

imageWhen someone responds to an email message that “yes” they’re going to do something and I see it comes from their phone, I have just about zero confidence that they’re going to remember to do it. Here’s why.

At my computer, I’m inside Outlook, and a new message arrives. I immediately drag it to my calendar or tasks with a reminder or an appointment. And depending on the situation, I might flag that message for follow-up. On the other hand, when I check email on my iPhone, I’m not going to do all that. Neither will you. You most likely look at the email, respond with a quick “yes,” and make no effort to put anything in place to help you remember.

When I MONITOR email, I’m just checking for anything I need to respond to right away (e.g., an inquiry from a reporter on a deadline, a cancelled meeting, etc.). Otherwise, I’ll deal with everything else when I’m in front of my computer because I can MANAGE better and easier.

For more tips on managing email, here’s a series of low-cost, how-to videos I recorded called “12 Fast Ways to Answer Email in Outlook.”

Also, check out my article on managing #emailoverload on NYTimes.com, “Room for Debate: Reduce Bad E-mail Habits.”

And if you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a ton of messages piling up on your iPhone, check out this blog post with video.

PEACE.

March 3rd, 2014

How You Can Get Your Groove Back … Creating More Free Time

No Comments, Personal Productivity, by Peggy Duncan.

privatecoachingImproving your personal productivity requires work … upfront. Working yourself into deeper holes and trying to squeeze in a day off or a vacation just won’t cut it. The damage is already done, and if you don’t totally revamp how you work, that same stress and mess will be there when you return. I’m a personal productivity coach and consultant, and here’s how I structure working with my clients.

ANALYZE. You have to analyze how you spend your time. See where it’s going using a time log. You’ll be SHOCKED to find out how much time you actually waste.

ORGANIZE. Everything you touch needs a system so you can find anything the instant you need it. This applies to everything from your clothes closet to your computer files.

PRIORITIZE. Do the main thing you’ve been hired to do because that’s closest to the money. Which clients gladly pay you what you’re worth and which ones nickel and dime you and work you to death? What were you hired to do as opposed to what you’re actually spending time doing? Do the thing that gets you paid the quickest.

SYSTEMATIZE. If you do something more than three times, you absolutely must develop systems that are well-thought-out and documented so others can follow if they need to. Streamline and automate…this requires quiet, thinking time.

COMPUTERIZE. You invest in the latest technology with all the bells and whistles. But then you can’t be bothered to learn how to use it. The more tips and tricks you learn, the quicker you’re going to finish the work with less mistakes. Take classes in the software you use every day (the 2 hours you spent with IT when you got some new software isn’t sufficient).

Now that your systems are tight and you’re clear on what needs to be done and how, you can delegate. Let others follow your system and tweak it as they need to.
Spend time upfront to do this, and I promise you’ll end up with way more free time than you thought possible. Oh, but I know…you don’t have time!

PEACE.