Monday, December 12, 2011

Information Overload Causing Illness

With more and more companies choosing to ignore acknowledging technology as an issue in their business, the problem just keeps getting worse.

The solution isn't to disconnect, demand non email days or just expect staff to deal with it.
This modern problem needs a new approach...

Read the article in full here

So is your organisation just contributing to the problem???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sacked for a Facebook was only a matter of time...

A UK based Apple employee has been sacked for comments he posted on Facebook about the iPhone.
When will people learn that what's put out on the internet travels faster than the speed of light ...

Read the full article 
Full Article

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prime Productivity & Profit Pointer

This month’s pointer is in Microsoft Excel

Splitting Data from One to Multiple Columns

Thanks to Marie in Adelaide for her question this month.
Marie had a list of first name and last name in one column that she needed to split into two columns.

Love to hear if you found it useful too!

This month in
.mp4 format
wmv format

Or download the How To Tip sheet
Excel® 2003
Excel® 2007
Excel® 2010

Upcoming Events
Webinar – Working SMARTER and not HARDER with Microsoft Outlook

This “beyond the basics” session is designed to help you fast track your use of Outlook and get more done in less time.
For more information click here

Word Power Webinars

Our 6 week Keys to Excel PowerWebinars have been so well received we have scheduled 4 x 15 minute Word Power webinars once a week for 4 weeks to turbo charge your productivity as we head into the Christmas windup (or should it be down??). 

The sessions run once a week on Tuesday’s from 12pm to 12.15pm starting
Tuesday 29th November until Tuesday 20th December

Because with our Power Webinars most people sign up for all of the webinars, we aren’t offering these webinars individually, but you can get all 4 for ONLY $97.

They will all be recorded so if you book in and can’t make it, don’t worry we will email you a link to download the webinar for you to keep!

Here’s the schedule:
Week 1 – AutoCorrect
Week 2 – Checkboxes
Week 3 – Styles & Table of Contents
Week 4 – Mail Merge

For more info click here  Just scroll down the pages to view the format. Any questions, feel free to email us with webinars in the subject.

Bookings are limited to 100, so don’t miss out

2012 Workshops – Adelaide

Well the first workshop for 2012 is pencilled in in Adelaide on Valentines Day – Tuesday 14th February from 1.30-4.30pm.  Max of 20 places

For more details or to book click here.

Have a great month and don’t forget to work SMARTER and not HARDER…oh yes and get started on your Christmas shopping!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Approach to HR Recruitment

Changing times and availability of quality staff mean that finding the right people for your jobs is harder than ever.

Many employers are now moving to technology to assist them in finding the right fit for the business.

Read this great article from The Australian
Tough to get right people at right time

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3 Things My Mum Taught Me About Email - Lesson 3

My mum has taught me lots over the years

3.    Create Your Own Personal Email Protocol.

“Just because Johnny does it, doesn’t mean it’s right”.  Mum’s words apply to email too.  We often just click the REPLY button by habit.  A simple way to do is create your own personal email protocol.  What does this mean?  Every time you receive an email and are tempted to hit REPLY, ask yourself if email is the best way to respond?  Would a quick phone call achieve the outcome you require more effectively?  Decide WHEN and HOW you are going to use email – are you going to send confidential information? When will you use cc or bcc?  Do you expect those people to take any action? 

As Mum always said, lead by example.  Show others how you use email and you will be surprised what happens.  Make the choice NOW to change the way you respond to email.  Not only will you be less stressed but you will be well on your way to RECLAIMing Your Inbox!

Monday, August 29, 2011

3 Things My Mum Taught Me About Email - Lesson 2

As a child, I tended to rush things.
This relates to lesson 2
My mum always told me

2.    Set Aside Designated time to Read and Respond

Mum always said “there is a time and place for everything”.  By setting aside some designated time to deal with your email, you know they will be done at a time that suits you.  If I am out all day on a client site or traveling, I want to focus on what I am doing, not checking my email.  At the end of the day, they will still be there and they will keep coming tomorrow.

I guess what she means it don't forget to stop and take time to smell the roses.

Friday, August 26, 2011

3 Things My Mum Taught Me About Email - Lesson 1

Intel, the company known for it's computer chip estimated that email overload can cost large companies as much as $1 billion a year in lost employee productivity!

Scary isn't it??

I'm going back to 3 Lessons I learnt from my mum and how they relate to email.
Today is lesson 1

1.    Switch off Your Email Notification Message

Why?  Like Mum said, “if Johnny told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?  The same applies to email.  I might be accountable to my clients or colleagues, but I am a responsible adult who knows what I need to be doing each day.  By switching off my email notification message (the one that pops up when you are part way through something else and entices you to read it!) I determine when I deal with email and don’t let “Johnny” influence me.
Thanks Mum, will do

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On-Line Grocery Shopping

Just recorded another segment for Channel 9's A Current Affair on on-line grocery shopping.
Will be airing tomorrow night.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stress Management - How it could be costing your organisation thousands in lost productivity

Driven by the constant pressure to increase productivity, The Age newspaper Melbourne reports that mental health issues has now overtaken physical injury as the top cause for lengthy periods of absence.

The article says "Workers off sick with a job-related mental disorder take an average of 10.8 weeks off, and experts say workplace bullying and harassment, as well as heavy workloads, are leading to the rise in mental stress claims."
Another reason why organisations need to invest in ongoing computer productivity training and not just once off "hits".

Read the full article at The Age
Or down load my latest e-book - 5 Reasons Why Your Finance Team Needs Computer Training - although it is focussed towards finance teams, it applies to ALL teams in any organisation.

After all, life is too short to be too stressed....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social Media Tools Costing Millions in Lost Productivity released research recently outlining that social media tools, designed to save time are in fact costing millions in lost productivity.

Read the article

The research shows that in the workplace the greatest distractions are electronic in the form of email, online tools and instant messaging.

The result...reduced work output, stressed and frustrated workers who don't enjoy their job because they feel pressure.

Could your workplace be suffering?
Let me know your thoughts..


PS We can help you work smarter and not harder with technology.
If you want more information visit out website

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Prime Productivity Pointer - Sections & Columns in Word

These days there is a huge need for reports to be completed and provided to management teams, colleagues, clients and accountability partners.
One of the common challenges I am asked about is how to insert a landscape page in a portrait document and how to insert columns.

Check out the video clip – this month in .mp4 format in
Word 2010®

Or download the How To Tip sheet

Word® 2007/10

Helping you work SMARTER and not HARDER

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do you have email anxiety???

Email management seems to be a hot topic at the moment.

Citrix Online did a study on 705 Australian full-time workers.
They found two-thirds admitted to being "trigger-happy emailers" and over half said they had sent an email that was misunderstood by the recipient.

International authority on "netiquette" and author of Brilliant Email Dr Monica Seeley says officer workers can lose an hour a day with lax emailing habits.

"If you receive 20 emails a day and need only half of them, you're wasting 75 minutes a week on emails - up to seven days a year," Dr Seeley said.

An interesting read and a great reminder that email is A communication tool and not THE ONLY communication tool.

Read the article in full here

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Mailbox Limits & Hidden Email Could Increase Corporate Risk

This Tech Alert article discusses the impact of allowing staff to self manage email mailbox restrictions.

So should business have an organisation wide approach to HOW email above quotas should be stored in order to minimise risk?

Read the whole article

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Technology Distraction Strategy

A recent survey out of the US explored the impact of digital distractions including social media on employee productivity, with some interesting results.

The report found
"Nearly 60% of work interruptions now involve either using tools like email, social networks, text messaging and IM, or switching windows among disparate standalone tools and applications. In fact, 45% of employees work only 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted, and 53% waste at least one hour a day due to all types of distractions."

Read CNBC's full article

Friday, June 3, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 7

Ahhh... the last Deadly Sin...

7. Sloth: Dragging your feet

Above all, do it now! None of the other advice in this article will do you any good at all unless you take action.

It’s too easy to say “I’ll never understand computers”, or “I’m computer illiterate,” or “I don’t know where to start”.

It’s often easy to take action, but it’s almost always easier to NOT take action. Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t do.  Break what you need to do down into small manageable chunks.

Your success is in your hands – it’s up to you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 6

6. Anger: Blaming other people for your lack of success

If you’re not getting the success you desire, look to yourself first. Even if it is somebody else’s “fault”, you could be waiting a long time for them to fix things for you. Far better to take responsibility yourself to find a solution.

For example, if you are learning how to use a computer program from a book and never actually open the software how can you expect to learn?  Rather than blaming the book for your lack of success in developing your skills, look at what you can do to assist the process and achieve the outcome you desire.

Monday, May 30, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 5

5. Pride: Holding on to things that aren’t working

If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else! I know that that sounds obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how often people keep repeating unsuccessful patterns.

Sometimes we do things because that’s the way we have always done it or someone else told you this was the best way.  When we think that there must be a better way to do something, there usually is!

It doesn’t take much effort to explore these problems. But the first step is to recognise them, and commit to doing something about them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 4

4. Envy: Copying tactics that don’t fit your strategy

A Russian soldier stationed in West Berlin after the Second World War wandered into an empty house and saw an electric light bulb for the first time. Fascinated by this magic light-generating globe, he cut it off with his bayonet and put it in his knapsack so he could carry around the light with him wherever he went.

The same is true with computers. Don’t just do what somebody else tells you to do, unless you know why they do it]. If they are successful, what they are doing is just one part of their strategy. You can’t just pick up that one thing, put it in your bag, take it somewhere else and use it to light up your world.

For example, perhaps you know someone with magnificent computer skills.  You might be tempted to utilise a lot of the tips and tricks they show you to speed up your computer work, but is that correct?  Perhaps their needs for the computer are different to yours? Perhaps they have lots of time, perhaps they just love computers? Same applies to Social Media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter….

By all means, look around to see what others are doing, but don’t just copy their tactics without understanding why and questioning if the tips really will make things easier and not harder or more importantly if they fit into your business or personal strategy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Want to Increase Your Productivity??? Standing Up Helps

The Salt Lake Tribune has a really interesting article on the benefits of standing whilst working have on your productivity...another way you can work SMARTER and not HARDER??

Read the article

Monday, May 23, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 3

Onto Deadly Sin No 3

3. Greed: Looking for too much too fast

When you first get started with computers, there’s a temptation to do everything at once. But if you chase two horses, you’ll catch neither of them. The best way to get started is to choose one activity that is likely to give you high value, do that well, and then move on to the next.

That’s not to say that you should only be doing one thing at a time. But just be sure that everything you do is done well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Deadly Sins Computer Users Make - No 2

2. Lust: Falling in love with “gimmicks”

Focus your time, money and energy on the things that matter, not just those that catch your eye right now. This doesn’t mean an endless quest for Mr. Right, but it does mean that you don’t have to settle for Mr. Right Now.

With your computer, work out what you need right now.  Bill Gates didn’t get his computer knowledge overnight and neither will you!  You need to focus on getting started and not getting everything.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Playstation's Security Breach

Today's breaking story on Sony Playstation's security breaches is just another warning to consumers using the internet to be on guard!

USA Today newspaper reported last week that data thieves had targetted large organisations hacking in to access their customer email addresses. Organisations recently breached included Chase Bank, Verizon and Target. 

USA Today reports that in December, Honda advised hackers had stole the email addresses of over 2 million Honda owners.  The idea behind the theft is to Phish to get the receivers of emails to click links, in what looks like a legitimate email, and download mailicious programs or gain access to sensitive data like banking details.

What can you do??  Keep an eye out for emails that look legitimate but aren't - items like emails from your bank telling you to click to confirm details - banks NEVER do this.  If you aren't sure, don't click.  If you fear you have received such an email, contact the organisation purporting to be emailing you and let them know.

Full article details

Remember to always keep your virus checking software up to date and be alert....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Email Damages the Workplace

Another interesting article, this time on how workers are using email in the workplace to avoid blame and to be perceived to be busy.  Email was going to make communication easier, but it now seems it has created another set of problems - loss of face to face communication and people sending things via email that they wouldn't dream of saying to someone face to face.  We need to get back to basics and remind ourselves that email is A communication tool and not THE only communication tool.

Read the Full Article

1 in 4 staff in the UK will consider deliberately damaging their PC to get a new one!

PC Advisor out of the UK have released an article indicating that 25% of 3,000 office workers surveyed in the UK, Germany and France, by on line back up service Rackspace, would consider deliberately damaging their computer in order to get a new PC at work.  The survey also revealed 40 percent of staff claim their aging PC is affecting their productivity at work.

Interesting read Full article

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Email Blunders!!

The latest story to hit the news is about a guy in the UK sending an email to his girlfriend instead of his mate who wanted to date his girlfriend.

The result, the two guys have been suspended from their jobs - and in fact COULD be fired.

The moral of the story...never put in writing ANYTHING you don't want the whole world to know!

Have a read...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Digital Distraction

An article from the Vancouver Sun in Canada talks about how digital distractions in the workplace are costing billions in lost productivity.

The article says:
  • U.S. researchers estimate the average worker now glances at his or her email inbox 30 to 40 times an hour
  • We change our activities every three minutes, and toggle through an average of 37 screens every hour.
  • By some estimates, workers also are interrupted, usually by email or a phone call, about 11 times an hour. Our recovery time from each interruption is 10 to 20 times longer than the interruption.
The result? 

A staggering $600 billion to $900 billion a year (depending on the study) in lost productivity in the U.S. alone.
Read the full article


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Avoiding Email & SMS Mistakes

I appeared on Channel 7's Sunrise Program chatting about how you can avoid email and SMS mistakes
Take a look


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cars to take Email Dictation!

An interesting read, BMW has developed a prototype system that allows drivers to compose full text emails and text messages using voice commands. 

May take a little while to come to Australia, and with concern around texting, driving and road safety, this is another topic that no doubt will encourage heated discussion.

Here's a link to the article

Friday, February 18, 2011

Prime Productivity Pointer - Viewing 2 Worksheet/Documents at the Same Time

Pauline (thanks) asked a question at a recent presentation I did for a local association.

She wanted to be able to view two worksheets in an Excel file on the screen at the same time.

Below are the instructions for each version.

From this month onwards our video pointers will now be in Office 2010.


How to do it in:


Click on Window on the Menu Bar and choose New Window

Word/Excel will open another window containing the same file

From the Window tab click Arrange to arrange the windows you have open.


Click the View Tab on the Ribbon and choose New Window.

Word/Excel will open another window containing the same file

From the View Tab click View Side by Side to view both.

View the video clip by going to this link.

Hope it helps you work SMARTER and not HARDER!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You've got Office out for Office 2015!!!

You may or may not have upgraded to Office 2007 or 2010, but just when you thought it was safe....the rumour mill says Microsoft is working on it's next release of Office (no surprises there...that's smart business) Office 2015.  Expected to be released early in 2014, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we may not have to upgrade for at least another couple of years.

Want more info -

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's 10pm in Your Office, do you know what day it is??

Just read a great article from Fox Business saying that 39% of office workers said they feel lost and even frustrated when it comes to organizing and managing e-mail. 

Working SMARTER and not HARDER with email is the way to go. 
Check out the full article at Fox Business

My simple tip.....close Email when you aren't working on it to allow you to focus on what NEEDS to be done!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Queensland Floods - Are You Backed Up?

My heart goes out to those in Queensland affected by the floods.
I partially understand what they are going through, as on a smaller scale, prior to Christmas, I was in the unfortunate situation of being caught in a flash flood in my car with my 16 year old son not far from home.

It was a frightening experience and I must say the police, SES and my insurer AAMI were fantastic.

My hugely water damaged car [a 12 month old Mazda3] was written off and a brand new Mazda3 appeared in it's place prior to Christmas.  Thanks to Elisa at Ringwood Mazda and the AAMI team.

So how does this relate back to technology??

With so many families losing EVERYTHING in the floods, the one thing that may be saved could be precious photos or computer data.

Doesn't matter what your level of knowledge, there are some simple things you can do at no cost to store or "back up" your data in a simplistic way.

Explore these options
1. - free to store up to 2GB storage on line for free.  Use it to store photos or documents you need backed up somewhere.  You can get more space at no cost by referring friends to Dropbox. 
2. - create and account and you can access and store up to 25GB of files and data at no cost
3. Photo sharing websites such as, - there are plenty, so if you want to photo share these are great sites. 

Having a back up on the cloud [internet] means that whatever happens to your computer, precious memories can be retrieved.

So are you backed up???