Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Technology for Effective Meetings

Have you ever been in a meeting that feels like a crowd of people in a public place, moving in all directions?

This week, I came across an excellent blog post from North American based Kristin Arnold.

The technology she highlights is accessible  for little to no cost. 

Used strategically, rather than just because it's the "in" thing, many offer the ability to make your meetings and collaboration more productive.

If you are a regular meeting participant, take 5 minutes to read Kristin's whole post here.

My Tip for Productive Meetings

Scheduling meetings, where possible, for 30 to 45 minutes instead of a traditional 1 hour.
Not only does it help focus, but it helps stop meeting "stretch".

With only 24 hours in a day, for me and my clients, a short meeting is a good meeting.
Then we can get onto the next thing on our To Do List! 

So what's your tip for a productive meeting?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prime Productivity Pointer - Inserting Today's Date

When I ask people how they find the answer to a challenge in Excel or Word, I commonly hear the response "I Google it." Whilst Google is great it has its challenges.  Firstly you need to KNOW what you are looking for - sometimes you know the outcome you want but not the technical term and secondly, when you find the answer, your problem is solved, but reality is there are probably 2 or more colleagues looking for the same answer who will potentially go through the same process.

So what's the answer....share the knowledge with your colleagues.  So if you have a colleague who might benefit from this month's pointer, just pass it on.

In this blog post, we take a look at a function that is useful for automatically inserting the current date or calculating the difference between a date (such as a start date) and today’s date.

TODAY Function
The TODAY Function can be used on its own to automatically insert the current date according to your computer, but more often it is used in calculations to determine the difference between one date and today, for example days or years an employee has worked in your organisation.

It’s a very handy tool, if you are used it before, do you know a colleague who could benefit from knowing it too?  Why not send this pointer onto them….

Excel 2007
Excel 2010
Excel 2013

And here are the videos

TODAY Function - MP4 Format
TODAY Function - WMV Format

NOTE: Due to space, we only keep our pointers up on our site for a month or two.

Helping you work SMARTER and not HARDER with Microsoft Office.

Donna Hanson works with select organisations and individuals to increase productivity and reduce risk with technology they already own.

Find out more at

To sign up to receive our regular productivity pointers visit

Friday, April 17, 2015

Walking Meetings....

With so much of the average office worker's time sitting, at a desk, in meetings, on a train or bus, in a car, is it any wonder we have seen a rise in back complaints.

The last few years have seen an increase in standing desks in the workplace as sitting (well too much of it) is now being viewed as the bad for your health.

According to a Huffington Post article this week, the next step is walking meetings.

Probably not a replacement for larger meetings, but great for one on one conversations.
Researchers at Stanford University say walking leads to more creative thinking.

Huffington Post says, "You can find many big-shot fans of the walk and talk -- including Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and this guy named Barack Obama. There’s even a TED Talk devoted solely to the topic."

Could this be practical in your workplace?

Love to hear your thoughts..

Read the full article here

Donna Hanson works with select organisations and individuals to increase productivity and reduce risk with technology they already own.

Find out more at


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Customer Service isn't just external....

Technology was designed to increase our productivity. Those who know me know how passionate I am about working with organisations to build expertise with everyday technology to empower staff to be more productive, engaged and happy in their work.

However there are many other ways to keep staff engaged, happy and productive which all adds to the bottom line. A fantastic colleague of mine Shep Hyken is a specialist in exceptional customer service.  I was fortunate enough to be a guest blogger sharing my experience about both internal and external customer service following a visit to in Las Vegas.

Read the blog here
If you would like a copy of the white paper I wrote about my visit, click here

Donna Hanson works with select organisations and individuals to increase productivity and reduce risk with technology they already own.

Find out more at

For more on Shep Hyken, visit

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Prime Productivity Pointer - Fitting an Excel Spreadsheet to a Single Page.

Each month I send out an email with a quick video tip or shortcut to increase productivity with Microsoft Office.

Often there are little frustrating things that happen in Word and Excel that, whilst small, if you have to do them regularly that 5-10 minutes adds up over time.

Did you know that if you fast tracked a task in Microsoft Office and saved 5 minutes a day, across the course of a year that equates to over 1000 minutes or 16hrs!

One of the common things we hear from clients is they simply don't have enough time to get everything done.  If this is you or your team, we'd love to have a conversation to see how we can help.

This month I cover an often overlooked tip in Excel, fitting your spreadsheet to a single page.
Too often I see users simply type in their data and expect Excel to do the rest.
I suggest you always do a print preview of your spreadsheet before you print it.

It’s also important to note that Excel automatically reduces the size of text, so if your spreadsheet has too many rows or columns, then whilst all your information may end up on one page, you may not be able to read it!

Fit To A Page
Once the Fit to a Page option is selected, you don’t need to adjust it again.
Your data will now automatically print to a page.

Download this month’s PDF relevant to your version of Excel and take a few minutes to watch the video.

Is there someone you know who could benefit from knowing about Fit to a Page?
Why not forward this pointer on??

Excel 2007
Excel 2010
Excel 2013

And here are the videos

Fit to a Page - MP4 Format
Fit to a Page- WMV Format

If you are interested in receiving these pointers with our compliments each month, visit type in your details and we will be happy to add you to our list.

Hope you work SMARTER and not HARDER this month