Admin Tech Consulting

Do-it-yourself Administrative Support, Email Marketing, Social Media Profiles, & Tech Support

Help for Procrastinators

I just came across a really good question on Mahalo’s Answers that was posted over a year ago.  The question was “What do you do to stop procrastinating?”

Great question, right?  I thought so too, especially for people who freelance or work from home.  My answer to the question is as follows:

1. The first thing you should do is create your own deadline for each assignment.
2. Express to your clients how important it is that they give you a deadline.
3. You definitely need to turn that mental list into a checklist. You can do this either by hand writing it on paper or type it up and print it out – checking off each item as you complete it.
4. Stick to it and when those “extremely important” distractions come up, finish those and get back to your checklist immediately. 

To view this question (in its entirety), and to read other really good answers to this question click on this link.

Read: The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now

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Is It Okay to Yell At People In An Email Message?

Recently, I received an email message from someone reminding me of a conference call that would take place later that evening. Honestly, every word in the email looked exactly like that. The font was Arial, 16 and purple.

Now I ask you, how do you feel when you receive an email like this, whether professionally or personally?  I can tell you that, both professionally and personally, I find it disturbing and unnecessary. IT HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS USING ALL CAPS, ALL BOLD LETTERS OR EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT CAN BE ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unless you know the person you are sending the email to is visually impaired, there is no need for email font to be this large. Even if a visual problem were the case, there is assistive technology that is available to help people who are visually impaired read what is being communicated on their computer screens.

For those of you who may have fallen into the habit of yelling at your readers, here are a few reasons why it is not appropriate:

1. Think of it this way, just as it is not a good idea to verbally yell at your colleagues when you are in the office, it not a good idea to yell at them in email correspondence.

2. Just as you do not yell when communicating over the telephone, for the same reasons, it is not appropriate to do it in an email.

3. When writing someone a letter on paper, do you use really big letters? Then don’t do it in your email. Both are forms of correspondence, so follow the same rules.  (I know some have probably answered yes to this question, so to them I would like to say just as it is not appropriate to yell in online communications, it is not appropriate to yell in off-line communications.) 

To sum it up.  Please, treat email the same way you treat all other forms of communication.

Email Etiquette: How to Quickly & Easily Write Business Email that Communicates and Gets a Response

My Wireless Connection Is Gone!

The other day I was reminded of my days in “corporate America” when I would have to call one of our tech guys to help me with a problem.  They would usually ask everyone the same questions – regardless of their technical skill level – “is it turned on?” or “is it plugged in?”, or some other question, which at the time I thought was ridiculous.  Now that I am providing tech support services, I fully understand why these questions were asked.

One of my favorite clients (they are all favorites, but don’t let her know that), called very upset.  She said she had been cleaning her new notebook computer, and her wireless connection was gone.  I did not ask her any of the questions I mentioned in the paragraph above, because I knew her to be pretty tech savvy.  I knew if she was calling it probably was a serious problem.

First I had her check her network connections.  She said she had done that, but kept getting a message saying there was no connection, and she did not see a place where she could view her network connections or refresh her network list.

I asked her who her Internet service provider is.  She said it is Comcast.  I said, that makes it easy since I have the same provider – I had a visual.  I went to where my router and modem are and asked her how many lights were on each box. All that were supposed to be on the modem were on, but only three of four were lit on her router.  I asked her to see if everything was connected to the back of the boxes, and plugged into her surge protector.  Everything was fine.  When I told her to unplug the power for 30 seconds and plug it back in, she said she had tried that.  She had also tried turning the computer off and turning it back on.

I asked her what she was doing when she noticed the connection was gone.  Again, she said she was cleaning her computer.  My light bulb went on.  I said, look at the wireless signal button on your keyboard (which is between the f4 and f5 keys), is the light on?  She said it was yellow.  I told her to push it.  And voilà!  It was blue again.  What do you know, my light went on and then her light went on. :>)  She had inadvertently turned the button off while cleaning.

I say all of this to say, it doesn’t hurt to ask those “ridiculous” questions first.  Now, when your tech guy (or gal) asks you what seems like a ridiculous question understand they are asking you for a reason. Be patient and thank them.  When it is all over, you can even say, “I love you man!”

Learn how to become your own tech guy (or gal) read: Laptops For Dummies

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