Laughing all the Way to Work

Happiness is an Empty Inbox

Laughing all the Way to Work

I have mentioned it a few times that when my desk is cluttered then I feel cluttered. I like to put everything in its place so I will find it easily. Is it any wonder if my Outlook is messy and cluttered that I feel the same way? I was at a recent IAAP Chapter meeting and we were discussing best practices for organizing our Inboxes and there were a lot of good ideas. The bottom line is to keep it simple. I've been meaning to tackle my Inbox so decided I would try that theory and is it ever nice.

2012 86

Annotated Agenda

Laughing all the Way to Work

It is very useful to use an annotated agenda. For those who have never used one, it is simply an agenda with notes on it. For the agenda that I send to the meeting participants, I annotate it to let them know why an item is on the agenda or if there are any attachments. In my example below you will see that I put brackets around the notes and italicize them. Call to Order: 1. Adoption of Agenda (Motion Required) 2. Approval of Previous Minutes of December 25, 2016 (Attached) (Motion Required) 3.

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The little things

Laughing all the Way to Work

When learning something new it is usually the little things that can seem overwhelming. I just learnt a new program to search patient names for information and medical records. I recall the person telling us how to use the program and it seemed complicated. Log in, enter your password, press F1 if you want to do this, F2 if you want to do that. When you get to this screen, look on the right hand side and press F11. You can see what I mean.

2016 26

Taking Effective Meeting Minutes Webinar

Laughing all the Way to Work

Hi Everyone, Once again I will be presenting on Taking Effective Meeting Minutes. The webinar is scheduled for January 25, 2011 at 1 p.m. It is an informative session that will bring you from the pre-meeting checklist to taking the minutes, with ideas for formatting and suggested wording. Please click on the link for more information or to register: [link] I look forward to meeting you live on the webinar. Patricia. effective meeting minutes administrative professional Administrative Assistant

Florida here I come!

Laughing all the Way to Work

This summer I will be presenting at the AdminPro Forum 2016 in Florida and am really looking forward to it. Keynote speakers include Joan Burge, Lucy Brazier, Julie Perrine and Laura Stack. I have enjoyed the teachings of most of these ladies over the years and am thrilled to be participating with them and look forward to learning from them too.

IAAP 16

Laughing all the Way to Work - Untitled Article

Laughing all the Way to Work

Minute taking can seem scary at first but once you know what you need to record, you will get better at it over time. My next minute-taking webinar will be on May 31 at 1 p.m. EST and I will go over the basics of minute taking as well as the actual process so you will feel more confident in this role. This webinar is well suited for those who have never taken minutes but want to learn, beginners or those at an intermediate level. If you are interested in joining me, please click here to register.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Laughing all the Way to Work

As women working in an office with men who are more than likely in authority, this is something we undoubtedly will come across at some time in our careers. I think men probably experience it as well, but it is not reported as often. I recall as a young woman working for a large mostly male organization in the late 70s, it was just an expected thing that you would get your bum pinched while walking by someone's desk or have sexual remarks made about you.

2002 18

Sharing your Skills

Laughing all the Way to Work

Do you want to get better at what you do? Share it!! You wouldn't believe how much I learn each time I give a minute-taking or travel webinar. Because I am giving the webinar I have to review the material and make sure I know my stuff. The audience will certainly know it if I don't. The same can apply in your workplace. If there is sharing of information among the admins, then we can learn from each other and we all grow.

Caution: Enter at your own risk!

Laughing all the Way to Work

I once worked with someone who had body language that you could read like a book. Stern looks, sad demeanor, very angry looking at times, sighing, interrupting while you were talking, especially when they were not in agreement, by harrumphing, sighing and rolling the eyes. It was disconcerting, but they didn't appear to be aware they were doing it. When I pointed it out, they said, "I can't help the way I look".

Establishing a partnership with your boss

Laughing all the Way to Work

As in every aspect of life, relationships are two-way. Both parties have a responsibility and work to do to make it work. In the admin/boss working relationship however you do have an edge since it is you who schedules your executive’s calendar. Schedule yourself in for one-on-one meetings with your boss on a regular basis. Each situation will be different, but either short daily meetings or longer meetings once a week will work.

Using a Bring-Forward System

Laughing all the Way to Work

The Bring-Forward System (or sometimes referred to as a BF system) might be an old term for the younger assistant, but the principle is similar to using your Tasks in Outlook: You need to have some sort of system to bring forward items that need to be handled at a future date. I have already spoken about using Tasks in Outlook, but on a recent job interview I was specifically asked if I knew how to use a bring-forward system so I thought I would write about it here.

2007 22

How do you stay organized?

Laughing all the Way to Work

I replied to this question on a Linked In forum so thought it was worth repeating here. If I was an employer, I would want to ask this question of any admin who was applying at my organization. Since it is almost second nature to most admins to be organized it is sometimes difficult to answer, but it is just for this reason that it needs to be asked. An admin has to be a strong organizer so they don't want to hire someone who isn't.

Thinking Outside the Job Description Box

Laughing all the Way to Work

Today’s assistants are computer savvy, smart and up-and-coming, and consider themselves professionals in the workplace. They are no longer stuck within the job description box, but have the freedom to break out of the mould and redefine their roles and sometimes even change their careers.

2008 16

At Your Service

Laughing all the Way to Work

The admin role is a service-oriented position. Basically we are there to serve management - whether that be one executive or multiple managers and staff members. Managing our time can become more challenging when serving more than one person. Not that the volume is greater, because as someone who serves the CEO of our organization, I know that is not the case, but because it is coming from multiple sources it can seem overwhelming.

Retirement

Laughing all the Way to Work

I haven't been posting in awhile as I have been considering retiring the blog. I will continue to write a few articles now and then, but have been spending more time on finalizing another book, giving webinars on minute taking and I would like to expand into other speaking opportunities where I feel my expertise can be used.

Proofreading

Laughing all the Way to Work

I've mentioned this before, but it is true -- proofreading is a lost art. I think people are over confident with spell check and forget that it can only do so much. Lists: I was working with someone and we were comparing a list to make sure we had all the right people with their names spelled right, correct title and address.

Remembering 9/11

Laughing all the Way to Work

It's hard to believe it was 10 years ago today that this tragedy happened. It was certainly an event that changed a lot of things in our world and I'm sure each of us can remember exactly where we were on that fateful day. I heard one of the wives speak whose husband was a pilot on the second plane that crashed into the World Trade Centre. What an inspiration she was as she and her family dealt with the loss.

Your secret is safe with me.

Laughing all the Way to Work

Whether you are an Executive Assistant or an Administrative Assistant, email management of our boss's account has become a big part of our jobs. But with that job comes responsibility and accountability. Depending on what your boss's title is we are often privy to some very confidential information.

Minute taking webinar

Laughing all the Way to Work

Join me for an effective minute-taking webinar on Thursday, July 28 at 1 p.m. EST If you are interested, you can register here. effective meeting minutes professional assistant Administrative Assistant

Silence is golden

Laughing all the Way to Work

Hi everyone, I have been offline for a bit and wanted to touch base so you know I haven't left the planet :) I am planning on adopting a teenager and am going through the stages for that. As you can imagine, it is not without its hiccups, but hopefully I will be welcoming someone into my home by early August. As a mother to a 31-year old daughter, and having gone through the teen years with her, I know there will be bumps along the way, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

Five Psychology Tips for Office Survival

Laughing all the Way to Work

This is a guest post by Allison Gamble, a content writer representing psychologydegree.net. I thought it was relevant as the workplace is often filled with office politics and misunderstandings that can make your work experience quite miserable. Although, these same scenarios have made for some good fun on shows like The Office , when you are going through a tense work situation it is certainly no laughing matter.

Guidelines for correspondence

Laughing all the Way to Work

Recently at an admin meeting I went over these guidelines with our team and wanted to share them with you. When addressing correspondence you should ensure you have the correct date, name, title and full address. It is worth the check to make sure this information is correct. I have worked in many offices and it has never failed that some very strange spellings of my boss's name has appeared on a letter. Do you think they are going to take those letters seriously?

Why I love my job?

Laughing all the Way to Work

OK so I don't love it, but I do enjoy it. I have always enjoyed the places I worked. When I interview for a job I interview the person interviewing me and try to get a feel for whether we will work well together

2008 11

Envelope please.

Laughing all the Way to Work

One of my assistant's responsibilities is logging correspondence, preparing address labels for envelopes and completing the mail out. The one complaint she has is that since she doesn't have a printer at her desk, if she only has a few labels to print (not enough for a full page of labels), then she has to get up and go to the photocopier to print each envelope. It is inconvenient to say the least.

Calendar Clarity

Laughing all the Way to Work

Sometimes I find meeting requests are not as clear as they could be. I like to see at a glance who will be at the meeting, what the purpose is and where the meeting will be held without having to open it. For instance: Subject: Patricia, Adele and Rita meeting to discuss Christmas Party Location: Large Boardroom, 5th Floor If it is a lunch meeting I enter the restaurant name, street address and whether a reservation was made.

Managing your Boss's Inbox

Laughing all the Way to Work

Nowadays our bosses are busy almost 24/7 and in order to cope they need our help managing their e-mail account. This in turn makes us very busy as well. I can hardly keep up with my own e-mails at times let alone someone else's account

UPS 9

New Minute-taking Webinar

Laughing all the Way to Work

I am giving a minute-taking webinar on June 14 and invite you to join in. Along with the more traditional minute-taking role, I will be talking about 'live' minute taking. It can seem very intimidating when all eyes are on you as you type, but there is a way to make even this less stressful. I will also talk about those times when your boss calls you into a meeting at the last minute to take notes and you weren't expecting it. There are ways you can be prepared even under these circumstances.

The Performance Appraisal: How are you Performing?

Laughing all the Way to Work

I don’t look forward to filling out my performance appraisal form, especially the self evaluation part. My mind seems to go completely blank when it comes to listing my achievements and what goals I want to accomplish. It reminds me of when I went to a doctor’s appointment while I was pregnant. As soon as the doctor asked me if I had any questions, I couldn't think of a thing to say. All the books I had read recommended that you write your questions down and bring them with you.

Who or Whom?

Laughing all the Way to Work

An easy way to remember when to use who or whom: If you can replace the word with “he” or “she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom. See some examples at this link: [link

The Art of Minute Taking

Laughing all the Way to Work

Minute taking is an art! Anyone who is good at it is to be commended. I have never had to take minutes, but I almost did many years ago. My boss came to my desk and told me he needed me to take minutes for a meeting. I was not aware of the meeting so I wasn't prepared. I started to sweat and my heart started pumping as I mumbled something about it being a long time since I had taken minutes and he had better tell me when I needed to write something down.

Magazines for the Administrative Assistant

Laughing all the Way to Work

I just got my new issue of OfficePro (the IAAP magazine for office professionals) and it was a great read on the bus the last few mornings. Some highlights are: Corporate Gift Giving, which is a good article for this time of year with some excellent information on this topic. There is an article on Organizational Churn, which is an article about going through changes in your organization.

Looking the Part

Laughing all the Way to Work

I attended an event today on minute taking. Our organization set it up for Admin Professionals' Week. Unfortunately, my first impression of the speaker was not very good because she was dressed down and looked rather frumpy. I don't believe in judging a book by its cover, but I was amazed at how easily my mind went there and how I equated how she looked to what she had to say. I was happy that my first impression had been wrong.

Telephone Message Tips.

Laughing all the Way to Work

I send telephone messages to my boss by email rather than writing it on a telephone message pad. That way it won't get lost in the pile and saves on paper. You could also open a folder in Outlook for Telephone Messages if that would be useful to refer back to. Voicemail Tips: Remember to put an Out-of-Office voicemail message on your telephone when you will not be in the office. I always identify myself and give my title.

Reading Other People's Minutes

Laughing all the Way to Work

It is important to read other people's minutes. Especially from meetings that your boss may have something to do with. It can be beneficial for a number of reasons: It will give you a broader idea of what your boss is involved in and will help you assist him or her better; It will help you understand the business better, which will help you in taking your own minutes; It can give you pointers are how to minute better by looking at how they worded a sentence or handled a discussion.

Advanced Minute Taking webinar on July 6, 2016

Laughing all the Way to Work

After a wonderful experience at the AdminPro Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 14-17, 2016, I feel invigorated and ready to go. We can learn so much from each other and learn with did. Especially at the roundtable event where participants had 25 minutes to sit at the various speaker tables and ask questions. The questions asked really helped me to focus my webinar on the areas that were most needed. The next webinar is on July 6, 2016 at 1 p.m. I hope you can join us.

The Executive Assistant

Laughing all the Way to Work

Being an Executive Assistant is more than just a title. When you get to this level it is expected you will take on leadership responsibilities. I am in an Administrative Assistant role again and am really enjoying it, but having just finished my career as an Executive Assistant, I am appreciating the work that they do, but am glad to leave it for someone else.

Minute-taking Q&A

Laughing all the Way to Work

In preparation for the AdminPro Forum on June 15-17, 2016 in Orlando, Florida, here is an article with some Question and Answers about Minute taking. For more information on AdminPro Forum 2016, please click on the website and if you are able to join us, please register at this link. I hope to see you there

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Laughing all the Way to Work

It's funny how as I have moved through my career from office to office the way I organize myself has changed. When I was at the law firm, I used tasks extensively and had a wait bin where I put things I was waiting on. I had a lot of trigger dates I needed to remember such as when to file a statement of defence after receiving a statement of claim, or putting in a reminder when the mandatory mediation kicked in.

Skeleton Staff

Laughing all the Way to Work

During the holidays it is important to have people in the office to keep things going. I like working during this time because you can get so much done that you normally don't have time to do. Here are some of the things I will be doing: Cleaning out my desk drawers - I just started this job a little over a month ago.

Working 9 to 5

Laughing all the Way to Work

Dolly Parton's Nine to Five no longer applies to me. I've become an early bird. For those who know me that will seem almost impossible, but I've done it. At least during the work week and it's proving to be very interesting. I was always a 9 to 5 person, but would typically arrive a few minutes late.