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November 2003 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

We’ve had a fun month, with a lot of repeat business and some very new clients: helping a few lawyers and accountants open new offices with optimal efficiency in mind. In the next few weeks we’ll be doing a lot of preparatory work for presentations and training seminars. We hope you’ll come visit us at one of our public sessions:

November 15, 2003 – At the Maryland State Bar Association’s (MSBA) 5th Annual Solo and Small Practitioners Fair, Jared Goralnick will present “I Didn’t Know my Computer Could Do That.” This seminar will offer tips for Google, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Outlook. The event is at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel and our presentation is from 1:15-2:15 with John Anderson of the MSBA. More information and registration: http://www.msba.org/events/soloconf03/schedule.htm.

November 19, 2003 – At the Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce (BWCCC), Jared Goralnick will present “Before You Buy a Computer.” Whether or not you’re considering an upgrade, you’ll learn some useful information about the different specifications of a computer, the different versions of Windows, Microsoft Office 2003 (new!), why some computers cost much more than others, warranties to consider, and when a laptop/tablet may be appropriate. Lunch will be provided and questions are always welcome. The event is at 312 Marshall Ave, Suite 104, Laurel, MD. 11:30 – 1. The cost is $20 for non-BWCCC members and you can register online at http://events.baltwashchamber.org/events.asp#49.

Tip of the Month

Microsoft Outlook’s Power Shortcuts

This is an easy one, folks; very few use these and everyone could gain from them. They work anywhere in Outlook, except when composing new messages using Word as an editor:

Ctrl+Shift+M – Create new eMail message
Ctrl+Shift+N – Create new Note
Ctrl+Shift+K – Create new tasK
Ctrl+Shift+J – Create new Journal entry
Ctrl+Shift+C – Create new Contact
Ctrl+Shift+A – Create new Appointment in the calendar

This next shortcut will save and close any Outlook item (except notes). Note that it will also mail messages (not just save them). Try to get in the habit of pressing this whenever you’re done with any item in Outlook:

Alt+S: Save/Send and close Outlook item

This next one only works from the main Outlook screen but it’s very helpful:

F11 – Brings cursor to the Find a Contact box, where you can search for a contact by first name and/or last name, or company

Tool of the Month

Quality Headsets

While we have made some technology purchases this month, none has been as helpful as investing in a high quality Plantronics amplifier and headset for my office phone. For those of you who still tie up a hand when on the phone I strongly encourage you to try a professional headset. Taking notes, waiting on hold, scheduling appointments, and actually hearing more clearly are all immediate byproducts of a quality phone headset. I use a Plantronics M12 amplifier and stereo headphone with voice tube, but there are many different models available, depending on what you’re comfortable with. An amplifier/headset will work with most corded office phones.

On this topic I should also mention another device I’ve been happy with for almost a year now: UnWired Technology’s UC-500 Handsfree powered speaker/mic. This conversation piece is just that: a great way to talk on the phone in the car. It’s clear for both parties and uses batteries rather than your cigarette lighter. It also makes a great gift for clients! Consider buying an extension cord so you can set up the cord to extend from the dash rather than your chair.

http://www.unwiredtechnology.com/cgi-local/shop.pl/page=cell.html

(try searching online for uc-500 to find a better price (amazon.com, for instance))

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