IT Management Slideshow: 9 Telltale Signs of Smartphone Addiction

View this great  online slideshow of 9 signs that you might be addicted to your Smartphone, composed by Dennis McCafferty of CIO Insight.

  • Texting while drving a two ton killing machine?
  • Withdrawel symptoms?
  • Having to have it “always on?”

Have we missed any?

Email Etiquette – 10 Tips by Sean Gray

Here are 10 great email etiquette tips by Sean Gray:
E-mail is a fast and effective tool for communication in business. There is a certain expectation of etiquette that is required to maintain professional communication. While e-mail is often used as an informal tool, it is essential that in the workplace it is used with professional etiquette.
The following 10 tips can help you and your employees maintain professional and positive relationships with clients, fellow employees, supervisors, and potential customers.
illustration clip art of email delivery postal worker mailman holding envelope or message1. Write in complete sentences and check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
2. Do not write in all caps.
3. Get to the point. Do not write long, laborious e-mails.
4. Be careful when choosing, “Reply All”. Make sure your reply is indeed intended for “all”.
5. Reply to e-mails in a timely manner. In this day and age of technology, it is understood that all e-mails are usually received within minutes of sending. It should not take a weekor more to reply.
6. Do not use emoticons in business replies. Emoticons are informal and not appropriate in business communications.
7. Do not use e-mail to relay confidential information.
8. Do not forward e-mails that are libelous, defamatory, racist or sexist. This could land your business or company at the other end of a lawsuit.
9. Choose a meaningful subject for easy review.
10. Use BCC when sending out large mailings. You do not want to indicate that the message is being sent to a large group of recipients nor do you want to publish other recipients’ e-mail addresses without permission.
Sean runs an online automotive business, and enjoys blogging during his free time. Currently he works for http://www.cashfortrucks.com, a company that pays  fast cash for autos.

Friday e-lift: Costello Buys a Computer from Abbott

Costello Buys a Computer from Abbott

Written by Tom King (c) 2004, 2009 Flint, TX http://twayneking.blogspot.com

ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don’t know. What will I see when I look in the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: What if I don’t like wallpaper?

ABBOTT: Just change it.

COSTELLO: Isn’t that expensive?

ABBOTT: No, it’s free with Windows.

COSTELLO: I have to buy the Windows to get the wallpaper.

ABBOTT: It’s free if you buy the computer.

COSTELLO: They give you windows for your office if you buy a computer.

ABBOTT: Certainly!

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: For my office?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, lets just say I’m sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOTT: Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue “W”.

COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue “w” if you don’t start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?

ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real.

COSTELLO: Sure I may want to watch a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!

ABBOTT: Real.

COSTELLO: Well, I don’t want a fake one!

ABBOTT: Of course.

COSTELLO: So what do I get?

ABBOTT: Real Player.

COSTELLO: Yes, I want a Real Player.

ABBOTT: And you’ll have one

COSTELLO: A Real Player?

ABBOTT: Certainly.

COSTELLO: OK, I’m at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?

ABBOTT: You click the blue “r”.

COSTELLO: I click the blue what?

ABBOTT: The blue “r”.

COSTELLO: The blue “r” what?

ABBOTT: Just the blue “r”

COSTELLO: The blue “r” what?

ABBOTT: The blue “r” nothing.

COSTELLO: If the blue “r” nothing, how do I watch the movie?

ABBOTT: You click the blue “r”

COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?

ABBOTT: The blue “r” is the Real Player and the blue “W” is Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: But there’s three words in “office for windows”!

ABBOTT: No, just one. But it’s the most popular Word in the world.

COSTELLO: What is?

ABBOTT: Word.

COSTELLO: Word?

ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren’t many other Words left. Word pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.

COSTELLO: Word?

ABBOTT: Woooord, dude!

COSTELLO: I don’t know what you’re talking about! What about bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer

COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

 

A FEW DAYS LATER . . .

 

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on “START”..

COSTELLO: Now don’t you start that again….

ABBOTT: But I thought you wanted to “STOP”

COSTELLO: That’s right. This thing has been on for 3 days and I can’t find the “STOP” button.

ABBOTT: Click on “START”

COSTELLO: I don’t wanna start!

ABBOTT: But you have to click on “START”.

COSTELLO: Why do I have to click on “START”?

ABBOTT: So you can stop…..

COSTELLO: So I have to click on “START” to “STOP”

ABBOTT: That’s so you can log off.

COSTELLO: I click “START” and then I log off.

ABBOTT: That’s right, you log off.

COSTELLO: I log off

ABBOTT: That’s right, now go ahead and log off.

COSTELLO; What if I don’t have a log. I DON’T EVEN HAVE A FIREPLACE!!!!!

ABBOTT: No, you don’t need a log. You just want to get the computer out of Windows

COSTELLO: Which ones?

ABBOTT: Which what?

COSTELLO: Which Windows?

ABBOTT: The only Windows you’ve got.

COSTELLO: So it doesn’t matter which Windows?

ABBOTT: You just want to get out of Windows.

 

(sound of wood and metal scraping followed by breaking glass)

 

ABBOTT: Lou, what was that?

COSTELLO: Oh, I threw the computer out the front windows! You said it didn’t matter and the front windows were closer than the back ones….

 

Thanks again to Tom King, his website is http://twayneking.blogspot.com

Mobile Emailing Tips – A Guest Post by Adam Bruk

When out of the office, it can be easy to fall behind on emails and let your inbox fill up.

Thankfully, we have the ability to send emails from our phone so we don’t fall behind and leave someone waiting on our reply. Unfortunately, many people forget their emailing etiquette when they send an email from their phones.

Here are three pitfalls that you need to be careful to avoid when sending mobile emails:

 1. It’s an email, not a text: I have received several emails that look like text messages, such as this one I received last week “Great, c u at the show Mon!” Don’t forget that you are not texting someone, but are sending an email. Would you send an email like this to your boss? Remember that email etiquette applies to emails sent from your phone and laptop!

 2. Marking as unread: When you need to send an email that requires further information you can’t do from your phone, mark it as unread! You don’t want to forget and lose it in the sea of read emails.

3. Managing multiple accounts: Make sure that your phone is sending from your work email instead of a different account. Failing to do so can result in your email ending up in a spam folder or being deleted if it comes from an unrecognized email address. Also, make sure your signature includes “Sent from my mobile device” so co-workers know you are not at your desk.

Bio: Adam Bruk knows how difficult it is to not fall behind on emails at work for an online sunglasses company. When he isn’t busy emailing from his phone, he enjoys golfing and traveling.

4 Ways to Deal with a Rude Email – Guest Post by Neltje Maynez

design mascotIt has happened to everyone, they get an email that just sets them off. This happened to me last week. I was getting ready to leave for the day, and Ijust so happened to check my email, and I found a scathing email from one of my co-workers. I was so mad, it said some things in there that shouldn’t be said in an email. At first, I wanted to respond right away with my thoughts. Then, I decided that it wasn’t such a good idea. If this has ever happened to you, here are 5 tips to dealing with an extremely scathing email.

1) Don’t respond right away
The first thing that you will want to do when you get a mean email is reply with a few choice words of your own. Don’t do it. Again, don’t do it! You won’t believe how many conflicts you can avoid if you wait before hitting reply. Allow yourself to calm down and figure out why the person sent the email. Count to three, take a bathroom break, just don’t reply to the email just yet.

2) Be Polite 
After you have cooled down a bit, and you are ready to reply to the email, think about what you are going to say. Start off the email being polite, don’t let the person sending the email get the best of you. If you can show that it doesn’t affect you, they won’t bother you. Sometimes, the sender won’t even mean to have a harsh tone, and if you start the email off nicely, they will think that the email they sent was silly.

3) Offer a solution
Even if you are mad, offer a solution. Offer to fix the problem, or better yet, offer to talk to the person face to face. If you do this, you will be able to solve problems a lot faster.illustration clip art of asian/oriental messenger boy/man in ancient attire holding scroll

4) Stand your ground
Just because someone is mad at your for something, doesn’t mean that you should back off because they sent you a rude email. If you are in the wrong―and you know it―apologize. If you don’t think that you are, don’t let people walk all over you. If it gets too complicated, offer to talk in person. You might think that someone was trying to be rude, when in reality, they meant something completely different.

Emails are sometimes hard to address. Because emails are written, it is a lot easier to write something mean rather than facing someone else. If you get an email where you feel attacked, follow these four steps. You will feel a lot better about dealing with the situation. If you follow these steps, you will also not do something (or write) something

About the Author

Neltje Maynez is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them, helps them understand which online masters degree programs are right for them and which online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.

Email Statistics: Did You Know…?

Here are some facts about email posted by TheEmailAdmin that you’ll find mind boggling: I selected a few of the bogglers here, or you can read the entire post here.

  • There was an estimated 294 billion emails sent every day in 2010 totaling over 90 trillion emails sent every year, or 2.8 million emails sent every second.
  • The average number of emails sent by a typical business user each day is 43. That same user receives an average of 130 emails each day.
  • Of those 294 billion email messages sent every day it is estimated that 90% of them are spam or malicious.
  • The average corporate employee spends 25 percent of their work day on email related tasks. This is compared to 14 percent spent on face to face meetings and 9 percent spent on the phone.
  • The amount of spam is increasing at a rate of 20 to 25 percent every year.
  • 74% of all adults online state that email is the preferred method of communication.
    The average user spends about 1 hour and 47 minutes using email.
  • One third of all people aged 18 to 34 check their email when they first wake up.
  • 62 percent of people admit that they regularly check work email over the weekend and 50 percent admit to checking work email while on vacation. 78 percent of this is done using mobile devices.
  • Do you check your email over the weekend? How’s that workin’ for ya?

 

3 Tips to Using Social Networking to Market Your Business Ethically: Guest Post by Richard Decosta

Social networking is a popular tool that many Internet users to connect with friends, family members, and peers. An explosion in overall usage in recent years has led many companies to begin marketing their products and services on these networks, in the hopes of reaching a wider audience.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with reaching out to potential buyers and existing customers in this manner, it is important that you learn how to effectively target individuals, without invading their privacy or spamming them with unwanted information. Avoid the following pitfalls when launching your social networking marketing plan, and you’ll be able to establish your company’s web presence ethically.

1. Don’t Use Your Social Networking Profile Solely For Promotions

Picking up new followers on social networks can be a real challenge, but once you’ve managed to amass a substantial group of friends, don’t drive them away by clogging their profiles with promotional content. One of the reasons social networking is such a powerful tool is that it gives your customers an easy way to connect with you on an individual basis. Instead of spamming social network users with advertisements and information about upcoming sales, focus on crafting quality content that your followers will enjoy reading.

In one recent study from the Custom Content Council, 61% of individuals surveyed indicated that they were more likely to purchase goods and services from companies that create their own online content. Your social networking profiles are a great avenue for sharing such content, which you can either create on your own, or contract out to other individuals. Not only could sharing such content help to increase the likelihood that those you’ve connected with will purchase from your company, but it will help you to develop a stronger brand image and reputation.

2. Stay Away from Mudslinging

Some business owners use Facebook and similar networks as a means to demean their competitors. While there is no problem in promoting your company by pointing out things you offer more effectively that competitors, when you turn to belittling and criticizing another business, it reflects poorly on the character of your staff and the company as a whole. You can avoid this by simply refraining from talking about competitors, and working to direct comments from your followers back towards your product, should someone mention something negative about your competitors.

3. Stay Honest

One of the worst mistakes a business owner can make is to use their social network profile to spread lies. Whether those lies are about the products and serviced offered, other companies, or customers themselves, sharing information that is untruthful is a major ethics breach. Keep testimonials truthful, don’t puff up your company’s image with false statements, and refrain from making broad, sweeping comments on the products you have to offer. Not only could this prove to be damaging to your company in the long run, but it also wreaks of unprofessionalism, which could potentially drive customers away.

This article is written by Richard K. Decosta who likes business ethics discipline, antivirus software,  French movies, pc antivirus, networking and sightseeing.

 

 

Add-ons that Increase Your Outlook Email Management – PC World Article

PC World has  consolidated and summarized a number of add-ons that can help Outlook users be even more productive with managing and processing their e-mail.

Featured in this article are Xobni, Mailwasher Free, Twinbox and many more… Have a look, choose what works for you, and pass on! Here’s the link.

How to organize your Gmail account with a simple 3 Star System: Guest post by Duncan Murtagh

I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you, but your system of marking emails Unread is just not working. How many Unread emails have you got now? Is it more than 10? More than 50? Or even – more than 500?! Well, I think you need some tough love – either you get control of your inbox soon or you’ll end up having to declare email bankruptcy.

So how can you get back in control of your Gmail account? Just follow this simple 3 Star System in Gmail:

Gmail red star Red Star: Response definitely required, ideally in the next 1-2 days. Examples: Confirming attendance at an event, replying about a job application.

Gmail Blue star Blue Star: Response not necessarily required and the reply can be sent any time in the next 10 days. Examples – chatting with friends, replying to a tech support response.

 Orange Arrows Star: I associate the arrows with the play/fast forward button on a VCR and thus usually mark forwarded YouTube videos, photos of a friend’s kids etc. with this Star. Replying is optional to these emails as they are often mailed to both you and a bunch of others.

Finally, here’s how to set it up:

1. Go to your Mail settings

2. Make the Red, Blue and Orange Arrows stars ‘In use’:

Gmail stars settings

3. Now all you need to do is stick to the system and email bliss beckons

Gmail 3 star system in action

About the Author

Duncan Murtagh is co-founder of www.GetVetter.com, an online employee suggestion box that helps managers get more ideas from employees. You can follow Duncan & Vetter on Twitter at @getvetter

Email Management – Gain An Hour Per Day With Email Savings Time!

The end of Daylight Savings Time is now and you know what that means: We’re losing an hour of daylight! (Argghh…)

Okay, okay, we don’t really “lose” an hour… but with the clocks being shifted back an hour it certainly feels like it. So, in response to the end of Daylight Savings Time, I’d like to propose that we begin Email Savings Time! This means that starting on November 6th, everyone reclaims an hour per day from their inbox by managing their email more effectively and efficiently.

I know at this point some people will say to themselves, “But Marsha, I don’t even spend that much time in my inbox. How can I even reclaim an hour per day from working on email?”

My answer is that most people don’t even realize how much time they spend on email. Here are the facts:

  • On a daily basis, knowledge workers (basically anyone who works on a computer) handle an average of about 110 emails.
  • They spend roughly 25 percent of their time working on emails and visit their inboxes 50 times per day.
  • Over the course of a year, this adds up to 500 hours and 12,500 inbox visits per worker!

So with this in mind, let’s not lose an hour each day when Daylight Saving Time ends… let’s take back an hour (or more) with Email Savings Time. Here’s how to do it. 

1) Check Your Inbox Five Times Daily (Or Less)

Shut down the entire inbox and open it a maximum of five specific times each day. In even the most demanding work offices, five inbox checks a day will allow you to open your inbox nearly every 90 minutes during an eight hour day. If someone needs something in sooner than 90 minutes, they should call.

2) Simplify Your Messages 

First, make sure your writing is as clear and as concise as possible. Put the main points of your email in the first sentences and avoid abbreviations. Reduce back and forth emails by using “If/Then” statements and list a number of different options for your reader to choose from.

Second, pick up the phone more! Email is not a substitute for conversation. It’s a tool to share data. Before you click send, ask yourself if it will require more than two emails from you. If the answer is yes, pick up the phone and make the call.

3) Clean Out Your Inbox

The average worker gets about 110 emails a day. That means if you check your inbox five specific times a day you will have around 22 messages to “empty” each time. Emptying means that you delete each email or sort it into a folder where it can be easily retrieved later. “Empty” does not mean “work.” It means SORT! Using this method you will be able to triage and streamline your email tasks, saving you time and sanity!

By using these three tips, any knowledge worker can reclaim at least an hour per day and boost his or her productivity. And while your co-workers may have to stay late to finish up a project, you’ll be taking off from the office early, enjoying the daylight, and reaping the benefits of Email Savings Time!

Thoughts?