by Tony Rushin
Last month I attended the 31st annual ABA TECHSHOW (#ABATECHSHOW) in Chicago. Although it was hosted by the American Bar Association, many of the sessions shared ideas and technologies that are applicable to any industry. There were so many good ideas shared that my list of “to do’s” far exceeds my ability to implement them. I’m on good idea overload.
Being on good idea overload isn’t necessarily a bad place to be – especially for someone like me who needs to write a tip every month or so. However, if having an overflowing list of good ideas causes you undue stress, I suggest that you stop reading right now and reference Erin’s Managing Stress tip from last summer.
If you’re still reading, that means you’re ready for the firehose! First, some sage advice from Debbie Foster, the incoming Chair for TECHSHOW 2018: “You don’t need more technology: use what you have – especially Word and Outlook – better.” All these great tips should help you do just that.
Disclaimer: I have not looked into most of these ideas: they are simply on my “to do” list. With that said, the following is a list of ideas with a brief description – any further action will be up to you.
Use Google Alerts: at a minimum, set an alert for yourself and for your company / firm.
Take an online course: check out Lynda.com to learn a new skill (there are over 900 business skills tutorials alone).
Learn to vote: use the voting function in Outlook to create a poll for your team or group.
Get Lean: apply Lean principles to get rid of waste and improve your productivity. Here’s a useful book: A Factory of One by Daniel Markovitz.
Use 2-factor Authentication: it’s easy to set up on most websites now and provides a tremendous increase in security. Set it up on your banking website today!
Set up a dashboard: make the use of “big data” a reality for you / your company. Here’s a company that was referenced: grow.com.
Use the Office clipboard: you can save up to 24 items in this cut & paste library.
iPhone Print to PDF: supposedly it’s hard to learn at first and then really easy once you get used to 3D touch (using iOS 10).
Text to Speech: set this up on Word.
Use tables in Excel: so the filters and headings are set up automatically how you like them.
Try a simple relational database: need more power than Excel can provide? Try Airtable.
Use shorthand: try Textexpander to record shorthand text that expands across email, documents or text and across all devices.
Google Express & Costco: look into this free delivery service for Costco purchases.
Hire an advocate: get bad service? These guys – Service – will fight for you and then split any reward that you get.
I’ve already done some of these (2-factor authentication and the Office clipboard) yet most of them are still on my “to do” list. If you have any experience with these tips – good, bad or indifferent – I’d love to hear from you.