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Are You Overwhelmed by Email?

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If you are, then you are in good company.  Almost all of my clients are stressed out by their inbox.  The GOOD NEWS is that there are 9 quick and simple things you can do to get in control and get there quickly!  How would you feel if you opened your email every day and felt like it was manageable?  It would feel FABULOUS, wouldn’t it?  Well, here’s how.

  1. Archive all of your old emails and start fresh, today!
  2. You should have no more than 2 inboxes, one for business and on for personal use.
  3. Schedule specific times ON YOUR CALENDAR to deal with email.
  4. Turn off email (and other) notifications on your devices.
  5. Open your email and then do something with it.
  6. Set up foders and/or auto filters to automate your inbox.
  7. Learn how to write an effective email subject line
  8. "No Response Required"
  9. Unsubscribe

Read the complete article for full details.

Clutter is the result of delayed decisions, and your inbox is no exception!  Remember, if you are taking the time to open your inbox and look through your email, DO SOMETHING with it.  Don’t delay the decision making.  Email can be a highly productive and effective form of communication IF you use it properly as a tool and not a distraction.

The Streamlined Office has a wealth of knowledge and information to help you implement a strategy to manage your inbox and use email effectively.   We can help you learn how to use the functionality of your email system to maximize your results.  And, if your current habits are costing you in time and efficiency, we can teach you alternatives.  Are you tired of being a slave to your inbox?  Contact us at 480-221-0588 to schedule your FREE consultation!  We can help you create a system that is unique to your business and needs.  What could you do with the time you save?

Tags:  business services  office organization  productivity  technology 

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Productivity Tip: Use Alexa to Be More Productive

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Millions of Alexa Devices were sold this past holiday season with Echo and Echo Dot being the best-sellers.  Were you one of the millions?  Have you been using Alexa as a novelty or a productivity tool?  If you haven’t already, you should consider Alexa to be one of your productivity and time management partners.  Why?

Voice technology can be really handy in helping you get items added to your To-Do Lists or Calendar quickly, efficiently and without typo’s!  Say goodbye to using sticky notes and scraps of paper to create reminders.  Say goodbye for looking for your reading glasses before you can type something into your smartphone or tablet.

Take advantage of telling Alexa what you need and when you need it.  You will have neat, organized lists that are easy to read, that can be shared with others and that can be accessed on your smart device anywhere you go.  Here’s how.

  • Download the Alexa app
  • Consider linking one fo the two, third party applications available by default.  These are currently and Todoist.
  • Or you can use an IFTTT command to add tasks to Evernote, Reminders or Wunderlist.  Here's how.
  • You can also add an event to your Google calendar through Alexa

For complete details, read the full article.

Have you found a great way to integrate this voice technology into your current daily processes?  Please share in the comments section of this blog.  Looking for some help with your most recent technology purchase?  The Streamlined Office loves working with new gadgets to find ways to help you improve your efficiency and time management.  Contact us for a FREE consultation.  480-221-0588.

Tags:  b2b services  office organization  productivity  technology 

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Be SMART When Making Your Goals for 2017

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Monday, January 9, 2017

The New Year is upon us!  Are you one of the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions?  Are you one of the 8% of Americans who are successful in achieving those resolutions?  If you are, then this article might not be too helpful.  But, if you are in the remaining 24%-49% percent of people who don’t usually succeed or consistently fail to meet their goals, then read on!  Setting SMART goals might be the missing link between making goals and actually achieving them.

Where should you begin to create goals that are achievable?  Write them down using the SMART acronym!  The concept of SMART goals appears to have its origins in an article dating back to November of 1981 written by George T. Doran.  Although different people over the years have used different synonyms for each of the letters, the concept is generally the same.  SMART stands for:

Measurable (motivating)
Attainable (agreed, action-oriented, ambitious, aligned)
Relevant (realistic, resourced, reasonable, results-based)
Time-related (trackable, time-based, time-sensitive, time limited)

Did you know that you are more likely to achieve your goals if your goals are written, if there is a public commitment (you tell someone else about them) and there is accountability (you update someone about your progress)?

Write down a goal for 2017 and see if you can apply each of the 5 SMART criteria to it.  For a more detailed explanation of how to write smart goals, read the full article.

The Streamlined Office helps individuals and businesses improve their efficiency and productivity.  Regardless of what we are working on with our clients, we always start with goal setting.  If you need help setting your goals or developing a process to achieve them, contact The Streamlined Office at 480-221-0588.

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Tags:  business development  consulting  office organization  productivity  professional development  small business  time management 

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Be More Productive Using The Sleep Cycle App

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Are you one feeling exhausted and sleep deprived this holiday season?  Are you trying to get more done than might be humanly possible?

The Streamlined Office has written a number of blogs about productivity.  Mostly, these articles have pertained to goal setting, prioritizing, the importance of processes etc.  Until now, I had yet to write anything about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle so that you can function at a high level throughout your day.  Good nutrition, regular exercise and sleep are key to feeling your best. When you feel your best, you are likely to get more accomplished!  The Sleep Cycle App can help, particularly if you often wake up feeling groggy and disoriented.

Understanding your sleep cycles is key to understanding why this app can be so useful.  In a nutshell, this app wakes you up at a point when you have entered a lighter stage of sleep.  This allows you to be easily awakened without feeling groggy and disoriented.

Click here for the full article and information about how to download this app to your IOS or Android phone.

Not only does this app help you awaken more easily, but it also keeps track of your sleep cycles.  This is useful to help determine patterns that might be interfering with your sleep.  Of course, no app will help if you are depriving yourself of the minimum recommended amount of sleep.  According to the National Sleep Foundation this is 7-9 hours for adults under 65 years of age.  If you can’t imagine how you could possibly make that much time in your day for sleep, contact The Streamlined Office.  We can help you develop a time management strategy that will leave you feeling refreshed and productive!  480-221-0588

Tags:  office organization  productivity  small business  technology  time management 

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Poor Ergonomics Could Be Affecting Your Productivity

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ergonomics and Productivity – Is Spending Too Much Time at Your Desk Costing You?

Are you spending too much time at your desk?  Is your body paying for it in the form of eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, or neck and back pain?  Are you or your employees experiencing decreased productivity as a result? 

There are a number of simple things that you can do.

First, limit the time you spend in one position.  

Second, take advantage of scheduled lunch breaks and meetings

Third, think about ergonomics. Ergonomics is defined as the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. By making some simple adjustments to your workstation you may be able to dramatically improve your positioning which will reduce stress and strain.  How much more productive would you be if you were positioned efficiently and not distracted by physical discomfort?

Read the full article for detailed information about how to adjust your office desk, chair, keyboard, mouse and monitor to maximize your comfort.

The Streamlined Office can provide onsite ergonomic assessments and recommendations.  Contact us today for a FREE consultation.  480-221-0588

Tags:  productivity  small busines  time management 

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Passwords-Are You Set Up For Security or a Security Breach?

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Did you know that $16 billion was stolen from 12.7 million US consumers in 2015?  There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and your digital information.

  • Use different passwords for your most important accounts
  • Passwords should have at least 12-16 characters including a combination of at least 1 number, one uppercase letter, one lower case letter and one special symbol
  • Avoid using words that are familiar to you such as the names of your family members
  • Do not use any combinations of numbers which can otherwise identify you such as your birthday, zip code, phone number and certainly NEVER your social security number
  • NEVER click the button that says “Remember Password”. This stores the password in your web browser
  • Do not log in to financial or other important accounts unless you are on your own computer or connected to a private internet connection. Do not use public Wi-Fi hotspots or the like to access these types of accounts.
  • Change your password every 90 days
  • Protect your computer and other devices.  See my blog “How to Protect Your Digital Information”

For the full article which includes information and reviews of Password Management software, click here.  For a free consultation of all your office organizing needs call 480-221-0588.  

Tags:  business services  entrepreneurs  office organization  productivity  technology 

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Productivity Tip: Scheduling Gmail to be Sent at a Later Date and Time

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Saturday, October 29, 2016

Are you a Gmail user who would like to be able to schedule emails to be sent at a later date and time? If so, this month's Productivity Tip on how to install and use Gmail Scheduler is for you! It's easy to set up and it's FREE with your existing Gmail account.  For easy to follow instructions, click here.

Tags:  be more productive  office organization  productivity  small business  technology 

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Is Your Email Inbox a Source of Revenue or Is It Costing You Time and Money?

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Statistics reveal that high skill workers spend 28% or 11.2 hours of their work week managing email. And, over 50% of workers check their inbox more than 11 times day.  Combine that with the 23 minutes that it takes to get back on task after being interrupted and you quickly realize that this is hardly productive and efficient!  Would you like some tips on how to use your email more efficiently? Read on........

Get control of what enters your inbox. 

How many of the emails in your inbox are solicitations, SPAM, newsletters or other correspondence that do not directly affect or relate to your business bottom line?  Eliminate email that is not relevant to your business.  Here's how.

Use appropriate subject lines and encourage others to do the same.

Subject lines are extremely important and non-negotiable in the business world.  The subject line is or should be the first thing you read to help you determine how you are going to handle the email.  A good subject line will give you enough information to decide if the email is important, urgent or neither.

Many business professionals have folders and filters set up to manage their email.  Do you?

Regardless of what email system you favor, you should be maximizing the functionality afforded by that system to keep your inbox organized.  If you are missing orders, losing track of email correspondence or not responding in a timely manner then you will benefit from an improved process to manage your inbox.

Create calendar appointments and new contacts directly from your email.

Take advantage of the functionality available in your email system to add new contact information directly to your contact list.  Using a CRM system?  Most CRM systems will have an Add-On or Plug-In that will connect your CRM to your email system.

“Touch” your incoming email only once.

Clutter is the result of delayed decisions, and your inbox is no exception!  Open your email and take action!  Don’t take the time to read it and then leave it there thinking “I’ll come back to that later and decide what to do with it.

Email is here to stay!

Email can be a highly productive and effective form of communication, IF you use it properly as a tool and not a distraction.


Tags:  be more productive  Business  business services  efficiency  email systems  office organization  processes  productivity  professional development  systems  technology 

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Business Card Scanning Apps – Have Contact Information at Your Fingertips

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Monday, July 4, 2016

In March of 2016, I posted a blog entitled Business Cards – Are You Storing Them or Using Them?  I posed this question and wrote the blog because all too frequently I find that my clients are spending valuable time networking, building referral partners, and interacting with potential clients.  An exchange of business cards is often made and then that valuable contact information remains on the card and is often filed away in a drawer or placed in a business card binder (yes, those still exist).  If this describes you, then check out my review of the most popular business card scanning apps and how they can streamline the process of getting business card information directly into your digital contact list!


Tags:  b2b  be more productive  business knowledge  Business Learning  education  efficiency  office organization  productivity  small business  technology  technology support  workflow 

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How “Defense” wins in sports, and in “Sales”

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sports highlight shows usually feature long touchdowns in football, home runs in baseball, and game winning last second shots in basketball. They are exciting to watch; however, if you put a great defense up against a great offense – statistics show the defense will win more often. This topic was covered in an ESPN Blog dated January 25, 2016. The author, Sharon Katz shared the following facts:

  • 2015 – Chicago Blackhawks win the NHL’s Stanley Cup. They had the best defense of the year in their conference, and faced one of the best offenses in the finals.

  • 2015 – Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship. While they had a high flying offense, their defense also led the league.

  • 2015 – The U.S. Women’s Soccer team wins the World Cup.  They came within 1 minute of setting a World Cup record of keeping their opponents scoreless.

  • 2015 – Kansas City Royals win Baseball’s World Series. Over the course of the season, they had one of the highest ranked defenses in their league.

  • 2016 – Alabama wins College Football’s National Championship. Over the course of the season they put up some of the best defense statistics seen in the last 10 years.

The winner of the NFL’s Super Bowl 50 was the Denver Broncos. They had one of the best defenses in the league throughout the season. The game was billed as a match-up of 2 great Quarterbacks, but it was Denver’s defense that won the game.

So how does this translate into Sales?

There was an old statistic that stated that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an existing customer. That statistic has risen significantly in the last several years. Churning customers is expensive and not effective, yet it happens way too often.

To address the issue of “new” versus “existing,” some companies have their sales resources split into two specific areas of focus – Acquisition and Retention. Acquisition is commonly referred to as Business Development, while Retention is commonly referred to as Account Management. The compensation plans of each of these titles should directly tie to the desired outcome. Acquisition sales people should be paid for new business (i.e. offense) and Retention sales people should be paid for keeping and growing existing business (i.e. defense). If you have multiple sales people on your team, and in the same area/territory – I highly recommend this model.

Other companies use the same sales person to do both acquisition and retention. If you are using this model, I recommend your sales person spends 80% of their time with retention activities, and 20% of their time with acquisition activities. This split will help you achieve the best performance.

With retention, a sales person works on keeping the customer happy, up-selling to increase revenue, cross-selling into other revenue streams, and extending agreements to protect future revenue.

When looking at your existing customer base, consider the ideas below to increase your retention revenue:

  • What other departments or locations do your customers have that you can extend into, and leverage your relationship from your primary customer?

  • What other products or services do you have that you can introduce your customer to, and offer them more of a total solution?

  • What contracts are in place, and when do they expire? Always stay way ahead of the expiration date, and focus on delivering excellent customer service (not just basic customer satisfaction).

Overall, customers are not as loyal to their current vendors as they once were. Many customers are looking for what they perceive as a better deal, or the new bright and shiny object. However, part of the blame for this resides with how we sell, and the care that we give our existing customers. We need to reward our current customers for staying with us, and make sure that we are addressing as many of their needs/issues as possible.

So retention is very much like the defenses of the sports world – they protect the existing revenue, and they get to “score” additional revenue.

Tags:  productivity  sales  small business 

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