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#SynTechAZ Exclusive Interview with Phoenix Business RadioX

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, ASBA, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

 

ASBA hosted their first SynTech conference last month where business owners connected with experts in the technology industry on everything "tech" they needed to run their business. With exhibitors like Infusionsoft, Cox Business, Technology Solutions, Kaminario, BlueInk, Terra Verde, and more - #SynTechAZ was a HIT!

Phoenix Business RadioX joined us as our Media Sponsor to broadcast live and feature some of the exhibitors in exclusive interviews. Ashley Vizzerra, Member Services Manager, and Ryan Reyes, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives at ASBA linked back up with Karen Nowicki,Owner/President at Phoenix Business RadioX to give a re-cap of the event!

If you missed out on all the excitement of #SynTechAZ, you can listen to the re-cap and exclusive interviews here

 

Thank You Phoenix Business RadioX!

 

Want to find out what ASBA's doing next? Look out for our emails with all that's upcoming! You can subscribe here. 

 

Tags:  business  events  radio  small business  SynTech  technology 

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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 Any.do 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 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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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

Synopsis:

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.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:  http://thestreamlinedoffice.com/is-your-email-inbox-a-source-of-revenue-or-is-it-costing-you-time-and-money/

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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Create a Digital File System in 5 Steps

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Friday, April 8, 2016

digital file systemIt used to be that creating a filing system meant color coding your file folders, and then organizing them alphabetically or chronologically.  In some instances, this may still be reasonable. However, today’s small businesses and home offices are now a lot more dependent on technology.  Most record-keeping is now electronic, so you may need to consider both the system that resides on your computer in addition to the one that resides in your filing cabinets (or in those piles on your desktop or on the floor).

There are a lot of different ways to organize your files; the key is to create a file structure that allows you to find important information quickly and easily. Depending upon your business needs, these files may be paper or digital and they may reside in a filing cabinet, on your computer, on a network or in the cloud. What works best for you and what industry standards do you need to apply? 

The first step is knowing and documenting what you need to keep and why. 

This means that you need to create record retention guidelines if they do not already exist.  Typically, information needs to be kept for legal and accounting purposes.  The specifics will vary depending upon your particular circumstances.  Your CPA or legal counsel are both excellent sources to help you begin establishing these guidelines.  The Streamlined Office offers an example of a Record Retention Schedule that includes IRS reference information. 

The second step is to create a digital file structure. 

Once you are very clear on what type of information or documents need to be retained and for how long, you can begin this process.  Again, there is no one right way to create your file infrastructure.  Create clear, simple and logical folders based on categories appropriate to your business and any industry specific standards that must be followed.

A good starting point is to divide your information into categories based on department/subject, project or client matter.  For instance, every office typically requires a folder hierarchy for areas such as Accounting, Finance, Legal, Business Documents, Insurance, Medical etc.  Occasionally, organizing by geographic regions is applicable. 

In conjunction with creating the folder structure, folder and file naming conventions should be established, documented and distributed to everyone who will be using the system.  Ignore infinite articles in a business name (a, the), consider using an abbreviated letter sequence if this is how the business is most readily identified (CBS versus Central Broadcasting System), consider organizing client folders by placing the surname (last name) first, and avoid the use of titles (Dr. Mr.).

When it comes to file naming, you are not bound to the limited space once demanded by paper file folder tabs.  Be as descriptive as possible to allow for ease in future location and searching.  Use lowercase only, except perhaps with proper names.  Avoid the use of symbols, punctuation marks, file separators and white space in file names.  If you have multiple revisions of a file, consider using major and minor revision strategies or add the date to the file name.  Just remember to avoid using special characters such as “/” in dates.

The third step is to move your existing files into the folder structure that you have just created. 

Rename any files that do not adhere to your documented folder and file naming conventions. Scan your existing paper files into your new digital folder structure.

The fourth step is system maintenance. 

Weed and transfer old files into the new structure.  Ensure naming conventions are being adhered to.  Document any changes to the structure or naming conventions that were created in step two.  Check for duplication and make sure unnecessary and out of date folders and documents are weeded out of your new system on a regular basis and according to your record retention guidelines.

The fifth step is to be sure you have appropriate security and backup systems in place. 

data securityThis may include setting permissions and access to the information, ensuring the presence of a Firewall, Malware (anti-virus) protection, and completing routine software updates. Where and how to back up information will be determined by the frequency of data change, your retention guidelines, and industry standards to name and few. 

For many small business owners, determining where to start with digital organization might be overwhelming and confusing. Hopefully, the information provided here will have you well on your way to doing it yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable that you can create an efficient filing system that you can maintain, contact The Streamlined Office for assistance!

Tags:  business services  digital filing  office organization  process solutions  technology  workflow 

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SBA lauches Cyber Security Portal

Posted By Matt Maggiora, TeamLogicIT, Friday, December 4, 2015

  

480-436-7747 OR EMAIL: mmaggiora@teamlogicit.com

WE ARE YOUR TRUSTED SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY ADVISOR

To mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month, last month the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a Cybersecurity portal at sba.gov/cybersecurity.

“America’s 28 million small businesses, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., are especially at risk,” SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said, announcing the new resource. “Small employers are quickly becoming a larger target for criminals looking to access sensitive data because small businesses typically have limited resources for information systems security.”

On the new page, SBA shares its “Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips for SMBs,” a set of “Top Tools and Resources for Small Business Owners” and information about other issues, such as the shift to EMV chip cards we have been covering the last few months, too. (See (EMV October 1 Deadline Comes and Goes; U.S. Merchants Yawn and Shrug.”)

SBA also encourages SMB leaders to take four steps “If Your Business Has Been the Victim of a Cyberattack”:

  1. Inform local law enforcement or the state attorney general as appropriate.
  2. Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrimes to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  3. Report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  4. And Report computer or network vulnerabilities to US-CERT via the hotline, 1-888-282-08701-888-282-0870 FREE, or the US-CERT website.

Sharing information about cybercrimes with these agencies and authorities can increase the ability of government and law enforcement organizations to help you combat and recover from cyberattacks.

In addition, the new SBA site pleads the case for greater awareness among small business owners of risks to their cybersecurity. And the agency encourages small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) to have a greater appreciation for the value of their virtual assets. Here’s an excerpt:

Small employers often don’t consider themselves targets for cyberattacks due to their size or the perception that they don’t have anything worth stealing. However, small businesses have valuable information cybercriminals seek, including employee and customer data, bank account information and access to the business’s finances, and intellectual property. Small employers also provide access to larger networks such as supply chains.

While some small employers already have robust cybersecurity practices in place, many small firms lack sufficient resources or personnel to dedicate to cybersecurity. Given their role in the nation’s supply chain and economy, combined with fewer resources than their larger counterparts to secure their information, systems, and networks, small employers are an attractive target for cybercriminals.

Tags:  Technology 

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