MS Outlook for Personal Efficiency and Team Productivity:”Do It Now”

Business Computing Skills Logo In the fifth of a series of five articles, Jacqui Hinchliffe of Business Computing Skills discusses how to manage your emails. Previously Jacqui introduced the four D rule for managing email.
This final article discusses rule number 4: Do It Now

1. Delete 2. Diarise 3. Delegate 4. Do It Now

Productivity is determined by how effectively you process the inbound flow of work. Your email account is often the hub of your workflow so it makes sense to start looking here for efficiency. You need a system that enables you to get the most amount of work done while minimising the amount of time spent on unproductive tasks.

The Four D Rule is a great way to start systemising your email management. We’ve introduced a few of the practical steps you can take to get this system working for you.  Our articles have focused on the use of MS Outlook, but the techniques can easily be adapted for almost any email client or web-based email account.  See our previous article on Delegation here.

The Last of the Four D’s: Do It Now

Remember around half of your (non-spam) inbound email can be deleted immediately.  With the other half ask yourself this question: ‘Can I complete this within two minutes?’  If the answer is yes, ‘do it right away then delete the email.’ Leaving mail in your inbox to re-read and action later, or file it elsewhere is simply inefficient.

If you’re using MS Outlook 2010, the Quick Step feature enables you to perform multi-step tasks such as replying to an email and deleting the inbound email with a single click or keyboard shortcut.


MS Outlook for Personal Efficiency and Team Productivity

In the fourth of a series of five articles Jacqui Hinchliffe from Positive Connexions – West Auckland Computer Training discusses how to manage your emails.  Previously Jacqui introduced the four D rules for managing email.  This month’s article discusses rule number 3:Delegate 1. Delete 2. Diarise 3. Delegate 4. Do It Now The average New…


Are You Working “On Your Business” or “In Your Business”?

You may have heard the term working “on” vs working “in” your business but what exactly does this mean? UHY Manager, Len Kumar explains the difference between working in your business and working on your business, and how this is the first step to building a better business.

Working ON your business does NOT mean scheduling work, processing the accounts, answering phone calls, submitting a quote or helping your employees do a job, these tasks are important but they’re just ‘business as usual tasks’.

Working ON your business involves thinking about the future, planning, reviewing & improving current processes and systems and asking questions like how can we do things more efficiently and effectively.

“Working on your business is about setting clear expectations and standards, and delivering the goods each and every time.”

You build a better business by working ON it, but finding the time to work on building a better business is a major challenge faced by most small to medium sized business owners.


MS Outlook – Keeping your Inbox Email Sorted

This is the third in a series of articles by guest columnist Jacqui Hinchliffe from Positive Connexions – West Auckland Computer Training.  Jacqui’s previous articles were featured in our April and June 2012 newsletters.

In her April article she discussed how to clean up your Outlook email inbox by creating a ‘01 Read’ folder and moving all your inbox mail to it. Then in the June article Jacqui looked at the email quick win called ‘Delete’. This month we look at D for Diarise.

How’s the email slavery going for you?  Remember the Inbox Four D Rules?


Here are some practical steps to Diarise items in your Outlook inbox.


Clouding Your Thinking

Do you think legitimate customers of Megaupload ever imagined that Kim Dotcom would get raided by the NZ Police? Did they imagine that the very computers that stored their legitimate data alongside the alleged illegal data would get seized? The authorities don’t appear to have any sympathy or responsibility for delivering the legitimate data back to its owners.

Using the ‘cloud’ for data storage sounds leading edge but is it the right strategy for your business? Of course the term ‘cloud’ to most of us means ‘somewhere out there’. But the reality is your ‘cloud’ data is stored on servers that can be located anywhere in the world.

Running a business successfully involves arranging and controlling your resources in a productive manner that achieves your goals. Placing your data in the cloud may be highly beneficial to your business but the risks of handing over the controls to a cloud supplier should be considered:

  • What happens if your supplier gets bought out?

Accounting Software for Small and Medium Sized Entities

In our last newsletter we examined some of the factors to consider when purchasing accounting software . This month we consider three common accounting applications available for use by small to medium sized entities (SMEs).

The first thing to consider when evaluating the various SME accounting applications is – what do you expect the system to achieve or deliver? For example if all you want to track are movements in your bank account, a cashbook will likely suffice. If however you are looking for an application to manage debtors, creditors and fixed assets, your system needs to be a fully integrated accounting package.

Three common accounting applications used by SMEs are:

  • BankLink
  • Xero
  • MYOB

A brief summary of each application follows.

BankLink is a cashbook application that provides an electronic version of bank statement data. Click here to view the BankLink video.

As bank statement data is captured in electronic format it can be readily coded. Once data has been coded BankLink allows financial reports and GST returns to be easily produced.


MS Outlook – the Four Ds to keeping your Inbox Email Sorted

In our April 2012 newsletter Guest Columnist Jacqueline Hinchliffe of Positive Connexions – West Auckland Computer Training described how to organise your MS Outlook email inbox.

This month Jacqueline explains the Four D Rule and particularly how D for Delete can help you keep on top of your inbox. But first, what are the four Ds?

  1. Delete
  2. Diarise
  3. Delegate
  4. Do it now

This month we look at the Delete option and shortcuts you can take to Delete incorrectly addressed or spam emails.
Incorrectly addressed mail from within your own organisation will just clutter up your inbox. Forward it correctly or return it immediately.

To forward:

  • Click on Forward or press Alt + W (Ctrl + F if you’re using Outlook 2003).
  • Enter the correct address.
  • Click on Send or press Alt + S.
  • Click on Delete or press Ctrl + D.

To return:

  • Click on Reply or press Ctrl + R.
  • Click on Send or press Alt + S.
  • Click on Delete or press Ctrl + D.

The ‘Right’ Accounting Software for your Business

Purchasing accounting software can represent a significant business cost, whatever the size of your business. But if the new software ensures effective financial management, the payoffs from your investment will be considerable. The ‘right’ software will produce the ‘right’ information to enable you to manage your organisation or business more effectively.

Here we examine the factors to consider when purchasing accounting software.

1. Does your organisation have the skills and knowledge to utilise the software?

Unless you have people with appropriate experience for your new software, you will never realise its full potential.

Start by evaluating the skills that will be needed to properly utilise the software and decide whether existing staff are at the right level or show potential to be upskilled. UHY can assist with this evaluation.

2. What functionality is required for your type of organisation?

Create a list of the most important functions your software must address, based on the type of operation you run. For example, the requirements of a large trade contracting organisation will be very different from a distribution organisation, only the former needs retention tracking, while the latter needs the ability to count and manage different unit sizes of the same product.
Restrict the list to key functionality to fewer than ten items with emphasis on the operational functions of the business. Too much detail can cause confusion in the early stage of software selection.