Time Hacks with Russ J. Hammond (also an expert in fund-raising)
Russ Hammond provided us shortcuts, or "minute saving nuggets" as he calls them. Some are computer program time saving nuggets, some are time saving strategies, and some are techniques.
Lean Manufacturing- Wikipedia defines this as "A production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination."
7 Ways to waste time:
5. Over Process
6. Over Production
7. Defect (problem in process)
What do we do with this information of these 7 different ways to waste time? The answer is: if we can't eliminate it, we should automate it.
Go paperless! To do otherwise is transportation and motion waste.
Russ has utilized the following services which, based on his research, is also the most economical and efficient:
- OfficeDrop - A digital filing system, scan & search, can scan in external mail and receive it online in three days in pdf form. Can use with a pc or mac
- Earth Class Mail - A comprehensive online mail management solution for receiving your postal mail online. Can scan your mail and will send a pdf of it. Can request to shred & will also automatically deposit checks for you. The charge is a small storage fee.
- Dropbox - A free service that lets you bring your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and share them easily by syncing all files to all your systems. Works with Windows, PAC, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, & Blackberry
- Evernote* - This tool will change your life!! Designed for note taking and archiving. Inducted in Apply Hall of Fame and NY Times as Top 10 Must Have Apps. You can use for basic notes and has optimal character resolution. It also shows where you were when you took the notes.
Russ only has five files for his E-File Management - 1) Docs, 2) Purgatory- DL folder, 3) Archive, 4) Media, 5) Backup
**Amazon Prime - For $75/year, Amazon provides an application that when you want to buy something, it allows you to pull it up, scan the barcode and purchase it online. Amazon provides customer reviews and also tells you what products it will/will not work with. It lives and dies by customer ratings, so customer service is critical. Purchases show on corporate card statement as Amazon & also sometimes the vendor; however, the email confirmation they send you details the list of items purchased in order to categorize them into your budget spreadsheet. You only pay Use tax versus sales tax
Email Time Wasters:
How do you get to the point of only spending 15 minutes a day on email?
- turn off notifications
- bury email icon on your phone
- use lfttt.com (if this then that.com) for peace of mind. Use one mailbox to rule them all. It will also go back out of the same account from which it came
- Use Google Voice
- Turn on rules for email to go to a file if you are sent email as a cc:only. Then block a few minutes at end of day to read them all
- Use Folders as follows: 1) action, 2) archive, 3) travel/confirmation, 4) 1 per project, 5) Maybe
- Have weekly 1 on 1 for everything (same time)
- use Timebridge or Doodle to schedule your meetings
- Have a great time- Use the same bat time same bat place and collaborate around events, share questions and best practices
1Password - Tool remembers every single one of your passwords and fills in passwords for you as they need to be changed. Saves all credit card information. (Research IDENTITY SAFE in comparison to 1Password)
Xmarks - free tool. A bookmark sync and search tool which allows you to sync bookmarks on every single browser you have and on all your different devices.
MIN. US - Free way to share photos, documents, videos and files online for professional and personal use. Use if you send a lot of files back and forth to people - drag over the file to min. us, it's encrypted and then the recipient can download it from there.
American Express Black Card- benefit is you get your own concierge service (also Visa Signature, MC World Elite, Chase Sapphire) all these cards have personal concierge services. Can use for rental service, order flowers, or if you want to gather information such as "I want to know everyone up for elections or could ask for a list of every editor for NC papers."
Corporate Card concierges won't do Craigslist. Also does product research- Send a one line email and receive many responses in short amount of time, CMS, Catche, concept is one big fish with every 0-20.
You can also buy concierge services separate from the credit card.
Use Craigsourcing - use this to get people to do stuff for you. Put an ad up on craigslist. Don't put a price up to allow people to bid on the job.
Big growing field in the US and the world. Hire like you have before- ask for referrals, put a call out on Twitter and LinkedIn, decide on U.S. vs. International, Phillipines over India, agency vs. individual, good agency is contemporary VA, on demand vs. contract, avg. cost is $15/hr. If they are with a firm, people doing the actual work is someone else. With agencies, most create a file of how to get the work done if you ever need that information.
Interview questions for Virtual Assistants- Ask for favorite and least favorite tasks, how many clients do you currently support?, what's your computer/internet setup?, do you use photopress to create this document? Describe my business, walk through scenarios.
Provide a credit card with a small limit to start, send login details with IPassword, start with revenue-generating tasks, then move to backburner items.
Good freelancers are oDesk and Elance as Virtual Assistants. When hiring, the responses in first hour are SPAM, include an open ending question in proposal, "please respond in a private message" area to filter, have them restate in their own words the goal of the project, phone interview with top 3 candidates. Can also pay a fee for the project to complete a milestone of the project. Projects are considered around 1-2 weeks.
Simply Virtual is also a very good company to find a virtual assistant and also a Freelancer.
Crowdsourcing or Amazon Mechanical Turk - Enables companies to access thousands of global workers on demand to do work such as identify objects in a photo or video, researching data details, transcribing audio recording, performing data duplication. Also use this for project assistance such as find links on "IT sourcing."
Smartsheet- Use if you are doing a lot of research. Features alerts, reminders, task management, survey forms, Gantt charts, and a calendar view. Free trial and low rates. Can also use it for tagging pictures for presentations, audio transcription, split A/B pretesting, verify links, adult content, communication moderation and flagging, searching and storming
99Designs - #1 in market place. You will receive dozens of designers to work on your marketing project of your business. You tell them how much you are willing to pay for the work. Does graphic work on logos, corporate stationary and websites. Have a virtual contest. Provide a very clear proposal to them. Show examples of work you like, be very active with feedback, but keep it private for first half. At the halfway point, open up comments to all and send messages to those getting close. Give out an award at the end.
Looking for information online:
- Quora- Amazing collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses the site
- LinkedIn- use for answers
- SCORE- Provides free and confidential online business counseling for small businesses, advice for entrepreneurs
- Put time in subject line of calendar event
- Keep documents on a flash drive on your keychain
- Something is going to go wrong on every trip. Plan for it- $20 bill goes a long way when traveling (skycabs respond well to cash). Running late for a flight? Give them $20 to move you up. Prepare a MacGyver case of items (quarters for NY, DC travel)
- Use Airdisplay and Ipad as 2nd monitor
- Fax your documents to front desk instead of printing
- Push back reservation 1 day if you have run out of time to cancel within the 24 hour cancellation policy. Then call them back to cancel the reservations. Avoids paying for the room anyway.
- Fax random things to yourself at front desk
- Hotels also usually have a box of cell phone chargers/pc powers cords left behind
Rental Car Hacks
- Always reserve economy, don't pick the big SUV if you don't have one
- Verify from your personal car insurance company that you have rental car insurance
- Do not ever buy a used rental car!
- Look at GSO for cheaper flights
- Have on hand above and beyond certificates visible to the airline representative (use them to recognize for a good job). You'd be surprised what they will do for you if they think you are going to recognize them.
- Have the airline number in your cell phone. If you don't get what you want, call back and be cool
- If you act like you are supposed to be there, most people will believe you. Go to the friends and family line as it's shorter.
- Larger hotel chains have attached to airport its own line. That line is shorter.
- The international terminal line is also shorter. I have never been asked if I was supposed to be in that line.
- Study terminal maps in order to find shortcuts in distance
Notes taken by:
Mary O'Brien of Fortalice