Just like The Beatles will never go out of style, neither will a pen and paper. No matter how much technology changes and improves, there are some classic office tools that we will always prefer. Here are the oldies-but-goodies the Suite 4 team simply can’t live without:
Devon’s Favorite Organizational Tool
I have a Google calendar that syncs my email, laptop and iPhone together. When I have an appointment, notifications are sent to me from every device. It’s an amazing tool to keep all of my meetings in one place, but it’s not how I stay organized. In fact, I only check it when I’m scheduling new appointments. For day-to-day tasks and long-term planning. I always turn to my planner.
I write everything in my planner, whether it’s for work, family or friends. If it’s not in there, it’s not happening. Picking out the right planner can be a tedious process. I’ve gone through a wide variety over the years before settling on my current one. It cost a little more than any of my previous ones but is well worth it. The spaces for each day are big enough to fit all of my tasks, without making the planner itself too big.
Technology keeps everything connected but I would be lost without my planner.
Chase’s Favorite Computer Lesson
Computer shortcuts are incredibly useful but are often forgotten because the people that know about them assume everyone knows them and don’t pass them on. So today I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite computer shortcuts to help you be more productive while working on your computer.
Disclaimer, these are tested on a PC and may not work on a Mac.
If you’re like me, you work with a lot of tabs open in your web browser. (I currently have 9 open in this window and more open in other windows). Inevitably, I will accidentally close one of those tabs and all the information on it will be lost. But with the nifty little shortcut, you can quickly recover the last tab closed. You can try it right now. Close this tab and then press CTRL+Shift+T, I’ll wait…
Pretty cool, right?
This is less of a shortcut and more of a hidden function. If your computer mouse has scroll wheel, you can press down on it to click a link and it will open that link in a new tab. This is great if you have a lot of links to open as it saves you from right clicking and selecting “Open Link in New Tab” for each one. If your mouse doesn’t have a scroll wheel or if you are working on a laptop, you can also use CTRL+Right Click to open links in new tabs.
There are plenty of other shortcuts out there for just about anything you can think of. Plus, there are many others that are specific to programs such as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
Audrey’s Favorite Device
With apps like Google Drive and Dropbox available for anyone to use these days, it’s easy to forget about how we used to transfer documents in the good ol’ days. It wasn’t long ago when everyone you knew carried a flash drive on their keys.
While it may not be necessary to carry a flash drive around with you everywhere, it is definitely something every office should have. What if the internet goes down? What if you have a file too big to upload? These little guys can really save the day! Don’t be caught in a bind because you didn’t have a backup option to your online storage.
Rachel’s Favorite Email Hack
Have you ever hit “Send” and immediately regretted it because you just embarrassed yourself? Perhaps you weren’t done composing your email? Or maybe you said a few things out of frustration that you shouldn’t have? Yikes! Here’s a short and sweet hack to prevent these fumbles from happening to you again:
Don’t fill out the recipient’s address(es) until you’re done proof-reading the email. You can always fill it in later. And if you use Gmail, you should enable the Undo Send feature under your Gmail Settings.
If you’re frustrated or angry about something take my hard-won advice and never, never, never send an email until you’ve had time to process and cool down.
Drowning in email? Afraid you’ll miss something important? At Suite 4 we LOVE using SaneBox because not only do they send us great tips, but they also help keep our inbox, well… sane! You can stop the inbox insanity too. Sign up for a free SaneBox trial and see what you think. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
Carrie’s Favorite Office Supply
Post-It Notes don’t only belong in schools and stuffy office cubicles. They have existed for nearly 50 years, are but haven’t lost any of their value. Here are the two main reasons why I’m obsessed with Post-Its, and why you should be to:
The weak adhesive at the top of each Post-It doesn’t leave behind residue, allowing them to be stuck anywhere and moved. This makes using Post-Its feel non-committal, which is why Post-Its are perfect for brainstorming. Bucketing, my favorite brainstorming exercise, helps you mentally dump all of your ideas and generate ones that are new and creative. It also visually organizes all of your ideas so you can see how they connect in a broader sense.
If you want to try bucketing, start by freely brainstorming and writing down any ideas that arise. Write only one idea on each Post-It, and stick it onto a flat wall with space for at least 30 Post-Its. The last step is to categorize the Post-Its on the wall. For example, if I were bucketing to plan for a Fourth of July party, I would group together Post-Its relating to food, all of those connected to decorations, and so on.
I often write reminders to myself on Post-Its and stick then on my mirror or on the doorframe next to where I hang my keys. I have to keep Post-Its nearby at work for quickly jotting down deadlines or bright ideas. They are the perfect size for succinct notes, so I don’t feel like you’re wasting a whole page of paper or squeezing unrelated information onto a regular sized page.
I recently heard the saying “If you think it, ink it.” Most of us—especially small business owners—are overstimulated by working long hours and always being connected to email, social media and other apps on our phones and computer. When a good idea comes, grab a pen and a Post-It and write it down. The beauty of Post-Its is that they are accessible and move with you; which they’ve been doing for other small business owners since 1968.
Check out this blog post to learn about other small business tools and resources you can’t live without!