Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Product Review – Dymo Label Manager 260P

Do you have files without file labels? Are you using an entire sheet of blank file labels just to make two or three? This past week, I had the pleasure of reviewing the Dymo Label Manager 260P label maker and blogging about it, in exchange for keeping the item. It has definitely made my workspace more organized.

This portable, handheld, wonder is user-friendly and prints labels in seconds. I have been able to organize my files more quickly and take it with me throughout the office and make labels. It also provides convenience and flexibility and I save paper because I am not using full sheets of blank labels.

Other features include:

• Large 1.18" x 2.36" screen displays two lines of label text
• Graphical display lets you see text effects on screen before you print.
• Work faster with an improved user interface that displays all menu options onscreen without scrolling, and includes intuitive icons for formatting options
• Customize labels and add emphasis by choosing from 3 fonts, 6 font sizes, one of the many styles, and one of 8 different box styles or underline
• Uses DYMO D1 labels in 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2"widths
• Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery – the same technology used in mobile phones and laptops
• 9-label memory and “save text” feature
• Print up to 10 copies of the same label
• Enter text quickly using the familiar ABC-style keyboard
• Quick access to special symbols including punctuation and currency

What more can you ask for in a convenient, easy to use, and fast- acting label maker? For more information on this and other Dymo products visit their website. Organize your office and your life with this item! I highly recommend it!

Are you making the grade? Determine your employee type

The workplace is filled with different people with different personalities and attitudes about their colleagues, job responsibilities, and the company. Identifying which employee type you are will give you a better outlook of how you can be a more effective, productive employee within the workplace, especially if a change in your attitude and behavior is needed before it’s too late, resulting in a negative performance review, conflict amongst co-workers, or termination.

Type ‘A ‘Employee
• Good attendance record, arrives to work on time
• Meets all deadlines
• Goes with the work flow (team player)
• Shows respect and works well with other employees
• Positive attitude, go the extra mile
• Owns up to and learns from mistakes

Congratulations! Type ‘A’ employees are a dime a dozen. Even though you make mistakes, the important factor is you learn from them and you move on. When you are having a bad day, no one else knows it. Enhance your professional development by mentoring an employee. Keep up the good work!

Type’ B’ Employee
• Misses deadlines occasionally
• Maintains a good working relationship with colleagues
• Favorable performance reviews
• Submits quality work assignments
• Predominantly has a positive attitude

The workplace is filled with type ‘B’ employees. Type ‘B’ employees get the job done, are reliable, and dedicated to doing a good job. Their work is submitted in a timely manner. Most type ‘B’ employees emphasize getting done what is required or requested of them. Enhance your professional development by going the extra mile – take on a new project, ask a co-worker if they need help on a project, or attend a professional development training, seminar, or course.

Type ‘C’ Employee
• Misses deadlines frequently
• Lack of respect for 1 or more colleagues (and it shows)
• Frequent episodes of miscommunication with other employees
• Calls off due to the necessity of “mental health days”
• “Going through the motions” – little effort put forth for work tasks
• Frequent errors evident on final projects and work assignments

The Type C employee is someone who is beginning to lose passion for their job. Perhaps poor management is a factor (read my previous blog about Workplace PMS – Poor Management System) or maybe the environment is becoming unbearable, whatever the case is, it is not too late to fix the issue. Resolve conflicts, create to-do lists and stick to them, and find the passion you once had for your job.

Type ‘D’ Employee
• Feelings of “just working to get a paycheck”
• Despises job and people who work there (and it shows)
• No effort put forth for work tasks
• Negative attitude about workplace and the company
• Doesn’t own up to or learn from mistakes
• “Clock watcher”

A type ‘D’ employee is the person who hates to come to work and it shows in their job performance and attitude. If you are this type of employee, an attitude change is needed. Just as you are acknowledging that you are a ‘D’ employee, your superior and others know that you are a D employee as well and you may not be happy with the outcome.

Regardless of your employee type, there is always room for improvement. Use your talents to your advantage and let others benefit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Top 10 Business Email Pet Peeves

1. Forgotten attachment
Have you ever forgotten an attachment and had to resend the same email apologizing to recipients for the second email notice? Use the FREE software FAD (Forgotten Attachment Detector) and you will never forget an attachment again.

2. Grammar and spelling errors
Nothing says unprofessional more than an email filled with grammar and spelling errors. Before sending the email, print it and read it aloud. If you have time, save the email as a DRAFT and come back to it later, not only will you find mistakes you may also have more content you would like to add.

3. Too lengthy

If the email is more than 3-4 paragraphs in length with more than 4-5 sentences, pick up the phone and call the individual or go see them in-person (if possible). Important information can be missed or misunderstood in a long, drawn out email. To avoid the miscommunication of email notices, keep it short and simple. If several recipients are involved, perhaps you should consider holding a teleconference.

4. Emotionally charged

Ever received an email from a colleague or supervisor and you could read the anger, disappointment, or stress in the message? How did you feel after you read it? You want to respond immediately, right? WRONG! Never send an email when you are not at your normal emotional state of mind. Take time to think about your response that will be professional and fact driven, not emotionally charged. Remember, what you say will be in writing forever!

5. Too many FW: FW:
If you have received a message that has 2 or more FW: and need to respond, do yourself and the other recipients a favor and change the subject. Update or revise the subject line to reflect the new email topic. Emails with numerous ‘FWs’ are overlooked or sent to the Spam folder.

6. Wrong recipient.
Beware of the auto fill-in feature in MS Outlook. This feature is great time saver when filling in email addresses as you begin to type them, but be very cautious of the choices that are recommended. If you have three people with similar names and you wanted to send an email to your boss but you send it to your friend, it can be embarrassing and the worst part is you didn’t realize that your supervisor never received the email.

7. No subject line
Inform recipients of what the email is regarding, often times emails without a subject line will not be read for fear of viruses or will be sent to Spam.

8. Attachment can’t be opened due to incompatibility of software
This has been a growing issue in companies that have updated their MS Office package while others are still using Windows 98. Be mindful of who you are sending documents to and send them in a format that is compatible. For example, save the Word document in ‘97-2003’ format that way anyone can open it whether they are using MS 2003, 2007, 2010.

9. Improper Use of Texting Shorthand

Texting has become a method of quick communication; however, it should not be included in business email communication. Shorthand, such as LOL (Laughing out loud) and BRB (Be right back), are not appropriate to use in business notices and believe it or not, there are people who do not know what they mean.

10. Too many recipients

Mass email messages with numerous recipients in the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ fields can get long. Include all email addresses using the ‘bcc’ field and place your own email address in the ‘to’ field. This feature will not make the message appear long, other email addresses remain confidential, and you will have a copy of the email on your Inbox to use as follow-up.

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