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INNOVATE! Technology, Tools, Tips & Techniques
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January 2011
Welcome to INNOVATE!, an administrative resource for small business owners. INNOVATE! is a product of Cybertary, a professional Virtual Assisting company. In these monthly emails we will be giving you numerous resources and tips you can use in your business, your home, your office and your life.
This month, we have resurgence in mind with the pleasures of a fresh start for the New Year. By starting the New Year with a clean slate, we can revitalize ourselves and our businesses. Please enjoy “2011 New Year's Resolutions for Your Business Success”. And if your tether to the electronic world is hampering your business success, we have some suggestions on “Taming the Email Tiger”. We are also sharing some insight on using Email Filters to keep your tamed inbox in check. Our CyberQuick Tip is about a suite of office and productivity tools supplied by Zoho that you may want to add to your toolbox. Happy New Year!
Cheerfully yours, Cybertary
2011 New Year's Resolutions for Your Business Success
Happy New Year! Now that the horns have stopped bleating and we are recovering from our food and socializing hangovers, it is time to step back into our businesses with a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. Whether you are a resolution maker by habit or happenstance, you can take some tips for making resolutions for your business as well.
Resolution #1 – I will PLAN
Yes, resolve to create (or update, for those overachievers among us) a real, honest to goodness written plan. The ‘Plan your work; work your plan’ crowd is saying I told you so right about now. Rather than being a time waster, a plan can help us save time, and maybe just as important, save money by giving us a context against which to assess the relevance of our actions in our business.
Taming the Email Tiger
In the old days and by old I mean pre-email (yes kids there was a time when we only received physical mail) we had time to luxuriate in the simple actions of reading and responding to correspondence. We could file and take action on items as we saw fit. Since the advent and subsequent explosion of email, however, we somehow lost the skills to organize inbound information. We have let our email inbox (es) take control of our lives. Here are some tips to tame the email tiger which are largely reminiscent of how we ‘used’ to control the Paper Tiger.
Email Filters
Email filters can block spam, junk email, and other unwanted email messages by automatically isolating them from your inbox. But filters can also be used to sort, categorize messages, and file messages for later referral or action.
  • Open your e-mail program (Note: detailed instructions for your particular email program can typically be found under Help or Search).
  • Locate the Filters or Rules section, usually found under Edit, Options or Tools on the menu bar.
  • Click New and type the name of the new filter. Make sure it's easy to remember, such as "Family Mail."
  • Enter the conditions that will categorize the message. Conditions are requirements the e-mail must meet (for example, when the sender is John Jonas or the subject line includes the words "Free Hairpieces Fast!") in order for the action (delete message) to take place.
  • Select the action you want the program to take with the filtered e-mail. You can delete the message, move it to another folder, or request other actions, depending on the sophistication of your email program.
  • Click OK, Save or Apply to save your new filter setting. Add more filters as necessary.
Use email filters in conjunction with our suggestions in “Taming the Email Tiger” to help you get a jump on 2011.
Cyber Tip – Zoho
If you want to take a major step in using cloud computing in your business or you are concerned with the expenditures for software for your small business, there is a robust suite of office productivity software that you may want to investigate. Zoho is a web-based service that offers word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software accessible via a browser. In addition to alternatives to the traditional office productivity software suites, Zoho also offers the ability to collaborate with others ‘in the cloud’, take notes, chat, share documents, hold discussions, etc. There are also personal productivity tools and applications, such as calendar, planner and notebook.
Zoho applications are free for the majority of users who may want to try out some applications without investing in traditional software; there are fee-based versions as well for the power user.
Zoho continues to add applications to their portfolio. You may not want to supplant all of your existing applications, but Zoho can help you leverage what you are currently using in a more collaborative way with peers and clients.

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