It’s Monday – Are You Smiling? You Should be because . . .

It’s Monday – and you should be smiling!!!  You have a great new opportunity to make yourself feel great about you and your world by Friday!

Look at the possibilities – this is like “candy lane” for adults – the start of another week – your great opportunity to look at what happened last week, tweak this week to align more with your goals and . . . .

  • learn something new about getting along better with people at work
  • start a new project
  • take a new class on something that interests you
  • make a “splash” somehow –
  • refreshed from the week-end, let your imagination soar – what would be a great accomplishment this week?  When you get to Friday, what one thing would you really feel good about accomplishing? 

Write it down – put it in your computer calendar as a recurring event – and plan out on your computer calendar how you’ll get that one thing accomplished this week!

Bragging rights on Friday – write me and let me know what you did!  I know you can!

Now do you see why you should be smiling since it is Monday!

Lorraine Arams
Trouble achieving goals? Get this
complimentary system for making them happen at


Use What You’ve Got – It’s Likely All You’ll Ever Need!

computer mail box

It can do so much more!

This week I looked at Microsoft Outlook in the series, “Use What You’ve Got – It’s Likely All You Will Need”.

If you’ve been reading along, I hope you are convinced that, often, we have the tools we need already but we just don’t realize the options available in the programs.  Why?  Because we’ve been using them for so long for one purpose that, when we need to do something new, we naturally will look elsewhere.

For personal and small business use, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office Professional is all anyone really needs for basic operations.

From this series:

  • you know you can list a bunch of “to dos” on the Task list and that you can incorporate those tasks into your calendar by dragging and dropping the tasks into your calendar.  Create a task, put a date on it and drop it into your calendar – that simple!
  • recurring event reminders can be put into your calendar so you never forget a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion again or even regular meetings you attend in business or as a volunteer
  • you can drag and drop your incoming emails into your calendar to retain the information in the email and set up the appointment in your calendar
  • the contacts section of Outlook can easily serve as a contact management system where you can record all kinds of interesting information about people, connect files to those contacts or other contacts and put contacts into categories for easy access as a group; and, of course, you can group people from the contact list too for fast email
  • print out the calendar in the various formats if you wish or sync it with your PDA or cell phone for easy access to all the information

The two I touched on but didn’t expand upon are the journal and notes.  Instead of using the comment box in your contacts, you can connect a journal to that contact and list any information you wish to record for that particular contact – very handy for projects where you can record email meesages, meeting cancellations, meeting requests, meeting response, task requests, task responses or even documents such as Access, Excel, Powerpoint and Word documents – check it out it might have something for you.  It’s not perfect but it can be helpful for small scale applications.

Notes come in handy everywhere – especially for directions to get somewhere which is tricky or for instructions you want to keep about how to do something on your computer you only do once in a while or keep information about some topics – often we don’t want to keep an entire email but we might want to start notes on a topic – resource and quote.  There are so many applications for this and they are available everywhere.  By category, they can be quite helpful.

As you can see, there are  many possibilities for using Outlook personally or professionally.  What parts you use and how you use them is quite individual. Now that you are aware of some of the more “obscure” options on Outlook, I hope you will save yourself  time, money and energy by looking for the options available to solve your need.

At the very least, use Tasks and Calendar together as well as incoming email with the Calendar to drag and drop the email into the Calendar.  This latter one is really important – we don’t always remember why we set an apppointment or all the details we wanted to discuss.

If you have a small business, the contacts section is indispensable for recording phone calls, attaching related files and accessing all the documents pertaining to an individual through the search feature can save you a lot of time.  Complete the contact details – you’ll be glad you did because you can access those details before or during networking events and wow people with what they think you can “remember” about them!  Very impressive!

And do look at the other programs in Microsoft Office to create the documents you need – the possibilities are enormous, more than one person can ever know.  Microsoft site itself is a great resource as are YouTube, Google Videos and just general search on Google – you’ll be amazed at what you find!

Lorraine Arams
Make your dreams come true –
set your goals – make them happen –
a complimentary system for you at

Use What You’ve Got – Outlook Calendar is likely all you need!

All the pieces in one place!

Use what you’ve got –  Outlook calendar is likely all you need! 

In terms of time management, focusing everything in one area rather than using multiple systems at once is the most efficient.

Many people using Outlook don’t realize how useful the calendar can be or don’t know what’s it’s for.  Many people still use a manual calendar along with an electronic calendar or don’t use the electronic calendar at all which is, I think, I big mistake.

Here are the benefits to you in using Outlook Calendar:

  • You can drag and drop emails into your calendar to set an appointment time with clients and friends.  Often a date is set a long time ahead of time, and, often, especially if we have a lot of appointment, it’s difficult to remember what each appointment was designed to do.  With the email within the appointment screen, it’s easy.
  • Multiple views pf calendar – you can set the view to be whatever you want – appointment area only or appointment area with date navigator or appointment area with Task list or all of them at once in the calendar view. 
  • Mutiple views of your appointments – Today, Today and multiple days, Work Week, Month – all printable – much less expensive than buying a paper calendar and everything is up to date. 
  • Set recurring events so they are never forgotten eg meetings, activities, etc.
  • Holidays can be included automatically in the calendar for the country in which you live or for all the countries with which you do business with or have family and friends – you’ll be able to send greetings for these holidays – what a great way to stay in touch!
  • Create group schedules, plan meetings, send out meeting invitations as well as set options for response to others who requests meetings; make meeting changes easily
  • Maintain multiple calendars eg one for business and one for family viewed side-by-side and share calenders with others ; with the reminders option set properly, reminders of appointments will pop up on your computer or PDA or phone (need to sync)

Some would say – I like paper.  Print out your schedule in the format you want – once a week, every day – whatever you want and put it into a binder – you can buy pre-punched printer paper.  You can print out the view of each appointment too if you have included the emails in the appointment screen.

What happens if you’re away from your computer and you need to set an appointment time?  Set it in your PDA or cell phone or write it into your paper copy (make sure though that you update your computer version when you get back to your computer if you don’t have a PDA or cell phone option)

Take a look at the Options too –  you can set up your calendar the way you want it – 5, 6 or 7 day calendar, the hours, font, and a whole host of other tweaks.

How does this save you time? 

  • Being able to see your month, week or day at a glance, shows you clearly where you need to make adjustments ahead of time rather than stress yourself to the nth degree because too much was crammed into a particular week or day.  There is no question that this alone will diminish your stress because you can re-arrange work and appointments more effectively.
  • Simply being able to set up appointments with others automatically is great.  All you do is use your list of contacts and a request is sent to multiple parties instead of multiple phone calls, voice mails or multiple emails – handling all the voice mail and the multiple emails consumes a lot of time.
  • Having everything in one place is best – never again forget to transfer information or look at the wrong calendar and miss appointments or double book your time because of it.  One system –  it is clear what time is available and what is not.

So . . . Use What You’ve Got – can you see how useful Outlook Calendar can be to you to save time, energy and diminish your levels of stress? 

Microsoft Office Standard 2007 FULL VERSION

 Lorraine Arams
New way to set goals and make them happen
complimentary copy at


Use What You’ve Got – To Do the To Do List

Use What You’ve Got – To Do the To Do List! 

What does that mean?  It means automating your to do list

 I’m continuing what I started Monday about Outlook.  There is a section in Outlook which is called Tasks and it is really one of the greatest ways to keep track of your “To Do” list while adding a little time management in there.  

 The To Do List generally never gets done.  Why?  Because most of the time it’s way too long and no one thinks of what else they could be doing with the to dos on their to do list.   

 Start here:  

  •  Initially, write everything down on one long list.  
  • Then start sorting this list into the following:  to delegate, to eliminate, to actually do myself – just add a D beside the item for delegate, E for eliminate and M for actually do myself  
  • Now you have a manageable list in the “to actually do myself” portion   

 What do you do with these lists?  The D tasks and the M tasks will be entered into Tasks in Outlook.  One of the most wonderful things you’ll notice about Tasks is that you don’t have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite the tasks over and over again each day.   

 Immediately when you open the Task screen, Tasks gives you a simple list of all the tasks.  Of course, if you haven’t used it before, you won’t have tasks in there.  Take a minute to look at the left hand side of the page and notice the options available – simple list, detailed list, active tasks, next seven days, overdue tasks, by category, assignment, by person responsible, completed tasks, task timeline and another two underneath those – open shared tasks and customize current view.  Quite an array, right?  How useful do you think these lists will be? 

 There are as many ways to set up your system the way you like as you can think.  Check out the Customize Current View – pick what you want and also Tools, Options – you’ll be amazed how much you can customize Tasks including adding Notes to individual tasks.   

Adding tasks is easy – Click on New in the Toolbar and a screen will open.  Put in the task in the subject line, the due date, the start date, status, priority and reminder.  Notice at the bottom, you can also associate it with a contact and/or with a category.  Notice too there is another tab – Details where you can estimate how long that task will take to complete. 

You’re not finished yet – on the top toolbar there are even more options – a file can be attached to this task,  Recurrence feature is available if this task will happen regularly, Assign Task – remember that part of your list which was D for delegate – and each task can be made private too if  others share this Tasks panel.  

Play with the options – you can’t break anything – and you’ll discover some amazing “secrets” in the Tasks area of Outlook.

Now here is how you connect your calendar and your task list.  Take each one of tasks, hold left click button down on the task and drag the task to the Calendar tab on Outlook – and voila!  the task appears in your Calendar – and if you had set the length of time in the New Task screen in Details, that time will be blocked in your Calendar – isn’t that great!  What a way to get through a to do list using time management!   

All those pieces of paper with the “to do list” on them are now in your computer and in your calendar – you’ll never forget anything again and you’ll be able to manage your time much better and easily

You can change dates, times, length of time, etc. and not lose track of something you need to get done.  This comes in handy when you’re surfing the net – you see a site, don’t want to forget it but you haven’t got the time to look at it very well.  Copy the URL and paste it in your tasks.   

Some people don’t like setting Tasks like this but if you can get used to it, it’s the best way to track your tasks and book them into your calendar efficiently and effectively especially if you have a PDA or a phone which syncs with Outlook.   

When should you use the Calendar and when should you use Tasks?  Think of tasks as all the things you need to do – everything.  It would be impossible to put everything into one big calendar day – you’d run out of hours!  Think of the calendar as a place to set appointments, in other words, plan your day, your week, your month or your year. 

And using the Tasks list will make you think of the length of time it will take to complete any one thing – often, that’s why our time management goes out the window – we don’t allocate the appropriate amount of time to each thing we are planning to do.   

Are there other pieces of software which can do these and do them better?  Yes.  However, it’s another expense, another learning curve and another way to chew up time you may not have.  And another icon to click!  

For all of you who still like a piece of paper in your hand, the Tasks can be printed  as can your Calendar for the day, the week, the month – so it’s the best of all worlds!   

Use what you’ve got – to do the to do list with Tasks in Outlook – it’s usually enough for most people!  

 Lorraine Arams
Setting goals and getting nowhere?
Try this new system – it’s complimentary at   

Use What You’ve Got – Contact Management

contact management in computer

Outlook is more than a mail box!

Use What You’ve Got – for Contact Management

People regret forgetting birthdays or anniversaries.  Small business people don’t know how to keep track of their customers. And people find it difficult to keep track of all the people they meet at networking events.

Yet, if they already have Microsoft Office running on their computers and using Outlook for their email program, they’ve got the right tool to do the job!  Combined with a PDA such as a Blackberry, there is no reason not to have information about people at your fingertips – everywhere you go! Take a look at a PDA if you don’t know what it looks like

Here are some tips on using Outlook to save you time, energy and, perhaps, even money!

1.  Business or Personal Cards – People say to me all the time, “I’ve got all these business cards and personal information cards – stack of them – and I just don’t know what to do with them.  They might be useful at one point.”  And that’s true.  Sometimes you meet someone and there doesn’t seem to be a point of collaboration but later, as your business grows, or you meet someone else with a need, you think of that person – but where is the information?  So you don’t bother passing the information on because it’ll take too long to search for the card or will you even remember the person’s name.  Imagine, if all you had to do was do a search in Outlook and come up with the right name and contact infomraiton

The solution is a card scanner – it inputs the information right into Outlook.  All you do is scan the card through the scanner and bingo! the information is captured into the right fields.  For some of the more decorative cards, you might have to make some adjustments. Here’s one for you to look at.

2.  Adding a Contact Manually or Filling in Details from the Business Card Scan – Click on Contacts.  File – New and a box opens (this box will open up automatically with card scanner).  Look at all the information you can enter especially if you click on the bordered buttons.  You can even add in their photo if you have one!!!

BUT people often miss the most important portion of this – the blank box on the side.  What can you use this for?  To keep track of the contacts you’ve had with that person:

  • create a description of the person – eg red hair, diamond encrusted glasses, red dress
  • where you met eg met at the marketing convention in Vegas
  • place a date and time and a summary of your conversation – on the phone or otherwise – this is especially useful for small business people with their clients (yes there are other ways of keeping track of these conversations such as journal)
  • put a map or file which you can access quickly

Categories– notice that on the bottom – you can create categories for all your contacts – eg contractors, clients, friends, family, etc – it keeps your contacts organized.  And you can sort all this information in a number of ways:  by last names, by phone list, by category, by company, by location, by follow-up flag – what more do you need for personal or small business needs?

And with each email or phone number, you can add several.  For instance, in business, the drop down menu will show you a lot of options including assistant’s numbers, and the address will allow both business and personal addresses to be included in one contact.

Under “Contacts” you can associate other contacts with the one you are working on at the time.  How handy is that!

3.  Other information

Details – you can add a wealth of information here including nicknames, spouse’s name, birthday, anniversary,  assistant’s name, etc.

Activities – is a search tool which lists emails, notes, tasks, etc associate with the person and All fields lets you look up the contents of a variety of fields completed for that contact

Look at the toolbar– you can send a new email, auto dial, flag for follow up, and under actions, there are a ton of options. If you have another contact from the same company, in actions you can add a New Contact from Same Company.  Or you can add multiple contacts or you can add a map!  Under Insert, you can associate a file with the contact – this comes in handy when you’re talking to a client on the phone and need to refer to some file.

And let’s not forget that you can create groups.  These groups can be clients, prospects, friends, family, colleagues, social or volunteer groups, etc – whatever group you need to communicate with regularly.

When you are viewing incoming emails, you can right click on the return address and add it to your contact without retyping. Microsoft has its new version 7 out but you perform these actions as far back as the 2003 version and a few earlier than that .

For a contact management system, it’s fairly complete.  Yes, there are other programs which are much better but for personal and small business use, this is adequate.  However, unless your primary profession requires more details than these, it’s not worth the expense.  One of the most powerful and one which has been around for some time is called Maximizer.

Use what you’ve got – use Outlook to track people for personal, business and networking purposes.

Lorraine Arams
Achieve your goals the time management way – complimentary
copy at

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