Business - Post archive

Update firmware on your devices

Published by | Monday, April 14th, 2014

firmware_chip

If you own consumer electronic devices like Internet routers, printers, laptop computers, and mobile phones, eventually you’ll need to update the firmware on one or more of them to either fix a known issue, or update the device’s functionality. This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, we’ll take a look at the often confusing process of firmware updates. I’ll explain what firmware actually is, how it’s different from software, and when and why it’s appropriate to update the firmware on your devices.

3 business writing tips for non-writers

Published by | Sunday, April 13th, 2014

3 business writing tips for non-writers

How many emails have you written to colleagues, clients, or customers this week? If the answer is one or more, you should consider business writing as part of your job—even if the word “writer” is not in your title.

Business writing is any written communication to teammates, stakeholders, and other people you work with. The good news: You don’t have to be a creative writing major to be an excellent business writer; in fact, you don’t even have to be creative. All you need is the desire to communicate in a way that leaves your reader feeling informed and prepared to take action.

To help you get there, here are three of my favorite tips from the Business Writing Fundamentals course on lynda.com. For simplicity, I’m focusing on email here, but these tips can also be applied to handwritten notes, memos, printed letters, and more.

Introducing Google Glass

Published by | Friday, April 11th, 2014

Introducing Google Glass

Have you got your eye on Google Glass? Google recently announced that anyone in the United States can apply to become part of its Glass Explorer Program and order the $1,500 device starting at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, April 15. Prepare for this exciting new release with a first look at the popular wearable computing device’s features and functionality in our new course Introducing Google Glass, available today.

Avoid the pitfalls of leadership

Published by | Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Avoid common management pitfalls

To be successful as a leader, you have to move quickly while avoiding the common pitfalls that all leaders face.

One pitfall is making dangerous assumptions—like assuming that it’s not your job to develop the talent around you. You’d think that with all the leadership-related books, blogs, and videos on the market, professionals would understand the importance of helping to develop those around them. But you’d be wrong.

Windows XP: 2001-2014

Published by | Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Windows XP: 2001-2014

This evening Windows XP will be taken off life support and pass into the ether of magnetic media. Loved by millions across the globe, XP will be missed by many. The child of Windows ME and Windows 2000, Windows XP joined the robustness of a 32-bit NT kernel with a friendly consumer interface, and proved to be greater than the sum of its parents.

In its early years, Windows XP was frequently derided as “garish” or “cartoonish,” but its tenacity eventually won over the hearts of millions. XP experimented in the mobile space with Windows XP Tablet Edition during its adolescence, which ultimately was a growing phase for the young OS that didn’t work out as expected. During a journey of minimalism, XP crammed itself onto pint-sized netbooks that gave people half as much to carry, but took four times as long to launch anything.

Use online chat for customer service

Published by | Monday, April 7th, 2014

Use online chat for customer service

Last week on Monday Productivity Pointers, we explored writing a claim letter to report either a faulty product from, or poor experiences with a company.

This week we’re going to keep the momentum going—but instead of writing a letter, we’ll look at reasons why it may be quicker and more effective to use online chat for customer service issues, if the option is available.

Managing different types of employees: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

This week I’ll tackle a fun case: managing those employees who approach their jobs a bit differently than the rest. Say hello to your creative and technical teams.

In this week’s first tip we’ll address the creatives on your team. Creative professionals can be colorful, unique individuals; by nature they tend to view problems from different perspectives. Your real management challenge with creative professionals is nurturing and channeling their creativity while protecting them from team members who don’t understand their processes.

Write a claim letter to a company: Monday Productivity Pointers

Published by | Monday, March 31st, 2014

Write a claim letter

I’ve slipped a few nontechnical topics into Monday Productivity Pointers over the past year and they’ve proven to be popular, so this week I’m doing it again.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how to write a claim letter to a company for a faulty product or a bad experience. When you don’t get results from a claim letter, often the problem is that you never actually asked for a claim in the first place.