Business - Post archive

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.

Microsoft Office for iPad hits the App Store

Published by | Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Office for iPad First Look - now available

If you watched Microsoft’s San Francisco press event earlier today, you know there’s big news–the much anticipated Office for iPad applications are available for download in the App Store today as of 11 Pacific. Excel, PPT, and Word are all available individually and for free download. If you’re looking to just read Office documents from your iPad, you can use the apps for free, but editing rights will cost you an Office 365 subscription.

With the auto-save feature ensuring you won’t lose your work and the friendly ribbon interface and document editing abilities, you’ll see a lot of familiar features as you download each app. Plus, access your Camera Roll photos to add to docs or presentations, and get used to the 123 numerical keyboard in Excel. Get used to making your PowerPoint presentations on the iPad and then presenting them from it.

Downloaded the new Office for iPad apps and ready to dive in? Be sure to watch Jess Stratton’s free course Office for iPad First Look to get a head-start.

The secret to maintaining a customer service attitude

Published by | Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Maintaining a customer service attitude

Customer service professionals are expected to have a positive and friendly attitude at all times—but maintaining such an attitude isn’t always easy. Upset customers, challenging problems, or even fatigue can make it hard to keep smiling.

Attitude anchors are techniques you can use to help position your customer service attitude in a positive place, or even to repair a bad attitude when you’re feeling down. There are two kinds of attitude anchors: maintenance anchors and repair anchors.

Build better teams & individuals: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Build better teams

This week’s first tip takes aim at our unquestioning love of teams. For the last half century, building a team to handle issues has been the de facto response to big challenges at work.

The idea is simple. Two heads (or three or four) are better than one. More experience and more ideas make for more effective decision making, right?

Not necessarily. First, there are many ineffective ways to build teams. From staffing and training to recognition and rewards, we don’t always think about all the issues that should be involved when building a team.

Refocus and reach your goals for 2014

Published by | Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Reach your goals for 2014

Each January we make resolutions and set lofty goals—but following through with them can be a challenge. Have you already lost sight of your goals for 2014? Or have you considered abandoning them altogether because they seem too difficult?

Brain experts say that once you set a goal it’s natural for your mind to begin thinking of reasons why you should not, or cannot, accomplish it. You brain goes on autopilot, insisting that your goal is unattainable because of x, y, and z. But you can learn to shut down that negative reasoning, and I’ll show you how.