Tips for Unplugging

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In yesterday’s blog post, I told you that I was on a beach in Hawaii, and why I was taking an unplugged vacation – my first in 9 years. This post is all about how I’m pulling it off.

  1. I told everyone I was going to do it. This is critical – I let all my current clients and any prospects I was talking with know that I was going to be on vacation and that it was going to be an unplugged vacation. You know what surprised me? The support I got when I told people that. 100% of the people I’ve told were on board and happy to plan around my time off.
  2. I delegated tasks. For the things I normally do that are critical to my business, I parsed those things out to others. Including checking my email! I also lined up resources to handle things for me just in case something comes up. I do a lot of technology consulting, so sometimes my client’s need things handled that can’t wait. Luckily, I’ve developed relationships with awesome smart and talented peers in my field that are happy to step in and handle things for me.
  3. I’m planning regular check-ins with my folks. I’m going to touch base with the people handling things for me a total of 3 times over the 9 days that I’ll be gone. It helps that only 5 of those days are normal work days. Checking in will make me feel better, and allow me to totally unplug the rest of the time.
  4. I did work ahead of time. Like my tweets and blog posts. I wrote them, created a schedule and used tools to post them while I’m gone. One of the tools? Zoho Social. With Zoho Social I can create & schedule tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook posts.

That’s it. If I can do it, so can you.

Aloha!

ER2CIGJANF

Take an Unplugged Vacation – I Am

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As you read this, I’m on a beach in Hawaii. Or at least I hope I am. Self-care is important for everyone. But it’s especially important for entrepreneurs. In 16 years of owning my own consulting business, I think I’ve taken less than 5 totally unplugged breaks. Normal people call these “vacations”.

As a business owner, vacations are a luxury. Stepping away and completely unplugging from your business is:
a. scary
b. impossible
c. risky
d. all of the above

Yet the benefits of unplugging are so enticing:
a. reconnect with people in your life
b. increased focus & creativity when you get back to work
c. improvements in your health – lowered blood pressure, better sleep and less depression
d. a fresh mindset

How am I accomplishing this? Read my next blog post.

Taming the Email Beast – Get a Month of Your [Work] Life Back

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I was asked to present at the Small Business Tech Meetup held last night at Zoho Corporate HQ.

Email can be a huge time-waster, but it’s a necessary e̶v̶i̶l̶  tool for business, well, for life, actually.

I Wish I Could Spend More Time On Email

Estimates vary, but the McKinsey Global Institute said in 2012 that an average employee spends 13 hours a week clearing their inbox and that it’s often the number one most time-consuming work activity. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that number has probably gone up. But let’s stick with that number for a minute.

 

Would you like to have just a portion of your life back from managing email? Let’s say you could recoup a little less than half of that time, we’ll call it 5 hours a week, just to be conservative. That’s about 250 hours a year, or 31 days or a whole damn month! A MONTH!!!!

Here’s a link to the prez I delivered at the Meetup with some strategies, habits and tools to help you do just that. Small Biz Tech Meetup August Prez

SalesInbox – Email for Closers

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Zoho’s New CRM

Zoho CRM recently unveiled their new CRM and we’re devoting a few blog posts to the coolest new features. But beyond cool, these are enhancements that will make you more productive and help you increase revenue and reduce expenses. Click here for Zoho’s “What’s New?” post.
Don’t feel like reading but have questions? Get answers.

Today’s Zoho CRM feature? SalesInbox.

 

coffee's for closers

You can’t be in sales and not have heard that famous quote about coffee being for closers only. Glengarry Glen Ross is a brutal film about the ugly side of sales.

Zoho CRM’s new SalesInbox is Email for Closers – what if you could view your inbox – yes, that unholy behemoth of distractions, drivel and deals – and hone in on the really important stuff first? Like Deals? Leads? SalesInbox lets you do just that.

Here’s a list of my top 8* fave things about SalesInbox:

  1. Prioritize your emails and get to the most important emails first.
  2. View contextual details from your CRM database right in the email list in a timeline view.
  3. Do CRM tasks via drag & drop right from your inbox. Things like, create a lead, contact or deal.
  4. Stop using your inbox as a de-facto to-do list – move emails to tasks.
  5. Add reminders to emails so you don’t forget to respond within a set time.
  6. Don’t let important follow-up fall through the cracks, with ResponseWatch – SalesInbox will ping you when you DON’T get a response.
  7. Use personalized templates to save time and track opens & clicks. Even see which team member has the best open and click rates on their email templates.
  8. And of course SalesInbox works on your mobile device, so you can be just as productive on the go.

*Why 8 and not 10? Because I created the list without a number in mind and don’t really want to add 2 fluff things to make the list a nice, round 10.

SalesInbox

 

Inbox prioritized.

 

 

 

SalesInbox ResponwWatch

 

 

Waiting for a response? Let ResponseWatch monitor it for you.

 

 

SalesInbox Lead Creation

 

Create leads, contacts & deals automatically from your Inbox.

 

 

 

 

Event Alert!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area please come join me as I share strategies, habits and tools to Tame the Email Beast. I’ll be speaking at the Small Business Tech Meetup in Pleasanton, CA on August 24th, 2016 at 6:15 pm. Click here for all the details and to RSVP.

Help! I have questions!

If you want to learn more, or have questions about how Zoho CRM can help your organization, book a Zoho CRM Blitz Q&A with me here.

Edit & Share Office Files with Google Drive

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I love Google Apps for Work, I made the switch from Outlook on December 14, 2014 and I’ve never looked back. In talking with my clients about moving to Google, there are a few misconceptions about going to Google Apps for Work. The most common is that you have to use an @gmail.com address. Um, nope. My stacy@po3inc.com is through Google.

The other most common myth with Google is that you can’t save/edit Microsoft Office files from Drive.

Side note: Drive is Google’s online file storage and sync service and depending on which Google Apps for Work plan you are on, you get either 30GB, 1 TB or Unlimited storage. Yep, UNLIMITED storage if you have more than 5 users and are on the Unlimited plan which is $10 per user per month.

But you CAN edit Word, Excel & Powerpoint files on ANY device – without any Office software.

Step 1: From the Chrome Web Store, download the Chrome extension for editing Office files with Docs, Sheets or Slides.
Step 2: In Google Drive, click the New button in the top-left corner and choose File upload, then select an Office file on your hard drive.
Step 3: To open and edit the Office file in Word, Excel or PowerPoint format, locate it in Google Drive and double-click its file name.

Editing Word on Drive

<– Click image to see .gif of the steps.

 

 

 

 

Want to try Google Apps for Work – click here. Use this promo code to save 20% off your first year: 7MYH7JAAVW7CRU

Have questions about migrating to Google or how it works or why I love it so much? Book a 30 minute Google Apps for Work Blitz Q&A with me here.

First Video Blog!

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We are excited to debut our very first Video Power Blog! (Video! I know!) This is due in large part (ok, totally) to our newest team member, Kiley McInroy, Account Specialist and the Manager of Make it Happen here at Po3inc. She rocks.

This Power Blog includes an update on my recent trip to Arizona to meet with the “Swifties” (Swiftpage employees) and learn about some of what they have in mind for the future of ACT! – I am excited and loving the journey.

We also included a useful tip on backing up your database – an important function that is often overlooked. I hate it when I have to tell people that I can’t help them get back the 25 key customers a user “accidentally” deleted because they have no backup. That sucks.

Enjoy!