New life for old gadgets

March 29, 2011

Retailers that sell electronics are after your business, and that bodes well for your old electronics and your wallet. A growing cluster of retailers and web sites are snapping up old gear and offering credit toward the purchase of new products:

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‘Eco-friendly’ means saving some green

March 23, 2011
The latest green trend isn’t about being politically correct. It’s about saving money and gaining efficiencies. The key word has shifted from “eco” to “sustainable.” Administrative professionals can be linchpins for a company that wants to be more efficient and sustainable.
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Before you call a meeting …

March 17, 2011

Prior to gathering anyone around the conference table, ask yourself or the meeting organizer this important question: “Why are we meeting?” The best meetings let groups do one of three things: brainstorm, solve a problem or make a decision. People need a more tangible goal than simply to “discuss” an issue or listen to progress reports.

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Never hand off work without a checklist

March 10, 2011
It’s not enough to do your work correctly and efficiently; you must also be sure that other members of the team or project-based work group can be trusted to finish what you started. Try using or adapting this “handoff checklist” to your work. Ask these questions of the person taking accountability for the completion of the work:
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Etiquette rules for the modern age

March 9, 2011
Having good manners today is less about using the right fork, and more about showing consideration toward others. Why? Most people won’t notice if you use the wrong fork. But they will notice if you show disrespect toward their time or talent. Ways to show respect for others:
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4 ways to beat procrastination

March 3, 2011

As people grapple with the urge to put things off, economists and psychologists have turned the study of procrastination into a significant field. And what have they discovered? Simply trying harder to “stop procrastinating” doesn’t work. Here’s what will:

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When confused at a meeting, butt in

February 22, 2011
Speaking up in meetings to ask for clarification can be intimidating. But it’s best to summon the courage, especially if you’re the one taking formal minutes or notes. Having a few useful phrases in hand can give you the confidence you need to speak up:
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Avoiding the trap of airline fees

February 21, 2011
These days, you can be slapped with charges for everything from checked luggage to being on the standby list—services that used to be free. In 2009 alone, airlines collected $7.8 billion in fees. Advice for avoiding airline fees:
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5 ways to keep track of business cards

February 11, 2011
“My boss is inundated with business cards,” writes an admin reader. “Some are in Rolodexes, others are loose. But he doesn’t want to weed through and toss old ones. Any ideas on how to organize them?”
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Stock a room to improve brainstorming

January 25, 2011

Staffers at design firm Ideo spit out hundreds of new ideas every day—including the ideas for the Apple mouse and the stand-up toothpaste squeeze tube. So if anyone knows how to conduct a brainstorming session, it’s Ideo. One thing that’s evident from looking into one of their conference rooms: You’ve got to get the space right.

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