Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Back to school ideas

WOW!  Hard to believe that the summer is almost over.   Soon, my blog hiatus will be coming to an end too.  I’ll be back at the beginning of September bringing you daily time-saving tips.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d revisit some previous blogs I’ve written about back to school ideas and share then with you today

 

This tip written in August of 2010 is still a great idea for taking the hassle out of  the  I don’t know what to wear blues.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/school-days-tips/

 

This tip written last year helps with back to school clothes shopping.  This experience doesn’t have to be a bad one.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/could-it-be-back-to-school-already/

 

The final tip written in 2011 helps get your calendar organized.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/back-to-school-calendar-tip/

 

Hope you and your kids have a wonderful and successful school year.

See you in a couple of weeks!

~Amy

 

 

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Freedom Friday! Name my eBook

Hi Friends and Happy Friday!

I’m not really starting another themed day – although I do hope you like them.  But I would like to enlist your help today  – hey – let’s make it a contest.

A few months ago I completed my first eBook – it is a collection of time-saving tips to help make the daily dinner time rush less hectic and more doable.  I named this book “What’s for Dinner” – which I never really loved.  I have it listed on Amazon for Kindle  but I fear it isn’t getting any recognition because the title probably makes it seem more like a cookbook than a tip book.

So – will you help me name my eBook.

For a limited time you can view the book here –  – – –What’s for dinner

Please take a look at it, read through and send me your thoughts.  I’d love any comments but what I’m really looking for is a new title.

Let’s keep this contest running for one week.  Next Friday I will announce the new title.  The winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!!

I can’t wait to see what ideas you have.

Thanks for your help!

~Amy


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Coming Soon! 25 Tips for Christmas

Happy Almost December!

 

I thought I’d jump on the 25 Days band wagon that seems to be popular right now and challenge myself to write 25 Tip for Christmas.  Stay tuned – it’s starting – Thursday, Dec 1st.   Each day I’ll offer a time, energy, money, effort tip to help get through the craziness that is the Holiday season.  Many of  the tips can be used for your small business and your personal life too.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts along the way – please feel free to share with your friends too.

~Amy

 

 


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When Emailing – Offer More Information

Originally, this blog post was going to be directed to all my small business owner followers.  But as I was thinking about it more and more, I think this information can be applied to either a professional or personal situation, like many of my tips that I offer.

In addition to writing this blog, I do some contract work for a little, local non-profit organization.   We specialize in animal rescue and responsible pet ownership and education.  Yesterday, I received an extremely vague email from someone inquiring about website advertising.  The problem was – from his email I couldn’t tell if he wanted us to advertise on his website or if he wanted to advertise on our website.  I responded from the angle that we don’t advertise on other websites, his response this morning was that he would make  donation in exchange for advertising.  WHAT?  I was so confused, I just point-blank asked him what he was asking to do. He finally responded with clarity.

A couple of months ago, I received an email from my son’s teacher very basically informing me that my son would miss recess because she had received an email from a friend’s father that my son was calling his son names.

Period.   The End.  Seriously – that was about all the email offered.

Both of these emails to me are maddening.  Both are so vague in their information, they both require me to seek more information.  The advertising guy could have introduced himself, his company, stated more clearly what he was hoping to achieve and ask how best to proceed.  The teacher’s email gave no specifics of occurrences or what names had been called – it was so vague and offered so little information, I didn’t even address it with my son.

Here’s my point – I LOVE EMAIL!  It is quick, to the point, always available (no phone tag with email.)  But email also has it drawbacks – messages get lost or misunderstood much more easily if things are not written clearly.

So in the spirit of saving time and energy – and not wasting either on emails that you send – here are a couple of things to remember to help your email messages go through with enough information to combat the need for future and unnecessary followups.

1. More information is better.  Don’t you hate it when people hold back on information?  I certainly do.

2. Don’t create a situation in which a person needs to ask for more information or clarifying details.

3. Introduce yourself and your intentions if this is the first attempt to connect with a person/company.

4. Clearly state what your desires are.  Sometimes emails are just information based that don’t require any further action – but many times they are not.  Be clear what your expectations are of the recipient so there is no confusion later.

There are many email etiquette blogs, books and articles that can be read about the subject.  Here’s my little tidbit on the topic.  Hope it helps!


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Subscribe, Unsubscribe and Resubscribe

Last Friday I promised my husband that I wouldn’t work over this long, holiday weekend.  I have to admit – I wasn’t very successful in my promise.  My original plan was to completely turn off my computer – not check Facebook, email or even Woot.

WHAT?

If anyone knows me – they know how hard of a feat this is for me.  I’m connected to my computer as much as I like my head attached to the top of my neck.  For the record- for a lot more than just social media and email.

Saturday, we spent the day outside, bike riding and having a picnic.  It was easy to stay away.  Sunday – I was trapped inside doing laundry and feeling conflicted that I was dressed from church and had to stay clean as we had plans to go  our friends’ place  for dinner.  I wanted to work in the yard, yet I didn’t want to get dirty.  So – clean clothes and nails won – and I opted to stay inside.

Now – what to do?  I am happy to say – I didn’t work – work – this weekend on the computer.  But I did catch up!  And cleaned up too!

I subscribe to about fifteen or so blogs that come in to my inbox almost daily – depending on the blog/author.  While I have come to be loyal followers of these authors – some of the blogs are pretty lengthy and luckily, many of them aren’t time sensitive.  Instead of reading them as they come in, I created a “blogs to read” folder and would get them out of sight while I working on other projects – and saved them to be read at a later, more convenient time.  My “blogs to read” folder had grown to over 75 emails that needed to be read over the last few weeks.

Ok – jump back to my promise to Tim – how was I going to pull my laptop out and read all my blogs without it appearing that I was working?

We have an iPad!

Tim doesn’t count my time on the iPad as work – mainly because I have been reading this month’s book club book – Uncle Tom’s Cabin – on the Kindle App.  And I usually only use it to play Majhong – (not really an Angry Birds player).

One problem – – my “blogs to read” folder was in an Outlook folder on my PC/laptop.  I couldn’t access any of them on the iPad.

I enlist Tim’s help.  “How can I read all these blogs that are in a folder in my Outlook – on the iPad?”

Tim – “easy – email them all to your Gmail account and read them there.”

Brilliant!

Sort-of.

I did email the folder to my Gmail account – but it didn’t work out in an ideal way.  Instead- it came across as one giant email that anytime I clicked on a link then went back – because the file was so big – it was taking too long to load…..it just wasn’t working out the way I had planned.

My desire to read the blogs and make some headway on them was more profound than the logistics of getting them all on the iPad and reading them there.

So – I pulled out the laptop and started reading.  Catching up, deleting some, saving some for further reference.  Feeling productive.

Do you remember a few months ago I wrote that series on “too much in my inbox“.  One part in that series I spoke about creating folders and/or separate email addresses.  While I read my way through the blogs this weekend – I did the latter.  After reading each one, I unsubscribed to the ones that go to the Outlook email address and resubscribed to my Gmail account.

Viola!

Now – anywhere I can access the internet and/or Gmail – I can access my blogs.  Gmail has folders set up as a default so I’ll probably still sort these blog emails into one of those so I can keep the general inbox clean and read the blogs when I have free time to concentrate on them.

I know I can set up the iPad to receive the emails from my Outlook inbox – but for personal preferences I don’t like to do that.  I think this is a happy compromise.

One small glitch in the system – for any blog emails/articles I want to keep and file for future reference – I’ll need to email those back to myself and store them in a separate folder that I have on my PC.   But  – I’ll make that work.  I like this new system – it is keeping my Outlook/work inbox cleaner and it is preventing me from lugging the larger laptop around.

I have to admit, it was refreshing to open my Outlook inbox this morning to find a reduced amount of emails.  And my Gmail account is successfully receiving a few blog emails already too.

Here’s the link to my original email about keeping separate in-boxes from my “too much in my inbox” series.

https://amymunns.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/too-much-in-my-inbox-part-five-create-different-emails/

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Here’s to a short week!

Stay tuned – soon I’ll be introducing another fun contest – this time with a bigger prize.  Here’s a hint – it has to do with birds,stones and the number two.

Amy Munns

Time Saver/Time Management Guru
            Finding more minutes in your day
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“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.'”  – Lao Tzu