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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just want to greet you all
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

ISO 9001:2000 Visit Plan

Fresh from a long day meeting! Wheu!

It was the final meeting before we schedule our first internal audit. Run down all the requirements.. papers, papers, papers.... and papers... oh I forget... documents also (still papers!).

Anyway, today I just want to share to you the Visit Plan we had during the process. Who will visit? Sorry, I forgot to clear some things here. Ok, We hired (let's name them) ABC Company to help us with our initiative to have our office procedures based on ISO standards. They will visit us based on a plan until our first audit comes.

So here's the visit plan.

1st VISIT - Gap Analysis
1. Selection of Management Representative
2. Control Documents Procedures (Master list of Documents)
3. Control of Records Procedures
4. Procedure for Purchase
5. List of Approved Suppliers
6. Supplier Evaluation Form
7. List of Machines
8. List of Tools
9. List of Quality Control Equipments
10. Quality Policy
11. Organizational Chart
12. List of Employee
13. Salary Sheet
14. Training Reocrd
15. Training Need Assessment
16. Identification Machines, Tools, Halls, Areas, etc.
17. All other Formats


2nd VISIT
1. Review all the work of Last visit
2. Procedure for Human Resources
3. Procedure for Management Commitment
4. Procedure for Internal Quality Audit
5. Procedure for Non-conforming Products
6. Procedure for Control of Monitoring & Measuring Devices
7. Job Description


3rd VISIT
1. Stock Register Store (Store must clean and prepapred Stock Register)
2. Stock Report (see client Record)
3. Production Job Card / Report
4. Marketing QT System
5. Verification of old visit work
6. Give Quality Manual
7. Procedure for Corrective & Preventive Action
8. Give Training to Worker about Quality Policy and ISO 9001 Introduction
9. Verifying all the work related to 1st visit.


4th VISIT
1. Incoming Inspection Report
2. IN-process Inspection Report
3. Final Inspection Report
4. Verify all working which is done by MR
5. File labeling, supplier evaluation, list of machine, list of tools, etc
6. Display of Quality Policy and Organizational Chart
7. Training provided to Top Management / Other Managers
8. Confirm First Audit Schedule

Today, we just finished the 4th visit.... but not item 8!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Emails: Continuing The Trouble

The following article is written by Mark C.S. Bassingthwaighte, Risk Manager for APLS RRG. This is related to our previous post regarding emails .

Thanks Mark for allowing us to post your article.


THE TROUBLE WITH EMAIL, Part 1

by
Mark C.S. Bassingthwaighte
Risk Manager
Attorneys Liability Prevention Society,
A Mutual Risk Retention Group


Email can certainly be a great time saver. One no longer needs to run to the post office for stamps nor wait several days for snail mail to complete the delivery. Documents and messages can be exchanged instantaneously at the click of a button and for some situations a response is only moments away. Are there any downsides to this great time saver for the law office? In short, yes. Here are a few of the significant ones.

Can an attorney/client relationship be unintentionally created via email? The answer isn’t as clear as one would hope. Consider this. An individual is browsing the Internet looking for an email address of an attorney, any attorney. Once found, this individual submits a legal question. Is this individual manifesting and intent to create an attorney/client relationship? If the attorney responds, has the attorney manifested a similar intent and does the attorney know or could she reasonably foresee that the advice would be relied upon? Does it make a difference if the email address was obtained from a site such as Martindale Hubble’s or was found at the firm’s web page where a banner reads “free online consultation?”

There are far too many variables that can be thrown into this scenario and no developed case law that would allow for a clear answer here. The best advice is to proceed with caution when unsolicited emails arrive at an attorney’s desk. The delete button is effective, but more and more this may not always make the most business sense. The prominent placement of disclaimers on a web site and/or using a firm email address in advertising and having all incoming emails screened by a non-attorney addresses this concern to some degree.

If the decision of the firm is to answer unsolicited questions, the challenge becomes limiting the exposure to a negligent advice claim. Giving advice in a vacuum is never wise and the limited information provided in emails makes this a mistake that can occur far too easily. With a phone call, the attorney has the ability to ask questions and there is much more control over what information is provided. If the decision is to answer legal questions from web site directed traffic, consider waiting 24 hours before responding. Take the time to consider if additional information is needed, to decide what qualifications should be included and to think through the answer. Advice given on the fly can too easily miss the mark.

The larger a firm becomes the greater the possibility that there is an attorney who fails to utilize the technology and thus never checks for email. If questions for the site are encouraged, every attorney must routinely review their incoming email. The possibility of a statute getting blown while an individual waits for a response to her submitted question, particularly in the absence of a thorough disclaimer on the site, could be a real problem.

If questions are going to be encouraged on a site and a fee collected however, a disclaimer will likely be completely ineffective, as attorney actions are inconsistent with a disclaimer that states an attorney-client relationship cannot be formed. One solution would be to require that before a question is submitted, the client must agree to the terms of a click-through agreement that clearly sets forth the terms of the limited engagement and definitively limits the scope of representation to a question and response or at least documents that the disclaimer has been read. A click-through agreement typically is used to specify the terms and conditions that apply to the purchase of a product or service from the web site. The buyer will explicitly assent to the terms by clicking on an “I agree” button after having the opportunity to review the terms. Be aware that these agreements may not be enforceable if the terms are too overbearing or harsh.

Conflicts of Interest are a related concern. When questions come into the firm the individual often details the facts of their specific situation. When these emails come directly to the attorney, regardless of the creation of an attorney-client relationship, should this information be tracked in a conflict database? I can easily foresee clients trying to conflict a competent opposing attorney out of the case simply by asking general questions about the specific case via email with opposing counsel hoping to force a withdrawal. Is this far fetched? Many law firm web sites fail to ask for name and address of the individuals submitting the email. How would the firm ever be able to prevent this from happening? Add to this the real possibility of questions coming into the firm from jurisdictions in which no attorney is licensed to practice. In this situation the response from the attorney may be viewed as the unauthorized practice of law, particularly when the advice given was completely inappropriate for that jurisdiction and a claim is presented.

In light of these possibilities alone, the web site should have language present at the attorney email hyperlink/s specifically stating that no email will be reviewed or responded to unless the individual has submitted their name and address. A state-of-the-art conflicts check requires that the firm only obtain the names of all parties involved in the matter and the type of matter at issue at first contact and nothing else. Contacts from the Internet need not alter this approach. The reality is, however, that many firms do not conduct the conflicts check at this level and do routinely allow for the presentation by the individual of their legal concern. Given this reality these contacts must be tracked in the database regardless of the creation of an attorney-client relationship, meaning declinations as well. Just as one party to a divorce has been known to try to taint every firm in a given area via phone contact, the Internet can be similarly used.

The Internet really hasn’t created any new malpractice exposures, simply a need for different solutions to the new ways in which these exposures can arise. This discussion will be continued in part two and will address such issues as misdirected communications, confidentiality and professionalism as they apply to email. Stay tuned.

ISO Certification: 9001 and 14001

I am currently working on our ISO Certification: both 9001 & 14001. Too much work to be done. That's why most of the time I prefer to take a sleep than blogging!

Anyway, for those who are not much familiar with ISO Certification, let me give you some idea:

International Organization for Standardization (ISO???? It should be IOS!!!) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1947 in an attempt to standardize commercial products and services. With its well-respected process, it gained popularity and was able to influence policy makers and legislators in most countries and companies participating in international trade, as well as in local market with high regards to quality.

ISO offers specific standards on most services and products known to us. Good thing with this standardization is that what is good practice in this side of the world can also be found in a another place where ISO standards are being implemented.

For our reference here, we are only talking about just two certification that they offer:

ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems - Requirements
and
ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standards

But just like any other organization or group, ISO received a lot of criticisms. One most outstanding known issue is that ISO is just documents and not much about the essence of it. They said that during the process of getting a certification, a company is much more concern in completing the requirements and documentation rather than the procedure that these documentation are what for.

I will give you my experiences during this process until we get these certification. I will share to you what I think about this certification and the process involved and whatever learnings that I will gain here. That's why I'm starting another category in this blog: ISO 9001 & 14001...MY WAY!!!

For the meantime... need to resst....zzzzzzz.....

Reading recommendation:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Emails: The Trouble of Having Official Submittals

Few years ago, I attended a symposium about latest trend on electronic documentation. All presenters were well prepared with their scripts and slide presentations and most of the audience were excited to hear their subject of interest. Even though how much been prepared, when the open forum started, everything went on a surprise as everyone were eager to raise a question.

With all the questions and debate had been started, there was one subject that will never forget: it was about Emails. Here are samples of questions raised:

How can we make a submittal through email as official?
Can someone's email be used as evidence for judicial court procedure?
Is electronic signature for emails enough to make it as official letter?
Will they accept my yahoomail?

so on and so forth...

I was a document controller before of a major construction project. It was so crucial to identify all official submissions being made. A simple information might lead into an additional job costing a million bucks. Proper channeling and archiving should be made. All submittals including request for information and approval should follow a certain procedure together with appropriate forms. Emails without necessary forms are not allowed.

Most of us are aware how email technology improved our daily lives. With this technology, all postal services need to review their business plans, if not to diversify. Email enabled us to transfer files and documents in seconds... anytime, anywhere (as long as you have access with technology).

However, there is still an issue that most of the companies asked with regards to email: How OFFICIAL email is? There were several factors why this issue still a concern and worries us a lot. Malicious programs like trojans, worms, and other known virus that penetrates our email systems. Phishing is also a concern.

"In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication"
- Wikipedia

How you ever been received an email which looks so authentic because it talks much about you. All information are true and seems like he knows everything going on you at the moment. You where about to follow the instruction until you realized that the one who sent you the email was Bill Gates. Unless you are really a friend of Mr. Gates, this is definitely a fraud.

And what if this someone used your boss name and send you an email instructing you to do something, how can you identify if it is real when all standard formats where been used?

This is something to consider: in all undertaking that you or your company should be entering to, there should be a clear policy on how to make official correspondence and how to treat email as a medium of transferring files and information.

If you have the privilege to do a system in document controlling, create a policy on how to control, manage, archive, and record emails. Although there are many softwares out there that can help you, having an understanding of a clear policy will make your day easier. A policy such as: how to give a SUBJECT, identifying ATTACHMENTS on your email, and when to start another subject.


If not, oh boy what a mess!
those replies... from here and there... every minute... every second...
they were talking on Submission A then later on another irrelevant topic.... but the SUBJECT LINE still reads
RE:FWD:RE:RE. SUBMISSION A.

So if I were you I will act now!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Office Tip # 4: Doing More Than Paid For

I know that this sounds familiar or somehow related to other quotes you already heard.

It is one of the Law of Success which Napoleon Hill mentioned in his book, THE LAW OF SUCCESS. Most of the popular quotes about exceeding expectation comes from this brilliant idea of Napoleon Hill whose works were been published during the Great Depression of 1930's.

"By rendering more service than that for which you are paid, you will be turning the spotlight of favorable attention upon yourself, and it will not be long before you will be sought with impressive offers for your services, and there will be a continuous market for those services."

More often, our creativity and motivation at work were being deprived by our own thinking. Our output are being limited only on the amount we are being paid for. This usually comes after knowing the salary of a co-employee and comparing to your own pay. Now, the compensation becomes the measurement of our output.

In this Office Tip, we are called to do more than what our companies expect from us. Do things that are greater than the average employees can do. But it should be done in a very careful and kind manner to avoid conflicts. All extra effort are for the benefits of all.

In times like this global financial crisis, we need to do extra effort for the company... in order to survive.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tech Review: Google Docs

Today on Tech Review, let's talk about one of our office productivity software we discussed previously: GOOGLE DOCS.

With Google Docs, you can create basic documents using a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation online.




Let's get some information from their site:

"Create basic documents from scratch or start from a template.
You can easily do all the basics, including making bulleted lists, sorting by columns, adding tables, images, comments, formulas, changing fonts and more. And it's free. "

Most of the basic feature of a document maker software are available. And Yes! because its from Google..... it's free!


"Upload your existing files.
Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. So go ahead and upload your existing files."

Although it works with almost all file format, you might still want to check the layout of your document once you uploaded it. Sometimes it differs from what we expect it.

With Google Docs, you can "share and collaborate in real time".

Before, my boss always asked me to send him the latest of the updated of his latest document with comments from this and that department. Oh BOY! Just imagine how we manage to name that file!

But with Google Docs, you can upload a document (or start from scratch online) and share it with your boss, his secretary, finance department, or anyone you think that need to be involved.

Not only that, you can also edit and discuss in real time. That's what I call a real collaboration.

To know more of Google Docs, just go to http://docs.google.com .

Well, I know it's not enough for a review. I will leave it to you to find out more about it.

See you next time!



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Office Tip # 3: Phone Calls

The way we handle phone calls reflects the personality of our company. So give some little care about it.

Here are some few tips...


Opening Courtesy
  • Smile first before answering any phone call to set an approachable mood.

Transferring Calls
  • Before transferring a call, make sure that you had explained to the caller that you are going to transfer her/his call and will be put on hold.

Taking a message
  • Get every detail of the message. Note that sometimes what you thought insignificance would be very important to the caller.

Placing a call
  • Identify your self, tell your working for , and immediately tell your purpose.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Your Skills Versus Technology

I remember during college, me and some of my colleagues went to an assembly of workers protesting on what they called "some unfair labor practices" by their employers. Allegedly, they were part of a mass lay-off being implemented due to "cost-cutting" strategy of the company.

Before, whenever I hear mass lay-off of employees, I thought that the company was on a crisis and retrenchment would be a solution for survival. But I realized that there's more logical reason behind this... and that's because of technology.

Industrialization made us to be called workers. Labor force strengthen factories and other manufacturing companies. All are being done manually... with man's own strength. That's why companies invested also on the welfare of its workers.

As years passed by approaching the computer era, labor force are being challenged by technology. A work of a hundred men 10 - 20 years ago can now be done by a single machine without any tendency of going on strikes and mass demonstrations. This means for employers less expense, less headache... more gains.

You and I are not exempted with this challenge. Our work and other skills can now be assigned to a computer system with assurance of error-proof results as long as the program and algorithms are correct.

Today, anything that can be digitalized are being challenged!

This does not mean that we need to hate technology and having this kind of attitude will not only makes things difficult but also marks you as instant loser.

So what shall we do?

Instead of being doom-sayers, let's face the fact that technology upgrades are inevitable and we need to cope up with it. But how?

Let me give you some ideas:
  • Have time in learning new things
  • Constantly search for latest technology
  • Collaborate with others
  • Instead of being afraid of the changes, learn to live with it
  • etc. etc. etc.
Bottom line... never ending learning and self improvement.

Always remember that technology comes from man. It needs our knowledge and skills for its own improvement. Do you think that your favorite office productivity softwares were programmed by a software developer without any input from someone like us? Or maybe the programmer himself is also an office admin that's why his softwares really suites our needs?

Do not be contended as end user, but rather be a source of inspiration of technology.

Learn more on how to become "untouchable", read more on Office Survival Tips!

Good night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Creating Forms Using MS Word or other Word Processing Programs

Please note that the term FORM that I used here refers to a plain document we usually fill out and not the one with fancy buttons and drop-downs plus back-end programs we found on online transactions. That kind of FORM functions will be discussed sometime on a separate article. Thanks!

You were assigned by your office to create a new document transmittal form to be used for a new project. The only program available on your computer is a word processor -- let's say MS Office... yah all right! Nice guess huh?

Since most of the word processing programs are What You See is What You Get (WYSWYG), it is so easy to layout a document. Creating a form is just putting your elements into right positions. Most especially if the form will be printed and filled out by hand writing. But, if the form will be filled up from computer before printing, there are things that we need to consider in our design and layout.

I just want to share to you some points I noticed on most word document forms:

  • The use of dot dot dot (....) or underscore underscore underscore (______ ) to provide a space for answers. e.g. Name .............
  • Over use of space bar or tab to separate items. e.g. Name (I use space bar here) Date
  • Misused of text boxes to insert an item.
If you use the above methods, you will deal a devastating alignment problem. Notice that when you insert your information on the form, the entire content that follows will move also. With this, you need to delete spaces until you get the right alignment that you want. And this is not a good idea especially if the one who will fill out the form is lazy enough to make the adjustments or no I idea at all on how to do it.

The best way to create a form in a word processor is to use a TABLE.

With TABLE, you can layout your form according to what you want it to be without any worries on the alignment after your target audience started filling it up. In this way you will preserve the identity of your masterpiece ;-).

Start to learn how to manipulate cells in a table: merge, adjust width, add or delete. Familiarize yourself with these tricks and soon you will find it easier and interesting.

I will try to give you some "HOW TO" with tables next time. But now, start practicing!

Wahu!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creating a Reference Number for Letters

I found it a bad practice in document archiving and management system using DATE as your reference. Although for others there is no problem encountered with this procedure, but on the long run this will create chaos in archiving documents.

Whether your organization writes two or more letters a day, use a unique reference number to identify a specific letter followed by a date when it was created or signed. This will make a correspondence archive-able and easy to manage.

Now, next question would be what format to follow?

There is no generic or ready made formatting (that I know) to be followed. The reference number format (or code) is on the discretion of the user which he finds informative, useful, and ease in quick referencing. You can use letters, numbers, or combination of both.

There are different techniques in doing this:

Numbers only
e.g. 001-055-01500
where as:
first three digits (001) are for department code,
second set (055) are for the employee code (or originator),
last digits (01500) are for unique (incremental) number

Alpha Numeric
e.g. ACT-EOF-01500
where as:
first three (ACT) are for department code,
second set (EOF) are for the employee's initials
last digits (01500) are for unique (incremental) number (notice that we still use numbers here)

In the above examples, we only have three elements: department code, employee's code (or the initiator), and unique number. Depending on your organizations need, you can add more elements to make your reference number more informative like project code, storage/file code, branch code, etc.

You can use hyphen (-) or slash (/) to separate the elements... or nothing at all (e.g. ACTEOF01500).

Just a couple of reminders:
  • make it simple and short as much as possible
  • must be consistent with other code format being implemented in your organization
We will discuss more about referencing and document handling next time. If you have some questions, clarifications, or anything related don't hesitate to drop some thoughts on the COMMENTS page.

By now... time to sleep. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Category: Document Control and Management

Today, we are going to add a new category to this site. I consider this as another field of study in our endeavor and an interesting discussion for most of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome...


E. Document Control and Management (DCM)

In this category, you and I will share best practices and tested solutions in handling corporate documents and other correspondence. It doesn't matter how old or new your system is, or simple or complicated, as long as it works and helps your organization, it is worth a share.

So, I am starting to compile my notes here to share and hope you will get some useful pointers applicable to your own system. Just always remember that the best system starts in the mind of the initiator and ends in the works of the members.

See yah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shortcut Keys for MS Word

Since most of us are using MS Word for making a document, here's my gift to you... shortcut keys for MS Word which I found very useful.

Just pick at least 5 shortcut keys a day until you get used to all of it.

Enjoy!

Shortcut
Action
Ctrl + A Select all contents of the document
Ctrl + B Bold/unbold highlighted text
Ctrl + C Copy highlighted text
Ctrl + I
Italize / un-italize highlighted selection
Ctrl + P Open the print dialog box
Ctrl + F Open find dialog box
Ctrl + S
Save the document
Ctrl + Shift + S
Save As
Ctrl + X
Cut highlighted text
Ctrl + K Insert a link
Ctrl + U Underline / remove underline on highlighted text
Ctrl + V Paste the copied or cut text
Ctrl + Y Redo the last action
Ctrl + Z Undo the last action
Ctrl + L

Left align of the selection (or all if nothing been selected)

Ctrl + E Center align of the selection (or all if nothing been selected)
Ctrl + R Right align of the selection (or all if nothing been selected)
Ctrl + M Indent a selected paragraph (or all if nothing been selected)
Ctrl + Shift + F Change font face
Ctrl + Shift + > Increase font size of the highlighted text
Ctrl + ] Increase selected font by +1pts.
Ctrl + Shift + < Decrease font size of the highlighted text
Ctrl + [ Decrease selected font by -1pts
Ctrl + Shift + * View or hide non printing characters
Ctrl + Left Key Cursor moves one word to the left
Ctrl + Right Key Cursor moves one word to the right
Ctrl + Up Key
Cursor moves to the beginning of the line or paragraph
Ctrl + Down Key Cursor moves to the end of the paragraph
Ctrl + Del Deletes word to right of cursor
Ctrl + Backspace Deletes word to left of cursor
Ctrl + End Moves the cursor to the end of the document
Ctrl + Home Moves the cursor to the beginning of the document
Ctrl + Spacebar Reset highlighted text to the default font
Ctrl + 1 Single-space lines on a selected paragraph
Ctrl + 2 Double-space lines on a selected paragraph
Ctrl + 5 1.5-line spacing on a selected paragraph
Ctrl + Alt + 1 Changes text to heading 1
Ctrl + Alt + 2 Changes text to heading 2
Ctrl + Alt + 3 Changes text to heading 3
Ctrl + F1 Open the Task Pane
F1 Help window
Ctrl + N
Open a new document
Ctrl + F2 Display the print preview
Shift + F3 Change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word
F5 Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word
F7 Spell and grammar check selected text and/or document
Shift + F7 Runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted

More shortcuts to come...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Office Productivity Suites, Our Best Buddies

Let's face it! Our work will not be the same without acknowledging the benefit which computers and office productivity softwares help our lives as office personnel. In this period of jpegs and pdfs, having an average knowledge in these softwares is a must.


What are these office productivity tools that I am referring too?


For everybody's guidance (and for us to have one idea on the subject), office productivity softwares are those computer applications that deals in making digital documents and the manipulation of its data. It usually comes as a package which primarily composed of a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation tool. However, as technology evolves rapidly, more and more programs are being added to the office productivity package that eventually becoming a necessity also; like drawing, database, forms, and some programs for work collaboration.

When Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computers) presented to the world the personal computer, one of the first questions asked to him was who will need such machine? It was a period when electrical typewriters are office admins' best friend and computers are only for computing! Without any second thought, Steve replied that PC computers are for all. And indeed – after a couple years his right! (Watch Pirate of Silicon Valley movie to get a little background on development of personal computers.)

Together with this physical component of a computer comes the softwares. Let's take some short discussion on the different office productivity softwares available today.


1.MICROSOFT OFFICE




Now, tell me which application do you use? I expect that most of you will gave me an answer of "Microsoft Office" for it is well known and commonly used program. Because of its popularity, most of the office softwares used this as their benchmark when it comes to graphical interface. Do I need to elaborate further?

Check out this book for further reading:Microsoft Office 2007: Introductory Concepts and Techniques, Windows XP Edition


2.OPENOFFICE




This is a promising contender of MS Office and getting a lot of attention. OpenOffice Org is a product of open source community and under LGPL license therefore it is free for everyone to use.

"Best of all, OpenOffice.org 3 can be downloaded and used entirely free of any licence fees. OpenOffice.org 3 is released under the LGPL licence. This means you may use it for any purpose - domestic, commercial, educational, public administration. You may install it on as many computers as you like. You may make copies and give them away to family, friends, students, employees - anyone you like. " -OpenOffice website

I can say that the interface is almost the same as MS Office versions before Office 2007. Just make sure when you save the file, use the proper filename extension (or format) to use so that it can be opened with MS Office.

I installed OpenOffice to most of our office computers and my officemate started to get along with it. Another cost-effective solution for a company isn't it?


3. NeoOFFICE



This a derivative of OpenOffice for Mac. Same features of OpenOffice with some additional features to accomodate the capability of a Mac machine.




4. GOOGLE DOCS





And this is a remarkable software! Oppsss... sorry just thinking aloud.

Although it is not much used for office purpose, the idea of using the software online without any installation and worries on licenses is for me a breakthrough. This will make every computer a simple input/output (I/O) device. You can work on your files on any computer with internet connection. Actually, I am using this technology for doing my drafts and researches for this weblog.



5. LOTUS SYMPHONY




I haven't really used this office suite before but I heard a lot of good feedbacks on this. You can try it and let me know your comment. By the way, it is an IBM product and ohhhh.... uses OpenOffice technology.


That's it! I gave you five office suites available for everyone to use. But don't limit yourself on the above list because there are a lots of softwares available out there - with a price or free. They are just waiting for your attention and try them.


Some extra note: next time, use the term "word processor" instead of MS Word, or spreadsheet for Excel. It's like Coke when you mean cola. Or Pepsi... (or bebsi in Dubai)...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Office Fellow: With Dedication and Learning New Things

Today's post for our O.F.O.F., let us welcome Mimi.

From Manila, she moved to Dubai to work in a project management company. She shares to us her dedication to work and some unforgettable experiences she encountered.


"I believe that having a harmonious relationship with co-workers is one of the most important factors to enjoy your work."



Mimi Jimenez
Projects Secretary cum Document Controller
7 1/2 yrs in office admin work








What are the
skills that you think that fits you as a secretary?

I have good communication skills, good interpersonal skills, knowledge in MS Office applications, able to write good correspondences. Also, I am a good listener, fast learner, and flexible.


Any unforgettable experience at work?

My first dictation with our managing director I would say one of my most unforgettable experiences. I was not that good in dictation because I haven't experienced that when I worked in the Philippines as a secretary. It was totally unforgettable experience because at first I was not able to get the words or terms that he dictated to me and my boss get upset . But, now I can say that I am good enough to do it (smile).


How do you manage to improve your skills?

To improve my skills, I am continuously learning from day to day activities in the office. I am not limiting myself to the task or duties assigned to me. As much as possible I am trying to do the things above what is expected from me. In addition to that, I am exploring other office applications that I know will help me in carrying out my business activities.


You mentioned exploring other office applications, can you share to us what are these applications that you are exploring on right now and how it helps you in your work?

Actually, I am exploring MS Publisher right now because I believe it will help me to create a website for the company and my personal website as well. Also, if I'll be given a chance I'm gonna study Primavera because I know it will help me in carrying out my task as a document controller.


Any tips on how to enjoy your work?

For me, what I am doing to enjoy my work is to befriend with my colleagues because I believe that having a harmonious relationship with co-workers is one of the most important factors to enjoy your work. Also, I keep on thinking all the people that I am supporting financially because it’s encouraging me to enjoy my work because they are my inspiration.



Thank you Mimi for your time and support in office admins' hide-out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Office Tip # 2: Treating Your Officemates As Your Customers

As part of an organization, you should identify two types of customer: one who gives business to your company and those persons you are working with - your officemates.

Treating your officemates as your customers will not only smoothen your relationship with them but also boost the spirit of teamwork in your company. Isn't it your boss is like a very important client that you need to give special care on all requests and task he or she assigned you to do? Ignoring it means losing a deal (your job).

Imagine this, the design department sends you a thank you card for keeping their stationaries and other materials always on "on-stock" status.

If your company gave you a training on how to handle customer service, you can apply it also to your officemates.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meet Your Fellow Office Admins

This category will give tribute to some of our fellow office admins sharing their experiences and insights of what it takes as the most important person in the office.

From time to time, we will feature a fellow office workaholic here and learn from his or her experiences.

Wanna be featured sometime? Let me know!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Office Tip # 1: Know Your Routine and Simplify

How much of your time are being utilized by your work?

Some of us might say eight hours a day as per office timings and can give some extra hours of work if required. Or if you are working at your home office, it depends on the work load you received and agreed to accomplish. Personal secretaries might find this question very hard to answer, if not answering "while my boss is awake!".

Although we need to work hard everyday, it does not mean that this work will make us unworthy to enjoy life and do other things that will increase our skills and personality. And I guess, right now you have extra time because you are reading this post. =)

We all know that doing same things everyday will eventually become boring. I do believe that boredom results from a stagnant flow (or nothing at all) of imagination, excitement, and curiosity. It is when our voluntary mind works more than our excited mind (or whatever you call it!).

IF WORK BECOMES BORING, IT ONLY MEANS THAT WE NEED TO MOVE ANOTHER STEP IN WHAT WE ARE DOING.

If you are too busy doing things over and over again and find it very pretty boring, its about time to do something.

While working, open a spreadsheet and write down every task you perform for that day. Just a small description will do. It will take you less than 10 seconds to write a single task. At the end of the day save it. Then, tomorrow open the file and do the same thing. Once you have extra time (weekend, if you have it), try to make a score card of all the tasks you just recorded and find which kind ate up a lot of your time. By this method, you can group all task that can be improved and apply a system to make it simpler.

Routines are good only in a particular period and should cope up with the challenges being brought by modern technology.

Who Are We?

If you are:

- an office manager
- any kind of secretary (personal, executive, chief, etc.)
- document controller
- office assistant
- logistics personnel
- purchasing officer
- accountant
- messenger
- human resource personnel
- or whatever your organization calls you

you are considered (for the purpose of this site only) an office admin.

You are most welcome to read all posts, contribute and share what you think appropriate for this site.

See yah!

Technology Review

We believed that using the right technology will make our work easier (and more time for internet browsing... amen!).

Finding the right software and hardware for us means more performance efficiency (or more youtube-ing.... yes!).

We will try to give you some of the useful technology out there and allow us to review it. To add more fun, you can give your review and assessment also.

Suggestions for review are welcome!

Survival Tips for Office Admins

We titled this as "Survival Tips for Office Admins" due to the fact that technology is about to replace our daily routine work and we need to do our work well than an average office administrator or else be extinct.

In order for us to exceed management expectations, if not being lay-off, this Office Survival Tips category is made for you. You can find here helpful tips on basic information, how to , and other tutorials that will improve your skills and effectiveness as office admin.

IF YOU THINK YOU GOT SOMETHING TO SHARE ALSO, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE.

We will be glad to know it. Anyway, we are birds of the same kind!

What To Expect On This Site

On this site, we will tackle everything that affects our life as office admin:

... doing office works under minimum supervision

... confident office manager

... tips on how to file documents easily and effectively

... pointers in filing and all basic informations needed in our record book or log sheets (or whatever you may call it)

... software reviews related to our daily tasks (office productivity, database management, games... of course!)

... interviews of fellow office admins

... job openings (and lay off also...)

... and anything the affects our life as office admins

So then, if you want to be updated about what we post here, make sure to click the FOLLOW THIS BLOG link on the sidebar.

Thanks!

Welcome OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS!!!

Hello there fellow office administrators...

Welcome to OFFICE ADMINS' HIDE-OUT!
... where highly organized individuals of the corporate world meet.

This is where most important persons in a corporate office exchange ideas and share their skills by helping fellow office administrators in their daily office routine.

What is a Office Administration?

According to wiki :

"Office administration is a set of day-to-day activities related to financial planning, billing and recordkeeping, personnel, and physical distribution and logistics, within an organization."

Fellow office administrators, is this enough?

Maybe we can add more on this and give more justification to our existence.

Here's my shot:

Office Administration is the backbone of any organization.

Yes, I know. It is not a valid definition but that's the most description I can give.

Why don't you give your own definition of what you are really doing? Give it a shot!

Anyway, this site is for you!