Easy Ways to Be More Productive

easy ways to be more productive

how to be more productive

If you are looking to improve your business, an easy way to start is by asking the question: how to be more productive? It seems like being productive should be easy. Smart phones make it so you have access to taking calls, email, video chat, and the internet at all times.

So why does it seem like at the end of the day, you still have so many things left on your to-do list?

Productivity is tricky, because it takes self-control. Only you can be in charge of how productive you are. Here are some easy ways to be more productive. According to Forbes.com it’s important to understand how your body plays into your productivity.

The article suggests you tackle your most complicated tasks in the morning, when you have the most energy. Everyone can relate to that afternoon slump. Save some of your more mindless tasks for then. Carson Tate, the founder of Working Simply managing consultants, suggests you take time to make your priorities in the morning when you have the most energy. Then you can just follow your to-do list throughout the parts of day when you don’t have as much energy to think about it.

Another way to up your productivity is to reassess your work week. Further supporting listening to you body and being productive when your body is ready, are start-ups that are not enforcing a 9-5 work week. One start-up is having its employees work from 8-1, knowing a shorter work day will force them to be more productive and waste less time in the office. If you are in charge of you own work schedule, consider mixing up your hours and seeing if you can get more done.

These are just a few simple ideas to get you started on a more productive path. If IT assistance can help you be more productive, contact us at AE Technology Group.

How to Avoid a Power Outage in Your Business

how to avoid a power outage in your business

how to avoid a power outage

In the business world, there are plenty of reasons why you should have contingency plans. After all, you never know what could happen. For example, what if your network became exposed to hackers due to outdated security? Much more common, though, is the loss of data due to a power outage.

Not only can these data losses be prevented, though, but they can also be avoided altogether. Here’s how to how to avoid a power outage and keep your information safe as well.

Backing up Your Data

First of all, it’s important to remember that not all power outages can be avoided. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do your best to avoid them, but on the other hand, it’s sometimes better to be more concerned with what needs to be done, in case an outage does occur in your business.

With that said, it’s important to back up your data on a regular basis. That way, if something were to happen, you wouldn’t lose any important information, putting your business at risk. However, don’t just keep the data backed up, but storing it on a portable USB flash drive is another effective contingency plan. After all, once said information is on the device, it’s portable and can be uploaded from any computer.

Having a Backup Generator

While backing up data will keep your information safe during a power outage, having an electrical backup generator will prevent any outages altogether. If your business has the money to invest in one, it should definitely be considered.

While it certainly isn’t required, especially if you have a contingency plan for your data loss, having a generator will make things much less of an inconvenience, and you’ll be able to work even if there’s an outage in the area.

For more information, and to get the support you need, contact us at AE Technology Group.

Computer Tip of the Week – Let AutoCorrects Make You a Much Faster Typist

computer tip of the week let autocorrects make you a much faster typist

Computer Tip

This week’s computer tip will help save you time, and therefore money. We’re going to talk about MS Word’s AutoCorrect feature and how to use it.

AutoCorrect has long been a feature of Word. Essentially, Autocorrect automatically corrects frequently misspelled words. Give it a try. Type ADN and a space in Word and see what happens. This can be a problem when you want to add ADN (Associate Degree Nursing) to the end of a name, but I would rather have that inconvenience than to send out a letter featuring the word adn.

So, how do you use AutoCorrect to your advantage?

What if you work for a neurosurgeon and frequently have to type neurosurgeon, neurosurgery, neurology, neurologist. What if, instead, you merely typed nsg, nsy, nry and nrgt, respectively. Instead of typing 10 or 11 characters, you typed three. That’s a big time saver.

Be careful that you don’t use a combination of letters that you might want to use in normal text. For example, if you use “usa” for “understanding systems administration”, each time you type USA, the corrected phrase will appear. So, instead of using usa, try usa1.

Creating an AutoCorrect is fairly straightforward.

  • Open Word
  • Select File, Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options
  • This is where you will record your new AutoCorrect
  • Press the AutoCorrect tab (you may have been brought there automatically)
  • In the open field that says “Replace”, enter your abbreviated phrase, WIG
  • In the open field that says “With”, enter “When I go”.
  • Now, each time you type “WIG”, “When I go” will appear in its place.

Think about how much time this can save. Come up with a list of common industry phrases in your office. How many of those could become AutoCorrects?

Here at AE Tech Group, we believe in working smarter. To find other ways we can help you work smarter, please contact us.

Find the Right Tech Support for Small Businesses

find the right tech support for small businesses

tech support for small businesses

If you operate your own small to medium business, you have an area of expertise you sell. Whether it is your goods or your services, consumers come to you to meet a need or a want.

Your area of expertise may not include an understanding of technology that can overcome any glitches or technology needs your business has. That is why it is beneficial to hire tech support for small businesses.

AE Technology Group can provide for all of your small business’ IT needs.

Your business needs the latest technology to stay competitive. Your point of sale software, billing software, appointment book, printers, computers, tablets; they all need attention at one point or another.

You don’t want to be stressing about the IT details, especially when you may have no idea how to fix it. Let professionals, who excel at fixing the small things that just irritate you, take over your IT needs so you can focus on what you do best.

  • AE Technology Group offers one, low monthly cost. That way you don’t have to worry about paying for IT services hourly.
  • We provide 24/7 oversight of your critical systems, so you can rest at ease when you leave your business at the end of the day.
  • We also will help you with preventative maintenance, so you will have fewer technological problems interrupting you during the day.

IT problems are bound to happen, so be prepared to take care of them, not be stressed out about them, by having support. Contact us at AE Technology Group to get IT support for your small to medium business.

Implementing a File Naming Policy with Outsourced IT Support

implementing a file naming policy with outsourced it support

Data growth, structure and the management of it has been the topic of numerous studies, seminars and training. One of the things that gets missed is the simple naming of files and folders. Why does it matter?  Imagine looking for certain data or files created by employees months or years ago. It is always difficult to find.

You may have employees look through their own files and some will check back in their email. Other times someone will simply go through the long and painful process of searching for the information in folders on some shared storage device, Sharepoint, or in backups.

If your company had a standardized method of naming files and folders this process could be so much easier. Take into account that Microsoft Word automatically names files and many employees will just accept these names. Often this is just the first sentence or cell of the file.

Excel by default names it “book1”. Google docs calls it “untitled”. Rarely is this helpful months or years later when someone is looking for a file. Imagine if there was a policy in place to properly name files when they are first saved. What would that look like?

Setting up a method for the naming of files and folders is not difficult.  There are a few things that should be considered first.

  1. No spaces. While Microsoft and Apple operating systems can deal with spaces and special characters in file names it is best to avoid them. Often a file is shared online, or in a way that ends up being viewed in a browser. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and others all allow you to view file names this way. Spaces might look like an underline, they may look like a space, or an underline might look like a space. If you are looking for a file in backups spaces are not helpful.  It is best just to avoid spaces.
  2. No special characters. Avoid special characters for that same reason, and more. Stick to letters and numbers. Anyone that has written code of just about any kind has had to deal with escape characters for data that may include special characters. Months from now, long after whatever document has been created, someone is going to go searching for it. Whatever tool they are using will treat special characters differently than normal characters and numbers. If the file names ever get input into a database special characters may just be removed. If the file needs to be pulled from backups, special characters just complicate the search. Just avoid using special characters in file and folder names.
  3. Everyone must use it. Try not to have one naming method for accounting and one for production and one for marketing. The naming method should be specific enough to have meaning but broad enough to be used throughout an organization. Having a standard for file naming really only works if everyone uses it. This includes getting management of all levels to agree it is a good idea. While this is more of a political question than a technical one, getting outside help is an option. Having IT professionals involved will make it easier to explain the time and effort that can be saved in the future.

No one method will work for every business. Bringing in an outside consulting company to help with the process is a good idea. Remembering that this process is really being done for the future, months and years from now you will be glad you took it seriously and spent the time, money and effort to do it right.

Some companies use a system that includes the first four characters of a client’s name. Some companies will use a month and year in the file names and the initials of the original creator. For instance, an accounting company may have a balance sheet for a client named Acme that is created in November of 2015 named acme11082015bal. The key to the whole thing is that the name for both the file and the folder it is put in will be understandable months or years later, to someone that has never seen the file before.