Time Management: Are You Late for Meetings: Try Procrastinator’s Clock

A clock that can be installed on your computer and displays the time up to 15 minutes early, you just don’t know. Good for those individuals who just can’t seem to be on time for meetings and appointments. The procrastinator’s clock shows time early to help those individuals be triggered to leave for meetings and appointments and hopefully arrive on time or maybe not as late.

Here are the options for Procrastinator’s Clock

  • clock on deskProcrastinator’s Clock: Free download from CNET
  • iGoogle: Google has their own procrastinator’s clock that you can add to your Google homepage.
  • Dave Seah designed a procrastinator’s clock that just opens in your browser if you prefer not to download any app.

Meeting and Note-Taking: Recommended Apps

Evernote has been the dominant app for meeting and note-taking. It has a streamlined interface and interacts with other programs such as Microsoft Outlook. There are competitors to Evernote recognizing that everyone needs a place to track meeting notes, tasks, ideas, recommendations and other pieces of information. Below are some other recommended applications for note-taking.

Google Keep is a simple platform to iStock_000007485287_Smalltake notes. Google Keep integrates with a user’s Google platform and notes can sync with Google Drive. Users can make unlimited lists, add photos and graphics to notes and also color code notes. Although the functionality for Google Keep is fairly basic, knowing Google it probably will get enhancements in the coming year.

Microsoft OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite and an alternative to Evernote. OneNote was specifically designed as a meeting note application and does a great job of organizing meeting notes by type and date of meeting. The integration with Outlook is also a key feature as it allows users to import emails and tasks between the applications. OneNote has an app and notes can sync to mobile devices. However, attached files such as Word, Excel or email documents may not open depending on your platform. The free version of OneNote is limited to 500 notes, with unlimited use available for $4.99 via an in-app purchase.

Online Reading: Recommended Apps

iStock_000012816202MediumMany professionals want to stay on top of trends, research and new products and services for their industry. Often we don’t have time at the moment we receive the email to read every interesting article that comes through. The following are two online reading applications that essentially allow users to tag and save articles and web-pages for later viewing via multiple devices.

Pocket is an online reading app, that lets you tag articles and sites to read at a later. It auto syncs with all mobile devices so that users can tag an article on their computer, go to a meeting, and read it from their tablet or smartphone. This app is free.

Instapaper allows you to save Web pages for reading offline later including posts on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. This app also provides the ability to view on mobile devices and will optimize the content for best readability. The app costs $3.99.

Organizing Historical Files and Documents on the Shared Drive

When restructuring the shared drive network, it is likely that there will be a considerable number of historical documents that need to be kept and archived. Often, records that are considered permanent, such as financial and personnel records, must be retained by the organization. Other records, such as strategy and business plans, provide history and background to an organization.

Historical data can be identified with the following criteria:

  • The data does not need to be accessed again and are solely being retained for historical and archival purposes;
  • The data are closed, completed, and finished, such as with projects and initiatives that do not have to be accessible;
  • The data relates to old businesses, sold assets, and dissolved entities or departments that do not need to be accessible but may be required for historical purposes; and/ or
  • Former employee work files (not their personnel file) that have been reviewed do not have to be accessible any longer but are still important to keep if future access is needed.

Be cautious moving historical data onto external hard drives. Although external hard drives are plug and play devices, once data is moved to an external hard drive it becomes forgotten and less accessible to staff. The following are ways to manage historical files on a Shared Drive network. These options should be discussed with IT and management before implementing an option.

  • Integrate into the file structure: Within the file structure, data can be organized chronologically to archive historical data, as shown in the screenshot below.
  •  Create a “historical” file folder: A folder labeled Historical or Archive can be created in the first line of file folders. Within this folder a mirror image of the first line of folders (i.e., divisions of an organization) can be made. When documents become outdated for each division, they can be moved into the same topical folder in the historical folder. Or sub-files can be designed by year. As files and documents become outdated they can be moved into the appropriate historical year folder.





  • Archive them on a separate drive: Another option to manage historical data is to create a separate drive allocated on the server solely for archived and historical information. The structure can be designed in one of the options recommended above. Keeping the archived data on the server enables the data to be accessible quickly. It also will update files and documents automatically as software and operating systems are upgraded. Another option is to store historical and archive data on an external hard drive.

To learn how to organize electronic files on the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

Document Protection Options on the Shared Drive

Document Protection Options on the Shared Drive

For documents where data needs to be on the shared drive but not altered there are a few options to setting restrictions. Users can mark the document as final, set read-only access, set a password restriction.

Mark as FinalWord_Mark as Final

The “Mark as Final” command, available in Microsoft Office, signifies that the user is opening a completed and final version of a document. This also prevents users from making inadvertent changes to the document. The “Mark as Final” command is not a security feature. Any user who receives an electronic copy of a document that has been marked as final can edit that document by removing the “Mark as Final” status. Documents that have been marked as final in Microsoft Office system program will not be read-only if they are opened in earlier versions of Microsoft Office programs.

 Read-Only Access

In earlier versions of Microsoft Office, documents settings can be applied to make a document have read-only access. The read-only access feature should be applied if an author does not want users to accidentally edit or modify a document. A read-only document can only be read or copied. Only the author can make changes to the original document by de-activating the read-only protection. If changes to a read-only file are not made by the original author, the changes can be saved by giving the file a new name.

Read-only access can be applied in two ways.

The first is through the “General Options” dialogue box when saving a file. The following are directions on how to do this.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Ribbon Button, and then click “Save As.”
  2. Click “Tools”; then click “General Options,” which will open the “General Options” dialogue box.
  3. In the “General Options” dialogue box, check the “Read-only recommended” check box.
  4. Click OK to exit the “General Options” dialogue box.
  5. Make sure to locate the appropriate file folder and type a name for the document. When finished, click “Save.”

 Explorer_Read-Only Document PropertiesThe second option is to activate the read-only through the document properties window. Find the document in Windows Explorer and right click on the document. Choose “Properties” from the context menu. This will open the “Document Properties” dialogue window. Check the box next to “Read-only” under the “Attributes” section.

 Password Protection

In Microsoft Office, document settings can be applied to make a document password protected and/ or restrict options. Password access should be applied if an author does not want users to access a document for confidentially or security reasons. A password-protected file can only be accessed or modified by users who know the password. If password protection is no longer necessary, usually the original author must deactivate. Note: If the password is lost or forgotten, the document can not be opened and must be deleted.Office_Password Protection Wizard

To activate password protection, go through the Protect Document wizard. The Protect Document tool icon is located as the last icon under the Review tab ribbon. Click on the Protect Document icon and the wizard will open in a sidebar to the right of the document. The user may customize each editing option for a document by clicking in the check box next to the first two options. Once finished, simply click in the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the wizard.

To learn how to organize electronic files on the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.