My email has stopped working. Grrrr!

All my email messages are still there and I can still see them.  But the little line at the top of the screen says “not responding” and I’m getting tired of trying to make it respond.

I can get by though because I have a backup email system that contains all my email.  I also have important messages saved in my directory structure. So I can find most of the emails I need.

Does that sound a bit like Little Goody Two-Shoes? Maybe so but to me it’s simply good business practice.

What I am missing is the folder structure I had set up in my usual email (MS Outlook).  In particular my “Action Required” folder where I saved anything that needed some action from me..  I don’t have that same folder structure in my backup system (Gmail). Now if I had only set that up before this happened …

Anyway, now it’s off to my IT support team to sort me out  in Outlook so I don’t waste any more time searching for emails that require me to take some action. And when they’ve done their bit, I’ll set up a mirrored folder system in Gmail so I won’t have the same frustration next time. Maybe I’ll use the Gmail Priority Inbox system.



The tag field – how and why you can use it

Did you notice the tag field when you last saved a document or spreadsheet in MS office 2007 or 2010?

If you did see it, what did you do?

  • Use it?
  • Ignore it?
  • Wonder what it was for?

Not many of my clients are aware of the tag field or how useful it can be when they are searching for documents at a later date.

Adding tags gives you the opportunity to find documents through the search feature in windows explorer.

Now you might say that you can do that anyway do why bother taking time to add tags.

That might work well while you only have a few electronic files.  However as your business grows you will find that it takes much longer to locate files you want and sometimes you miss them altogether.

Sometimes this just means you waste your valuable time looking for a file; other times it could have more serious consequences for your business, eg a missing tender document before a meeting or using wrong price sheets for invoicing.

Tags can become a powerful search aid especially if you create a set of words or phrases that you frequently use in your business or industry.

If you then restrict your use of tag terms to that list you can be sure that you will get a comprehensive result of a search showing all the documents in your system that are relevant to your search.

That contrasts with hoping you have when you search using any “key” words that may or may not be in all the documents you’re looking for.

As your business grows you will find that a hierarchical directory structure will help by narrowing your search area by folder and then searching by tag.

You’ll find it’s worth the time and effort at the beginning so that your search results are more reliable and comprehensive and thus more valuable and time saving.

I’m introducing the tag field to some of my small business clients who don’t need a hierarchical folder structure or at least to use alongside a folder structure.