Use it at your own risk

I just think this was kinda funny so I am writing about it…

Recently while I was teaching a course for a group of 12 people, the catering department of this company brought in the usual morning snacks of muffins and fruits along with the coffee & juice.  The food and drink was all setup by 8:00am.

At approximately 11:00am the catering staff walked in again and while I was in mid-sentence (teaching), asked me if I wanted the morning food left in the room.  I said sure.  She then said to me

‘YOU do this AT YOUR OWN RISK’.  We were all a bit taken back by this statement.   I shared with my group that perhaps we should not be eating the left over muffins … was this a risk?

If the food is not safe I would of preferred for the people serving it to make that decision to take it away, rather than relying on me to make a split decision while I am in the middle of my class.

Next time I will tell them to take it away.  Such a shame to waste so much food.

A shorter list please!

Maximizer lists
View a shorter list on Maximizer CRM, this the request I hear often. I don’t want to see everything” I only want to see ‘clients’, ‘leads’, my own list. I agree. Hide the other stuff.
The best way to achieve this is not with Favorite lists but with Catalog Searches.

1 . GoTo Search menu
2. Choose all fields
3. Click on add
4. Choose the appropriate field
Eg. Under basic fields choose Category
From Category, choose Client
5. Replace list

search all fields - category
6. Click on catalog, add
7. Name the catalog to describe the list
Eg client list
search Catalog - category

“Not even 9:00am and I feel like I won the Lottery” – Excel Tip

Autofill double clickThis must be an good Excel Tip to get this kind of statement from one of my students.

If you know the AutoFill feature in Excel, then you know that if you click and drag on the bottom corner (black small box) of a cell, Excel will automatically fill the adjacent cells with the same data or a series (or a relative formula).

When Autofill is ready to start (your mouse is on that bottom right corner) you will see a black plus sign +.  if you DOUBLE CLICK on that black plus sign + it will autofill the entire column or row (it refers to the left or top to see how many adjacent cells need to be filled in).  Try it!  You will love it and you might even think you won the (Computer Proficiency) lottery too.

Computer Short cuts for Dates

If there is a fast way of doing it on the computer I am all about it. I love short cuts. All the programs I spend most of my time in teaching (and consulting) have Date Short cuts.

Outlookoutlook date 1 week
In any date box within Outlook you can type references to the date you want.  Type any of the following words and see what happens:

  •  today
  • tomorrow
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • fri

QuickBooksQB date
Easily advance by a date or go back to a date by using the + (plus) and – (minus) signs.

Eg. +++ will take you 3 days ahead of whatever date is in the date box of an invoice or bill, etc.



In Maximizer CRM if you create a date User Defined field you can type in a quick date.

Type the first letter of the month (except for May, June is Ju, July is Jul) then type the day of the month.max date 1

  • f22 = February 22 (and the current year)
  • j7 = January 7
  • ju9 = June 9

So all you do is Teach…

Teaching a group in St. Albert for Priority Management Edmonton

Teaching a group in St. Albert for Priority Management Edmonton

In the middle of one of my classes, as I was trying to inspire / motivate my students to make changes, one student pipes up and says ‘So all you do is Teach’…

It made me smile.  I thought, ok, so what you think is because I teach I don’t have to do any of this.  My job is easy I just get to tell everyone what can work and leave them to try it.  I don’t work in an office from 9 to 5 so I don’t get the ‘traditional workplace’.

Yes, all I do is teach.  And the reason I teach is because I believe in what I teach.  (My colleagues prefer I use the word ‘facilitate’ or instruct  – whatever the word is I try to guide people to understand how and why to make a change so that they can use technology in a better way.)  I also have to practice what I teach (preach).  And boy do I practice….

Being that I ‘teach’, I am away from my desk for most (if not all) of the week, yet I still get email (30- 40 messages daily), I still get phone calls, I still have loads of paperwork to do.  So when I teach how to use a program more effectively, I have to use it myself so that I can get all my work done too.  I have to manage my time, manage my priorities [Working Smart with Microsoft Outlook is one of the courses I am referring to here). 

I get it.  I use it.  I am not perfect.  I hear what I am saying and think to myself – yah, I need to really do that…

Working with people to learn technology and apply what they have learned makes me learn more.  I appreciate all the interactions I have with my students because it helps me know more about them and more about how to help (relate to) the next person.

So all that I do is teach – maybe is not completely true.  In order to teach, I have to do.  So I do a lot more than just teach.

When it’s Quiet should you expect the worst, or expect the best


As a facilitator / trainer I like to interact with my class.  I love helping people discover more powerful ways to get their work done.  Interacting with my class, joking, having discussions is fun.  So when I get a quiet group I feel like a comedian on stage with no laughter.  I think… do they not like what I am saying?  I am not explaining things clearly?  Did I not connect in the right ways with them?  Why am I not engaging them?  Do they hate me?

After years of teaching I should know this by now… sometimes they are quiet just because they are quiet, not because anything is wrong.  At the end of the day they say thank you, they summarize to you how you met their objectives (and wow, I think, you did like that part).  They walk away with a smile on their face and I walk away exhausted (but with a smile on my face too).

This is what makes training / facilitating / teaching so interesting… you get to meet and work with such a variety of people.  And they can impact you just as much as you impact them.

Doesn’t everybody know computers by now….

learnI teach computers and when I inform people of this I either hear them say this or see them think this…”Doesn’t everybody know computers by now….”

My answer, since the beginning (1991), has been No.  How are they supposed to know computers without someone to show them or some inclination to discover and learn from mistakes.  Computers are ever-changing so even if you did learn it today, tomorrow there will be something new to learn.  Look at me, I am still in business 20 years later – teaching computers.

It’s good not to know everything.  We need to be humble and strive to learn and do more.

I don’t ever want to stop learning – when you learn you grow. When you learn from an expert, you can grow faster!