All posts by Hunter Meine

6 Tips for Getting a New Job

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6 Tips for Getting a New Job

There is a major labor shortage happening in the United States right now. There are many reasons why this might be the case, but regardless of the circumstance, this could be an excellent opportunity for many working Americans. Thousands of new job openings mean that this could be the perfect window of opportunity to chase a dream job or change careers.

Tips for Getting a New Job

Getting a new job can be just as daunting for seasoned workers as it is for college graduates. There are a lot of factors to consider when applying for a job that could ultimately lead to success. This article aims to guide you through the process so you can take the next step in your professional career no matter where you are now.

1. Review Your Resume

Your job résumé is your first impression when applying for a new position. That being said, it’s one of the most important resources you have when searching for a job. As a result, most candidates are sifted out based on the contents of their résumés.

Different hiring managers look for different things in a résumé. Of course, they’ll want to see relevant experience and a work history that shows you’re reliable. Try and keep your résumé concise no matter what and have the most important information in clear, bold lettering. There are plenty of formatting guides and templates that can aid you in your résumé design.

If you. have a complicated or complex resume — consider hiring a service that can give your resume the polish it deserves.

2. Brush Up Your Interview Skills

Almost every job you’ll ever apply for will have some sort of interview process. Some smaller companies will hold a single, semi-casual interview, while others have applicants undergo a more extensive screening process. Others still might meet with you over the phone and call that good. So you need to be prepared for anything.

Every interview will be different, so you can’t memorize a list of questions and the answers you’d like to give. You can prepare for basic questions, however, such as “why do you want this job,” “what do you know about this company,” and “why do you feel like you’re a good fit for this position?”

Get a trusted friend to pepper you with questions, hop on YouTube and watch interviews, listen to some podcast interviews, watch a few TedTalks for good speaking with clarity tips, and don’t forget to stand in front of the mirror and ask questions.

Don’t work yourself up too much. You don’t have to be a master negotiator in order to nail a job interview. Most employers just want to ask a few questions and get to know you a little better. Team chemistry and job fit can be a big deal, so coming across as respectful and eager to learn is often better than acting arrogant and overconfident in your abilities.

3. Flood the Mailbox

Don’t just apply for a single job and wait to hear back. Who knows how long this can take. Moreover, while you’re patiently waiting for a single response, you could be missing out on dozens of other opportunities. Instead, take a shot at a position you don’t feel qualified for yet; you might surprise yourself.

Set a goal to send your resume to a variety of different companies.  You could aim to send out one new application each day or a set amount of 10-20 by the end of the month. Job posting website Indeed recommends you send even more than that, up to 10-15 applications a week or 2-3 per day.

Even if they don’t have a job posting listed, send them your resume in an email just to reach out. Then, you might hear back from an organization that is at least willing to guide you in the right direction.

4. Take Advantage of Networking

That segues nicely into this next section. Networking is your best friend when looking for a new job. Having reliable connections can get you to people and places you had no idea existed or couldn’t find independently.

For example, you might inquire at a local hospital if they have any job openings available even though none are posted. Even so, you might be able to connect with someone who has a friend running a local clinic that is hiring. Without networking with the hospital, you might have never found this job opportunity.

Another great way to network is through social media. Websites such as LinkedIn provide a great platform for connecting with industry leaders and professionals from around the world, not just in your local community. You can get great advice from here as well as access to certification courses to advance your education and career.

5. Take an Internship

Sometimes you just need to find a way to get your foot in the door. An internship can do just that, giving you training and networking opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you. For example, it’s a lot easier to get an internship at Google than to become employed there without a previous relationship.

Unfortunately, many internships are unpaid or pay a lot less than regular employment. This can be a tough situation for someone looking for a job to pay the bills. However, a part-time internship at a more promising company or in a new field you’re interested in might make for a bountiful long-term investment.

6. Steady the Course

Don’t let your job search impact your work performance at your current employer if you do, in fact, have on. Many companies will contact former employers to inquire about you as a worker. But, of course, you want them to say only good things about you, so don’t cut the slack even if you’re planning on making a move.

Also, don’t give up. Job searches can get exhausting quickly when applications are sent back, and doors seem always to be closing. Instead, keep working on improving yourself, networking, and seeking out opportunities and eventually, you’ll find an opening.

Best of luck on your job search now and any time in the future you look for a change of scenery. Keep these tips in mind and bet on yourself. You’ll be amazed by what you’re able to accomplish.

Life’s a Beach: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer

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Life’s a Beach: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer

Life’s a beach is a light-hearted phrase that reminds us that there is still so much good in the world to be enjoyed. Slip into complacency, and you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities for both fun and personal progression.

With your Calendar, you can take advantage of both the productivity and fun these summer months have to offer. All you need to do is consciously manage your time to make sure that every day contains a moment to remember before the season ends:

1. Plan a Trip

Summer is prime time for vacation, especially for families with children who don’t have school to worry about. The wonderful weather also enables various pleasant trips, from weekend camping trips and day hikes to a week-long vacation on a tropical beach.

Don’t feel pressured if you can’t fit a big family vacation into your budget every year. You can make just as many memories and have a lot of fun doing something smaller. For example, plan a campout in the backyard or take a day trip to the lake as your summer trip. You’ll be glad you did something, no matter how small.

2. Chase Down Some Goals

Not sure how to spend all of your summer downtimes? Set some goals to pursue during the season. These goals will give you something to work toward instead of spending every afternoon in a backyard hammock (which is perfectly fine every once in a while, it’s important to rest).

The beauty of a summer goal is that it can be anything you want it to be. Want to learn a new skill? Schedule some classes and practice time in your online calendar. Want to tackle some home improvement? Your online calendar will help you work out some time to build that new deck or repaint the basement.

It’s important to note that summer is short, typically containing fewer than the 104 days Phineas and Ferb get to enjoy. With that being said, set realistic goals that are within your limits. You’ll only have a few months to complete a summer goal, and setting your sights too high can leave you feeling discouraged when fall arrives and your goal is left incomplete.

3. Get Your Tan On

The sunlight is oh so good for you, and it will do you well to catch some rays throughout the summer. Sunlight is known for helping people stay healthier and more positive. But, unfortunately, not getting enough rays is part of why seasonal depression is so prevalent; the cold weather and shorter days make it more difficult to get sunshine in your life.

Just 15 minutes of sunlight can have a positive impact on your day. If you spend all day in an office, you can squeeze in a little outdoor time during your lunch break. Filling your online calendar with outdoor activities over the weekend will also get plenty of Vitamin D into your schedule.

Of course, there’s always the concern that too much sun can be a bad thing. Just be sure that you have on some sunscreen and some covering to reduce your risk of skin cancer and sunburns. This is especially important for kids with more sensitive skin.

4. Attend Every Event

When kids don’t have classes to attend, parents will often fill their schedules with other activities to don’t spend every day glued to their electronic devices. So whether they’re participating in sports, dance classes, or music lessons, make time to attend every one of the events.

Even if your kids decide they don’t want to participate in whatever extracurricular activities they’re pursuing, they’ll be happy that you were always there to support them. So add any recital or match into your online calendar, and do your best not to miss a single event supporting your family.

5. Limit Your TV Time

We get it; electronics are awesome. Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching your favorite TV show at night or playing video games all weekend. However, if you’re not careful, those electronics can take away your entire summer and leave you wishing you did a little more.

To make sure you don’t waste your summer on the internet, use your online calendar to monitor your screen time. You can designate specific blocks of time to try a new video game or set a consistent bedtime, so you don’t stay up all night binge-watching movies, messing up your entire routine.

Helping your kids stay off of electronics will be quite the challenge as well. When schedules and routines fall short, a few incentives might do the trick. Have them spend some time outside or doing some chores to earn their screen time. Looking back on their summer, they’ll be glad that they were able to experience more than just their electronics.

6. Get Involved in the Community

Your town or city will be putting on a number of activities and events this summer. Getting involved in your local community will be one of the best decisions you make this summer. Besides, it won’t take a lot of planning to fill up your online calendar when you import the city calendar over.

Few experiences will be as memorable as a Fourth of July parade, a summer reading program, and outdoor theater nights at the park. You’ll be able to meet new friends, visit new places in your town, and try a lot of new things that can become traditions for years to come.

Summer is almost over, so get started today to make sure you have no regrets once fall arrives. Then, start making plans for next summer to make it even bigger and better than the last.

Should You Bring Work On Your Vacation?

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Should You Bring Work On Your Vacation?

Summertime is a popular time for vacation-goers. Sometimes when I’m headed on vacation with friends, it’s easier to get off work at other times during the year. But when you want to head out of town with the kids, summer is the best time because they are out of school for the next few months.

Parents still have to take time off work, which can be a bit of a logistical problem at times. For this reason, many working parents debate on whether or not they should take some work with them on vacation.

The obvious answer to some might be no, that ruins the point of a vacation. However, there is some merit to taking a little work with you on a trip if you play your cards right. This article will dissect both the pros and cons of such a decision for your upcoming family trip:

Why You Should Take Work on Vacation

There are some scenarios when bringing work on vacation with you can actually be a good idea. For those who really struggle with the stress of taking off work, bringing a few assignments along may provide an ideal balance:

Take More Time Off

When you take work on the road, you might be able to squeeze in some more time off. In addition, the ability to take on a few tasks and assignments even when you’re out of the office means that you’re not needed back as quickly, buying you some more vacation time.

Let’s say there’s a simple project that you need to get done by the end of the week. By picking up that task and taking it with you, you can fulfill an obligation with work without the need to show up at the office. In addition, with this project getting done, you can feel better about the time you’re spending away from the company.

Keep Up With Deadlines

What happens when you want to take a vacation, but you have some deadlines coming up? Trying to jam them all into your online calendar before your trip is extremely stressful and can really damage the quality of your work. On the other end of the spectrum, pushing all of your deadlines back until you get home from your trip can fill your entire vacation with dread.

Instead of trying to alter your schedule too much, just plan around your vacation to include a few deadlines throughout the duration of your trip. A deadline or two sprinkled into your online calendar won’t take up too much time and will help ease your concerns about missing work for an extended period.

Stay Fulfilled

There are a lot of people in the world that work hard every day. Sometimes people do extra work because they crave the sense of fulfillment they get from a job well done. Taking a week off to relax, however beneficial for them, can be a challenge when they’re not checking off boxes or turning in assignments.

If you’re one of these people that gets a little antsy without your work — taking a bit of work with you on vacation can provide the relief you want. Whether it’s the fulfillment you need, or something else, you don’t need to feel guilty about bringing along your diversion. You also don’t need to worry about kicking back.

This concept also applies to anyone trying to pursue some lofty goals this summer that are work-related. Completing some tasks even while on vacation helps ensure you stay on the right track toward completing the goals you set for yourself, like qualifying for a promotion or a pay raise.

Why You Shouldn’t Bring Your Work Along

While we applaud productivity here, oftentimes, a vacation needs to be just that. Trips are to explore the world, experience new things, and take a break from your daily stress and responsibilities. Bringing work along can end up being counterproductive in that sense. But you can slowly work toward the goal of working less and less on vacations until you hit your best compromise.

Lose Time With Family

When you’re on a family vacation, your highest priority should be spending quality time with your loved ones. Nothing should get in the way of that, especially not work. So what’s the point of even taking a trip with your family if you’re not going to be participating in the trip with them?

If you plan to bring work with you on a trip, use your online Calendar to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of quality time with family. Block off time, specifically very early morning or later at night when vacation activities aren’t scheduled, and people are in bed. In this way, you’re not missing out on the family fun. Correct scheduling is the way you can have the best of both worlds.

Builds Up Stress

Vacations are meant for relaxing. It’s a chance to forget about work and relish in a life free of worries. So why bring work into the mix when it can easily mess up that chemistry?

Of course, not bringing work with you might be the source of your stress. Stress can eat away at you, especially if you have just started your business or are a true entrepreneur.

Until things are set up in certain ways, maybe with a few more employees, it may only be you who can make the business running smoothly when while. You’re on vacation.

Whatever the case is for you — if you have a team, just make sure you set your team up right and only respond to emergencies as needed. Then, they’ll be able to do the heavy lifting while you take a much-needed break away from it all.

Increases Burnout

Taking a break from work is meant to reduce the risk of burnout. However, when burnout strikes, it strips you of motivation and drive, leading to a sharp decline in productivity and quality of work. This can be costly when it comes to staying in good standing with your current job.

If you truly feel like you need to take some time off to forget about work, make your number one priority. Let your company know that you need this time so you can return an invigorated and energized employee. If they start sending you calendar notifications for meetings and assignments, let it be known that you plan to decline every single one of them until you return.

In the end, it’s up to you whether or not you bring work with you on vacation. Consider what you hope to accomplish and let the pros and cons help you make the right decision.

Host a Successful Yard Sale With Your Online Calendar

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Host a Successful Yard Sale With Your Online Calendar

We’re back in the office and we need to dejunk to get a fresh start. Most homes need a little dejunking too. Yard sales are an American staple. They’re a fun way to get rid of some excess belongings while turning a quick profit. However, yard sales are hard work and require a fair amount of time and effort to pull off.

Using an online calendar makes organizing a yard or garage sale that much easier. Planning things out will help them run more smoothly, leading to a more successful experience. This guide will help you put together the best yard sale in town:

1. Schedule Your Dates

The first step toward a successful yard sale is pinning down your dates. This will get your plans in motion under a set time parameter. Everything else will be so much easier if you know exactly when your yard sale will be.

Weekends are generally the best time for yard sales because more people are free to come and visit. The summer months have a little more flexibility, as families with kids out of school will be looking for extra activities through the week to fill their time. Once you’ve selected the days and times you want, it’s time to move to the next step.

2. Organize a WorkForce

You need manpower to run a successful yard sale. The larger the sale, the more help you’ll need. Using an online calendar you can schedule shifts for friends and family to help make sales and manage merchandise for your own little pop-up shop.

For those outside of your household or your office team who are pitching in to help, you can share your online calendar. Your Calendar will let them know the exact times of the yard sale and when you’re hoping they can come help out. With an online calendar, your scheduling is a smooth operation.

3. Leverage Social Media

Getting the word out about your yard sale is key to its success. After all, without customers, your efforts will be in vain. In today’s world, one of the easiest ways to reach people is through social media.

Use your online calendar to plan out a content calendar for social media posts advertising your yard sale. Schedule posts throughout each day of the sale to maximize exposure over as many platforms as possible. People scrolling through news feeds will see your post and be prompted to make a visit.

4. Include the Neighbors

To ramp up the scale of your yard sale, ask your neighbors if they’d like to be included. Even if they only have a few items to contribute, they can provide an extra set of hands and can further spread the word about the event. The bigger and better the event is, the more worthwhile it is for customers to stop in.

Once again, you can share that online calendar to sync schedules with anyone who’s interested. Even just making them aware of the yard sale can be of benefit, as word of mouth can lure in more prospective buyers.

5. Allow for Prep Time

A yard sale doesn’t set itself up. Before you open your doors, or lawn, to the public, everything needs to be in its proper place. Otherwise, the early birds who select you as their first stop of the day won’t be able to fully participate in your yard sale.

Schedule preparation time in your online calendar. You can prepare a lot of things in the days leading up to the sale, and will also need some time the day of to get everything arranged. Decide how much time you need and use your online calendar to make it happen.

6. Plan a Cleaning Day

You might already have a pile of stuff dedicated to your yard sale. If not, or if you want to expand your inventory, plan a deep cleaning day. Throughout this clean, look for other items you don’t mind letting go of to add to the pile.

Periodic deep cleans get rid of the clutter that so frequently fills American homes and offices. This will not only help your current yard sale efforts, but it will also help you feel like your home and office are much more open and clean, making it a more comfortable living and working space.

7. Provide Refreshments

For the most memorable yard sale experience, provide refreshments to all your guests. You can offer some simple free beverages, or let the kids set up a lemonade stand or snack shop to earn a little change themselves.

Providing refreshments will require some prep of its own. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for whatever you supply. Then, use your online calendar to remind you to restock throughout the yard sale so there’s always something available for customers.

8. Scope Out Other Yard Sales

If you’re still looking for a way to set yourself apart, scope out some other sales happening in your area. You can look for postings in the newspaper and online to find places to go. Seeing a yard sale from the perspective of a customer will help you know what you should include in your own.

Plan a day or two to go sale hopping. Add the times and locations of sales into your online calendar so you can make time for the trip and plot the best route. You can learn a lot from what you see, so be sure to take notes.

9. Schedule a Day to Donate

When it’s all said and done, you probably won’t have sold every single item from your yard sale. Instead of packing these things back into storage to sit for another year or throwing them out, seriously consider donating them to charity. There are plenty of individuals and families that would be grateful for such a gift.

Research local charities and organizations in your area. Once you’ve selected one, plan a day in your online calendar to drop off the remaining items from your yard sale. This will be the perfect end to your hard work and efforts.

A successful yard sale will depend on the work you put into it. Follow these tips and get excited for a great time and you won’t be disappointed.

10 Activities for Your Inner Outdoorsman

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10 Activities for Your Inner Outdoorsman

Sheltering in place for many long months has taken its toll. Now that the warm weather is finally here, it’s time to get outside! Your Calendar is just itching for you to fill it with some outdoor activities.

Activities for Your Inner Outdoorsman

Your inner outdoorsman might need some waking up after hibernating for the winter or from living in the city for too long. Luckily, there are a number of activities suited for everyone from the biggest homebodies to the backwoods enthusiasts:

1. Camping

Need to get away for a weekend? A camping trip will do just the trick. There should be at least one campground within driving distance from where you live, yet far enough away that you feel like you’re on an expedition.

If you’re unable to travel or just don’t feel like completely roughing it, camp out in the backyard. This can be just as fun, especially with small children who don’t travel well. Besides, camping within walking distance from the kitchen is the best of both worlds.

2. Hiking

The great thing about hiking is that you can go at your own pace. There are trails of varying difficulties so you can go on a calm afternoon stroll one day and get in a solid uphill workout on the next. You can also decide just how long you want to hike, simply turning around when you’re feeling ready to head back home.

If you live in the concrete jungle without access to nearby hiking trails, look for greenbelts and parks with walkways instead. These are beautiful and accessible places to talk a walk or go on a jog by yourself or with family.

3. Rock Climbing

Daredevils around the world chase the thrill of summiting the largest and most difficult peaks they can find. There’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a rigorous climb and enjoying the spectacular view of your achievement.

The reality is that not many people are willing and able to participate in outdoor rock climbing. However, you can have just as much fun doing some indoor rock climbing. Your innermost outdoorsmen will be just as entertained, and you’ll be much safer all the while.

4. Biking

You’ve heard the saying “it’s as easy as riding a bike”. There’s a reason this phrase has been around for so long; you never truly forget how to ride a bike. Put that to the test by saddling up for a bike ride.

There are varying degrees of biking for everyone from aspiring Olympic athletes to parents looking to unplug their kids from video games. You can take a mountain bike to hit the trails, get a street bike for some intense exercise, or take the family on a Sunday ride with whatever wheels you got. Biking can even replace your commute to work if you’re within riding distance.

5. Bird Watching

Want to enjoy the great outdoors without feeling like you’re only trying to survive? Give bird watching a try. This activity surrounds you with nature but encourages you to stay as still as possible instead of hiking up a mountainside.

Many bird watchers take a guidebook and a set of binoculars and try to spot as many species as they can. To take the hobby up a notch, grab a camera and work on your photography skills. The pictures you take will make a wonderful record of the time you’ve spent outdoors.

6. Golf

Another way to get outdoors without expending too much energy is to play a round of golf. You can get a good walk in or enjoy a ride in a golf cart, one of the best forms of transportation out there.

Most golf courses are immaculate. Groundskeepers do an excellent job keeping everything green and luscious. You’ll almost feel like you’re walking through a field in the woods instead of on controlled, manicured grounds.

7. Water Sports

You don’t always have to be a landlubber to be an outdoorsman. You’re depriving yourself of a lot of great experiences if you stay away from the many lakes and rivers in our country.

For the adrenaline junkies, white water rafting is one of the most exhilarating water activities you can find. For a calmer experience, take a canoe or a paddleboard onto a serene lake.

8. Archery

Archery has come a long way since it was first invented. Before it was a method of self-defense and survival. Today, it’s an outdoorsman hobby for testing technique and accuracy.

The reason that archery falls so far down the list is that it’s a fairly expensive hobby. Quality bows aren’t cheap, although arrows are reusable and targets can be made at home. You might be able to find a local archery range that allows you to rent bows and a range to give it a try before making a full commitment. If they offer archery classes, add one to your Calendar for some beginner instruction.

9. Fishing

There aren’t many activities as therapeutic as fishing. Minimal effort is required to set up a pole and wait for the fish to bite. After casting your line you can sit back in a chair and read a book or let your eyes rest for a moment.

If you have reliable data, you can even get some work done while at the fishing pond. Take the time to catch up on emails or schedule a phone call in your Calendar for the time you’re out fishing. Just make sure that work doesn’t completely overtake your outdoor experience so it feels like you’re still getting away.

10. Horseback Riding

Can you imagine a time before cars? While today people will commute many miles just to and from work, many years ago the distance a horse could ride was your limit. Getting back to those deep American roots will be sure to bring out that inner outdoorsman of yours.

There’s nothing quite like riding a horse. Commanding such a powerful animal is an experience not many can say they’ve had in today’s world. Setting up a horseback ride in your Calendar for a picnic or just to feel the wind in your hair is an event you won’t soon forget.

Pick a couple of these outdoor activities to add to your Calendar. Use up your weekends and afternoons to get out and experience the world while you can.

10 Activities for Your Inner Outdoorsman was originally published on Calendar by .

Avoiding the ‘Black Hole’ of Customer Engagement

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Avoiding the ‘Black Hole’ of Customer Engagement

Automated appointment systems make life so much easier for both businesses and their customers. Booking and executing an appointment have never been more efficient. However, you need to be careful about falling into the “black hole” of customer engagement that can form around automation. 

Too many automated appointment systems facilitate client interaction during the booking process but end there. There are no response mechanisms or continuing interaction throughout the rest of the customer journey. Make sure you don’t lose people after they click the “Submit” button by following these tips:

Keep an Agent Within Reach

While online appointment software and other digitized features have nearly endless benefits, sometimes customers just need to talk to someone. It gets frustrating when you’re stuck with a chatbot and need to ask a more complicated question that only a human can answer. 

One of your employees doesn’t have to be available to help customers 24/7, as chatbots are able to do. Still, make sure your customers know they can speak with a customer service agent during business hours for more complex problems and concerns. 

When solving customer problems, your CS representatives have an excellent opportunity to further engage with customers. They can ask leading questions to get customers to provide feedback that, in ordinary situations, they might just keep to themselves. Have your reps record any comments customers make so you can take action on the issues they think need to be addressed. 

Send Out Customer Surveys

Customer engagement after the appointment is just as important as engagement before and throughout. The feedback you receive from customers provides valuable information on ways you can improve or practices you should continue using. 

After an appointment, send out a short email thanking customers for their business. Include a survey link in each email and ask customers to respond to questions about their experience. Make sure the survey link is easy to locate within your message. 

Use Social Media Regularly

If you want to engage with your customers when they’re not at your business, turn to social media. Roughly 70% of Americans have a social media account, most of which are used regularly. There are plenty of opportunities for customer engagement here.

Social media can spur customer engagement in several ways. An ad campaign will gather clicks that can lead to more appointment bookings. Inviting comments on posts provides another platform for customers to voice their comments and mention concerns the company can address.

Track Key Data Metrics

When customer engagement gets placed on the back burner, you have to find new ways to bring it back to the forefront. Set goals to track key metrics using customer data. In order to accomplish these goals, you’ll have to monitor customer engagement via online interactions. 

Set up your website to track customer engagement online. You’ll be able to see how long customers spend on your website, what pages they visit, and your landing page bounce rate. This information will help you adjust the layout to place forms and resources where they’ll best be seen. 

Data metrics can be drawn from your in-house team as well. Tracking the percentage of customers who accept an upsell will show you how customers are responding to this sales tactic. If percentages are low, you’ll know you need to change your strategy.

Incentivize Engagement

Some customers will purposely place themselves in the black hole of customer engagement because they simply don’t want additional interaction. If something goes wrong, they’ll either grin and bear it or take their business elsewhere without a word. 

Customers have the right to keep their thoughts to themselves, but your business benefits from their feedback and engagement. To draw them out of the woodwork, incentivize engagement to get the highest engagement rates possible.

A common business strategy is to take survey responses and use them as raffle tickets. Customers who leave feedback are entered into a drawing to win free services or other perks that are valuable to them. Using this tactic, you’ll receive more feedback than just the occasional review from those with strong opinions. 

Be Transparent

Nowadays, customers might associate surveys and unprovoked emails with marketing schemes intended to make a sale. Be transparent about the real reason you’re looking to boost customer engagement so they don’t shy away from your overtures.

For example, you might be reaching out to customers to inquire about a service package your company provides. Make it known from the get-go that you’re sending the survey to gauge whether you should continue to offer the package (or whatever your reason is). Customers won’t feel like you’re only trying to sell them something and will be more likely to provide honest feedback. 

Make Engagement Count

Finally, when you gather feedback, do something about it! Customers will fail to see the need for interaction and engagement if your company isn’t listening or reciprocating. 

Let’s say customers consistently mention the long wait times they experience before each appointment with your business. Instead of just nodding in sad agreement, come up with a solution. Do you need to install self-check-in kiosks in the lobby or take measures to stop appointments from running long? Your actions will inspire customers to continue to provide feedback, as they’ll know it is being used to improve their experience. 

Learn to spot the signs of a customer engagement black hole so you can steer clear of it. As soon as you feel your business being drawn in, take the necessary steps to adjust your course. By doing so, you will retain more customers and keep your operations running smoothly.

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

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Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

How are you using your time at work? How are you using your time at home? If you don’t measure these analytics on yourself — you really don’t know! Did you make your to-do list for today? Is a to-do list the way you measure your success — a checked-off list? But what if you really took ten times longer to do — or accomplish that to-do list than you really wanted to take? You won’t know the answers to these questions in your life and work unless you use Calendar Analytics to tell you the truth about yourself.

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

Did you know that businesses waste an estimated $37 billion on ineffective meetings annually? Yes, that’s billions, not millions, of dollars lost simply due to inefficiency. You can keep yourself and your business out of the equation by using Calendar to master your time management.

Every time you use your Calendar to plan meetings, track hours, or organize your day, it’s working behind the scenes to make time management easier for you. The secret is Calendar Analytics, part of your dashboard that calculates how you’re using your time. With this insight, you can better tell how your time should be spent to be more productive and efficient:

Meeting Distribution

Start by looking at the distribution of your meetings. When you plan a meeting in your Calendar, it gets archived into an analytics bank. With enough data, you will be able to see where you’re spending the most time and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.

For example, you might look at your time analytics and see that half of your meetings are set up with your sales team. You might not have noticed the attention you’ve been giving one department over the others and can take the steps necessary to plan more meetings with your other teams.

Your Calendar will also keep track of meeting size as well as the rate at which invitees accept or reject your meeting invitations. These numbers will help you organize more effective meetings and save time doing so.

Location Recommendations

You can waste up to 30 minutes a day simply looking for a place to hold a meeting. While picking the right location is rewarding, all that lost time will hurt you in the long run. With Calendar Analytics, you can save that time and put it to better use.

When you plan a meeting in your Calendar, include the location where it takes place.  Your Calendar will track where your meetings occur most frequently and will make recommendations to you based on when and where your next meetings are located.

After a short time, Calendar Analytics will develop a system that will save you plenty of time when it comes to planning meetings — and executing on your plan. The time you would spend looking for the perfect restaurant to meet a client can instead be used to prepare your sales pitch or respond to the last of your emails.

People Analytics

Just as important as how you’re spending your time is who you’re spending it with. People analytics show who you’re meeting with the most by analyzing the people invited to your Calendar events. As an example, you might realize that you haven’t scheduled a one-to-one meeting with one of your employees in a while, and they’re due for a meeting with you.

People analytics, like all time management tools, extends beyond the office. How much time are you spending with your spouse and family? If you see their ranking drop on your list of people you’ve been meeting with, it’s time to plan some more family activities to improve your work-life balance.

Time Balance

Speaking of balance, there’s nothing time analytics do better than help you get your life on track. Anywhere you feel like your efforts need to be focused better can use the help of time analytics to tighten up. Whether that’s spending more time with family or getting more exercise, your Calendar can help you.

Keep track of when you complete certain activities and their duration. The more you’re able to track, the better. For example, tracking the hours you spend watching Netflix will give you concrete evidence that you’re spending more time on the couch than you’d like. Use the information you find from evidence to change your life by scheduling your time differently. Lower your binge-watching time by adding time to read or go on a walk in your Calendar to replace it.

Your Calendar will display your time usage in percentages at first glance, but you can look at the hours and minutes you spend in particular meetings and activities as well. Set goals on what you want to accomplish, like a certain number of hours spent at the park with your kids a week, and use your analytics to gauge your progress.

Team Analytics

Calendar analytics work so much better when your whole team is on board. Everyone’s Calendars will work together to make team meetings a breeze and office productivity reach all-time highs. As a leader, you’ll be able to direct your employees so much better with personalized time analytics for each person.

Make sure you’re scheduling those one-on-one meetings with your employees with regularity. Have them come prepared with their Calendar analytics. An overview is fine if they have personal family information included in their Calendar. Talk with them about how their time is being used and how they can improve. Perhaps they need a better morning schedule or to pick a closer restaurant for their next lunch break.

In addition, you can share your Calendar as an example of how time analytics helps you use your time more effectively. For this to be an effective teaching moment, you need to be using your Calendar diligently; otherwise, you won’t make much of an impact. Strive to set the example with time management as the leader of your organization.

You’ll be amazed by everything you’re able to accomplish by using Calendar analytics to structure your everyday life. Not only will you be able to fit so much more into your schedule, but you’ll also feel less stressed as you plan things out and create the perfect balance.

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.

Why You Still Need an Online Calendar Even When You Use a Physical One

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Why You Still Need an Online Calendar Even When You Use a Physical One

If you already rely on a physical calendar, you might not see the need to add an online calendar to your arsenal. Your current time management system might seem to work just fine, but you’re missing out on a lot of potential by shirking additional technology.

Using a paper and digital Calendar, map, or any other hard copy is entirely up to you and beneficial in many cases. If you still need some convincing, check out the ways your daily life will benefit from implementing an online calendar to your existing system:

Online Calendars are Portable

As great as a physical calendar might be at home or in your office, you can’t expect to carry it with you everywhere. Even pocket calendars and portable planners can be burdensome at times. Worst of all, a physical calendar can be easily left behind, leaving you in the dark.

You can access your online calendar on any electronic device. All you need is a cell phone and a connection to the internet and you’ll have your calendar easily accessible. You can even adjust the settings in your Calendar to be able to view it offline.

Sharing is Caring

A lot of the events on your calendar will involve others. You’ll need to coordinate with coworkers and family members regularly, which is more difficult to do when trying to sync paper calendars. Sharing an online calendar keeps everyone on the same page with real-time updates and notifications.

You don’t have to share every detail of your online calendar with others. Choose to share individual events, or create a separate calendar that keeps your private events hidden. You can also decide if those you share with can edit events or simply view them, depending on what you’re trying to organize.

Last-Minute Changes Happen

Life is full of unexpected events. Making last-minute changes on paper calendars is messy, and sometimes impossible if you don’t have it on your person. It’s much easier to go with the flow and adjust to unforeseen circumstances when you also have an online calendar handy.

Let’s say you have a meeting with a client scheduled for 3 P.M. You come into the office and see an email in your inbox asking if the meeting can be bumped up to 2 P.M. With your online Calendar, you can adjust right then and there.

If you have your paper calendar handy, this is also possible, but lacks a certain detail. Your online calendar can also send you reminders of upcoming events. A digital reminder that your meeting was moved from 3:00 PM to 2:00 PM will help you remember the change even on a busy day when your attention is divided.

Different Calendars Have Different Uses

Physical calendars get crowded really quickly. There’s only so much room to add events and details, and the more you add, the more difficult it is to read. A better strategy is to designate your paper Calendar for one use, and your online calendar for another.

Your paper calendar, which is likely hanging on the fridge, can be reserved for family events. Your online calendar will contain your work responsibilities, daily routines, and personal events. The ability to create multiple calendars online allows for even greater organization than keeping a stack of paper calendars lying about.

Physical Calendars Can Get Lost or Damaged

No matter how careful you are, there’s a chance your physical calendar can get lost or damaged. This is especially true if you have one in reach of kids who can grab, smudge, and rip the pages from your calendar. If your paper calendar is lost or damaged, there’s no way to get back the information you lost.

Online calendars store all their information online. Some online calendars even offer cloud storage options for maximum accessibility and protection. Even if your cell phone gets lost or damaged, your Calendar information can be accessed from a different device, retaining all the details you need.

Online Calendars Have More Features

Simply put, physical calendars just don’t have the bells and whistles you can find in online calendars. You can’t drag and drop events or change color-coding on demand. One of the best features of an online Calendar is tracking your time to the minute. Time analytics really unlocks your productivity levels on a day-to-day basis.

Physical calendars have their merits, especially for those who prefer to write things down and add some calligraphy flair. However, not everyone has a legible chicken scratch, so being able to type out your event details is a helpful bonus to your online Calendar.

For frequent fliers, an online Calendar is a necessity. Thanks to the power of the internet, your Calendar will automatically adjust to changing time zones. This ensures you don’t miss that important business meeting because your paper calendar is still on Eastern Standard Time.

Both Calendars Allow for Different Time Management Techniques

For those using a Calendar to try and optimize their time, an online Calendar blows paper ones out of the water. You can implement more complex time management techniques than you could with pen and paper alone, which allows you to make more use of your time. In addition to time analytics, you can also try:

  • Timeboxing: Separate your day into blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks and activities.
  • Pomodoro method: Work in stretches of 25 minutes with a five-minute break to encourage focus and prevent burnout.
  • Eisenhower Matrix: Prioritize your tasks to get the most important stuff done, set aside nonsense, and delegate when possible.

These techniques are much more difficult to pull off with just a paper Calendar, but might work well with both. For example, drawing out your Eisenhower Matrix might help you visualize it better so you can type it out into your online calendar with more precision.

There’s nothing wrong with preferring one type of calendar over the other. Just be aware that you might be selling yourself short by not giving them both a chance to thrive together.

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