It seems to be an unwritten rule: The higher up the food chain in business, the shorter and brisker the emails get. Somewhere on the line, the “hello”, the “please” and the “thank you” get lost. At first sight, this might look like unbelievable efficiency. It might look important, even cool – “hey, Bob is so busy and important, he can just write a one-liner and make a whole department work for a week” – but truth be told, it is not cool. It shows a lack of respect, if you ask me.
So however important you are (or think you are):
Open wit a greeting, address people by their names. Say please. Say thank you. End appropriately. Use upper case and lower case, and put in some grammar while you are at it. If you do not have enough time at hand to write a respectful email, pick up the phone and call the person. If there is not enough time to do even that, gosh, I am sorry for you. Go read some of the articles on GTD on this site to increase your personal effectiveness. Cutting down your mails to barfing orders is NOT the way to go to save time.
Ever suffered from the VP-one-line-mail hammer? Experienced good things because you paid attention to write sensible mails? Let the community know! (yeah, I am implying a KillerConsultant community here. Hey, we all have dreams!)Read More
The little device that is praised and demonized so often: The CrackBlackberry. For most consultants, this device is a constant companion, at least during the work week. In worst cases, it is within reach 24/7, and you get all tingly when it has not rang or buzzed for your attention for half an hour… even at night. But that is your personal business, really.
Today I’ll give you some hints towards making the Blackberry do more stuff that you want (because it can already show you stuff that you are supposed to do – aka mails from your boss – and that is just an imbalance we cannot tolerate!).
First of all – a small disclaimer. I have a BB Curve, the 83something, and as I am telling you about my setup, all software mentioned has obviously not been tested for any other Blackberry device. So if you still cling to the old paperweight, or opted for a Pearl because it is “slimmer” (and because you did not know that typing on it would be a complete pain) – your mileage may vary.
- Google Maps Mobile – now it even detects where (roughly) you are, and you can get a route planned from there. Good when the nav of your rental car brakes down (like it did for me yesterday). Free.
- Gmail Mobile – awesome. Just tell it to fetch your private email (if it is not already on Gmail anyway), and woosh, you got your corporate AND your private mail on the Blackberry. Free.
- Opera Browser – OperaMini is a free browser for your Blackberry. Why, you ask? The Blackberry webbrowser is terribly rudimentary. It manages websites well that are designed for mobiles, but everything else is a pain. Opera handles those sites gracefully, as well, and also integrates with desktop Opera installs, should you run it on your PC as well. Free.
- The built in media player – I know, it is not an iPod. Neither has it the capabilities. But with the built in memory of the new Blackberrys and the media player, you can darn well put some music and some podcasts on it. Standard headphone jack on the device means you can plug in your own (probably higher quality) headphones and rock on! Free (already on your device, if it has the new software)
- Qype mobile: Especially good in Germany, but catching up in other countries as well. Qype is user generated yellow pages, with great articles on everything you might look for in a city – from Aspirin to Zoo.
- Google Reader: Good mobile version. Have a few minutes spare time? See what your favourite news feeds are doing! (And of course, find the newest entry on KillerConsultant.com waiting for you… what, you did not subscribe to the newsfeed yet? Shame! Klick the orange button on the upper right-NOW!)
- Twitter mobile: See what your friends are doing and update them on your next night shift.
- Dopplr mobile: Good stripped down version of dopplr – enter your next trip, see who of your friends is in the area. Might give you back some of your social life!
- Instapaper: Great little tool in combination with Opera. Instapaper lets you add things you want to read later in any browser with a little bookmarklet, and when you then go to the site, your reading list is waiting for you.
Now who would have thought that there is some real life quality enhancement hidden in your blackberry? Now go, try stuff out! I am looking forward to your comments – also tell me about great stuff that belongs on the list!Read More