January 2017 – Articles of Note

Posted Wednesday January 18th, 2017, 9:50 pm by

  1. Creating a very strong password – many people reported having their social media accounts hacked.  First, check what apps have access to your account and delete any you do not recognise.  Second and most crucial step is to change your password and make sure it’s really strong.Typewritter
  2. Email signature – what to include – this is a recurrent theme.  Most email signatures are far too long and contain too many images. Email correspondence is not the place to market either your business or yourself.  Keep the signature simple yet informative. This Quora post outlines what vital information to include and what to omit.
  3. Hashtag your email for easy searching – you can add a hidden hashtag to emails you search which can make it easier for you to find them.  This gem is thanks to Michael Einstein my fellow IORG board member.
  4. Oxford college apologises for sharing names of rejected applicants – this is perhaps the worst email fiasco for some time.  Hertford College sent an email to each reject with the list of all those who had been rejected!  A real case of send in haste and repent at leisure.
  5. Uncivil lawyers get personal …in all-staff email – yes even solicitors can forget the difference between Reply and Reply-All when airing personal grievances. Maybe not suprising their firm (King & Wood Mailesons)  is in administration but suspect the two key players (Tim Taylor and George Pinkham) might have difficulty finding new jobs after this email fiasco!

How can you safeguarding your organisation from the risks of such email fiascos? One easy way is to invite Mesmo Consultancy to run an email management and business email etiquette masterclass.

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Creating Strong Passwords

Posted Thursday January 12th, 2017, 11:48 am by

Over the past few days many people have seen their Facebook page hacked.  It is essential that you change your password. Here are three top tips to creating strong passwords.access-data-694539_640

1.  Second, use strong passwords which are really very easy to construct and remember. Take a phrase and then build a password from the first letter of each word and turn some into capitals and numerics, for example make your ‘i’ and ‘1’ and add a couple of symbols.  For example ‘I love playing golf in the summer at Parkstone Golf Club’ can become 1Lp9itS@Pgc.

2.  For those with multiple accounts consider using some form of password management software such as LastPass or Keepass.

3.  Where you have a choice adopt devices which have more than just password protection for example finger and retina recognition.

Don’t forget too to be extra vigilant with your email account because email is often the open backdoor for a cyber attack.

For more about how Mesmo Consultancy is helping our clients to reduce the risk of email cyber crime through email best practice contact us now.

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Clean Inbox for the festive season

Posted Monday December 12th, 2016, 9:27 pm by

Five quick ways to clean and de-clutter your inbox

Clean Inbox

  1. Move all emails over two weeks old to a folder outside your inbox. Basically anything that old is well past its sell-by date. If it isn’t you can be sure that the sender will re-contact you.
  2. Start the folder name with full stop and it will sit at the top of the folder list. Alternatively for Outlook users, you can add it to your Favorites.
  3. Review what is left and decide what else to move out and what still needs action. Use the Conversation view/Sort by Subject/Sender etc to sort.
  4. Set aside time each day to action any emails which really, really warrant your attention.
  5. Move all the rest out to the folder created in Step 1.

By now you should have a relatively clean inbox. If not – simply declare Email Bankruptcy.

Switch off, take a break and enjoy your email digital detox.

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Articles of Note – December 2016

Posted Monday December 12th, 2016, 9:26 pm by

  1. Is it time to ditch the concept of Inbox Zero? Does reaching inbox zero equate with being productive. Yes we at Mesmo Consultancy are Press roomgreat believers in keeping your inbox as your work in hand and hence having a clean inbox. However it maybe that Inbox Zero is an out-dated and meaningless goal. Read on.
  2. Beware Word docs bearing instructions. Perhaps the cleverest piece of cyber crime yet. The hackers call to say they cannot use your on-line booking/ordering system. Can they send a file and can you check it opens! Read on.
  3. How to write an email with Military precision. Some very interesting tips on business email etiquette. What makes a good email and how to grab the readers attention without being arrogant. For example the Bluf approach – Bottom Line Up Front. Read on.
  4. Twenty email blunders to avoid. In keeping with the business email etiquette theme, an amusing article from a PR perspective, but they actually apply to us all. The top twenty blunders any one of which will mean your email may go unread as you annoy the recipient. Read on.
  5. The ultimate mobile email stats overview.  55% of emails are now read on mobile devices. This is one for IT and Marketing Directors looking ahead to 2017 and beyond. Read on.

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Book of Note – November 2016

Posted Tuesday November 22nd, 2016, 8:56 pm by

Messy – How To Be Creative and Resilient in A Tidy-Minded World by Tim Harford

Do you prefer to tidy up your desk and sharpen the pencils before working or go to it no matter how messy the surroundings might be? We all have our preferences and in the open plan office it can present problems if you are surrounded by someone whose preference is diametrically opposed to yours.img_0006

But does our personal preference mean we are any more or less productive and creative than the other person? In his new book Messy Tim Harford (better known to some as The Under Cover Economist) looks at the pros and cons of working in a disorderly environment. He includes many case histories of how being disorganised and responding on the hoof can improve not only creativity but also customer’s experiences. Examples are drawn from the war, mathematics, music, business, sports and the whole office working environment.

For those unfamiliar with the now legendary Chiat Day futuristic open plan office he gives a very good account of why it’s initial success was lost and the office returned to a more conventional open plan set up.

Hartford suggests that whilst operating outside a tidy mind and environment can be very challenging for those with a tidy mind disposition, it can also help them open up new opportunities and find solutions to problems which might never have otherwise been found.

Harford’s underlying premise is that too many rules whether they apply to too much mess or conversely order do not encourage productivity and creativity. As an intriguing example he cites how even targets in the public sector should be random depending on situations rather than preconceived.

From an email perspective Harford will use folders for active projects then archives them into one large folder once complete thus not getting bogged down with complex folder structures.

It’s an interesting and easy read but in some ways is little more than a narrative to support his arguments. If you are looking for some real practice advice this is not the book for you. As a different take on why some people and projects (be they products or services) succeed and others fail, you can pick out some fascinating nuggets.

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