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We don’t use email in our organization. At least not internally. Why? Would you agree that nowadays email is mostly mail you don’t want to see? Would you agree that mail gets lost, is hard to retrieve, and hard to save for later processing? We found a way around all of this.
Here’s how we avoid email
What we do is use One Note, both online and on the desktop. If you’re new to One Note, let me explain how it works. For those familiar with One Note, you can skip to the next paragraph.
Microsoft One Note
I’ve used One Note on and off for years, alternating it with mind mapping software, Mindjet. When I train employees in its use, I tell them this. I tell them imagine a set of 3-ring binders, each with tabbed dividers, and each tabbed divider containing punched paper pages. Well, that said, in One Note you have notebooks. And in notebooks you can create tabbed dividers. And in those tabbed dividers you can create pages. In other words, it’s a virtual representation of notebooks.
But it’s more powerful. Besides being able to add images, links to websites, you can add hyperlinks to other pages (more on this later). You can also see a list of recently modified pages, so that if you use only a few pages routinely, you don’t have to search for them, they are at the top of the list and ready for you.
How We Avoid Email Using One Note
Each employee has their own notebook, which is shared to others. Within each notebook is a section called “Notes from Others”. And within such section are pages from colleagues. When a colleague has something needing addressing, they enter it onto the page dedicated to them. The original employee looks at that page periodically, and responds to it on that page. An example would be:
Page Notes from Tom: “Can you send me the report with prospect addresses?”
Reply: “I’ll do it tomorrow afternoon when I run reports”.
If Tom needs to see the status of ALL outstanding issues with his colleague, he goes to that page and sees the commentary for each such issue. Not only that, but One Note makes it easy to see all recently modified pages, so it is an easy matter to quickly check outstanding issues with colleagues.
So let’s say I delegate something to multiple employees and I want to see what’s outstanding for everybody? One Note allows you to flag posts, so you can create a flag called delegated and it will pull together for you all pages with that flag. It also allows you to see all pages sorted by modification date, so it allows you to follow up that way, as well.
If you try this, I hope you have a good experience. Let me know what you think.
Michael Emerald, CFA
Owner, Wall Street Analyst
As a securities analyst, I’ve always coughed at pundits ability to not be able to predict the stock market correctly, but then jump to the front to shout out reasons it performed the way it did…in hindsight. In other words, to give reasons even when there are no reasons. With that, I aver that this quarter’s low 0.7% GDP growth was a surprise to me. Let’s examine the factors leading to it.
Unemployment is low, at 4.5%. Without getting into numbers, it’s very low, around 4%. And since GDP is driven to a good extent by the movement of goods and consumer spending, the combination of greater corporate activity plus higher consumer spending should be good.
Consumer sentiment is good too. After all, if it weren’t good we wouldn’t be spending, and that would account for low growth. But in fact sentiment is robust.
Consumer spending has been robust, about 5% growth. No problems here (sort of, as we’ll see below).
What the Expert Say
The experts point to intricacies, such as: higher unit prices rather than unit volume in consumer spending. Slowing Auto sales. But let’s stop here because my experience suggests this is what the experts do, they dig until they find something to support the facts.
What Michael Emerald Says (that’s me, BTW)
This quarter was an aberration. Do I expect 5% growth as Donald Trump suggests? No. For one, we have a lot of overburden right now, primarily the government debt, weighing on the economy. Second, courtesy of Dr. Rathnam, GDP growth has been slowing since WWII so growth in that range isn’t to be expected anymore. But I do expect a return to 2%-3% growth in the coming quarters.
Michael Emerald, CFA
Owner and Wall Street Analyst, Performance Business Design
As a service to the companies we follow, we make available our Business Performance Reports. These reports are designed to analyze how the business performs, with suggestions on how it may be improved. This is based on our experience working with publicly held corporations. Note that we are not reviewing the quality of your products and services. All research comments are meant to be constructive. Reports are strictly for business owners, not for their customers.
A copy of your report can be obtained by contacting us by phone or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consulting Staff at Performance Business Design
THOUGHTS ON POLITICS: The US Should be Holding Long-term Discussions About Syria, Reserving Arms for Later
You’ve heard it from me before: I’m no political expert and I always welcome counter-arguments.
With that, I feel that because Russia is allied with Bashar Assad, striking his command posts is provoking Russia. And so we have a complicated situation, in which our enemy is supported by our “alleged” friend, Russia. Why is alleged in quotes. Certainly because we are not in confrontation with Russia. Also because we do not want to be in a confrontation with Russia. Yet, tensions run high, and the friendship deserves quotes. So what are the pros and cons of limited military strikes against Assad’s regime?
It signals – loud and clear – that chemical weapons won’t be tolerated
It signals that we are decisive and not afraid to take action
One which is little talked about is who will replace Assad if he is overthrown. His people know him to be brutal, but the competing players aren’t much better, and may be even worse. So, we may be shooting off our nose to spite our face.
Assad has done terrific damage with non-chemical weapons. So putting an end to chemical warfare isn’t likely to reduce the lethalness of his regime, only the manner in which it is implemented
It increases the risk that we’ll have a direct confrontation with Russia, a downside most will agree is an outcome to be avoided
As in business, I believe in a lot of talking, discussions, and negotiation, in this case with Russia. Signaling strength is usually okay, but when tensions run high, and we have many instances of strengths in other countries, reducing the strength in favor of a willingness to talk is a good thing. Supporting this is that not everything is known. Did Assad use the weapons? Why is Russia supporting Assad? It’s fine to presume, but when lives are involved via weaponry it’s important to “Ask questions, shoot later”. It’s good that NATO supported our actions, but I feel that international politics can get a bit too black and white, even though most things are NOT black and white. “They used chemical weapons we punish them” seems fine at first blush, but the points brought up in this blog-post suggest there are other factors which must be considered. Finally, Putin, whether we like him or not, is respected by his people, considered a good leader, and was touted by Trump as one. So, to bomb his allies, unilaterally, is inappropriate.
What are your thoughts?
FREE BUSINESS STRATEGY WORKSHOP: Your Website is Dressed to Impress, Sturbridge MA, 5/26/17 1-3 p.m.