Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Timely Tips September 2007: A Quick Tip for Air Travelers

This simple step could save you the hassle of checking bags and waiting for your luggage after flights.

in this issue
A "Permanent" Clear Plastic Toiletries Baggie
A Follow Up to Last Month's Multiple Monitors Tip
Randy Is "Linked In"
Look for Next Month's Tip Soon!

Dear Timely Tips Reader,

I sure do love this time of the year, with my annual trips to all of business schools and universities. What better place is there to be than a college campus in late summer and early fall? It was nice seeing so many of you again recently at East Carolina, U. Pitt, Ohio State, U. Chicago, and Purdue. And here in a couple of weeks, I'll be leading my staff open enrollment sessions at Michigan State. I hope to see a few of you there too. Obviously, with these campus visits, as well as a slate of corporate, governmental, and association appearances over the last two months, I've been spending some time in airports again recently. I wanted to share a quick tip that will help you not only save time getting your luggage, but also with packing for your trips.

Keep a Permanent Clear Plastic One Quart Toiletries "Baggie"

As most air travelers know, the Transportation Security Administration recently ruled that air passengers can now only carry on liquids or gels in a clear plastic one-quart bag, and each of those liquids or gels must be in three-ounce or less containers. If you can't meet these requirements, then you must pack your liquid or gels in your checked luggage.

Now, if you are just heading out for a quick trip, checking your luggage causes you significant added time, not to mention the risk from losing that luggage. Because of this, my wife gave me a great suggestion I'd like to share with you. She said, "Why don't you just make up a permanent clear toiletries plastic bag that is always ready for a trip?" I thought this was a great idea, and went to the local drug store and bought a collection of 3-ounce-or-less toiletries, and created my own permanent clear plastic one-quart toiletries travel bag. It cost about $10 to buy the needed items, but this $10 has saved me big time in terms of time saved.

I keep this toiletries "baggie" in my laptop bag, and it is just ready to go anytime I travel. I now no longer have to spend time packing up my toiletries -- they are always ready -- be that for a flight, road trip, or trip by train. If I am flying, I simply need to take the bag out of my laptop bag at the security screening checkpoint and put it through the luggage scanner so the security agents can see the contents.

And, with my "carry on legal" piece of luggage and my laptop bag, I no longer have to check any luggage, which saves me 10-15 minutes on the front end of each flight checking bags (just print your boarding pass online and go straight to the security checkpoint), 30-45 minutes on the back end waiting for my bags to be unloaded, and another 5-10 minutes packing toiletries for each trip -- this is close to an hour of time saved every time you fly!

So, if you are an avid traveler, head over to the grocery or drug store, and stock up on your 3-oz. or less travel size toiletries, get your one-quart clear plastic baggie, and make your permanent travel time saver!

A Great Follow Up Suggestion on Last Month's Multiple Monitors Timely Tip

As you remember, last month I did a Timely Tip on the productivity benefits of using multiple monitors at your workstation. Avid Timely Tips reader Tunga Kiyak of Michigan State University's Broad School of Business had this great recommendation regarding the use of multiple monitors:

"If you are using multiple monitors, you must use a utility called "Ultramon" (http://www.ultramon.com), which puts a separate task bar on your second monitor, so that you can manage the windows on each monitor separately. In addition, it allows you to easily move windows from one window to the other, or stretch your windows across two monitors. Check it out! Unfortunately, it costs $39.95.

There is also a free alternative to it out there, called MultiMon that I've heard good things about (http://www.mediachance.com/free/multimon.htm), but I haven't tried it myself (I had already bought Ultramon when I heard about Multimon, so I had no motivation to test it.)"

So, if you've decided to make the move to multiple monitors, here are a couple software options that will make your transition that much smoother!

Randy is "Linked In"

Are any of you users of the popular online social networking tool called "Linked In"? I really like it, because if you or any of your contacts make moves, job changes, and so on, rather than having to send out announcements to everyone of your moves, you can simply update your Linked In profile, and your network can keep track of you. I've been building my Linked In profile and contacts list for several months now -- to see my profile, just go to www.linkedin.com and search "People" with "Randy Dean" in the search field.

I'd love to get many of you, my Timely Tips readers, linked to me in Linked In. If you would like to link up, simply send me a "Get Linked" request to add me to your network. And, if you have ever attended one of my speaking or training programs and have really found the information valuable and entertaining, I would greatly appreciate your posting of a "Linked In" recommendation for me. Thanks in advance! I look forward to linking up with you.

Until Next Time ...

Obviously, this Timely Tip is coming in right at the end of September. Look for a new Timely Tip very soon -- with the next one including an excerpt from my new book on effective e-mail management -- Taming the E-mail Beast. If you'd like to learn more about the book, visit my web site at www.randalldean.com, or just send me a quick e-mail to request a three-chapter sneak preview. If you'd like to take advantage of a couple very nice pre-publication special offers, visit www.randalldean.com/offers.html.

Enjoy this beautiful early autumn weather, and until next time, Stay Timely!


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