Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gotta Love Technology

Hi Friends,

Just had to share this pretty fun little story of how new technologies were extremely helpful and very "green" for my client session at U. Michigan yesterday. I was doing a half-day Optimizing Your Outlook session at the U.M. College of Pharmacy -- this was an event that was rescheduled from early February, when we were snowed out by the big snowstorm.

Just prior to the event in February, my client contact sent to me very detailed driving AND walking instructions on how to get to the College of Pharmacy, as well as the specific training room in the College of Pharmacy. At the time, I simply took the information that she had sent me by e-mail, and did a "drag and drop" from the e-mail into a new calendar event for the original date of the session. That brought all of that directional information into the "notes" field in the calendar event, right from the original client e-mail.

Of course, then the snowstorm hit! So, we found a new date (yesterday), and I just changed the date in my calendar (which also carried over all of that directional information.) First thing yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to leave my home office, I did a "drag and drop" again -- this time, from my Outlook Calendar over to the "Mail" icon -- this auto-created a new e-mail with the details on the event, including all of the directions. I then sent that e-mail to myself -- thus getting that e-mail ON MY BLACKBERRY. This was great, because then I simply pulled up that e-mail on my BlackBerry, and had it for reference as I had to drive down to U. Michigan. I plugged in the address for the parking ramp in downtown Ann Arbor in my GPS, and I was off.

I got to the parking ramp exactly as directed by both my BlackBerry and my GPS, and then I opened up that e-mail again, to follow the walking directions my client shared with me on how to get to the College of Pharmacy from the A2 parking ramp on Forest & Willard a few blocks away. I was literally walking down the street with my BlackBerry out in front of me in my hand, reading the walking directions to my location -- not only to the building, but onto the elevator, down into the basement, through the double doors, and down to the end of the hall to the room! Then, I got there and the room was still locked, but my client had given me the number to call the onsite media assistant if the room was still locked (in that original e-mail!), and my BlackBerry highlighted that number in the text -- I just double-clicked that highlighted phone number, called the onsite assistant, he was down in 30 seconds to the room, and slicker than slick, I was in the room getting set up for the presentation.

Note that everything in this process was paperless, and took great advantage of onboard functions in the Outlook e-mail tool and calendar, as well as my GPS unit and my BlackBerry. I just love this stuff!!! And it shows how easy you can apply these tools with just a bit of forethought!

Don't forget my two remaining public Optimizing Your Outlook workshops yet this month -- one in East Lansing on 3/24 and the other in Southfield on 3/31, in conjunction with MSAE -- here's the information/registration link:


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