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Missing the important points when taking minutes?

Missing the important points when taking minutes?

Have you ever been asked to take the minutes of a meeting and then started to worry about missing the important points when taking minutes. Don’t worry, this is always the first question I get when I start to run my Minute Taking Training Course.

The first misconception of taking minutes of a meeting is that the entire responsibiliyt rests with the minute taker. This is just not the case. The Minute taker is the first line of defence when taking mintues, but then the chiar is there to check the minutes are a true and accurate representation of the disucssion of the meeting. Finally the delegates of the meeting also agree and check the mintues. All of these people form part of a team, the meeting team.

Missing the important points when taking minutes?

So please, if you are the minute taker and worry about missing the important points in a meeting don’t. Here are my Tips for Preparing for a Meeting so that you won’t miss anything.

Tip One – missing the important points when taking minutes?

Read the last three months (or if a weekly meeting read the last 6 copies) of meetings. This is to that you can get an understanding of the language used, the projects underway and the topics you will be reporting on.

Tip Two – missing the important points when taking minutes

Meet with the Chair 10-15 minutes before the meeting to discuss any items on the agenda

Tip Three – missing the important ponts when taking minutes

Sit to the left of the Chair, unless the Chair is left handed then sit on the left. You, as the minute taker are there to support the Chair and you can only do this if you can discuss any issues that may arise during the meeting.

Tip Four- missing the important points when taking minutes

Take a bottle of water into the meeting with you, you need to stay hydrated and alert.

Tip Five – missing the important points when taking minutes

Take some boiled sweets or fruit with you so that you can keep your sugar levels up. Remember when taking the minutes of a meeting for 1 hour it is the same as taking a 3 hour A level maths exam.

Tip Six- missing the important points when taking minutes

Practice your listening skills especially Active Listening.

Tip Seven – missing the important points when taking minutes

Practice your Critically thinking processes.

Good luck and try and enjoy the process of taking minutes of a meeting. Remember you are your companies Historian, you are a paid voyeur.

How to change the size of a signature image in Outlook 2016

How to change the size of a signature image in Outlook 2016

Do you want to change the signature image in Outlook 2016 to make your emails look professional, elegant and smart? With more and more options in MS Office and outlook, sometimes we just need a few hints along the way.  To make sure your signature image in outlook 2016 is perfect then just follow these very simple instructions.

Instructions to resize a Signature Image in Outlook 2016

Open outlook as you would ordinarily do select the option to create an email as you would typically do.

Create signature image in outlook 2016

A new email window will then appear.

Select the option Insert and then Signature.

A list of all the current signatures installed on your computer will appear. At the very bottom is the word Signature. Select this option, see below.

A new window will appear.

Select the email signature you want to edit, if you have not created an email signature select the option New, see above, in this example I will collect Corrigo free trial. Enter the narrative you wish to have on the signature in the box provided. Then add your image by selecting add picture icon, see above. This will then require you to find the location of the image on your computer or server.

Once the image has been selected, it will appear in the dialogue box. See below.

Using your mouse, click ONCE on the image. You will notice little squares appearing on the image, see below.

Once these little squares appear, press the right-hand button on your mouse and click once only.

A new screen will appear. Select the option Picture, see below.

This will open another window, see below. On this window select the option Size, see below.

The following screen will appear. It is from here that you can now resize your image. Please make sure that the Lock aspect ratio option is selected. If you have decided that 7.63 cm would be perfect, enter 7.63 in the Height option and press the enter button only. This will automatically adjust the Width.

Once the image is of the right size, please copy this narrative and place it under the image. Then select OK.

Download a printable version here. 07082018 – myPA Crib Sheets changing the size of an image in a signature

PA and Secretary Fact Sheet – Small Claims

PA and Secretary Fact Sheet – Small Claims

Small Claims Fact Sheet


Small Claims Fact Sheet Objectives

  1. Introduction to Small Claims
  2. How to take Court Action
  3. What happens next in a Small Claims application?
  4. Does it cost money to take someone to Small Claims?
  5. Working out the interest on a Small Claims request
  6. You’ll have to go to court if…
  7. After the Hearing

1 Introduction – Small Claims

You can take court action against someone who owes you money and won’t pay. This is known as making a court claim. It can also be known as taking someone to a ‘small claims court’.  You usually have to pay a court fee, and you may not win your case or get your money back.

2 How to take Court Action

The government has tried to make the process as easy as possible. The easiest way to claim it be completing the form online

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim-online

You can use this service to claim:

  • For a fixed sum under £100,000
  • Against no more than 2 people or organisations

Small Claims fact sheet for administrators

 

3 What happens next in a Small Claims application?

  • If they deny owing you money, you may have to go to court.
  • You can get the court to order them to pay if they admit owing the money or don’t respond.
  • If they still won’t pay, you’ll need to ask the court to take extra steps to collect the money – e.g. using bailiffs. This is called enforcing a judgment.

4 Does it cost money to take someone to Small Claims?

  • Yes! It costs money to go to submit a small claims application.
  • The fee is based on how much you are claiming + interest
  • Using the Money Claim Online is cheaper than sending in the form.
amount Sending the form to court centre Using Money Claim Online
Up to £300 £35 £25
£300.01 to £500 £50 £35
£500.01 to £1,000 £70 £60
£1,000.01 to £1,500 £80 £70
£1,500.01 to £3,000 £115 £105
£3,000.01 to £5,000 £205 £185
£5,000.01 to £10,000 £455 £410
£10,0
00.01 to £100,000
5% of the value of the claim 4.5% of the value of the claim
£100,000.01 to £200,000 5% of the value of the claim You can’t claim using Money Claim Online
More than £200 000 £10 000 You can’t claim using Money Claim Online

5 Working out your small claims interest

  • The interest you can charge if another business is late paying for goods or a service is ‘statutory interest’ – this is 8% plus the Bank of England base rate for business to business transactions.
  • You can’t claim statutory interest if there’s a different rate of interest in a contract.

After you have submitted your small claims

  • The person or business who owes you money must respond to your claim within 14 days of receiving it.
  • If you don’t get a response, you’ll have to ask the Court to order them to pay. You do this by continuing with the Money Claim Online form.

If you do get a response – YIPPEE!

  • Tell them you are withdrawing your claim and also tell the Money Claim Online help desk.

6 You’ll have to go to court if…

  • The person or business says they don’t owe you any money.
  • They disagree with the amount.
  • You can’t agree on how the money will be repaid.
  • The court will send you a questionnaire asking for more information on the case. Fill this in and return it to the court.

This will incur additional costs.

  • If your case is a small claim, under £10,000, it can be dealt with using written evidence, and not need a hearing.

If there is a hearing you can:

  • Represent yourself
  • Pay for a barrister or solicitor to represent you
  • Ask someone to speak on your behalf, like your partner or an advice worker – you must get the court’s permission

7 After the Hearing

  • You’ll receive a letter from the court, stating its decisions, and any actions you need to take.

Additional Resources

  • I highly recommend using your local Citizens Advice Bureau for additional advice and support.
What is Computer Ransomware?

What is Computer Ransomware?

At PA Tips and Secretarial Support, we want to give you all the information you need to keep ahead of your boss and those around you.  To help you stay ahead, we have created a number of posts that will help you understand some of the technical terminologies that are being spoken about in the press and workplace.  Today we would like to talk about Computer Ransomware.

So, What is Computer Ransomware?

A Firewall is there to protect your computer

It is a specific type of computer virus that is made to trick people into paying money to have the virus taken off of their computer. However, there are several types of Ransomware, and some are much more serious than others.

Types of Computer Ransomware

  1. Encryption Ransomware – These viruses will encrypt some or all of a computer’s hard drive, and it is often not possible to get the files back until a person has the decryption key. Encryption Ransomware is the most severe form of Ransomware as it can cause people to lose data on their computer.
  1. Lock-screen Ransomware – Lock-screen viruses will lock a person’s screen after their computer boots and tell them that they need to pay money to access their computer.
  1. Scareware – Scareware is designed to scare people into believing that their computer has a more severe virus. The resulting in a payment to remove the infection. These are usually fake antivirus programs that tell people their computer or laptop has a number of viruses.

How do you get Computer Ransomware?

You get Computer Ransomware on your computers in the same ways that you get other computer viruses. Ransomware normally affects a computer after you have opened an infected file. These usually come in things like email attachments, but they could also be files that you have downloaded off of the Internet.

How do you know you’ve got it!

You will usually find out that you have Ransomware on your computer when a screen pops up that tells them they need to pay money to have a virus removed. A pop might take several forms depending on the type of Ransomware utilised.

Preventing and Removing Computer Ransomware

To avoid getting Ransomware on a computer, it is best to run antivirus software all of the time.

Also, you should make sure that all of the software that your browsers use is up to date. This includes things like Java and Flash.

After determining that Ransomware has infected a computer, it is best to run an antivirus check. Then remove any viruses found and inform your IT department.

If a computer is completely locked down, it is recommended that the computer is started in Safe Mode. Alternatively from a flash drive and run a virus scan from there. This should clear up most Ransomware viruses. However, those who are unlucky enough to contract a virus that encrypts their file system may be forced to reformat their hard drive and reinstall the operating system. When this happens, you will lose all of the files on the hard drive. Because of this, regular backups are essential. Report any such virus or attack on your computer to the IT Department immediately.

In Conclusion, Computer Ransomware is nasty

All of us at PA Tips and Secretarial Support think that Computer Ransomware is a nasty piece of code.  It is created by people who just want to cause trouble and extort money from us.  Gone are the days when someone would rob you in person, now they want to extract money digitally. The perpetrators may see this as a victimless crime, only attacking companies or big organisations.

However, at PA Tips and Secretarial Support, we have one question to ask. When was the last time you heard your boss say, ‘Yes we have lots of money lets just buy…’. We don’t as businesses are struggling and now we have to take into account extorsion.  Alternatively, everytime your company spends money, it could be your bonus or pay rise they are spending.  This is just my opinion, but I hope you will agree with some of it.

 

PA Tips and Secretarial Support would also like to recommend these blog posts

What is a Firewall and why should I care?

What does a PA Do?

What does a PA Do?

What does a PA Do? and indeed, what is a PA. A PA is Personal Assistant to the manager, department or CEO. They provide administrative support and take care of their boss so that they can

What does a PA do? is a question that has a long winded answer as they do everything in an office.

What does a PA do?

Perform their jobs with ease and confidence. A Personal Assistant could also be called an Executive Assistant or even a Virtual PA or Virtual EA.  In this article, I will use the term PA to cover all of above.

Being a Personal Assistant (PA) is like being a fine artist. You have to have the ability to see an end product using the raw materials you have available to you. Anticipate the likes and needs of those you are looking after, without them knowing or understanding what they like or dislike. A PA has to be meticulous about their time management, planning and organisational skills and then make these tasks look smooth and effortless. Any PA unable to master these three skills will inevitably find the role as a Personal Assistant difficult. A PA should have their finger on the proverbial button of any activity their boss is undertaking at any time. Not only that, a PA has to anticipate what the boss requires today tomorrow and next month.

So What does a PA do to make sure they are on the ball?

A PAs mantra or go to question should always be “What is the next question” their boss is going to ask.  Ensure they can answer that question and then the next question their boss will ask. The standard Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions should be applied to any and all tasks a PA undertakes.  Once a PA has mastered this tool they will start to see and show improvements in their PA ability and demonstrate how capable and competent they are in their role.

All PAs need to demonstrate consistency in their workload and be as enthusiastic on Monday morning at 9 am as they are on Friday at 5 pm.  They need to be effective and efficient in all the tasks that they undertake and become proactive instead of reactive. It is recommended that a PA schedules at least 60% of their working day. This will leave 40% of their day to be reactive. We, therefore, advise each PA to plan tasks in advance. Taking note of business deadlines and the expectation is essential. A PA will also have to remember their boss has deadlines that could rely on work they have to do.

PAs Personal Recommendations

We would also recommend that every PA take a few minutes at the end of the day to note at least five successes they have had that day. It is true to say that everyone will have a bad day at work at some point. Noting down any success they have will help any PA remember how good they are. How well they perform their job and organising their boss.

In conclusion, What does a PA Do?

When the role of a PA is performed correctly, it is a work of art. The position is seamless, timeless and a thing of beauty. Their boss will never know the amount of work, effort and organisational skills the PA will put into their role. All of this, to ensure that the boss has a perfect working environment so they can perform at their peak.

The PA is indeed the unsung hero of any organisation. It is time for all PAs to stand up and be proud of the jobs that they do. The tasks they undertake and show what a strong, determined woman can do. For more information about becoming a PA or attending a training course click here.

The PA Tips on this post are those that are highly recommended to become an effective PA. It is also vitally important that a PA keeps on track of all new technology, new ways of working and are open to any PA Tips they can glean from colleagues and even their boss.

 

What is a Virtual Assistant?

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistant can work anywhere anytimeHaving run a successful Virtual Assistant business for nearly ten years, I am frequently asked What is a Virtual Assistant. I suppose the term is not familiar to everybody and it can sound like quite a strange concept. The question is then followed with “Why would I use a Virtual Assistant?” Let us look at the idea of the Virtual Assistant and the reasons why people and businesses choose to employ one.

I would describe a Virtual Assistant (VA) as. Someone who works for a small business or organisation but not directly employed by them.  They are accountable for the work they do on their behalf.  They are, in effect, a subcontractor who provides secretarial and/or administrative support.

The duties of a VA can include scheduling activities such as meetings, organising travel, social media, customer service, email campaigns, book-keeping and much more. A VA can work from their office (they might, for example, rent office space in a shared building), from their home office, or from the offices of their clients.  They can also do a combination of any of these.

The definition of a Virtual Assistant on the Wikipedia website is as follows:

“A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office…. They usually work for other small businesses, brokers and consultancy groups.  Reports state that there are as few as 5,000-8,000 or as many as 25,000 Virtual Assistants worldwide; the profession is growing in centralised economies with “fly-in, fly-out” (FIFO) staffing practices.” www.wikipedia.org.

There is currently a debate in the industry about the title of a Virtual Assistant and whether ‘we’ as an industry should change it. The general feeling is that the title ‘Assistant’, (to those who aren’t familiar with the industry), doesn’t give an accurate impression of the variety of roles a VA can fulfil.

I believe there are four types of Virtual Assistants:

  1. Virtual Assistant (VA). A VA is someone who can assist their client with some secretarial and administrative tasks, usually on a short-term project basis. Equally, they may undertake individual jobs over a period; for example, creating a database of business cards.
  2. Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA). A VPA is someone who works in close collaboration with a small business owner, providing secretarial and administrative support.  The VPA will be there long-term.  The relationship is similar to that of employer and employee. Nevertheless, the VPA will only visit the client once or twice a week, and despite the longevity of the relationship, is self-employed.
  3. Virtual Executive Assistant (VEA). A VEA is someone who works in close collaboration with a small business owner to provide secretarial and administrative support. A VEA could be part of the business development strategy for the company.  The VEA is an important part of the business, becoming one of the planners and authorising partners.
  4. Personal Assistant. A PA is someone who works for one person in one organisation.  However, in the VA world, many VAs call themselves PAs as many employers/clients understand this term better.

What is a Virtual Assistant

In conclusion, the answer to What is a Virtual Assistant is that the role has many different nuances. However, the role is primarily an administrative role that helps people and businesses undertake the numerous administrative activities.  It is very similar to that of an Executive PA.

This is an extract from my book entitled Becoming a Virtual Assistant and avoid the Mistakes I made. In this book, you will discover many PA tips on starting your own business or discover some PA tips and Secretarial Support if you are in full-time employment that will help you understand your boss and their reason and reactions on many of the tasks they undertake.

I-want-to-be-a-virtual-assistant and What is a Virtual Assistant anyway.

What is a Virtual Assistant and How to Become a Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

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