2 May 2018

Meeting with your Boss

It is always good to be prepared when meeting with your boss.  The purpose of the meeting should be to ask questions, get direction, provide and/or receive information.

I would suggest the following:
  • If you have access to your boss's email Inbox, go through it as that will be a good place to start.  As you go through the items, you will have questions about meetings he or she is attending, questions about events they may or not be attending, etc.  Also check their Sent items in case the answer lies in there.  Sometimes I have checked the Sent items to see my boss has already emailed the organizer to send her regrets to a meeting.
  • Review the items you want to discuss before the meeting with your boss.  Sometimes you may have a list of items, but don't get to see your boss face-to-face for a few days.  It is better if you go in prepared.  It will be a better use of both your time.  You do not have to spend a lot of time reviewing, but quickly go through the list so you are familiar with each item.
  • Bring a notepad and pen, or if you prefer electronic, then bring your laptop. 
  • Some people like to use their cell phones and write on the Notes app any actions they have, but unless you are provided with a cell phone from your organization, I would not recommend using your personal cell phone for work related items.  As convenient as it may seem, it is always best to separate your work and personal life.  If your position requires a cell phone, then your organization should provide one.  There are also work privacy issues that could be compromised if you combine the two.
  • I bring a folder with printed emails/letters etc. that I have questions about or want to provide her with information.  This can also be done on your laptop by making a list of what you need, but whichever method you use, it should be available at a moment's notice.  Sometimes my boss has called me from out of town and asked if I had anything to discuss while she has me on the phone.  I grab my folder and go through the items with her that I need an answer to sooner rather than later.  The rest I leave for our regular meetings.
  • Meet at the beginning of the work day.  If you meet too late in the day, you will undoubtedly leave the meeting with a whole slew of action items that may not be able to wait until the next day.  If you want to leave work on time, have your regular meetings with your boss in the morning.
Be prepared to come out of the meeting with work to be done, with answers to questions so you can move forward on a project and marching orders for other things your boss might want you to do.  It is better to get this information in a regular meeting with your boss, than on the fly.  If you are in a meeting for this purpose then you can ask all the questions you need while you have your boss in front of you.  Sometimes it is hard to get them in one place. 

My current boss is not good at answering emails and quite frankly, I don't really want to clutter up her Inbox with my items when I can ask her by phone or in person.  Previously, in another position, my boss worked great by email and always knew to check anything from me right away.  If that is the case for you, then you should make sure every email you send counts and you do not send reply to all emails or any other clutter that they don't really need to see.

16 February 2018

Viewing Gridlines in a Table in Word

When I create a table in Word I like to see the gridlines (the faint lines that tell you there is a line there, but if you print the document you won't see any lines).  I like this especially for minute taking as I use a minute template with tables.  I prefer creating it this way because I don't want to be fussing with formatting while in a meeting.  The end product will look like it is one area on the document, but really it is many rows of cells.  By doing this it makes it easy to jump from cell to cell. 

Setting the gridlines is done by clicking on the View Gridlines button under the Layout Tab, which is in the Table area (located at the bottom on the ribbon).  See screenshot below:

This is a toggle button so once you set it, it will be on for all your documents, which is what you probably want if you like this feature.  To take it off you just click on it and then it will return to having no gridlines.

I go through this every time I change jobs and start over again with a new computer.  Since this setting is not the default in Word, when you start over on a new computer, it won't be turned on.  I don't change jobs very often so every time I have to change it I am kicking myself for not writing the instructions down as I know it is not intuitive and will take me some time to find the answer.  Also, when you Google it, the answer that usually comes up is for turning on gridlines in your document, which would be used in drafting or in art, not the kind I am looking for. 

See below for screenshot on how to turn on the other gridlines.  It can be found under the View tab in the Show area and you would just tick the Gridlines box to get it to show. 

Of course, the fact that in both cases they are called gridlines is confusing as well.