Category Archives: Personal

[Video] Creating TOC with Evernote

If you’re a Evernote user as I am, this is a useful video from Evernote on creating a Table Of Contents.

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Video for Dad

This was a project I shot for my dad. On October 10, 2010 my kids and I sent balloons into heaven. The kids wrote messages and my mom joined in. We sent them off and this is what I captured.

Email Etiquette

I work for a small community bank here in Costa Mesa CA and recently there have been a few people using poor judgement on how they send email. First of all, I’m not much of an email person, I’d rather talk face to face or just pick up the phone. We’ve gotten so reliant on email that we’ve really been disabled to talking. I work in sales and most of sales requires talking. I’m amazed how many sales people don’t use their vocal chords to sell. There is one particular salesman who sits close to my office and I might here him say two words the whole day, “Hello” and “Goodbye”.

But this topic is about email etiquette. Why do some people think that the more people on the email, the faster their issues are resolved? I don’t know the answer to this. What I do know is that it wastes the time of a lot of people who don’t need to be involved. So today one of the managers sent out this email entitled, “TOP TEN LIST”.

    Here’s the top 10 things that we HAVE TO do when sending or receiving emails:

    1. In “To” section put the 1 person (at most 2) that you want to respond to you, use “CC” for others
    2. Use the “CC” line sparingly
    3. Answer in complete concise sentences whenever possible (creates clarity)
    4. Answer all questions on first response (if there are 3 questions don’t address just two)
    5. Use proper structure & layout (Don’t use all Caps – UNLESS YOU’RE REALLY YELLING…)
    6. Don’t leave out the message thread (if someone doesn’t answer you timely and you need to escalate – forward that original email that didn’t get a response – to the person you are escalating.
    7. Read the email before you send it
    8. Do not overuse Reply to All (that “Thanks” to everyone is nice but usually not needed)
    9. Avoid long run-on sentences (we all have short attention spans)
    10 If it takes more than two emails to get your point across (it happens) pick up the phone and discuss.

    Gang, one of the biggest time wasters is poorly constructed emails …that either don’t ask the right questions, don’t answer the questions completely, convey something that was unintended or gets multiple people involved in the same issue at the same time. We’re all guilty of it – but as we continue to grow we all have to all get better at it.

Immediately after this email, one person thanked him for sending this email. It was “REPLIED TO ALL”.

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Remembering an old friend…

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Yesterday we remembered an old friend Ross Elbing. Ross was a friend I met while attending Calvary Chapel Huntington Beach, later to be known as Refuge. Ross was a musician and was on the praise and worship team and I had the pleasure of playing with him from time to time. Ross was how I would describe, “A SUPER NICE GUY!” He was the guy everyone loved and he loved everyone. I never really had any one on one conversations with Ross but he was never short of a kind word of encouragement. Ross was remembered at Orange Coast College in the drama lab. I was told that Ross’ favorite color was green and that he wouldn’t want anyone to be dressed up at his memorial and that in fact, wearing green would be a nice tribute. Well, when we pulled up to the parking lot, I was so glad that we all wore green. Everyone was wearing green and it was a great tribute to a great man. Ross was remembered and a lot of people had a lot of great things to say but what I’ll remember is how he loved his children and how much they love him. We will remember you Ross. Say hello to my dad.

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Letters

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When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? Not a bill, not a card, not a newsletter. A letter from someone you know who wants to tell you something or something about themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to abolish email, Facebook, Twitter and any other means of electronic communication. I get it, innovation is key to advancing out society. The thing is, there are still facets of our lives that we will never be able to change. Paper! Paper is a vital part of our lives and we use it and touch it everyday. All I’m saying is why not get a pen out and write a quick letter. Here’s what I want you to do. Imagine the last letter you received. Again, not the last card you received but the last letter. Do you remember how you felt when you saw something handwritten amidst the mounds of bills from the mail box? Do you remember how excited you were to open the letter? You can give that to someone else. Try it… and believe me, you will want to do it over and over and over and over…

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Writing

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Where has the lost art of writing gone? Yesterday I went into a Starbucks to write a letter. I didn’t have a laptop, Blackberry or even an iPad. All I had was a pen and pad of paper. Did you hear that kids, I said it… PAPER! So I grab my coffee and sat down. It was then I realized that I was the only one in the room without an electronic device. Just me and my paper. I wasn’t embarrassed of my pen and paper, in fact I was proud. I was inspired to write more than just one letter, I’m on a mission to write a letter a week. So I went home grabbed a pad of paper started. I looked in my address book on my computer and realized, I have a lot of friends and family. I have almost everyones address… but most of them were email addresses. WHAT? How is it I can send so many Christmas cards out and not have that many addresses? Oh ya, I sent out ecards. So, I have a few addresses so I will start with those. So off to day one.

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Birthdays

So yesterday was my 45th birthday. Typical of any preceding birthdays I’ve had. Well, typical in the sense that all I wanted to do was to just relax. Having two small children now is anything but relaxing, just ask my wife who has the full time mom job. I can barely keep them alive the one day a week I’m supposed to look after them. But back to my birthday.

I’m not a big self indulgent person but there are things I do like on my birthday. I like it when I get to eat what ever I want. I like when I get control of the remote. I like it when I can just sit in my office and write or read blogs or Facebook. I love presents but don’t often ask for much. But what I really love about my birthday now is that Emma gets excited about the whole day. She seems to think that because it’s my birthday, she gets special treatment too. Well, I suppose that’s ok. I let her enjoy one of her movies and we did get to Target and we bought her a new toy. But what I really like is that she got excited to give me her gift. She was proud of the card she had made. Actually, the claims Dori ruined the card she made for me. Dori put pictures of Emma and Levi in places that appeared to be photo frames (I will post a photo). The fact that my daughter was so excited to give me a gift made my day! I think that’s all a parent wants, is to see their kids grow into giving and caring people. And if Emma could sing like Taylor Swift… I’d be ok with that too.

Happy Birthday to me!