Welcome To Relax Consulting's Blog

Transparent thoughts and ideas from Administrative Consultant (aka: Virtual Assistant, Crystal Casavant of Relax Consulting.

Relax Consulting - Let Us Help, So YOU Can RELAX!

Phone: 920.645.7529

Email: Crystal@RelaxConsulting.com

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Being Thoughtful while Saving Time

This is totally NOT a sales pitch. I do happen to be a distributor for SendOut Cards, and I won't even give you a link to my site ... because I don't want you to buy something. I just want you to think about something.

That was my disclaimer - now onto business.

Do you wish you could be the person who sends a thank you for each lunch date? coffee date? to your seamstress for a job well done? to your hairdresser for the fabulous neck massage while your color was doing whatever color does?

I had always wanted to be that thoughtful person, but I didn't think I had time. I would send an email, a text, or make a quick phone call. (That was on the good days) Most days I would simply say to myself "your grandma would be incredibly disappointed - and so would Miss Manners". Now I don't really even know who Miss Manners is, but Anne Landers comes into play somewhere in the mix - but the truth is, I was raised with old-fashioned values. As a child, I wasn't allowed to open my presents, wear my new sweaters, etc... until the thank you note was written, sealed, addressed, and headed off to the post office in the bag of our friendly postal carrier.

Then I grew up ...

I had children ...

Started working ...

I started making excuses and rationalizing. What really happened? I stopped showing my appreciation in the way that I wanted to. My half-assed text may have been sort of acceptable in a better than nothing way but in my own heart and head, it was just a feeble attempt at doing the right thing. Then ... along came SendOut Cards. It's not terribly expensive and I could send cards right from my computer. I could send birthday cards, party invitations, thank you letters, and I could even send my husband a travel mug and an apology letter for my snarky behavior. That was a pretty good solution and I decided to sell the products because that gave me the best deal.

Now ... I have something even better! I have an app - kid you not, they make an app for sending cards. I no sooner left a play date this afternoon (at 1:23 which was already 8 minutes later than I had hoped) and before I got out of the car, I was able to grab my phone and send a thank you card. If my husband is driving somewhere, I can even send a card as we travel down the highway (another disclaimer: do NOT try to send a card while driving ... it's no safer than texting and driving). This entire process allows me to be thoughtful and kind and I can do it when I have a spare minute or two. You could time me, but I swear it takes no more than 90 seconds to touch the app on my phone, choose the type of card, personalize it, and choose the contact from my list.  I am now the mother who helps my children send out thank you cards as soon as the birthday guests walk out the door. I am now the customer who remembers to send a note to the Manager when I receive stellar service. The program also has a calendar feature so I never forget a birthday or anniversary either.


The reason I'm sharing this is that some of my clients have called and said something similar to:

"I had this great meeting this afternoon, and I wanted to send a thank you ... but I'm already half way to the cabin up North and I really just want to get out on the lake fishing. Would you mind picking up a card and sending something for me? I'll text you the address."

I have been able to complete this task while waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in the lounge at the Dr. office, watching the children play at the park, and at times I've been in the barn with my sleeves rolled up stirring milk replacer for the calves. People ask how I am able to get so much done in a short amount of time. There's really no secret, we all have the same number of hours in a day and minutes in a year. I simply choose to have time on my side. When time is working with me, it can't be working against me, right?

On that note - it's off to finish some editing and do some more reading.

Have a fabulous evening and if you're interested in hearing more, you know where to find me!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Reading a Word Document or .PDF on Your Kindle

Happy Friday from Relax Consulting. The office is closed today, which means my primary function is farmer and mommy, but I wanted to take a moment to write a quick blog that will be helpful to many friends and clients. Today's blog post answers the question:

"How do I read a word document or PDF on my Kindle?"

Obviously, if you don't have a Kindle, this may not apply to you ... BUT ... if you happen to write content that others want to read on their Kindle, you should take a moment to book mark this page or skim over the ideas so you can pass them along.

This topic comes up quite often within my circle of writing friends. They'll want me to edit or review a book, short story, or blog post, and I want to do it in a place that is convenient for me. I can easily download their content onto my Kindle which makes it accessible for me on not only the Kindle, but my Ipad, Ipod, and Iphone as well. Now, I have their document available to me when I'm waiting at the Dr.'s office, sitting by the pool, waiting for my husband to come to bed, or while enjoying my morning coffee. I am no longer tethered to my computer and the best thing is I'm not carrying around stacks of paper, using countless dollars worth of ink, and there seems to be much more room in my purse/bag.

There's the plan and simple history of the post. Now for the solution:

If you have a Kindle account, you need to know your Kindle address (it's device specific) and there are instructions if you follow this link:


and scroll down to the section that looks like this:

now that you know your Kindle address, save it as a contact in your email. Kindle has some precautions in place to make sure that you aren't getting spam sent to your device, so there is also a device setting that only allows content to be received from a trusted source. I found that the easiest way to make this work for me, was to save my own email address(es) as the only approved contact(s).

What this means for my friends and associates is that they cannot send documents directly to my Kindle. They need to first send them to my gmail address: crystaljotto@gmail.com and then it's up to ME to forward them to my Kindle address (which happens to be iamagemcrystal_37@kindle.com). In the simplest terms:

Approved Contact = crystaljotto@gmail.com
Kindle Address = iamagemcrystal_37@kindle.com

By simply emailing a word document or PDF from my personal email to my Kindle email, I can read content on my Kindle device. It's really just that easy once you get used to it. The first time may be a little tricky, because you have to find your device email and set up your approved email, but after the first time, it's pretty simple. Depending upon which Kindle device you are using, you'll have to get comfortable with WHERE on the device the content is downloaded (for example, it may land in a 'cloud' section of the device or a different section for 'my content') ... but you'll find it and the link above is very helpful in answering all of your questions.

Hope this has been helpful - have a great weekend!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spending Too Much Time Managing Your Social Media?

Are you (or someone within your organization) spending too much time managing your social media? There is a tool out there to help you. If you haven't heard of Hoot Suite/ HootSuite, let me quickly explain how you can save time and still engage your audience of consumers and potential consumers. Once I explain, you can go right to their site for more details and to set up your account. If you need more help, let me know. Here's the link to their site: http://hootsuite.com/

Whether you have one social media (ie: Facebook) or several; (ie: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), you can use Hoot Suite to do your updates. The features of Hoot Suite include the ability to sign in once and use the same update on several sites, the ability to post-date your posts or schedule them out in the future, and it's nice to have a single location and just one place to use as a hub for your social media.

Oh yes ... the best part? The basic plan is FREE! Yes, I said FREE!

I have a friend who runs a not for profit program and she has exciting events planned from now until the fall. I believe it's something like 6 events in all. I believe her organization has just a FB page to manage, but if she uses Hoot Suite, she can log in today and post updates for these future events and use the Hoot Suite calendar to choose the future dates. She could schedule a post for next month reminding people to sign up for the golf outing, then post something in July about the tennis tournament and the beach volleyball party, etc... since she would be doing a lot of the set up now, she would free up quite a bit of her time on a daily basis allowing her some quiet time for thinking, planning, or for family and friends.

I'm sure you can figure out how this would look for your business. You wouldn't want to schedule too far in advance or forget about making your posts personal and timely, but this may still be a tool that could free up some of your time for working on other aspects of your life or business.