Is Social Media Addiction Affecting Your Effectiveness?

Social Sickness Do I Have it?Here is a great post by  Jason Miller of that provides this great Infographic of our Social Media Lives.  He uses the best-selling author and marketing expert Rohit Bhargava’s 10 Signs You May Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media to show us what our world today may look like.  From the “Alert Lover” to the “Vowel Hater” this illustrates how our life has been become bombarded with interruptions that we allow.  

Social Media has created those of us that now take multi-tasking to a new level.  While multi-tasking is often associated with getting a lot done, many experts say that in reality, a focused uninterrupted hour may be much more effective.  What about for you?  When trying to get a long list of items checked off your to do list do you focus on one at a time or juggle several balls in the air at one time?  Are you checking your email while on the phone with a customer and posting to Facebook or Linked In?  Do you check your text messages while watching a web training class or tweet while listening to your co-worker go on and on about their husband’s laundry left on the floor?

Here’s the big question:  Do you know if  multi-tasking works  for you?  Does your Social Media addiction, effect your work or your effectiveness?  Take the 2 hour challenge with us!  Tomorrow 10/30 members of our team are going to try focusing on only 1 thing  at a time, I mean completely and totally focusing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. No social media alerts or responses allowed.   Then to give equal opportunity to the multi-task camp on Wednesday 10/31 we will work on a similar task but allow multi-tasking and social media  to reign.

While multi-tasking looks different for everyone, for me it has two flavors.  First, to allow email alerts, Skype messages, blog posting comments  and incoming phone calls to be handled real time  as I work on another task.  Flavor 2:  I set aside uninterrupted time to focus on more than one thing at a time.  For example; I have a 2 hour web training session and answer my email and organize my office while reviewing my text messages for deletion all the while reviewing the company Facebook feed.   Your definition may be different, but any version is fine for our test.

My team will post here on Thursday morning to let you know the outcome and I encourage you to give us your feed back too!

I dare you all to take the challenge!  Let’s use some unscientific methods to test work effectiveness.  Here is what to do:

Day 1

  1. Tuesday October 30th at 8:45 am pick one or more tasks that will fill a 2 hour time slot.
  2. Put your phone on do not disturb.
  3. Close your email software, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter – turn off all Social Media alerts.
  4. Clear off your desk of other projects.
  5. Turn your cell phone on silent (unless needed for emergencies) and throw it in a drawer.
  6. Tell anyone who will listen you will be unavailable till 11
  7. At 9:00 am begin your first task.
  8. At the end of each task, if you are working on more than one, stand up, walk around your office or cube for a minute and then move on to the next task.
  9. At 11 am review what you accomplished.
  10. Tell us how it made you feel subjectively by commenting on this blog post.

Day 2

  1. Tuesday October 30th at 8:45 am pick the items you will be working on till 11 am
  2. Work on them as you would when you normally multi-task and Social Media enters your world.
  3. You can keep any email, alerts open and set up your environment as you see fit.
  4. At 11 am review what you accomplished.
  5. Tell us how it made you feel subjectively by commenting on this blog post.
  6. Tell us when you felt you were more productive by comparing the two days.

I will post back here on Thursday with our comments.  This should be very interesting!

Sage Credit Card Processing

Latest Commercial from Sage!

Which ERP platform is right for me?

In today’s ever changing software world the decision to install your software on your server or use a cloud version is one of the first you will make.  This may even come before you even create a budget. Here is a quick breakdown of what each type is and what types of companies choose each type. This is not designed to be a technology post, but a post for everyday business folks that want help choosing the right solution.

On Premises:  This is your typical software installation you are likely most familiar with.  You install it on your server, it is taken care of by your IT staff or a contracted firm.  The server belongs to you and to connect from outside (on the road or at home) you use a piece of technology like a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or terminal services.  You can also use Windows IIS to connect in a browser if your software is compatible.  Sage 100 ERP Premium is a good example of that type of On-Premises solution.  For this type of installation, you retain all the control and all the work.  My typical On-Premises customer is a company with more than 5 users, in house IT or a firm they have working with for years.  It may or may not be a more cost effective way to go long term. Here is a great article about the costs from Accounting Web Magazine.

Cloud Based:  A cloud installation is a product that you don’t own but pay to use monthly or annually.  You can access it anywhere you have an internet connection and a password and the data is stored with the programs at an off site location of some type.  GmailMicrosoft 365,Netsuite and Sage 100 Online are examples of Cloud Products.  You have both Private clouds and Public clouds which will be detailed in a later post.  This type of installation is very common amoung my under 5 user crowd for ease of use.  These companies typically are entrepeneurs that work from home, the car, the office or the gym at all hours and don’t want to have to connect with a piece of software to access their data.  Cloud products are becoming more popular than ever for Sales and CRM users.  They can quikcly access the customer’s data on multiple devices.  Another group that tends to pick a cloud product that you can pay monthly will be companies without a strong cash reserve to purcahse software.  This gives them the ability to really buy what they need, but have a monthly payment.

Subscription Service:  This is a hybrid model that gives you On Premises software for a monthly payment.  This is different from a lease or financed solution because, like a cloud product, you don’t own ever own it.  You pay monthly to use it.  This is a new model in the market but is a perfect fit for the company that wants the control of an On Premises product with easy payment terms that usually require no long term committment.

Overall, consider who needs access when out of the office, how much IT spending do you have budgeted, how much IT support do you ahve in house and which products have the features I need to access in the office and while away.  Today’s world leaves tons of choices which in the end is great for the buyer! 

How to use Advanced Filtering in Microsoft Excel

Excel Tip for Advanced FilteringIf you want a quick way to filter data with more complex criteria, check out this blog post by Alchemex.  It walks you step by step through creating complex filters using advanced filters in Microsoft Excel 2003, 2007 and 2010.  Sage Alchemex always does a great job of teaching us how to get the most out of Excel!  We are so glad the Sage ERP products uses the the business intelligence product designed by their cracker jack team.

Here is this weeks Excel Tip:

Have you ever tried to filter data based on multiple and complex criteria yet without any success? Thus you are frustrated that the Excel Autofilter Option is not yielding the desired results. Well, the Advanced Filter Optionis the solution to your problem.

The Advanced Filter Option can extract data based on user defined criteria across multiple columns of data. Follow our step by step READ MORE

Sage One is Here! New Web App for Entrepreneurs that need collaboration, time tracking and accounting!

Sage One Web App

Sage One is here!  Released in May, this software is designed for small businesses that need both collaboration with others over the web and time tracking.  A cloud based solution, $29 a month per users helps start up and single person companies afford the software they need.

Some exciting features of Sage One:

Watch this quick commercial Sage released  this month to learn more about Sage One.  Sage One, a web app for small business, the basics done right!

Sage Alerts and Workflow Preconfigured Alerts for Sage 100 ERP

Sage Alerts and Workflow, also known as Sage KnowledgeSync, an endorsed Sage solution for business monitoring comes standard with many popular alerts.  Use these alerts to get up and running quickly by simply filling in the threshold of the alert.

A few examples we see as popular in the AR area of Sage 100, formerly Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 are below.  For more information download the complete alerts list.  There is no charge for the Sage pre-configured alerts if you have Sage Alerts and Workflow.  Trade in your Business Alerts module for $1000 discount when you purchase Sage Alerts and Workflow for Sage 100, formerly Sage MAS 90 or Sage MAS 200, Sage 500 formerly, Sage MAS 500, Sage CRM, Sage HR or Sage Fixed Assets.

Sage Alerts for Sage 100 ERP

Total and Create a Chart by Month Name in Sage 100 Explorer

BIE by Month NameTracking Sales by month is important to most sales organizations. Business Insights Explorer is a quick way to create views and reports in Sage 100 ERP quickly and easily. Many customers want to see a total by month for sales, cost and gross profit. The transactions however are recorded by date so you can use the sum function to get the total by day, but if you want to see a month together, then flow into a chart, follow the steps below:
1. Open the Business Insights Explorer view you want to use. Right click on the title bar to insert a column for the month of the sale.
2. Choose calculated – functions- “monthname” to get the month name (January for example) to display for each transaction. If you prefer the month number, just choose the “month” function.

3. Insert the date field you want to display within the parenthesis to replace date_exp.
In this example I am using the Sales Order created date, but it works the same on all of them.
4. Move the column around and “Save As” the view you want to use when running the report and chart.
5. Be sure to click the actual date to use for your sort or add another column using just the “month” function because the month name will sort alphabetically.
6. Drag the Month Name column to the group by area of the view.

7. Add your sums at the bottom of both the report summary area and the grouping area. If you can’t see the grouping area summary, click the excel sum symbol with the plus sign beside it to enable group sums. Save your report again.
8. Apply filters to define the time period you want to cover, say 2011 or 2012.
9. Proceed to the chart creation and choose the fields you want to see on your chart and summarize by MonthName.

10. Save, print, copy or export your new report.
Good job! For more tips and tricks on Business Insights Explorer, check out our instructor led, online classes by visiting our website at

Sage Alerts and Workflow- Management by Exception

Sage Alerts and Workflow

Sage Alerts and Workflow for Sage 100 is a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) Solution that can benefit all parts of your organization. Customer Service organizations utilize Sage Alerts and Workflow, formerly Sage KnowledgeSync, for everything from call escalation to the creation of support tickets.   Dispatch incoming email messages and a enable the Human Resources department to alert management when excessive overtime or the status of potential new hires that require review or approval.

Automatically print and publish reports, approve sales and purchase orders using the workflow feature and receive and email when critical business thresholds meet your specific criteria.  With it’s many standard alerts, set up is easy. For a list of pre-configured alerts visit our Sage Alerts and Workflow page!  Download the brochure for a quick look on the power of this module from this Sage Endorsed Solution.

Download the overview video to understand the power of the product and watch for upcoming webinars to see if Sage Alerts and Workflow are right for you!

Find Data Quickly in Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90) using Business Insights Explorer

Find Data Quickly in Sage ERP MAS 90 and MAS 200 Explorer

Find data quickly and easily from Sage ERP MAS 90 and MAS 200 using Business Insights explorer. If you don’t see the bar for the find, activate your tool bar for search or press F3!

Microsoft Project Tip- Easier Planning with User Controlled Scheduling Planning

Microsoft Project User Controlled SchedulingHere is a great blog post from Microsoft Project’s Tips and Tricks Site about the new Project 2010 User-Controlled Scheduling Planning.  I use Project on every business management implementation and love it.  It helps me stay on track and gives the customer a view of what’s next on their list.  No matter what software I am working with, Microsoft Project keeps my scheduling clean.  Read More