Chris's blog

FocusMe Feature - Directions & Distance Tracking

FocusMe Logo

Problem

As the CEO of Ceptara and Lean Six Sigma practitioner, I find myself traveling frequently.  Often for sales calls and in some cases for consulting projects. To meet my tax obligations and to track how much time and money is being spent traveling between jobs, I needed a method for tracking my trips.  Just after college I used a mileage logbook and it worked.

FocusMe Feature - Using Projects to Focus

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Problem

Moving from managing action via an email inbox to more task driven lists is a great step forward. However, soon we end up with long lists of tasks that are constantly overdue, causing frustation, and often returning us back to our more comfortable (yet less productive) habits.

FocusMe Feature - 5D Email Processing

FocusMe Logo

Problem

Often the email inbox is a "holding area" for work.  A queue or bin that contains work waiting for us to do something or provide a response.  Imagine the email inbox is a stack of paper sitting on the corner of the desk.  Which would you find more distracting, a pile of paper that is two feet tall, or a few pages of paper?  The inbox is the stack of paper.

New FocusMe Feature - Auto-file on Reply

FocusMe Logo

Problem

One cool feature in our Outlook add-in [FocusMe for Outlook] is the 5Ds processing ability, ie. when an email is processed, the originating email is moved to the Drawer (an archive or project folder).  However, until recently, when a message is forwarded or replied to, it took another click to file the originating email.

Microsoft OneNote and Outlook Integration

Problem

I have always struggled with note-taking.  Since college, I've been using the paper method for taking notes and have a 'method' for identifying different types of notes, e.g. actions, questions, ideas, etc.  But the thing that has always alluded me is 'how to capture the actions in notes' and make sure I do them and not forget.

Lean Six Sigma Belt Comparison Summary

Have you ever wondered about the skill differences between a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) White Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt?  We have.

Training Within Industry - How to make Standard Work stick.

TWI - Introduction

SUMMARY

Training Within Industry's Job Instruction provides a method for assuring that Standard Work processes are operationalized into the everyday employee work interactions.  Supervisor's are taught how to teach their area's jobs so that the workers can efficiently and predictably execute the work while practicing 5S work habits.

Social Technologies are Defocusing: Applying Process Thinking to Information & Innovation

Out of Work - Soup Line

SUMMARY

  • America was the global manufacturing leader.
  • Process & Productivity were paramount.
  • Social technologies are defocusing.
  • We need to apply process thinking to information and innovation.

Necessity is the mother of Invention. – Anonymous.

Microsoft OneNote and Outlook Task Integration

Homer-Note-Taking.jpg

Problem

I have always struggled with note-taking.  Since college, I've been using the paper method for taking notes and have a 'method' for identifying different types of notes, e.g. actions, questions, ideas, etc.  But the thing that has always alluded me is 'how to capture the actions in notes' and make sure I do them and not forget.

Mileage Tracking in Microsoft Outlook

1987 Camaro - Blog_sm.jpg

Problem

In 1987, at the University of Nebraska, my engineering career had its beginning.  As a celebration of that moment (and after I had gotten a job - which is important), I bought my first new car, a 1987 Chevrolet Camaro Sport Coupe.  Perhaps because I just graduated from engineering school, I kept a mileage log, carefully recording every mile each time I filled up with gas.  And then I got married, had two kids.  Guess what happened to the Camaro when the first child came into our lives?  Life got busy, and the mileage log was left behin

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