Tag: how-to

How to Write a Simple Sincere Thank You Note

how to write thank you note

I work on lots of projects in a very large group. I am always collaborating with several people in order to get things done. One of the things that I have always done well is maintaining positive, productive work relationships. If I could boil my secret down to its most elementary terms it would be" "Please and Thank You". When you need someone else to do something, say please. Be respectful of their time and workload and let them know who much you appreciate their time.

When they take care of it, make sure that you say Thank You. This is even more important than the Please part. You don’t have to go crazy with flowery praise, just let them know that you appreciate their time and effort.

Today a colleague asked me to "help her write one of those nice thank you notes that I’m always sending." She received some valuable help on a project and wanted to let the people know how much it was appreciated.

Here is my secret

When I want to write a simple, effective thank you email to people I use a technique that I learned called Situation Behavior Impact (SBI).

What is SBI?

SBI is a way to deliver positive and "constructive" feedback to people in a concise, effective manner. Think of something good or bad that you need to address with someone. If you break it down into three pieces it is easy to deliver.

Situation
When did it happen?
What was taking place?
Who was there?

Behavior
What did the other person do or say?

Impact
What positive or negative impact did the behavior have on the outcome?

Here is an example:
        SITUATION                                                 BEHAVIOR                        IMPACT
During the staff meeting this morning – your software recommendation – helped us find a great solution to our problem.

Change the Behavior and Impact statements and it works for negative situations too.
       SITUATION                                                 BEHAVIOR                        IMPACT
During the staff meeting this morning – your constant interruptions – kept us from covering the full agenda.

They might not like it, but they’ll understand it.

I have given and received good and bad feedback using this method and it usually works very well.

Making it Your Own

Here’s my secret: I usually use the SBI (Situation Behavior Impact) approach when I do my thank you notes.
I just add in my own casual style to make it feel more human.

For instance:

Here is the behavior:
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all of the help that you gave me on the "YOUR FAVOR HERE" the other day "EXACT DAY HERE".

Then I drop the Situation into the next part:  (Not "The Situation" from the Jersey Shore, just the regular one.)
Putting together the "YOUR TASK HERE" was pretty rough. Your support made a big difference.

Now here’s where I bring it on home:

I really appreciate the time and energy that you put in.

THANKS!!!
Count the exclamation points. One – Two – Three. Any less than that makes you an ungrateful taker. Any more and you’re a butt kissing phony.

Here it is all together:

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all of the help that you gave me on the "YOUR FAVOR HERE" the other day "EXACT DAY HERE".
Putting together the "YOUR TASK HERE" was pretty rough. Your support made a big difference.
I really appreciate the time and energy that you put in.

Thanks!!!

That’s it. Three simple sentences make a huge difference. Now, the next time you need a favor, you’ll have someone who is much more willing to help.

By the way: Today, when you took the time to read my article, it made me very happy. Thanks!!!

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16 Best Places to Learn How to Do Things

My Favorite Places for Tutorials and Instruction


VitaminCM.com’s goal is to help people get more from their technology. I want to help and inspire people to do more fun and useful things with computers, the internet, and gadgets. This help is provided via detailed written and video tutorials along with News, Reviews, and Surveys.

I would like to share several invaluable resources that I use for information, instruction, inspiration, and tips of my own. This is my list, I would love to hear where you go to learn new things. Please include any relevant places in the Comments below.

My Favorite Sources for Tutorials and Tips

The list below contains the Name, Link, and Description (from their sites) of each site.

Lifehacker.comTips and Downloads for Getting Things Done” – an award-winning daily blog that features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently.

Lifehack.orgProductivity, Getting Things Done, and Lifehacks” – This site dedicated to lifehacks. The phrase describes any hacks, tips and tricks that get things done quickly by automating, increase productivity and organizing. This site is built around this theme. This blog is endorsed by many major newspapers and publishers, and it is rated in the #100 most popular blog in the blogosphere by Technorati. It is a frequently updated blog, which provides news and articles which able you to get things done in a faster pace.

Instructables – “Make, How-To, and DIY” – Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others.

Hack a Day – “Hack a day serves up fresh hacks each day“, every day from around the web and a special how-to hack each week.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

5min.com - "Find the best how to, instructional and DIY Videos - Life Videopedia" 5min is the leading syndication platform for broadband instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos. Our library includes tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories, which are professionally produced and brand-safe.

SimpleHelp.net - "Common Questions SImple Answers" - The main purpose of Simplehelp.net is to help beginner-to-intermediate computer userslearn how to do various things with their computers. Simplehelp.net teaches a wide variety of topics to all levels, such as troubleshooting email, preventing spam and removing spyware.

Howtogeek - "Computer Help from your Friendly How-To-Geek" - Welcome to The How-To Geek, the friendliest source of "how-to" articles anywhere.

Commoncraft - "Explanations in Plain English" - Our product is Explanation

Tutorial 9 - "The best tutorials & Resources. Free." - We are Tutorial9 - a collection of teachers, experts, and caring folk from around the world, all gathered in one place to pass along our knowledge to absolutely anyone interested in learning.

Smashing Magazine - "We Smash you with the information that will make your life easier. Really"

TutorialBlog - "Helping you to live and learn better" - Tutorialblog was started in 2005 to provide Photoshop Tutorials on various techniques and effects.

Some Other Great Places to Learn Anything

Here are some other places that I go when I need to find out how to do something:

  • Google - This is usually the first place I go. Just type in what you want to know and you will usually find it pretty quickly.
  • YouTube - Just recently I needed to make and adjustment to my guitar. I typed "adjust truss rod" into Youtube and there were over 100 videos demonstrating how to do it.
  • Ask.com - Their natural language search often helps me find quick answers to questions.
  • Yahoo Answers - There is a great community of people posing questions and supplying answers. I have asked and answered my share of questions there.
  • LinkedIn Answers - Same type of community as Yahoo Answers. Focused more on professional or career oriented typically.

Where Do You Go for Answers?

Please let me know of any place that you use to find out how to do things in the Comments below.

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Tutorial Roundup – My Most Useful How To Articles

The Best of VitaminCM

Here are some of my favorite, most useful tutorials that have appeared on VitaminCM.com.

Reusing an Old PC as a Server Part 1

Using Free Software and Equipment that you Already Own

Goal: Provide instructions to turn an old computer into a server that you can control remotely and use for various handy purposes.

Assumptions: You have, or can an old computer that is no longer used and a basic router for your home network.

So
let’s say you hit the technology jackpot and score yourself a shiny new
super computer. (OK, maybe just a plain old new computer.)
Congratulations! Now, after you get over the initial euphoria of
setting up your new workhorse, you might start wondering what to do
with your faithful old friend. (OK, annoying old dinosaur.)

Should you…..

Let’s take that doddering old codger and breathe some new life into it.

Reusing an Old PC as a Server (Part 2)

Putting Your New Server to Work

Goal: Use the server that you set up in the previous article
to perform helpful tasks such as backing up computers on your network,
storing media files in a central location, share one printer with every
computers computer in the house.

In the previous article you
learned you to set up the VNC software to remote control your server
from another computer. Now that you have your basic server up and
running, here are some of the fun things that we’re going to learn how
to do:

  • Share files between computers
  • Run backups of the computers on your network
  • Function as a print server so that all of your computers can share one computer
  • Operate as a dedicated BitTorrent server to download and upload files
  • Configure a Professional Testing Server for Web Development
  • And a few other ideas

See How to Upgrade Your Career in a Recession Using Technology

Use Software, the Web, and Social Networking to Ace your Job Search

Unless
you’ve been living in a cave for the last month or so, you’re probably
worried about your job. Blue chip companies are falling into the
deadpool or getting taken over on a daily basis.

You either
just got laid off or you’re worried that you could be. If that’s not
the problem, then you probably just need more money (welcome to the
club). with the job market so tight, how do you compete?.

Let Technology be your not-so secret weapon to find all of the best jobs even in a tough market.

You can use software, social networking, and dead-simple techniques to make the whole process painless and successful.

How to Upgrade the Memory in your Netbook


Give your Netbook a Little More Pep by Adding Extra Ram

GOAL: You will be able to add extra memory to a netbook or laptop in under 10 minutes.

Boost Google Reader’s Productivity

Increase Google Reader’s Productivity Using Greasemonkey Scripts

I use Google Reader to read through 200+ feeds that contain mountains of information. Google Reader does a great job helping me manage this tall task. If you do a little tweaking, you can turn Google Reader into an amazing productivity tool. Firefox allows you to add extensions to increase functionality.

You can Create the Web Operating System Today

See How You Can Bring the Web Operating System to Life

Every so often I read about the Web OS or the Cloud OS, “When are we going to see the Web OS arrive?” In my mind, it’s pretty much here (with a few caveats).

Can you create a portable desktop environment using a collection of entirely web-based applications and services that can do (just about) anything from anywhere in the world?

22 Most Useful Free Applications for your PC

Use your Computer, Not your Wallet

The recession is hitting everyone hard and money is tight. That doesn’t mean that can’t get the most out of your computer. There are so many great free applications that can help you do just about anything. I’m going to take a look at 22 applications that I use all the time with wonderful results.

Master Online Information Through the Magic of RSS Technology

Use RSS Technology as Your Border Collie on the Web

Goal: Explain how RSS is used to Organize and Deliver Content over the Internet. Then, show some interesting ways to find, create, and use information with RSS.

This is Part 1 of a Three Part Series on RSS and the things that it can do. This article will cover what RSS is and how you can use it to read news and updates from your favorite web sites.

Part 2 will cover getting RSS data feeds from static sites that do not provide RSS feeds.

Part 3 will cover Putting RSS data into your web pages.

Create PowerPoint Presentations Like a Pro

Basic Workflow for Quickly Creating PowerPoint Slide Presentations

Creating an effective PowerPoint presentation tends to be difficult and take a long time for many people. However, if you follow a basic workflow, you can make the entire process much quicker and easier that you may think.

Here is the process that I use to build professional presentations in a short amount of time.

Awesome Adobe Acrobat Alternatives that Will Make Love to your Computer

Keep the PDFs, Lose the AcroCrap

Goal: Provide a list of FREE applications that will allow you to do e
verything you want with PDFs while avoiding the annoying, expensive problems of Adobe Acrobat.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is great for a number of reasons however; Adobe Acrobat (the de facto standard application) is a horrendous piece of garbage. The Acrobat Reader (Free) is painfully slow to open, has more bugs than a porch light, and love to crash browsers. The Acrobat Writer (Standard $299 or Professional $449) applications are ridiculously expensive.

Here is a list of applications that will let you get the most out of the PDF format with none of the issues:

You can use this combination of free applications to do just about everything that you would ever want from Adobe Acrobat.

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Awesome Adobe Acrobat Alternatives that Will Make Love to your Computer

Keep the PDFs, Lose the AcroCrap

article-image Goal: Provide a list of FREE applications that will allow you to do everything you want with PDFs while avoiding the annoying, expensive problems of Adobe Acrobat.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is great for a number of reasons however; Adobe Acrobat (the de facto standard application) is a horrendous piece of garbage.  The Acrobat Reader (Free) is painfully slow to open, has more bugs than a porch light, and love to crash browsers. The Acrobat Writer (Standard $299 or Professional $449) applications are ridiculously expensive.

Here is a list of applications that will let you get the most out of the PDF format with none of the issues:

You can use this combination of free applications to do just about everything that you would ever want from Adobe Acrobat.

  • Open and Read PDF files
  • Create PDF files from any document or application on your computer
  • Edit PDFs by converting them into Microsoft Word documents
  • Merge Multiple PFDs into a single file
  • Stop PDFs from crashing your browser
  • Not spend hundreds of dollars

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