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ZIP! Tips

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Overloaded? Overwhelmed? Overworked? You need ZIP!

Today, the fastest way to get more done is to focus on tech management—not time management. Mike Song, with the help of productivity superhero “Z,” shows you that the secret is right at your fingertips.

The devices and software you use every day have incredible time-saving features almost nobody knows about! Once you discover them you’ll effortlessly boost your performance and zoom to your goals like never before.

ZIP! to what matters most in a single click!
Print long phrases in two keystrokes!
Convert an Outlook email into a LinkedIn contact in three keystrokes!
And so much more!

“It takes guts to teach Microsoft leaders new ways to use our own technology. This book exceeded our expectations and had us all zipping along!”
—Chuck Metzger, Senior Project Manager, Microsoft

“ZIP Tips make your entire organization better, smarter, and faster!”
—Elaine Hetu, Director, Six Sigma Training and Career Development, McKesson

“ZIP Tips help our busy salespeople soar!”
—Brenda Davis, Senior Manager, Worldwide Sales Training, United Airlines

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16 Chapters

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1 Relapse: Harold Gets Hamsterized


I couldnt believe my eyes. Harold had relapsed! Hed turned back into a two-foot hamster and was pacing to and fro on his little rodent legs, dragging his microsized briefcase behind him.

You did this to me! he shouted, pointing a furry finger at me.

Okay, lets back up a bit. Im a productivity coach, and a few years ago I helped Harold with, um a delicate little problem. He had become so overwhelmed with e-mail, interruptions, and tasks that hed turned into a hamster. Why a hamster? Because, these days, most professionals are running in place at work like hamsters on never-ending, exhausting wheels.

Today, Harold was back, as one very frustrated rodent. He dropped his briefcase and spun toward me.

Look at me! Im supposed to be prepping for a huge press conference.

Press conference?

Yes! Ive got to address the entire Foster and Schrubb executive teamand the mediain less than three hours. Were launching a new customer service app, and I am so far behind! I still need to create handouts, brief my team, polish my speech


2 The Amazing AutoCorrector: Type Long Phrases in a Flash



3 The Draftinator: Easy Templates You Can Insert Fast


There are many more robots in your fleet, Harold, I said.

I love the Amazing AutoCorrector robot. But is there a robot that could pop larger, preformatted paragraphs or snippets of text into e-mail and documents for me?

Yes. Why do you ask?

Well, I could definitely use that kind of robot because my team, Organizational Development, has developed highly effective e-mail verbiage for all of our leaders and salespeople.

Whats the problem? I asked, sensing a big opportunity.

Harold sighed.

Our people lose the verbiage. And we lose sales when our leaders communicate the wrong ideas or information.

Good news! I cried.

I leaped onto my desk but got tangled in my cape and tripped, crashing to the floor. Luckily, the only thing that was bruised was my ego. I heard a muffled chuckle from my star pupil as I hopped back onto the desk.

Good news! I tried again. Now, your people can and will use that important verbiage!

But how? Harold asked, trying not to laugh at my klutziness.

Harold the Hamster, I said, meet your next robot, the Draftinator. It will help you rapidly insert drafts, templates, and snippets into e-mail and documents.


4 The Transformer: Instantly Morph E-mail into Other Useful Things


So what did you mean about Planet Earth earlier? Harold asked.

Do you feel overloaded, overwhelmed, and overworked? I asked.

Doesnt everyone?

Well, I was sent here from another planet to help defeat the dark forces of chaos and

What in the world are these dark forces you keep babbling about? Harold demanded.

The Darkonians, I said.

Who are they?

Theyre nasty, green aliens bent on taking over the universe by making helpless hamsters of you all. Theyve been blasting Planet Earth with a powerful weapon called the chaos beam for almost a hundred years. This weapon is what turned you into a hamster. Ive been sent to help you fight back.

Harold clearly was not buying my story. He folded his arms in front of him.

And where exactly are you from?

Why, Planet P, of course.

Harold shot me a sarcastic look. So youre Z from Planet P?

Thats right. P for productivity.

I had my fists on my hips again, giving Harold my best superhero profile pose.

A tiny snicker escaped from underneath Harolds little hamster whiskers.


5 The Zip Zone: Fast Access to Everything That Matters Most


As we stared out of the windows of my high-rise office, the bustling city below seemed even more frenetic than usual. Pedestrians were scurrying around in a sudden downpour, trying to find cover.

Harold and I squinted down at the crowd.

Im seeing more and more hamsters down there, Harold noticed. I could tell he was beginning to wonder if the Darkonians were real after all.

Ive surveyed more than 50,000 professionals, I said. Guess the percentage of professionals who say they need a better way to find their info fast?

50 percent?

No, 93 percent!3 Everyone is spending a huge amount of time searching and clicking to locate the right document at the right time.

Click, click, click. Harold sighed with an air of futility. Were clicking our lives away.

I pointed at a blue coffee-shop awning ten stories down. Hey, dont you wish you could click on that Blue Sky Caf sign and instantly have a chocolaty, rich mochaccino in your hand?

Harold closed his eyes and sniffed, as if the aroma of coffee were in the air. Yes he sighed. Then his eyes popped open. Dont tell me theres a robot for that! he exclaimed hopefully.


6 The AutoDialer: Dial Teleconference Numbers and Pass Codes with One Tap


As the elevator to the lobby descended, I turned to Harold.

The world is changing, and so are you. Youre starting to look a bit more human, my friend.

Huh? Harold said hopefully. He glanced at his reflection in the mirrored elevator wall and smiled. The ZIP! Tips were beginning to take hold.

Gasps, whispers, and giggles could be heard as we rushed down the street and into the coffee shop, soaking wet from the rain. We made our way to the counter and ordered two mochaccinos.

Hey, Aquaman, you might want to try a few sit-ups! one of the customers joked.

Im working on it! I smiled, making a mental note to hit the gym right after my talk with my tailor.

I was surprised to see that almost half of the patrons were hamsters. We found a table and I took a long, satisfying sip of my chocolaty drink. Mmmmm.

The storm was raging outside, and the moment had come to expand the movement against the Darkonians and their dastardly deeds. I gathered my strength to stand and address the coffee-shop patrons.

Hamsters, humans, and countrypersons, I boomed in my best stage voice, bring forth your devices! Your smartphones, tablets, laptops, anything mobile upon which you work. The ZIP! era has arrived, and the time has come to unleash the power of your robots so you can achieve the success you deserve.


7 The Tower of Learning Power: Optimize Your Smartphone and Tablet Home Page


Harold, sensing I was about to deliver a coup de grce, rang out, But wait! Theres more!

Yes, my friend, there is more, I said, turning back to the caf crowd. How many people here want a fantastic performance review? How many of you would like to be recognized as the best in your field? How many of you would like to be the top-selling salesperson or top leader at your organization?

Hands and paws shot up around the room.

And how many of you want to fritter away your life playing idle games and achieving mediocrity?

One guilty-looking hamster raised his hand at the back of the room. Realizing he was alone in his complete lack of ambition, he backed up toward the door and ran smack into the knees of a cameraman from a local television crew. They had been alerted by the Tweets, Face-book postings, and YouTube videos that my small but growing audience was posting. Apparently, my little impromptu public address was becoming a newsworthy event.

I cleared my throat and continued my message as the cameras red recording light beamed in my direction.


8 The Searchbot: New Ways to Zing with Google and Bing


The caf crowd buzzed with anticipation as they built their Towers of Learning Power. I glanced down at Harold and saw that he had begun to look even more human. Other hamsters in the room also seemed more relaxed and less jumpy.

Harold glanced at his watch and shot me a panicked look. Ive got less than an hour, Z!

I nodded and decided to launch a rapid-fire barrage of ZIP! Tips to help Harold and the crowd.

Listen up! Search is a robot too! There are almost 1.5 billion people who use Google or Bing to search for info, I cried. Here are ten ways you can activate your Searchbots!

JOB: Zips to helpful information in search engines.

Zip away! a CEO near the door cried, holding his tablet up, ready to snap a picture.

From almost any search engine on any device I began, and with rapid fire, I shot each of these ZIP! Tips from my new superhero finger onto a new spot on the wall. The crowd spun in place, trying each ZIP! Tip as it appeared, and some were even snapping a picture of the instructions and sending them to friends and colleagues.


9 The Volume Crusher: Cuts Incoming E-mail by 20 to 40 Percent


As the crowd began to settle down after capturing my flurry of search-engine ZIP! Tips, a frustrated hamster in the back of the room timidly raised his hand.

I appreciate all of this great advice, but Im afraid.

Of what? I asked.

The Inbox Overload Monster, he said in a shaky voice. A murmur ran through the crowd.

Someone hissed, Dont say its name out loud!

Yeah, that only brings more e-mail, whispered a terrified hamster by the door.

When we all get back to our offices, it will be there, waiting to cut us down, the hamster, on the verge of tears, continued. Our inboxes will be jammed with thirty new e-mails, important requests, sometimes silly tasks, spam, and low-priority crap. Excuse my language

I nodded and said, E-mail overload blows up deadlines, leads to miscommunication, and damages careers. It even locks people up in e-mail jail, forcing some organizations to shut down their e-mail system until they clean up the messages with big attachments.

Im in e-mail jail right now! a man wailed in the back, holding up his laptop.


10 The ZipCut List: The Top-Ten Most Powerful Computer Shortcuts


A quick glance at Harold told me that the rapid ZIP! approach was working. I knew we were close to pulling him back into humanity. I decided to pull out all the stops.

Im going to count down the top-ten, most-useful, computer keyboard shortcuts of all time. Ill give you Windows first and then Mac. Discovering even one more shortcut can save you time every day!

Lets go! the cameraman, who had put down his camera and pulled out his laptop, cried.

Okay, I yelled.

Coming in at number ten is the amazing Control + Z, or Command () + Z for Mac. This is a shortcut for Undo, but every time you strike the Z, it undoes another step.

Its like a turbo reverse! Harold shouted, rapidly undoing four steps with four clicks on the Z key while holding down his Control button. This is going to make editing so much easier!

Figures youd start with a Z tip! a man in the back added.

Thats right, I said, laughing and pointing at the letter Z on my chest. I love the Z!

I proceeded to countdown the shortcuts that would help all of them zip through their work.


11 The Collaborator: The Most Useful and Least Known Meeting Tool


The taxi sped off into the stormy afternoon, rounded a corner, and ran smack into a terrible traffic jam. Harold looked up from his computer.

No. Not this. Not now! he cried.

Relax, Harold, I said. Its just those evil green Darkonians and their chaos beam.

They cause traffic jams? Harold asked.

And printer jams, computer-screen freezes, lost e-mails, meetings that go off course, and

Are they the ones who make you lose your TV remote and car keys? Harold interrupted.

They sure are, I said grimly. And they invented Reply to All! Its only going to get worse unless everyone fights back with ZIP! Tips. But dont worry about the traffic jam. Leave the Darkonians to me. Right now, get online with your team via Microsoft OneNote.

I dont have OneNote on my computer, Harold protested.

Anyone with Microsoft Office for PC version 2010 or 2013 will have it. Many with Outlook 2007 have it too. Its an amazing productivity robot that almost no one has activated. Open your Microsoft Office folder under Programs and see if its there. Its a purple icon with an N on it.


12 Time Management Tips: Don’t Create a Daily Task List


Im not so sure about that, I said, as I paid the taxi driver and pulled Harold out of the cab. When you become a productivity superhero you get special powers.

With that, I grabbed hold of Harold, pointed my fist at the sky, superhero style, and cried out, Up, up, and away!

Unfortunately, absolutely nothing happened.

I must be using the wrong words, I thought.

Harolds eyes brightened. He had an idea.

What about, zip, zap, zoooooom!

We both gasped as we blasted off into the sky. We rose up over the skyscrapers and bridges and shot through the air at an incredible speed. Harold began to laugh wildly as he realized that we did have a chance of making the press conference after all.

Take that, Darkonians! Harold screamed. The sky suddenly exploded with thunderbolts as the Darkonians launched a final attack with their chaos beam from deep in outer space. We zigged and zagged right past the chaos and then held steady on our target, the citys conference center dome.

I decided to try something. I let go of Harold, and he began to plummet to the ground.


13 The Payoff: Harold and His Robots Save the Day


Harold broke into a run as soon as we landed outside the swanky conference center, and there must have been a dozen shouting reporters and news cameras tracking our every move. Harolds team burst out of the main entrance and ran toward us, relieved and excited.

One of his aides ran up to me. Youre all over the news! Youre trending on Twitter and on every news site on the planet!

Harold raised his hand to quiet everyone down.

Ill tell you all about it later. For now, lets focus on making this the best press conference in Foster and Schrubb history! Kiran, review the checklist.

A sharp-looking executive turned to the team. She was holding a checklist that had been printed from OneNote.

Is the speech on the teleprompter? she asked.

Check! Harolds team yelled.

Handouts distributed?


Presentation on the conference center laptop?


Press release published via social media?


Hooray for the Collaborator! Harold exclaimed.

The what? Kiran asked.

Never mindlater. Lets rock!

Harold strode into the conference hall, which was packed with more than 300 reporters, pundits, and high-level executives from his company. He walked confidently to the podium and delivered an amazing speech, considering what he had recently been through.


ZIP! Core Principles



Quick Find Guide: Locate ZIP! Tip Instructions in a Flash


ZIP! Tips are all about activating your technology robots. This handy chart will help you zip to instructions for all the ZIP! Tips in this book.




The Amazing

Saves time by typing long, commonly used phrases with a few keystrokes.

page 9

Example: Type out your full department name with only two letters.


page 19

Rapidly adds commonly used snippets and passages to save tons of time and improve communication quality.


Example: Quickly insert commonly used, standardized verbiage into letters or e-mails.


page 25

Transforms ordinary e-mails into scheduled to-do items, appointments, meetings, contacts, and more.


Example: Drag an e-mail to the calendar to schedule an appointment.

The Zip Zone
page 37

Creates rapid, always-available access to your most important and frequently used documents, folders, applications, and websites.


Example: Quickly open your expense report or access a frequently used website.



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