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January 25, 2006

Assistant 1.0

It still feels funny to say I have an assistant.  Most entrepreneurs probably wait too long to find someone to help them.  I waited almost 10 years, which was about 8 years too long.

Suzanne joined Gold Systems as my first assistant and trained me to be more effective, and she took on jobs that I didn't even know needed to be done.  We became a better company, and my life was easier. Then she got married, moved to Alaska and I was fortunate (thanks Judy!) to have a chance to hire Angela.  Angela is doing a fantastic job and like Suzanne, when I adopt new technology, she has to adapt to it.  Angela has been thinking about how my new Treo 700w is changing her job, and she wishes for a new product to go along with it.  Here is Angela's first "guest blog."

Terry
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If you normally read Terry’s blog, then you know that he recently retired both his Nokia 3650 cell phone and Axim X30 Pocket PC and upgraded to the new Palm 700w. My life as his assistant has not been the same since!

This morning I received three calls from Terry first thing in the morning, each time he told me something new, but then claimed there was something else that he forgot. Within a few seconds, the phone was ringing again with the forgotten thought. Secretly, I knew he was driving in his car playing with his new phone and saying “Dial Angela Watson Office” using the voice recognition feature because it’s just cool!

Its funny how gadget driven this man I work for is, but I’ve got to admit, that thing really is cool. Terry has been teasing me with the idea of getting another one for my own use. (Mind you, I would opt for a more stylish carrying case other than the leather belt clip, maybe something pink.)

As much fun as having a 700w of my very own would be, it misses the most valuable tool that all portable devices miss in order to aid the professional executive assistant. The capability to pull up your executive’s schedule!

50% of my day is spent combing over Terry’s calendar, contacts and tasks and making sure I’ve allowed enough time for him to eat and sleep. Assistants struggle with the problem of not having their executive’s calendar while working remote, and we either carry a tickler file with a print-out of their schedule, or we bribe the company IT wizard to come to our home to set up the VPN.

I luckily do have the ability to work in full force at home. (Jerry likes home cooked meals.) But until Microsoft comes out with Windows Mobile – Assistant Version 1.0, the best I can do for a mobile devise is still the good ol’ laptop and separate cell phone.

Respectfully Submitted by:

Angela Watson

Senior Executive Assistant to Terry Gold

Gold Systems

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Terry here - Jerry, the IT wizard that Angela bribed in the story above, has just discovered that Angela can in fact get to my schedule or anyone else's that she has access to.  We run Exchange Server here with OWA (Outlook Web Access) enabled.  That means that we can use any web browser, including the web browser on the 700w or my old Axim, to access the Exchange Server.  Since Angela has permission to access my calender, she can use OWA to check my schedule.  It's not as nice as a client on her PocketPC, but it is a step in the right direction.

This is the last post (for awhile) about my new phone.  I expect I'll be reviewing some new speech recognition products in the next few weeks as I continue to try to surround myself with the technology.

January 25, 2006 in Speech Recognition | Permalink

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