To be a good secretary, you must always be ready to solve something, in addition to being efficient and organized. The person who takes on this role, which requires a great deal of trust, is an indispensable part of the team, but that does not free them from having to know how to communicate very well. Improving your skills more and more is the way to have an interesting, stable and pleasurable job.
Method 1 of 3: Taking a Professional Stand
Step 1. Always arrive on time
Try to arrive a little earlier than usual to organize the office and prepare for the day's meetings and other appointments. Take advantage of the time when the environment is emptier and quieter to read emails and follow the progress of other important tasks.
Try to note how long it takes to get to work each day and adjust your routine accordingly. Give yourself a margin of 15 or 20 minutes in advance so you don't run the risk of being late due to something unforeseen. If you're going somewhere for the first time, take a test run first to get an idea of how long it will take you to get there
Step 2. Organize the ideas
Get plenty of rest to make your mind calm and relaxed. That way you can organize ideas more clearly. Have coffee or tea early in the morning or when you feel you need to refresh your mind. Whenever possible, take a break and leave your desk in a clean and tidy condition.
Every 52 minutes worked, it is wise to take a 17-minute break. Studies show that this work and rest time boosts productivity even more. During the break, get up and stretch or do some simple exercises. Also take the opportunity to chat a little with your colleagues or simply take a walk around the office and drink some water
Step 3. Always be mindful of the schedule
One of the most important obligations of those who work in the role of secretary is to know the schedule of the boss, other important employees in the company and the tasks that he/she needs to fulfill. Always keep an eye on your schedule to avoid mistakes such as scheduling two different meetings for the same time.
Leave the agenda, whether physical or virtual, always open. When someone asks you a question about your boss's appointments or tries to schedule an appointment, you'll already have the information at hand
Step 4. Go prepared for meetings
Bring all the necessary materials, such as agenda, laptop and notes from previous conferences. Before starting the meeting, ask your superior if you need to do something, such as handing over some documents to the participants or being responsible for the computer to deliver a presentation.
The night before or a few hours before, send the meeting scope, minutes of past appointments, or any other material relevant to attendees
Step 5. Learn shorthand
The demand for recording information is usually great for those who work in the position of secretary. Take a shorthand course to learn ways to write faster.
If you're not used to taking notes by hand, you can learn to type faster. Test it out by putting a one-minute stopwatch for each device you use, and try typing quickly on your phone, tablet, and computer. Then do a count to see how many words you can type on each of the devices. Use the one that gets the best performance most often
Method 2 of 3: Improving Organizational Techniques
Step 1. Use calendars and calendars
Keep your schedule, calendar and notebook handy and update information as needed.
- Do you prefer working with pen and paper? Have a pad and pen that fit in your pocket or purse so you can always carry them around. When you make a note of the to-do list that you can accomplish, cross the task off the list.
- It's okay if you prefer digital resources. Use your mobile calendar to schedule meetings and appointments and set the alert to receive notifications and reminders. Applications like Wunderlist and Todoist help a lot.
Step 2. Synchronize the information
To keep your notes, tasks, and appointments always up to date, it's important to synchronize information across all devices. Currently, any modern app brings this feature.
- Share tasks and documents with other employees and your boss. Basecamp and Trello are apps that can be used by multiple people within a team.
- Send documents and spreadsheets via Google Docs or sharing apps such as Dropbox and Hightail.
Step 3. Create a color system
Your notes and documents will be easier to understand if you can organize them by color. Set a color for each project, day, employee, or any other type of division that might make your job easier. Use text markers or colored tabs to find information more quickly.
Many mobile and email apps offer this type of feature to break down tasks by color
Step 4. Clear your email inbox
Keep your inbox optimized, removing all unnecessary messages and leaving only the most important ones. You can also mark a message as unread or put a follow-up icon next to it. You can place less important emails in folders and delete unnecessary ones.
Try creating folders organized by year, quarter, or month. Or divide by project, type or employee. Try to reply, delete or collect important information right after receiving it to avoid getting irrelevant messages in your inbox or ending up forgetting to reply. Set some tasks for your own organization: setting the destination of each message by the end of the day is one of those tasks
Step 5. Be consistent
Keep materials of the same type in their own place and set aside notebooks and folders for specific projects. Keep a pad and pen at your phone to make quick notes and avoid writing on loose, easily lost paper. Write down meeting information in a separate place so you don't run the risk of mixing the data with less important ones.
Step 6. Save paper and time
Avoid printing unnecessary documents. What is possible to use only digitally, choose this method. Save or scan important records so there is no wasted material and time. One of the advantages of having documents saved in digital files is that access to them will always be just a click away and you won't risk losing them.
Step 7. Keep the material inventory always up to date
Be careful not to miss basic materials such as notebooks, pens, envelopes, folders and staples. If you are not responsible for purchasing these items, please provide a list to Purchasing. Don't run out of supplies to order a new shipment. It is possible to get a good discount if you buy the products in large quantities.
Keep materials organized on your desk. Use file boxes, folders, trays and other organizers
Method 3 of 3: Communicating Effectively
Step 1. Keep a pattern of responses
A simple way to save time and energy is to have some files with standard and commonly used answers. Depending on the question, you can already reply with a ready answer, either by email or by phone.
Step 2. Be meticulous
Write down all the important information on your cell phone or in your calendar, whether it's a phone call, an incoming email, or the subject covered in a meeting. Organize these notes into folders or digital files to refer to whenever you have a question or are asked about it and can't remember right away.
Step 3. Be efficient and friendly on the phone
Create a kind and explanatory greeting when answering a call. Have a list of extensions from other people and departments at hand and try to memorize the most important ones to get through calls quickly.
Learn what features your phone offers, such as forwarding the call directly to an employee's mailbox or adding the person to a conference call. Knowing these procedures will help you be more efficient and avoid technical difficulties
Step 4. Have a good command of Portuguese
Your writing needs to be flawless, with no spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Before sending an email or distributing a memo, review it to see if the text is correct. You don't want to e-mail the boss full of grotesque mistakes, do you?
Most text editors and email applications offer the review feature. There are also some extensions you can add to your browser that correct typos in text on websites and social media platforms. Think about having one of these extensions, especially if it's your responsibility to post on the company's networks or website
Step 5. Be brief and polite in emails and voicemails
Explain the purpose of the call or email, being as succinct and objective as possible. Don't forget to give your name and the company you work for. If possible, leave some contact information in addition to what you are using to communicate.
Step 6. Confirm appointment times
Confirm by email or phone your boss's meetings and other important tasks the day before or a few hours earlier. It is important to make sure both with him and with the person he will meet or meet. Contact anyone who has not responded to a request by sending a brief, polite email or making a courteous phone call.