Weekly-Biweekly Workflow


Charles McCrumb Office Automation Expert Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

In a recent post, Seth Godin wrote “Double and half (freelancer math)” essentially what freelancers need to be doing with half of their time is getting better at what they do.

If half your time is spent getting better at what you do (and I believe you should spend it that way), that other half of your time needs to be spent actually working on projects, and introducing yourself to people. I think you should instead of daily working on ALL of these things (and making yourself crazy in the process), you should do these things weekly in order to develop a weekly-biweekly workflow. Here’s what I mean:

[Sample weekly-biweekly schedule]
Spend Monday introducing yourself to prospective clients, when you get home or back to your office, send a thank you email to the people that you made connections with and communicate with your network. Tuesday, develop some systems. FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY on systems or homework. Wednesday meet more people, and thank them, communicate. Thursday develop systems. Friday meet more people, and thank them, communicate.

Weekends, spend time with your family!

The next week, reverse the schedule:
Monday develop systems; Tuesday meet people, communicate; Wednesday develop systems, Thursday meet people, communicate; Friday develop systems.

That’s a nice weekly-biweekly flow where you won’t feel too rushed, but will get some things accomplished. Over 2 weeks, you spent 5 days developing systems, and 5 days meeting people and communicating. Of course, a project or projects will mess with this schedule a bit.

If you are working for someone else, (not freelancing, or consulting) ask your boss if you can try something similar, by grouping some of your tasks into day-long efforts. Show her this post if you like. There really is no such thing as multitasking. It’s fractional-tasking at best, and the more you do it, the more scatterbrained and worse you get at it. Working all day at a work function (or similar work functions) can REALLY break loose a clogged workflow!

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work BETTER!
Small Business IT Projects | Office Automation | Human Behaviors
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
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email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

Semi-Automatic vs Fully-Automatic: Part 2


Today I’m going to write some more about Office Automation, but specifically Microsoft Excel native capabilities and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications [recorded macros,
and hand-written code]) vs. the fully automatic Excel application. The differences are HUGE and can be life-altering (especially if something goes wrong)!

First of all, Microsoft Excel is INCREDIBLY POWERFUL using native capability, without using a single macro. I am a BIG believer in using Excel to it’s fullest for whatever task you need BEFORE even using your first macro (or other VBA code). In my opinion, VBA should ONLY be applied when you have no other option. You should always, Always, ALWAYS put in copious notes, describing what you are having EACH CHUNK OF CODE do, semi-auto model AND fully automatic.

First, what’s wrong? (I’ll put the comments in GREEN, same as in the VBA project explorer)

Sheets(“MAIN”).Activate

‘PLA PD Dollars
Cells(12, 4) = PD_Dollars(1, 1)
Cells(12, 5) = PD_Dollars(1, 2)
‘ Cells(12, 7) = PD_Dollars(1, 0)
‘PLA PD Lines
Cells(13, 4) = PD_lines(1, 1)
Cells(13, 5) = PD_lines(1, 2)
‘ Cells(13, 7) = PD_lines(1, 0)
‘PLA Dollars Missed
Cells(14, 4) = PD_Dollars(1, 4)
Cells(14, 5) = PD_Dollars(1, 5)
‘ Cells(14, 7) = PD_Dollars(1, 3)
‘PLA Lines Missed
Cells(15, 4) = PD_lines(1, 4)
Cells(15, 5) = PD_lines(1, 5)
‘ Cells(15, 7) = PD_lines(1, 3)
‘PLA BUDCO Lines Missed
Cells(16, 4) = PD_lines(2, 4)
Cells(16, 5) = PD_lines(2, 5)
‘ Cells(16, 7) = PD_lines(2, 3)

‘CUC PD Dollars
Cells(18, 4) = PD_Dollars(3, 1)
Cells(18, 5) = PD_Dollars(3, 2)
‘ Cells(18, 7) = PD_Dollars(3, 0)
‘CUC PD Lines
Cells(19, 4) = PD_lines(3, 1)
Cells(19, 5) = PD_lines(3, 2)
‘ Cells(19, 7) = PD_lines(3, 0)
‘CUC Lines Missed
Cells(20, 4) = PD_Dollars(3, 4)
Cells(20, 5) = PD_Dollars(3, 5)
‘ Cells(20, 7) = PD_Dollars(3, 3)
‘CUC Lines Missed
Cells(21, 4) = PD_lines(3, 4)
Cells(21, 5) = PD_lines(3, 5)
‘ Cells(21, 7) = PD_lines(3, 3)
‘CUC BUDCO Lines Missed
Cells(22, 4) = PD_lines(4, 4)
Cells(22, 5) = PD_lines(4, 5)
‘ Cells(22, 7) = PD_lines(4, 3)

So, did anyone figure out what is wrong with this piece of code? Yes, of course, NO NOTES (or at least pretty useless notes to someone that doesn’t know what CUC and PD is)!

The piece of VBA that this is from is actually VERY elegantly written, and all actions happen in memory, making it very fast. However, you have no idea what cells are being populated. A segment of this code further down shows calculations again, all happening in memory. A nightmare for the inexperienced, and a big tangled ball of string for the experienced coder. I would have preferred that the calculations be visible on a sheet, and make the trade-off of a little bit of speed for the assurance of the calculations and the  transparency of a sheet that you can check. Either way, (Full or Semi-Auto) PUT IN LOTS OF NOTES (preceding each with the accent mark ‘ )!

Another example:

Sub DateSortRoutine()

‘ VB coded by:
‘ Charles A. McCrumb 02/25/2004
‘ActiveWindow.WindowState = xlMinimized
Dim CUM As Currency
‘ Set Cumulative to zero

CUM = 0

‘ Select and sort the Looseners Sheet
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Selection.Sort Key1:=Range(“P2”), Order1:=xlAscending, Key2:=Range(“B2”) _
, Order2:=xlAscending, Header:=xlGuess, OrderCustom:=1, MatchCase:= _
False, Orientation:=xlTopToBottom
Range(“A1”).Select
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Selection.Subtotal GroupBy:=16, Function:=xlSum, TotalList:=Array(8, 11), _
Replace:=True, PageBreaks:=False, SummaryBelowData:=True

‘ Select and sort the Assemblies Sheet
Sheets(“assemblies”).Select
Selection.Sort Key1:=Range(“P2”), Order1:=xlAscending, Key2:=Range(“B2”) _
, Order2:=xlAscending, Header:=xlGuess, OrderCustom:=1, MatchCase:= _
False, Orientation:=xlTopToBottom
Range(“A1”).Select
Sheets(“assemblies”).Select
Selection.Subtotal GroupBy:=16, Function:=xlSum, TotalList:=Array(8, 11), _
Replace:=True, PageBreaks:=False, SummaryBelowData:=True

‘ Select Looseners Sheet and check for the text string “Total” and make it bold
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Range(“P1”).Select
Chekker1:
‘Check for blanks, if none keep going, else stop.
While ActiveCell.Range(“A1”) <> “”
GoDown1
While Right(ActiveCell.Range(“A1”), 5) = “Total”
ActiveCell.Offset(0, -5).Select
Selection.Font.Bold = True
ActiveCell.Offset(0, -3).Select
Selection.Font.Bold = True
ActiveCell.Offset(0, 8).Select
GoTo Chekker1
Wend
Wend

See what happened? Notes, showing just what is going on!

Even in the fully automatic model, notes will keep you and everyone else from going crazy. They will also help you establish trust between me and you, and yourself and others.

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work better!
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

Super Busy


Hi folks! I’ve been busy with lots of life-stuff other than Office Automation lately (Mother’s cancer(s), kids home for the summer, etc.

I’ll be getting on with it within the next couple of weeks. In the mean time, here’s a VERY interesting post from our (indirect, virtual) mentor: Seth Godin.

How do you want to die?

For those that don’t know, Seth Godin is one of my daily reads. I’ll be going into THAT in the first couple of episodes of “What I Use: Why and How”.

Now, for a holdover from the McKechnie Aerospace days:

“Cheers!” 😎

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

Patience (Ugh, how long will THAT take?)


Sorry folks, I’ve been super busy over the last two weeks, preparing scripts for the upcoming Adobe Flash series “What I use: Why and How?”  Trust me, It’ll be worth it!

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

What is Office Automation?


http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/office+automation

_OFFAUTO

This is a loose, if somewhat hokey diagram of what an idea of “Office Automation” is. I don’t entirely agree with most definitions. I think Office Automation is about (among other things) pushing software and hardware systems to their ultimate potential. The Microsoft Office suite is a good example of “Office Automation”. The programs can work nicely together, when used right.

I think “Office Automation” allows people to come to THEIR full potential.

Humans and computer systems coming together to make truly big advances. That’s what we’re all about.

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700