Have you ever double-booked an appointment, forgot to make a call or left something important behind at home or the office?
If so, congratulations, you are not a robot!
People are not infallible. We make mistakes and fall short of our own expectations. We can easily neglect our obligations and responsibilities, especially if we are feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t be so hard on yourself if your memory keeps letting you down. We could all use a little help managing the many balls we juggle each day. That’s what the Fabulous app is for! It combines technology with behavioral science to support you in planning and following through on all your goals. To see how it works for yourself, try The Fabulous Unexpected Journey. It’s the perfect introduction to the app and all the wonderful habit-building wisdom it offers!
How To Develop Habits That Stick
Your brain likes patterns, so one way to encourage lasting habits is to create a repeated link between a place, time of day, or thing, and particular activities.
The Fabulous app recommends that we drink water every morning, as soon as we wake up. By placing your water bottle right by your bedside you are prompted straight away to follow through on your healthy morning habit. The bottle becomes a powerful visual cue that you link to a specific action, in a specific place, at a specific time! These cues are commonly known as ‘triggers’.
Triggers Help to Remind Us
Triggers are environmental reminders that you can create to intentionally support your new habits. They act like a bell sounding, pulling you out of those automatic old routines and reminding you of your new plan.
If you walk the same route to work every day the scenery begins to become invisible. The steps you take are automatic and you don’t think about the journey at all.
In order to make a habit change, you need to interrupt your current route and create obstacles to your old behavior.
Here are some examples of triggers that encourage positive habits:
- Hang your dog’s leash by the front door to remind you to walk them before you go to work.
- Put your gym bag on the passenger seat of your car to give you a visual push to workout.
- Leave your vitamins out on the kitchen counter to remind you to take them before your breakfast.
- Put a post-it note on your phone so you don’t forget to call your mom.
The Fabulous app understands the importance of shaping your environment to trigger new healthy behaviors. With every new habit you create in the app you’re crafting those powerful visual cues.
You likely spend a lot of time with your smartphone anyway so why not put it to good practical use?
Automating your unique triggers makes them more intuitive. Creating digital reminders is easy and ensures you remember all your appointments, deadlines and duties wherever you go.
Here are some suggestions for using technology to remind you of your most important daily tasks.
- Set up an alarm on your phone to remind you to focus, turn off social media or to check your to-do list throughout the day.
- When someone sends you an email requesting a meeting enter the information into your online calendar immediately and select an alert to remind you of the appointment days or hours before it happens.
- While you have your calendar handy input all your family and friends’ important birthdays and anniversaries and select to be reminded of the event with enough time to send a card, buy a gift, or to give them a call.
- Set an alarm to remind you to drink water and to take regular breaks from your desk to walk around or exercise.
- You could also try adding reminders for less essential but still important activities like meditation, self-care time or socializing with your friends.
Changing your behavior and adopting new habits can be a challenge. It helps to have someone or something to hold you accountable. If you’re aiming to work out every day, for example, sign up for Fabulous’s Morning Exercise Challenge. We’ll send you daily reminders and encouragement to keep you on task!
By setting up triggers that encourage good habits and creating reminders of what you want to accomplish each day you’ll banish past unhealthy behaviors for good.
Learn how to easily create, edit and delete your reminders and reminder lists using Siri on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
The Reminders app makes it easy to put together shopping lists or checklists for important events, such as moving home or packing for a holiday.
Just like Alarms and Timers, it can be one of the most overlooked Siri-enabled apps.
The truth is, entering reminders using the keyboard on your iPhone, then assigning dates and times can be a tiresome and fiddly process. So using Siri to speak reminders instead brings extra speed and convenience.
How to create a list in Reminders
If you plan on keeping your reminders organized, it’s worth creating separate lists for work, home, shopping, and holidays.
Siri will ask you to speak the list name.
You can also create and name the list in one phrase. In this example, we’ve used “Shopping List”.
Hey Siri, create a shopping list
After creating it, Siri will ask you if you want to add anything to the list.
How to choose a default list
If you ask Siri to create a reminder without specifying a list, it will automatically add it to your default list. To choose or change your default list:
On the iPhone and iPad
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down to Reminders.
- Tap Default List and select your preference.
On a Mac
- Open Reminders.
- Open Preferences.
- Select your preference from the dropdown list.
Adding reminders with Siri
Activate Siri on an iPhone by using one of these options:
- Say “Hey Siri” followed by your request.
- Press and hold the Side button (iPhone X and newer) or Home button (iPhone 8 and older) on your iPhone.
You can easily add items to your lists using reminder voice commands in natural language:
If you don’t say anything else, Siri will ask you to provide further details of the reminder you want to create.
Rather than taking several steps to create a reminder, you can give Siri the information it needs in one phrase, as well as specifying a preferred list.
Hey Siri, add bread and milk to my shopping list
Setting reminders using time
You can ask Siri to remind you of something at a specific time.
Hey Siri, Remind me to wish John happy birthday on the 5th of August
Hey Siri, Remind me to book my vacation in 2 weeks
Hey Siri, Remind me to buy coffee in two hours
Setting reminders using location
Reminders are also location-aware. If you have ‘home’ and ‘work’ defined in your contact card, you can say:
Hey Siri, Remind me to check my reports when I get to work
Hey Siri, Next time I leave home, remind me to get petrol
You can specify a location name, such as a supermarket, if it exists in the Siri database.
Hey Siri. remind me to buy coffee when I arrive at Whole Foods
Ask Siri to add multiple reminders at once
Before iOS 13, one drawback has been the need to add a list of several reminders separately. While hardly a huge inconvenience, it had made creating longer lists more convoluted than it needed to be. Such as ‘Hey Siri, add milk to my shopping list, Hey Siri, add bread to my shopping list’.
Thankfully, iOS 13 remedied this, with the added ability to add multiple reminders simultaneously.
Hey Siri, add milk, bread, coffee, bananas, and beer to my shopping list
If you want to change the reminder you can say:
Deleting lists and reminders with Siri
To remove a reminder, say:
Hey Siri, remove my coffee reminder
Hey Siri, cancel my coffee reminder
When prompted, say ‘yes’ to confirm the deletion, or tap the screen on your device.
It’s currently not possible to delete a list using Siri. If you ask it to, it prompts you to open the Reminders app and remove it manually.
Ask Siri to read out your reminders
Siri can read your reminders out loud to you when requested. You can choose which list you want to check or search by date and time.
Hey Siri, read out my work reminders
Hey Siri, do I have any reminders this week?
Siri will prompt you to unlock your device, then read out the top five results.
Want to discover more about using Siri, Apple’s popular virtual assistant? We’ve written a helpful collection of tutorials full of techniques for using apps, dictation, using Siri Shortcuts, and a comprehensive beginner’s guide to activating and using Siri.
Siri User Guide Newsletter
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An average office worker receives around 121 emails per day
You aren’t alone in the race. Your competitors are even trying to capture the attention of your prospects.
Your prospect receives multiple emails in a day. So there are chances that your email might get buried in their inbox. Besides, nobody has time in this business world. So they ought to miss out on many emails in their inbox.
Well, if you want to quench your thirst, you’ll have to go to the pot. It’s you who want to sell to the prospect. The prospects have many options available, so they have the upper hand. If you want the prospect to purchase your solution, you’ll have to give them a little more attention.
Just sending one email and giving up because the prospect didn’t reply won’t work in sales. You’ll just end up losing a deal. Send a gentle reminder email to your prospect instead of abandoning a deal.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas Edison
Tips to write a gentle reminder email
Humans tend to forget, and your potential prospects are no exception. So if they’ve forgotten your email, send a gentle reminder. However, ensure your tone is right. You shouldn’t annoy the prospect.
Once you send the reminder email, track it, and see if they opened or ignored your emails.
So, how do we write a reminder email that shall grab the prospect’s attention?
Let’s look at a fictional scenario:
You had a discovery call with the prospect to understand their needs. After understanding the basic requirements, you requested the prospect to meet you for a product demo. The prospect agrees to meet next week on Tuesday at Lousiville Marriott for the product demo meeting. So you told you’ll be sending a meeting confirmation and requested him to acknowledge it. He agrees to it.
You waited for two days but didn’t receive a confirmation email.
A confirmation email is very important because when the time of the appointment comes, and the prospect doesn’t turn up for the meeting, you’ll end up wasting time.
So, send a reminder for the appointment confirmation email.
Here is how you need to draft a reminder email. With reference to the above scenario, below is an example of drafting a reminder email for meeting confirmation.
Track every email interaction as it happens
Never let the deal slip through cracks anymore.
1. Have a clear subject line
47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. Besides, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.
The above stats speak volumes about the importance of a subject line. Your click rate depends on the subject line. So, ensure you do not take it for granted.
Your subject line-
- Should be short and clear
- Must be simple and focused
- Shouldn’t have unnecessary words like Hello and Thank You
- Must reflect the content of the message
2. Salutation is vital
Yes, you are sending a reminder email, but it doesn’t mean you get to the point directly. Most sales reps tend to skip the salutation in the second or third email.
Well, it is pivotal to be respectful and open the message right.
Address the recipient you are sending the email with a salutation like
If you have built a good rapport with the prospect you can even precede the name with a “Hi”.
Think about the person who is going to read the email before you write the salutation. Avoid salutations like “Hey” or “To whomsoever, it may concern”
3. Body (main message)
Your main message in the reminder email should be straightforward and brief. Prospects don’t prefer reading long emails that consume more than a couple of minutes. So, be direct. However, ensure you maintain a humble tone while drafting the main message.
4. Focus on the ending
The closing of your email is important. There are chances that the prospect might be occupied on the day you’ve scheduled a meeting. Give them your phone number. Ask them if they want to change the date or time of the meeting. Tell them the meeting can be rescheduled at their convenience.
5. Email Signature
Email signatures are important, even while sending a gentle reminder email. So ensure you do not skip it. Create a professional email signature to make a good impression on the prospect. You can use an email signature generator to create an impactful email signature.
- Your email signature shouldn’t have more than three or four lines of text
- Avoid adding an email address in your email signature
- Ignore long quote and phrases that do not add value to your email signature
Do not get disappointed when you do not receive a response from your prospect. A gentle reminder email can help in getting a response from the prospect. So put in a little effort in drafting and sending a gentle reminder email when you do not receive a response for your initial email.
You don’t necessarily need to stop after one reminder email. You can send two to three reminder emails to increases your chances of getting a response.
For easing your work, you can automate your reminder emails. High-end CRM like Salesmate allows you to create a sequence of emails to send reminder emails to your prospect. You can add as many steps as required to this sequence. However, sending more than two or three reminder emails might annoy the prospect. So be careful while deciding the steps of the sequence.
Salesmate is one of the best CRM software that allows you to merge email and text in a single sequence. So you can even send reminders to your prospects through text messages. This increases the likelihood of your messages getting noticed.
The best thing about Salesmate CRM is that it allows you to track your emails. So you can look at the report and plan your next step smartly. You can save the email templates in this intuitive tool. Salesmate helps you in saving time and increasing email productivity.
An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.
In today’s world, people depend on technology. Almost everyone has a “smartphone” in their pocket. Your average customer relies on their smartphone to remind them of everything—from paying their bills online to remembering their dental appointments. In fact, 85% of Americans who own a smartphone experience what is known as “digital amnesia”—people forget! Unless, believe it or not, the information is stored on their phones.
People bring their phones with them everywhere, including to bed!
For your Farm to stay “top-of-mind,” you must send routine emails from your Farm business. In this article, we’ll focus on how you can use “order reminders” to make sure your customers follow through and complete a purchase(s!) from your Farm.
WEEKLY EMAILS: THE NEW NORMAL
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you are a busy, 36-year-old mother of three who is conscious about the health of your children, you have countless tasks, pieces of information in your head, and no time to attend a Farmer’s Market. With order reminders, that mother is more likely to choose your Farm when it’s time to restock the fridge.
90% of customers are more likely to do business with your Farm if you send them reminders. Not only do customers expect regular reminders from you, this is also how you stay “top-of-mind” for customers—by making regular appearances in their lives. This happens when you show up at your Farmstand, but it also happens when you post to Facebook, or Instagram, or send an email asking them if they’d like to order your latest product.
All of the largest and most successful companies are sending routine emails today. This is a normal and necessary business practice. Some Farmers are hesitant to send email reminders because they imagine this is “bothering” their customers. On the contrary, by sending these emails, your Farm is actually being of service to your customers. Email reminders make it easy and convenient for customers to continue ordering from you.
Inboxes don’t get rusty—consumers check their emails multiple times throughout the day.
With order reminders, it’s possible to both increase orders from your regular customers as well as help new customers follow through with ease. When customers order from your online store set up by Barn2Door, they will automatically receive an email confirming their purchases. Additionally, they will automatically receive a reminder 24 hours prior to when their order is ready for pickup, or when it’s time for delivery. You can even set “bulk” order reminders to notify customers on a regular cadence (e.g. 1x per week).
CONVENIENCE IS KING
Once customers have the option to order from their local Farmer on any device, many will. If buying healthier, local food was as convenient as going to the grocery store, more people would do it. Plain and simple.
Unfortunately, most consumers simply do not know your Farm or how to access and buy your food. Today, it is too difficult and inconvenient.
Sending order reminders is a powerful and clear marketing practice that drives awareness, attracts new customers and increases sales. Not only will you save your customers time, but they are more likely to show up and pickup their orders! Ever had any no-shows for pre-arranged pickups? Customers forget. Remember—”digital amnesia” is real. But the technology you need to help customers remember is here, and it’s easy for you to use. You can turn buying from your Farm into an automatic, top-of-mind process by sending order reminders.
People can’t always visit your Farm in person, but they can always visit online.
Order reminders work both ways—you too will automatically get a “new order” email, plus “pick and pack” lists and a delivery reminder for yourself depending on the dates you set up for delivery or pickup. You receive these emails automatically whenever a customer orders through your online store. Pretty cool, right? Automated email reminders help both you and your customers save time.
GETTING STARTED IS EASY
Your Farm can be up and running with an online store and automatic order reminders in less than 30 days once you sign up with us. You are immediately paired with a Farm Success Manager who works to personally support you and your Farm. We hope for this to be a forever kind of partnership, as we look to build a relationship with your Farm.
Once you get started with us, you’ll be walked through how to increase orders and save time managing the “logistics” of your Farm business. We walk you through how to set up order reminders so that it will only take you a few minutes at most a week. Your Farm Success Manager will work with you to ensure your Farm has everything in place it needs to thrive (and save time!). And for Farmers we are already working with, our Farm Success Team is always eager to provide ongoing support.
With Barn2Door, you can readily configure automated order reminders to go out every week to your customers—retail and wholesale. Or you can send a personalized reminder with a link to your online store to your customers via email, social or text.
Add a free, 15-minute demo to your calendar today to speak with one of our team members about how to get started!
Here’s how healthcare providers can cut administrative work at their practices — and attract new patients in the process.
If you manage a small or medium-size healthcare practice, you know the strain that administrative work places on your time. A 2017 Annals of Family Medicine study shows that clinicians spend more than two-and-a-half hours each day taking care of clerical and administrative tasks — instead of taking care of patients.
As the study states, “…physicians have not allocated time … much of the non face-to-face work occurs on top of already full patient care sessions.”
Although the burden on healthcare providers and staff is clear, a more efficient practice is within reach. And getting there is easier than you think. The first step is to identify tasks at your practice that can be automated whenever possible; the second is implementing the right services to effectively run that automation.
Let’s look at four routine administrative tasks that would benefit from automation at your practice, empowering your staff to accomplish more in less time.
How much time does your staff spend each day calling patients with appointment reminders? This is one of the most time-consuming and inefficient front office tasks — with many calls ending up in voicemail.
Appointment reminder automation benefits your practice in two ways: It’s one of the quickest ways to efficiently perform a routine task, and it reduces your practice no-shows.
Instead of calling each patient on your daily reminders list, one at a time, automated appointment reminders are sent to all via text message or email — both more convenient and immediate than voicemail. After receiving your automated reminder, patients can confirm their appointment, which your staff can see in a simple, real-time display.
Another way to rescue staff from hours of phone work is to add online scheduling to your practice operation. Every appointment that a patient requests or books online means one to two fewer phone calls interrupting your staff’s day.
Online scheduling is simple: After finding your practice website, a prospective patient can see your availability and book a date and time that works for them. You specify your availability, and your staff confirms who gets scheduled when, based on those requests. More slots filled, far less time on the phone.
Depending on which practice management system or EMR/EHR you’re using, the process can be fully integrated, a seamless two-way communication between online scheduling and your existing system. With two-way scheduling integration, each patient’s booked appointment shows up automatically in your provider schedules when confirmed, and can then move through your usual workflow, from charting to billing.
The automation of patient satisfaction surveys
If you’re not already sending out surveys to gauge patient satisfaction, you should be. Asking patients for feedback after each visit lets them know you’re listening, and lets you know when they’ve had a wonderful experience. It also alerts your practice to issues that need addressing.
In this era of unprecedented competition, consider patient satisfaction surveys an essential component of your business. And reconsider how you’re sending surveys if the process involves manually entering contact information or shooting off emails to patients one at a time.
Instead, by setting up the automation of patient satisfaction survey tasks, you can get the information you need without diverting more of your staff’s time.
Every time a satisfied patient shares a review of your practice online, your online reputation grows. As your online reputation grows, it improves your ability to attract more patients searching for care online. (This is exactly why PatientPop helps each of our practices grow their number of online patient reviews.)
Of course, automating patient satisfaction survey tasks is beneficial. But, as with online scheduling, if you can integrate those tasks into your existing practice management system, you’ll hit new heights in efficiency.
With the right automated service, here’s how reputation integration works: As part of your current workflow, after each visit, a survey text message or email is sent to the patient automatically. After answering a couple survey questions, patients can easily share their review across a variety of websites, including Google and your own branded website.
The happy by-product of automation: staff satisfaction
One of the great benefits to automating office tasks like appointment reminders is that your front-office staff is empowered, almost immediately, to elevate their value at your practice. Rather than spending hours on routine tasks, they manage smooth, efficient processes that attract and satisfy new patients, contributing directly to the success of your practice.
If you’re the forgetful type, you’ll know how embarrassing it is to think you have everything done, only to remember something right before you go to sleep. Fortunately, there are plenty of useful ways to be reminded to get something done.
1. Use Alexa, Google Home or Other Smart Assistant
You may mostly use them for playing music, asking if it’s raining outside, and telling you silly jokes, but those smart speakers sitting in your house are also powerful reminder tools. Android phones have Google Assistant, and iPhones have Siri. Amazon Echo smart speakers have Alexa. All can remind you of upcoming events.
For example, with Google Assistant, you can tell it to “set a reminder for 10am to start work on the report.” Your phone will then show a notification when the time arrives. You can do even more in-depth stuff with Alexa, which we cover in our guide on Alexa commands that will get you organized.
If notifications don’t catch your attention, ask your assistant to set an alarm. These are much louder and harder to ignore, ensuring you’re reminded of whatever needs to be done!
2. Make Use of Apps
If you have a smartphone, you likely already have a handy way to be reminded to do tasks. Phones these days typically come with a calendar or reminder app, which are useful in their own right. In fact, we have a list of the best reminder apps you should check out for this purpose.
There’s the simple stuff, like setting up Sticky Notes on Windows 10 or Mac, and there are also great goal-tracking and reminder apps. We reviewed TickTick, for example, which combines reminders with goal-tracking and meditation. We also went in-depth on Do It Now, which integrates a bit of gamification into the reminder process. Want to make something memorable? Make it fun!
3. Use a Whiteboard
If you like schedules that you stick to every day, try a whiteboard. Put one up near where you spent most of your time and write your schedule on it. Then, make it a daily task to look at it and see what needs to be done.
If you can, try to get whiteboard markers that come in different colors. This lets you divide tasks by colors into different categories.
4. Use Sticky Notes in Strategic Locations
Sticky notes are useful for prodding you but only if they’re used correctly. For example, putting a sticky note in obscure locations may result in you overlooking them until it’s too late.
As such, it’s a good idea to put them somewhere while you do work. For example, you can stick them to the bottom part of your monitor’s screen (preferably on the frame and not the screen itself!).
You can organize them by importance or by deadline, too. Use positioning to signal different things depending on how you work. For example, if you use your sticky notes to remind yourself of deadlines, put the most urgent one on the left and order them by due date to the right. That way, you can take a quick look and see what needs to be done now and what can be delayed.
You can also use different colors to signal different things. For example, if you need to remind yourself of a daily goal (e.g. apply for three jobs every weekday), put that on a pink sticky note. For deadlines (e.g. submit resumé by tomorrow), use a yellow one.
More importantly, remove them after you have completed the task. You don’t want to clutter your monitor with all sorts of past tasks.
5. Place an Item Somewhere Strange
This one is a little odd, but it works much of the time. If you need to be reminded to do something, take an item around your home and place it somewhere strange where it will stand out.
For example, if you want to be reminded to write that email when you wake up, take a teddy bear and place it in front of your keyboard. If you want to double-check if the doors are locked before you go to bed, put your door keys on your pillow.
We often become forgetful when we’re in auto-pilot and the mind is guiding our actions for us. When you put an item somewhere weird, it throws a wrench into the auto-pilot and jars you out of your regular routine. This jolt makes you wonder why that item is there, which then reminds you that you put it there to remind you of something, which in turn reminds you of that task.
6. Stick Something to Your Phone Case or Watch
This trick can work on anything you regularly check, but phones and watches are top choices. You tend to absent-mindedly check these things when you’re on auto-pilot, so putting a bit of tape or a sticker on them will remind you every time you check that something has to be done.
Forget Me Not
If you’re a scatterbrain, you’ll know the pain of forgetting important meetings and deadlines. Now you know six easy ways to remind yourself of that crucial event on the horizon. For more ways to self-organize, see our list of best gamification apps. We also answer the eternal question of hot showers or cold showers, and whether they can help you start the day the right way.
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By: Kratika Sat, 19 June 2021 9:56 PM
There is a short and powerful quotation by Chuck Palahniuk that states simply: “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” In our day-to-day rush to get everything accomplished, it can be easy to forget how precious each day, hour and minute of our life truly is.
It can be stressful trying to live the “perfect life” in today’s society – everywhere you turn, there seems to be another article telling you exactly what you need to do in order to be living a fulfilling life. What’s worse is that all of these plans seem to contradict each other – no sooner do you finish researching one new set of very specific guidelines about how to live a happy life than another plan comes along that suggests the exact opposite!
# You need sleep
I know, I know – this seems like a strange place to start. However, one of the first things we tend to do when we think about improving our own lives is to think about the things that we need to add into our lives. This is dangerous – a richer life does not necessarily mean a busier life! Beyond this, sleep is important for a number of health reasons and being well rested will definitely help you to enjoy the activities and people that are already a part of your life.
# You have to keep your eyes open
As important as sleep is, it should only take up eight to ten hours of your day – max! The rest of the day, whether you are working, exercising, visiting with friends or relaxing, it is so important to be fully present and engaged in the moment!
By being fully awake and aware of everything happening around you, you will find that the time you already spend involved in each of these activities will be richer, and if your eyes are truly open, you may also see new opportunities that you would have missed otherwise. I’m looking at you, people who can’t seem to keep their eyes off their phones!
# There are going to be bad days
While this doesn’t seem very positive, it is something you need to accept – even if you come up with a seemingly airtight plan for improving your life, even if you get your dream job or love interest, there will still be bad days!
There will be days when things don’t go as planned, when you just wake up cranky and are unable to shake it or when the world seems to be against you – and that’s okay! We tend to be most upset about these days if we think that we don’t deserve them – when in truth, days like these have nothing to do with what we deserve. They are just a part of being human! Once you accept that these bad days are going to happen, they often don’t seem as bad anymore!
# There are going to be good days
This is also something that’s important to accept – there are going to be days that come out of nowhere that end up being the best days of your life! When these days show up, it is so important to cherish them! Days when you feel like everything in your life is going right are important to hang onto, particularly for those days that aren’t as great, as a reminder of how wonderful your life really can be.
# People change
This realization is one of the hardest ones to accept, but it is also one of the most important. It is all too common for us to just assume that the people we have in our lives will always interpret the world in the same way, and will always feel the same way about issues or people or current events.
It can be incredibly dangerous to make this assumption – because if you rely too heavily on the people in your life staying the same, noticing a change in them can severely affect the way that you would see the world. It is much healthier to anticipate shifts in the viewpoints of those around you, and to be constantly aware of the nuances in their personality as they happen so you aren’t overwhelmed by a seemingly sudden major shift!
# You can’t force people to change
Equally as important, and forgotten almost as often, is the knowledge that you cannot force people to change their feelings, viewpoints or beliefs. It is human nature to believe that we have figured out what is right, and that we are helping those we love by trying to get them to believe the same thing. That isn’t the case, however.
The world is much richer because of the incredible number of unique perspectives we have, and you need to learn to accept others’ beliefs while still remaining satisfied with your own, in order to have healthy and satisfying relationships.
# The most valuable resource you have is the past
Your personal history and the past experiences of those close to you are some of the best places you could ever go for advice. Looking at what you have accomplished, or the mistakes you’ve made, or hearing about others’ similar stories can inspire you and give you concrete ways to improve yourself individually.
Have you ever missed a doctor’s appointment, only to find the appointment card days or weeks later? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. According to the Medical Group Management Association, 15 to 22 percent of patients in the United States don’t show up for their medical appointments.
Perhaps you’ve sat at your desk at work, unaware that you’re missing an important staff meeting. You look up and your boss is standing over you, wondering how it could have slipped your mind. Well, thanks to new technology you’ll never have to miss the party again.
Automated reminders are a simple way to ease the overloaded to-do lists of people’s busy lives. These scheduled electronic notifications arrive by e-mail, SMS (text message), phone or fax. They remind us to go to tomorrow’s dentist appointment, catch Wednesday’s red-eye flight on time, or attend mom’s surprise birthday party on Saturday with a present in hand.
When patients receive an automated phone call from the doctor’s office the day before, the “no-show” rate drops to a 5 percent average, reports the automated phone reminder company PhoneTree. That drop saves the doctor a lot of time and money and saves you the hassle of making (and keeping) another appointment.
Many people are already set up on some type of automated reminder tool — the e-mail calendar. All Web calendars allow you to set up automated pop-up desktop reminders or e-mail reminders when it’s time for a scheduled event. Some calendar programs like Google Calendar even include an option for sending an SMS reminder to a cell phone.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to automated reminders by detailing their features, describing how they work and looking at useful applications for this technology.
Features and Set-Up of Automated Reminders
Users have two options to set up automated reminders: either subscribe to an outside hosting service or buy the hardware to host the reminder service themselves.
With subscription-automated reminder services, users upload their contacts and groups using existing e-mail and calendar programs, such as Microsoft Outlook. A Web interface manages the messages, which are sent over outside servers and phone lines. Your options for the messages sent are endless: reminders, expirations, pay dates, renewals, and upgrades. The recipients themselves select how they wish to receive their messages — e-mail, phone, SMS, or fax. However, you could even take it further. For instance, if a recipient is unavailable by phone, the system tries e-mail or text messages. Recipients then send confirmations and responses when they receive and acknowledge the message.
If you choose to install the hardware yourself, many companies that sell it will work with you from set-up to support for a period of time to insure proper use of the product. Setting up automated reminder systems is simple and typically uses existing calendar management software, much like the subscription services. The difference is, once the set-up is complete, it’s up to you and your office to make the calls. The system will pull all the customers that need to reminders of appointments and put those names in a queue. Staff will then pull up that queue and begin making phone calls.
The medical profession frequently uses automated reminders. Missed appointments cost money and tie up appointment times for other patients. Some doctors’ offices charge a missed appointment fee, occasionally equal to the service cost.
Now let’s read about some more useful applications of automated reminders.
AT&T Labs, created a text-to-speech program called Natural Voices. In order for the program to work, it must go through two stages. First, a system of grammatical rules and dictionaries breaks down the text in order to read it. In the second stage, the program generates audio to match the rules.
In AT&T’s Natural Voices program, the voice is a recorded human voice, not a computer-generated voice. It requires that a voice actor record each individual phoneme, the smallest unit of audible speech. Those phonemes are then reconstructed by the software into syllables and then into words.
Help desks and voice response systems use this type of program the most. If it’s after hours or the weekend, TTS comes in handy so customers can still receive basic information without having to employ someone on the phones 24 hours a day.
Check out the Natural Voices demo for yourself.
Birthday reminders are only helpful if they make you take action.
I set my personal birthday reminders on a recurring to-do list. For most friends and family membersвЂ” the cousins and the old friendsвЂ” I get a notification on the day of their birthday. The day-of reminder gives me time to send a quick text or email with a celebratory message. It works the same way as Facebook birthday reminders did, back in 2012 when we were on Facebook every day.
For my closest friends and family members, it’s a little bit different. I set two recurring reminders. В The first is a week-and-a-half before their birthday. This bump gives me the buffer time I need to buy a gift. The second is the same day-of reminder to text or call.
When it comes to birthday reminders in the workplace, we should be similarly thoughtful about how to set them up. We need to think about what framework will drive the right actions at the right times.
Where to create birthday reminders
For workplace birthday reminders, you should use a tool where you can guarantee that they will be read. Ideally, it’s a spot where you can also filter reminders to go to the right people. Don’t make Jim waste time noting it’s Osman’s birthday when the cross-department co-workers have never met.
Why to use Slack (or Teams) for birthday reminders
We recommend using your workplace communication toolвЂ” like Slack or TeamsвЂ” for your birthday calendars. Since your team lives in these tools, they are the only place you can guarantee people see the reminder.
Plus, by building a simple, automated reminder workflow, you can ensure that birthday reminders only go to the right peopleвЂ” like managers and teammates of the birthday person.
Why not to use Google Calendar for birthday reminders
Tools like Google Calendar and integrations from HRIS platforms like Gusto make it easy to add additional holiday calendars so you might have a natural inclination to create a birthday calendar with the entire organization’s birthdays.
In reality, your calendar app isn’t the best place for birthdays at work. Here’s why:
- Any given person at your company only cares about a handful of birthdays for those they work with regularly. Making them sort through the hundreds of birthdays for the ones that matter is a pain.
- People don’t like to keep other calendars turned on.
- Birthday calendars don’t let you prepare for a birthday in advance.
Why not to use email for birthday reminders
Many HRIS platforms send automated emails about upcoming birthdays on a monthly or weekly cadence. For People teams and companies that celebrate birthdays in monthly celebrations, these emails might be helpful.
For the individual team member or manager, emails aren’t the ideal platform because:
- With batched emails, you make people search through a lot of birthdays that are irrelevant to find the ones they want. This annoying process leads people to ignore emails altogether.
- If a person’s birthday is on the 1st of the month, it might be too late by the time someone catches the email. If a birthday is on the 29th, it’s too far away and will likely be forgotten.
- Even in a best case scenario, this just leads to someone taking the reminder and putting it on a separate to-do list.
What birthday reminders should you set up?
Birthday reminders for a manager
Set a reminder for a manager a week in advance, giving them time to make the day special with a gift, card, or birthday treat. Then remind them once again when the day comes.
Data Needed: Birthday, Manager Relationship
Birthday reminders for teammates
Remind direct teammates of the birthday person on the morning of the birthday.
Data Needed: Birthday, Team Groups
Birthday reminders for relevant stakeholders
Before a birthday, prompt a manager to select the birthday person’s friends, colleague’s and teammates who might be interested in knowing about the birthday. Spin up an automated temporary Slack channel to remind the group about the birthday and let them coordinate.
Data Needed: Birthday, Manager Relationship
Birthday reminders to leaders
A birthday message from a company leader can be particularly impactful. Set up a simple direct message to the CEO or relevant department head to give them a chance to recognize an employee’s birthday if they get the chance.
Data Needed: Birthday, Department Head Relationship
Birthday reminders for the People Ops Coordinator
If you are the type of team that likes to celebrate in the office together, remind yourself a week before the birthday to get started on the preparations.
Data Needed: Birthday
Birthday reminders for a public channel
For an easy option, send birthday reminders to a public #celebrations channel that allows everyone to see and comment.
Data Needed: Birthday
How to automate birthday reminders
Gather helps you build simple, automated birthday reminder workflows that match your team’s culture. You can customize timing, messaging, and recipients and add buttons to drive people to take action. Set it and forget it, letting the automated workflows do their thing.
Alex (LinkedIn |В Twitter)В is a co-founder of Gather. He’s excited about a future of work that puts people first.