Eliminate Business Chaos
Eliminate Business Chaos


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February 2017

How Will Your Digital Legacy Survive?

As a business owner, have you thought about the “digital assets” you own?  If you don’t own a business, I bet you still have digital assets you use at work.

What are “digital assets?”

Digital assets can be broken down into several categories, however if you consider the possibilities, they will likely fall into one of two classifications:  financial or sentimental/memorabilia.   Ironically, this is also why most people have difficulty letting go of “stuff” in their lives – either because they paid money for something or that something has memories attached.  Your digital assets are similar in nature.

When I’ve asked our clients the following questions; I get a lot of blank stares. 

How would you answer the following questions?
1.  What are digital assets?
2.  What digital assets do you use in your business?
3.  Do you have a list of your digital assets in one location in case something happens to you?
4.  Do you have someone in your organization that has been appointed to access these assets in case of an emergency or death?
5.  Does the person know how to access these assets with the appropriate credentials?
6.  If you own the business, does someone know what your wishes are for certain assets?

Based on the lack of responses I’ve received or the blank stares leads me to believe that this is an area of business that has not received much thought, time  attention.

Some of these digital assets are vital to the everyday business operations and ongoing operations.

Partial List of Digital Asset Categories

  • Banking
  • Blogs
  • E-mail
  • File Storage
  • Frequent Flyer Accounts
  • Photos
  • Social Networking
  • Utilities
  • Website Hosting

How to Get Started Tracking Digital Assets
1.  Create a list of all digital assets.  This will likely not be something you sit down and complete in one sitting;lastpass ec sites.png however as you come across additional assets, you can add to the list.  Besides just listing a user name and password, I also recommend that you identify how the account is used the purpose it serves.  You may also want to specify what accounts need immediate attention.

2.  Determine a centralized collection point to store this information.  It could be a password-protected
spreadsheet, however I would recommend LastPass – a digital password manager instead.  You can use this encrypted cloud-solution to capture far more than just passwords.  You can also store notes about the account, such as your wishes for the account when something happens and you can’t access.  You can learn more about LastPass in this newsletter.

For example, in our office, we use LastPass and I have an entire section dedicated to Eliminate Chaos digital assets so they are all in one place.  I did this by creating a main folder for the business and then subfolders based on categories I mentioned above as you can see from the partial image of our assets.  This makes it very easy for someone to find everything they need in ONE location and it will save them a tremendous amount of time.

3.  Identify a person or persons that will take responsibility for these digital assets.  You may want to identify more than one person to share the responsibility to ensure they are comfortable with this eventual additional responsibility. They will also need to know how to access this information and a password if necessary if you are storing in a password-protected Excel workbook. Don’t forget to spend time with them to show them your system and provide the proper access.

4.  Keep information up-to-date.  As mentioned in #1 above, you won’t sit down and create your list in one sitting; you will likely do a large part at the beginning and then update over time with accounts you didn’t think about to begin with.  Don’t forget to keep the information updated as information changes, new accounts are added, or assets are no longer used. It’s all about the maintenance at this point to ensure your data is current.

Digital Assets – Do You Know What the Policies Are?

Have you ever considered what happens to your social media accounts when you pass?  For example, your LinkedIn, Twitter or business Facebook pages?  I know in the past, I’ve run across LinkedIn accounts for individuals I know that have passed away and their accounts are still active. Worse yet, a LinkedIn account shares information to your connections about your work anniversary date. I’m sure you don’t want to wish someone a “happy anniversary” when there is no more anniversary and a family member wonders why this is happening?  Likely it’s because they aren’t aware of the news and the account is still live.

Each company has different terms as to what they will do with your account, the data, or who can have access to it. You can find this information on the “terms” or “policies” page. For example:

Facebook:  The agreement does not allow others to access your account if they are not the account holder; however you can grant someone access to claim your account so it can be memorialized.

Organizing Digital Assets

In some organizations, photos, images and videos are a valuable digital assets and there are large quantities of these items.  Our team members, Malia Fazzio and Robert Leist recently completed a photo organizing project that not only included the organization of the photos and videos, but also selecting the service to house these digital assets, based on company requirements, along with creating policies for retention and the lifecycle of these assets.

Organizations that generate volumes of digital photos for their business need a systematic approach to process, along with the storage and retention of these photos.   With that said, we recommend you develop both a Photo Retention Policy and a Photo Lifecycle Policy.

Creating a workflow for importing storing photos is critical. The goal is to design the workflow so anyone can find the photos quickly and easily. Deciding what name to give the photo, what Tags are appropriate, what folder to file it in, and what to keep and what to throw away is best done with a systematic approach.  The systematic approach is better than leaving such decisions to periodic housekeeping that quickly becomes overwhelming. Once the workflow is in place it should be carefully reviewed on a periodic basis.

Your Photo Lifecycle Policy should contain the following:

  • The Submission & Importing Process
  • Retrieval Process
  • On-Going Maintenance
  •  Just as with any project, it will require resources and dedicated time.

Legislation Regarding Digital Assets

You may want to check with your state to see if there are laws that have been passed regarding digital assets regarding who has rights to these.  Some states have laws however many don’t – so in this case you will need to follow the terms for each provider of the digital asset. 

Organizing your digital assets and putting these systems in place take time; however I can assure you that once it is done, it will provide considerable peace of mind. Determine which areas are most critical to your business and start there.

~ Making You More Productive - so you have More Time for Life®

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Laura Leist, CPO, MOS
CPO = Certified Professional Organizer
MOS = Microsoft Office Specialist

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Public Productivity Programs - in Seattle

All Programs are being offered at the World Trade Center in Seattle, Washington.
Each class is limited to 15 attendees - classes will fill, be sure to register early.
Later this year, some of these programs will be made available virtually - stay tuned!

Secure Passwords at Your Fingertips - Anytime, Anywhere and from Any DeviceLastPass
Date:  Thursday, February 16, 2017
Time:  10am - 12pm 
Instructor:  Robert Leist

Description / Benefits of Attending this Program

  • Increase in your cyber security as a result of better password management.
  • All of your passwords and digital assets are organized in ONE place!  This will be a life saver should anyone ever need access to your accounts - if and/or when something happens to you.
  • A tremendous time savings every day for having passwords and information in ONE place - all at your fingertips.
  • You can stop resetting passwords every time you can't remember one!
  • You know exactly where to look when your IT professional needs a password to fix something on your computer, saving YOU time and money!
  • Access to important information at a fraction of the cost.  Robert's hourly rate is $175 and you have access to Robert AND Laura for 2 hours for less than half the rate!

Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks
Date:  Thursday, February 23, 2017outlook logo.jpg
Time:  10am - 12pm
Instructor:  Laura Leist

What You Will Learn

• How to create an organized Inbox filing structure so you can quickly retrieve information

• How to create and use e-mail templates - guaranteed to save you hours each month

 • How to use e-mail Quick Parts - guaranteed to save time each day

 • How to "mark your comments" automatically with your name in an e-mail response – a little known feature you can turn on and customize in under 2 minutes

 • How to flag e-mail for follow up so it doesn't live in your inbox so you never miss an important deadline

 • How to use Quick Steps for repeatable actions used multiple times a day on e-mail

 • How to use the “Save Sent Item To” feature to automatically folder e-mail about a particular client or sale – so that it doesn’t all live in the “Sent” folder and instead lives in one organized location

 • How to delay the delivery of an e-mail once it’s written

 • How to insert a hyperlink to a website, instead of inserting the long, ugly URL

 • How to change the subject line for an e-mail you file into a folder

• How to direct replies to an e-mail you send to someone else

Protecting Your Digital Identity in 7 Steps
Date:  Thursday, March 2, 2017
Time:  10am - 12pmhackdetected.jpg
Instructor:  Robert Leist

 Description / Benefits of Attending this Program

  • Gain a better understanding of your risk level through a Security self-assessment.
  • Why you can't live without a password management system and the pro's and con's to the top systems available today.
  • Why you can't hide from socially engineered attacks and what to do to prevent them.
  • Mobile devices are a key part of your identity - Learn why and how to protect them.
  • How to configure home network/router security properly to keep your network secure.
  • Gain access to important information at a fraction of the cost.  Robert's hourly rate is $175!
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Productivity Programs for Your Office - In Person or Virtually

Microsoft Outlook Programs
Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks
Increase Your Productivity Using Microsoft Outlook
10 Tactics for Improving Follow Up and Closing a Sale Using Microsoft Outlook

Productivity Programs
10 Techniques to Increase Productivity
5 Techniques to Increase Productivity

Microsoft OneNote Programs
OneNote:  Date at Your Fingertips, Anytime, Anywhere & From Any Device

Office Organization Programs
Eliminate Chaos at Work:  Simple Strategies for Organizing Your Office
Eliminate Chaos at Work:  Simple Strategies for Managing Paper and Electronic Information
Eliminate Risk and Gain Rewards Using Technology:  How Savvy, Successful, Small Businesses Operate

Call our office at 425.670.2551 and let's talk about your specific needs and how we can customize one of these programs for your employees.

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How to Tell What Version of Outlook You Have

outlook logo.jpgHere's a LINK to help you easily determine what version of Outlook you have installed on your computer.
In our Microsoft Outlook consulting work with clients we need to know what version of Outlook our clients are using.  You think it would be easy to answer this question, but sometimes it's hard to know what version of the software you have. Compound that with that fact that there is also Outlook.com and things start to get confusing. Save this link above and you'll never have to second guess the version again.
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Productivity & IT Services  

  • Productivity Assessments
  • Outlook Productivity Consulting & Training
  • OneNote Consulting & Training
  • Digital File Organization
  • Business Contact Manager Customization & Training
  • Paper Workflow & Information Management
  • Workspace Organization & Space Planning
  • Microsoft Exchange E-mail Migrations
  • Anti-Virus and Malware Installation
  • Cloud-Based Back Up Systems
  • Cloud-Based Digital File Systems
  • Variety of Speaking Programs
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Customer Service: 425.670.2551 or 877.342.8592
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Copyright© 2000-2017 Eliminate Chaos LLC

You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit:  © 2017 Eliminate Chaos.  Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. 


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