Friday, 8 October 2004

Newsletter Issue 86, October 2004

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 86, October 2004
Hi guys,
Do you get make the most of your time at conferences? Take a look at the Conference Action Plan article below to see if you can learn anything new.
Find out about identity theft in the modern age in So What's Phishing?
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Conference Action Plan

You are at a conference, fired with enthusiasm, filling your conference pouch with handouts like a magpie, going to as many sessions as you can, networking to the max and having a great time.
You fully intend this time to go back through all the materials and implement all those great ideas when you get a moment back home. Yet somehow, you never find the time; your papers sit mouldering in a pile in your office that slowly work their way further and further out of sight (and out of mind).
To make sure that you action those great ideas, all you need is a conference action plan:
  1. Book Sessions in Advance. Go through the conference agenda and see who is presenting. Do some research on the presenters (who is tried-and-tested, who has published, who is online, who you know who might have heard the presenter before) and decide which sessions you want to attend
  2. Packing Essentials. Make sure you take post-it notes, highlighter, business cards, digital camera, cellphone, cell charger and your laptop (so you can transcribe your notes while you can still read them!). Take a raincoat and walking shoes with you so even if the weather is bad you can get some fresh air every day to recharge your batteries
  3. Arrive & Register Early. The conference organisers won't be too busy if you are early so you can ask them where local places of interest are and plan what to do in your downtime. Once you have registered & picked up your freebee pack, familiarise yourself with the venue and find out where your sessions are going to be
  4. Purchases. Check out the Trade Stands early for those materials you are interested in buying. But remember that it might be easier - and cheaper - to look for books, CDs or DVDs online, or have them posted to your office
  5. Sessions. Get there early so you get a good seat. If there are session handouts, make notes in the margins and use your highlighter to pick out key info. Don't use loose pad paper unless absolutely necessary
  6. Each Night. Before going to your networking functions, use some of your down time to;
    • Use your post-its to flag key info on your hardcopy session notes. Write up your margin notes, extra info, ideas and thoughts on your laptop while you remember them
    • Create Outlook Tasks from those ideas, setting realistic times on when you want to action them (and enter Task notes re the hardcopy info needed to refresh your memory. Don't forget to post-it the hardcopy too!). Each Task you create, (a) prioritise it and (b) assign it with a common category - eg "Conference 2004" - so that you can view and sort all of the conference Tasks created together
    • Enter your new contacts as Outlook Contacts from their business card details. Assign them with a common category - eg "Conference 2004" again! Send them a quick email (with the send time delayed until after you get home) saying how nice it was to meet them. Not only will this keep your memory fresh about who you met & what you talked about, but you actually establish more meaningful contact by striking while the iron is hot
  7. Cull Your Handouts. Sort through all that you have collected and decide what goes home and what gets dumped. Make sure you keep the materials needed for your Outlook Tasks
  8. Get Home Early. Get home a day before you have to restart work so you create the time to reflect and assimilate the new ideas you have been exposed to
And now congratulate yourself. You have just effectively expanded your skills and network :-)

So What's Phishing?

Haven't heard of 'phishing'?
This is when all those blasted spammers pose as banks and asking you to "confirm" your accounts by entering your passwords via very official-looking emails. Spammers capture and use your passwords.
Unfortunately, 5% of the victims who are contacted by Phishing emails dutifully provide their passwords according to, a coalition of financial institutions and major e-commerce sites. And get their bank accounts cleaned out. Ouch.
And note that phishing attacks are growing at a rate of 50% PER MONTH, with 35% of phishing sites located in the US and the bulk of the remainder in Russia and other non-Western countries.
If you would like to read more, go to Two must reads on this site are what to do if you have been duped at, and how to avoid the scams at

Getting Text out of pdf Files

How many of you have gnashed your teeth because someone has sent you a pdf file to critique and you can't amend anything? That you are faced with having to rekey everything, then change it to return your suggestions?
Well, this is just to let you know that you CAN pick up the text in Adobe Acrobat file.
All you have to do is open the file that you want to write your changes in - email or word doc; whatever. Leave this programme & file open, then;
  1. Open the Adobe file you have been sent
  2. Click on the Text selection tool (the one whose pictogram is a capital T with a dotted outlined square underneath it)
  3. Then highlight the text that you want to select
  4. Click Ctrl & C on the keyboard (this copies the text to the Windows clipboard)
  5. Alt & Tab to the file you want to copy the text into. Position the cursor where you want the text to paste
  6. Click Ctrl & V to paste the Windows clipboard into your doc.
  7. Repeat as required
Isn't it easy when you know how?!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • IQ, Intelligence Quotient. That dodgy measure of 'intelligence' potential, originally designed to measure how mentally incapacitated people were
  • VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol. Sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do in Outlook. This time we focus on what you can do with the arrow keys or the arrow keys & Alt;
  • Outlook "Move one item, character, menu or sub-menu downwards" Down Arrow
  • Outlook "Move one item, character, menu or sub-menu to the right" Right Arrow
  • Outlook "Move one item, character, menu or sub-menu upwards" Up Arrow
  • Outlook "Move one item, character, menu or sub-menu to the left" Left Arrow
  • Outlook "Open a drop-down list box (when a drop-down list box is selected) or move selected item to the same day in the next week in day/week/month view or display more Help topics in Office Assistant" Alt & Down Arrow
  • Outlook "Move a selected item to the previous day when multiple days appear in day/week/month view" Alt & Left Arrow
  • Outlook "Move a selected item from one to the next day when multiple days appear when moving around in day/week/month view" Alt & Right Arrow
  • Outlook "In an Appointment, change an appointment start or end time when working in day/week/month view" Alt & Shift & Up Arrow or Down Arrow
  • Outlook "Close a drop-down list box (when a drop-down list box is selected) or display previously viewed Help topics while using Office Assistant or go to the same day in the previous week when in day/week/month view" Alt & Up Arrow

Hot Linx
For any of you wanting the lowdown on required nutritional information for the US and RDAs for nutrients, check out this site
Got a thorny etiquette problem? Then check out ehow's etiquette page at or orange at
Interested in looking for maps or documents in British museums? Then look no further than
Using Photoshop and want some additional resources? Then check out the freebies at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here