Category: Miscellaneous

Whether you work for yourself or you are part of a larger company, you will from time to time find it necessary to send emails for work. While most people are not aware of this issue, emails have been used in courts to prove obligation, meaning that if a client or customer or even just a potential business associate can "prove" that you emailed them to the effect that you would provide a good or service for a given price, they may be able to sue to you if you do not ultimately provide that service and that price. This is of particular import for investors and other types of financial companies.

It may be tempting to think to yourself, "I'm just the administrative assistant. This has nothing to do with me." However, if you send out emails from a company email account, you need to make sure that your "bases are covered." This means making sure that any ambiguous correspondence on your part does not lead to a successful legal action on someone else's end.

For starters, ask your employer if he or she has a legal disclaimer. There may be something that you need to append to the end of all your emails anyway. If this is the case, then be sure to do so in order to protect yourself, your employer and your correspondence. If your employer does not have a disclaimer, ask them about having one drawn up. It is extremely important. In the interim, consider affixing your own at least to emails sent from your personal account simply stating that nothing in your emails constitutes a binding legal commitment.

Next, find out if there is any list of prohibited language for emails. Some employers make it a point to never talk about certain business in email. At a minimum, you should never email account information or passwords, since email systems are hacked all the time. You may have heard that Google recently found that thousands of accounts had been exposed! Since emails that you send are stored in your account history, even if you delete them after receipt or delivery a malicious person may still be able to find that information.

When it comes to legal issues and email, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourself and your employer by taking the time to find out what methods are in place for safeguarding information and how to insure that your emails do not become a legal liability for you or your boss.

Keeping a good calendar is essential to your success as an assistant. Gone are the days when a big calendar on the wall would suffice. Now everyone needs access to everything from at least 3 different geographic areas and electronic devices, and it is up to you to make sure that people see what they need to see - and do not have access to the stuff that they don't!

In addition to all of these issues, you, yourself, will need an additional calendar full of personal information that you will need to use to sync up your own personal events with office work and projects. You may also be required to keep a similar calendar for your boss or assorted other parties in your office, depending on how in-depth your organizational responsibilities go.

There are several different takes on how to best handle calendar creation and maintenance. Here are some of the most popular. You will need to experiment to determine what works best for you and your employer:

Develop a Grand Monster Calendar
This calendar will have everything on it that you could ever need to know about anything. The benefits are that it centralizes all the information. However, you may have trouble finding information because the calendar is so crowded, and you will likely have to break this calendar down into individualized calendars for the individuals on the calendar, since it is unlikely that they all need access to each other's personal and professional schedules in detail.

Set up a series of individual calendars that you and the owners can both update
This is useful because it enables you and the other party to contribute to keeping the calendar current. However, you will end up spending a lot of time checking individual calendars to determine who can and cannot make events and you may end up missing items that have been updated recently or that an owner neither told you about nor added personally.

You can personally maintain "group calendars"
These are calendars of people grouped by association. This may be people with similar office responsibilities or who are parts of different teams but work together regularly. Generally these calendars should be maintained just by you so that people do not accidentally add or remove items that do not pertain to them. This somewhat eliminates cross-calendar checking, but it may mean that you also have to keep individual calendars so that not everyone in a group knows what every other person is up to at all times.