Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Web Tip -- Google Voice

Welcome to Planners Pointers! 

One of the recent additions to the many faces of Google is the addition of voice mail.  Called Google Voice, this latest product is something for you to add to your list of settings.  And like other things Google, it's free!

Here are some benefits.

1. Phone number rings on multiple lines.  For example, the Pittsburgh NAWBO Chapter has added Google Voice.  It rings the phones of three different people.  If no one is available, the Gmail account gets an email that says that there is a message waiting. 

2. Along the same lines as the first suggestion,  ff you are using your home phone and your cell phone for business but don't want to advertise the fact to the rest of the world, Google Voice will give you a phone number, in your area code, to use.  Use that number on your business cards and website.

3. You can email the voice mail message.  Get a message and want someone else to hear it, you can forward the voice mail via email quickly.

4. Google transcribes the message so you can read your voice mail.  One drawback:  If the person leaving the message isn't clear enough, the words maybe wrong.  I wondered who Jenny was until I heard the message and my sister-in-laws name, Joanie.

The best suggestion is to go to and check it out for yourself.

That's this week's Planners Pointers web tip.

Planners Pointers is written by Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP, Kilgore Business Services, LLC.  contact me at  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Home Office Kryptonite

Welcome to Planner's Pointer's!

Today we are going to talk about home office Kryptonite.  Remember Superman?  He leaps over tall buildings in a single bound?  He could stop a bullet.  And as we learned in the first Superman movie that came out in the 70s, Superman can turn back time.  But he had one weakness:  Kryptonite, a mineral from his own planet that would zap his powers and if exposed to it long enough would eventually kill him.

We aren't talking about issues that could hurt us physically, but what about those distractions that happen every day.  Things that grab our attention, and because we don't let them, won't let us go.  Time grabbers, home office Kryptonite in other words.

1. Daydreaming -- that's what our teachers called it when we were kids. Thinking about other things when you are working on a project.  For example:  You are working on a client's project.  You are getting paid to do this but sometimes your mind wanders and you think you should be doing something else. Another project, perhaps or taking the dog for a walk.  I like timers.  When you start working on project, set the timer for 45 minutes.  See where you are with the project at that time.  Still moving ahead, or stuck and thinking about laundry?  If you are moving ahead, set the time for another 30 minutes.  If not, take a break, 5 minutes and get up and move around.  I am a list maker. When I start thinking of other things I I add it to the list, then I don't have to remember it anymore.  It's on the list of things I am going to do later.

2. Email  Email is a trap if you let it.  There have been several articles about email organization like schedule reading times.  Morning, and later in the afternoon.  Unless you are expecting an email.  The same could be and should be said about Facebook and Twitter.  A word here about phone calls.  Answering services, Answering machines, caller ID and voice mail have been around in some cases 30 or more years.  Turn your ringer off if you want, put on headphones.  Screening doesn't have the negative connation that it has had in the past.

4.  "Oh look Shinny!"  You are on the Internet doing some researching when one link leads to another and before you know it you have spent two hours on an entirely different topic then when you started.  Or you are at a really large website let's say something like and Internet Movie Data Base. 

5. Television  This is my personal Kryptonite.  My computer has a TV tuner in it and if I turn it on it is hard for me to turn it off.  Yes I can put what I am working on in front of me and still hear it.  

How do I handle life's interruptions?  I make lists and have a plan for the day.  For some things like Internet searches I will set a timer.  I screen calls.  I have days that are office only.

Planner's Pointers is written by Mary Pam Kilgore, of Kilgore Business Services, LLC. You may reach me through my website  or  You can reach me by phone at 412-260-4178.  Follow me on Twitter @marypam.  Copyright 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

Looking for work? Interview with Dawn Penfold,

Welcome to Planner's Pointer's Planners Pointers is a blog and talk cast to help beginning event planners with their event planning. Give them ideas on planning better events, books to read and websites to discover.

I teach a class at Allegheny County Community College called "Event Planning as a Career. One of the most often asked questions I get from my students is are there jobs out there… I took this question to Dawn Penfold, CMP and president of   I interviewed her on my Talkshoe radio channel.  I thought I would share the link with you so you could hear her comments and tips about finding a job as a planner in today's economy.  Here is the link to the Planners Pointers Radio Show:

Friday, January 7, 2011

TechnoGranny Show -- Discussing New Media

I had the chance to be on the TechnoGranny Show on Talkshoe on Monday, January 3.  It was a lot of fun!  Here is the link so you can listen.  What we talked about was the different new media that we had started in 2010 and the new media we were going to use in 2011.

Here is the link TechnoGranny Show

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Plan a 7 Course Meal

Did you ever wonder what a seven course dinner was?  Ever wonder how it was served?  Today we are going to take a look at How to Plan a Seven Course Meal

Before we explain each course -- let's look at the courses has a whole

First Course: appetizer
Second Course: soup
Third Course: salad
Fourth Course: sorbet to cleanse the palate
Fifth course: fish or poultry
Sixth Course: red meat, fish or poultry with vegetables
Seventh Course: dessert

I know what you are thinking.  How can people each all that food!! Or have all that time! Or take all that time. 

Biggest tip I learned is to give the dinner a theme.  That helps you choose what types of food you would like to serve. Also remember these are smaller portions.  For example the meat course portion should be 4 oz of meat. 

Break it down by course --

1. Appetizer course -- Small and light  If you were doing something with an Italian theme you might do an antipasto. Or if you could do a shrimp cocktail.

2. Soup course:  You may use a cream based or clear soup such as a chicken stock based soup or a vegetable soup. Avoid heavy soups.

3. Salad course:  For example use different varieties of lettuce with a nice vinaigrette and a few crotons  Also keep the amount of salad dressing to a minimum.

4. Cleanse the palate course with sorbet like a lemon or a lime.

5. Fifth Course fish or poultry.  In one of the things I read some called it the first main course.  You could serve a baked fish such as Orange Ruffy or baked chicken such as chicken picatta.  Make sure that the fish or poultry used in this course don't overpower the Meat Course

6. Meat Course This could include fish, poultry, red meat including beef or pork with vegetables and potatoes.  If you bake the fish or chicken in the fifth course then you choose a different method here like broiled or grilled.  Again keep meat portions small.  4 ounces will do nicely.  Adding the vegetable helps cleanse the palate and aid digestion.

7. Dessert.  Something lavish and memorable.  Anything chocolate would work such as Chocolate cake or chocolate silk pie.  You could also do make your own sundaes

Some hints:  Serve foods that compliment each other.  This is a meal that is served and not done family style so people won't over load on one thing. 

Each course is to have its own wine.  A good way to way to do this without sending everyone home tipsy is to visit a wine store and go over the menu with the sommelier to discuss what wines and how much to serve each person.

Also please allow enough time to enjoy the meal

As Julia Child used to say "Bon Appetite!"

That's the Planners Pointer for today.

Planner's Pointers is written by, Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP  owner of Kilgore Business Services, LLC  You may reach me through my website  You can find my blog at  You can reach me by phone at 412-260-4178.  Follow me on Twitter @marypam.