The Do’s & Don’ts at Virtual Meetings

Hey lovelies! Today I want to speak to you about the Do’s and Don’ts at virtual meetings. Nowadays with Corona almost everything has turned digital and even our meetings, networking and important sessions, coachings or speeches are held mostly virtual. The good thing is, there is no need to wear a mask when at home or far enough away from other people in your close surroundings should you be at an office (depending on the Covid-19 guidelines and regulations in your country). As I work mostly from home and do all important meetings virtually, I have become a pro in regards to what etiquette is important on video.

DO dress up and freshen up before you turn on your camera – I have seen so many people loosen up about what they wear or how they look. Working in finance, I am used to seeing people suited up, looking polished and ready to go for a luxurious lunch or dinner straight after the meeting. I have seen some of these people with beards grown out (men, of course), wearing baggy pyjama look-a-like shirts, not groomed whatsoever and rather looking as if they just jumped out of bed. I appreciate that the finance industry is letting go of ties and the fully and sometimes overly dressed up looks, but going from one extreme to another and looking far from fresh is an absolute no-no. Dress for the occassion and the audience as you would otherwise (even if only from your hip upwards) – people will appreciate it.

DON’T drink soda straight from the bottle – I have seen some people drink diet coke or coca-cola straight from the bottle, even orange juice or energy drinks. Trust me when I tell you, it is not appreciated by all and many people do judge you if you like it or not. I always recommend: whatever you drink, drink it out of a neutral cup that does not show what’s inside. Be it water, diet coke or even that whisky on the rocks ;)

DO have a clean background and good lighting – whether you have a digital, plain or branded background or simply your at-home background I believe is up to you (unless your company says otherwise). Yet, the background should be rather clean since you want your audience looking at you and not staring at a half open pizza box from last night or personal objects that are for your eyes only. Likewise, make sure to not sit in the dark, we are working from home, yet are no cave-(wo)men!

DO mute yourself if you are not speaking – background noise can be terrible irritating and even worse, if someone walks into your room or your phone goes on (make sure its on silence beforehand) it will be considered rude if you interrupt another speaker.

DON’T invite others or pets into the picture unless asked for it – friends, family, your hubby, children or even your pets should not be on screen when it comes to professional virtual meetings. It can of course always happen that someone runs through the room and into your background and if your cat comes and says hi or your children run up to you most people will understand. If you are able to close the door beforehand, though, do it. My dogs for example are always in another room when I have important virtual meetings or conferences to attend. I do, however, think it is absolutely fine to share some private life when either asked for it or you are speaking to a longterm relationship colleague / partner of yours and believe it is ok. Sometimes, sharing some of your private life can work wonders for deepening a relationship and spark new topics to speak about.

DON’T multitask – no one wants to feel ignored and, trust me, people will notice when you play an online game in the background, do online-shopping or doodle on a paper. There should be enough hours in a day to schedule any other task to before or after the virtual meeting. If you are taking notes on the side and people may not see it, give them a heads-up so they know why you are looking down or moving your hand around.

DO invest in proper technology – if you have and will be working from home most of the time, make sure you invest into proper technology. No one wants to see that you are still using your old phone camera for virtual meetings since the beginnig of the year (Corona start). Make sure to have a proper webcam if your other set-up is not at it’s best, do invest into a proper microphone (it makes a world of a difference!) and even think about investing into a new lamp if need be! If you haven’t done that yet, why not add it to your Christmas wishlist!

Do you have any other Do’s or Don’ts you consider important when it comes to virtual meetings? I’d love to hear your thoughts or hear about the experiences you’ve had!

Organizing my life with the GoodNotes App

A good overview of all my to-dos, tasks, reports that need to be done are essential to keeping my life organized. I have always been a huge, huge fan of making to-do lists for almost everything. Be it for scheduling when and what I want to blog about next, what tasks I need to do at home (from washing to cleaning the bathroom sinks), what my travel plan will look like the upcoming weeks or months, or simply writing down ideas I get on the go.

Finally, after searching forever and trying out multiple apps, I have found the one: GoodNotes. I have been testing it for a while now and I am more than happy with it. For me, it’s important to be able to hand-write my notes. It gives me that warm tingly feeling of still being old-school haha. Also, it makes the writing down and crossing off tasks so, so much more fun. On the other hand, I am also a huge fan of having everything digitalised. That is, because I am always on the go and it is super practical to having the same notes on my iPad, my iPhone, my iMac (office and at home) or even my laptop (yes, I am an Apple fan!).

The app also allows me to work “offline” – or so it feels. I can sit down, away from my actual desk to write down notes and brainstorm certain topics, and still have it immediately show up on my iMac when turning around or going back to the desk. Especially now with the new macOS Catalina update, I can easily connect my iPad to my iMac or laptop. That is probably the best new feature the macOS Catalina treated us with! You can so easily write on your iPad now and have it immediately transferred to your computer (think about all those documents that you need to sign off on or when you want to annotate a PDF but still hand-write!). Anyway, before I drift off..

The GoodNotes app includes the following features (reason enough why I love them):
– possibility to hand-write notes, etc.
– can open several notebooks with different paper formats and styles
– possibility to easily switch between the notebooks (ex. I always have my meeting notes open, as well as my to-do lists and conference notes when on a business trip)
– possibility to search through your notes (it even recognises your hand-written notes!)
– able to type directly if you don’t want to use the iPad pen
– synchronises easily via Dropbox
– allows you to annotate PDFs, Powerpoints, Images, etc.
– inexpensive (8CHF for the iPad/iPhone and another 8CHF for my iMac is what I paid)

For those that have been looking for an app that can do all these things – the GoodNotes app really is a game changer!

Organizing your iPhone Apps

Happy Sunday! What a week it’s been again! I was in London Monday till Thursday for business and attended a two-day conference. The flight back and forth was rather calm – I usually sleep the whole flight! I did manage to stay awake though, both times, for roughly 20 minutes. Whilst listening to a podcast, I used the time wisely and decided it’s time to “clean up” and re-organize my iPhone apps.

As you can perfectly see – it was the perfect chaos! I mean I did know where everything was that I always use and need. Yet, I almost pushed this task to another day and with more and more time passing the look of my iPhone really started to bother me. I decided to not only re-organize the apps, but also to delete everything I have not used in a year and what I surely don’t need anymore.

Now, I do have quite a few apps I rarely use, though needed to keep. These are usually business related, and include logins that are needed for certain banks. Those, of course, I had to keep.

I wanted a clean look. I decided that no more than 12 apps should be shown on each iPhone screen, and I did not want more than 3 iPhone screen pages (is that the right word?). The first slide is the apps I use on a regular basis – and those I cannot live without. The second slide of apps I use almost everyday, though not as often. The third slide is all the rest that I don’t use as frequently but need either for business reasons or simply just apps I like having but the usage of is rare.

This was the final outcome:

Slide 1 – as you can see, is now clean and has the most important apps for me
Slide 2 is likewise clean and has important apps I use every few days. Slide 3 has allays that I still use once in a while but not as frequent.

To all those that have not yet organized their iPhone (or I guess same thing goes for Android?), I highly recommend it. Not only is it super satisfying, but also so much more efficient in the daily use.

I have seen some people organize all apps by color. Although I do love the look of it, I did not find it practical. I actually tried it for page one, but really, it made it worse for me to try and find apps. So this solution worked much better for me!

7 Must-Have items in my bag

Wednesday already! I hope everyone is enjoying the week so far and not stressing themselves overly. Speaking about stress; it’s really gotten to me lately. My stomach is upset a LOT (especially in the evenings) and I am more and more having to deal with anxiety. I would be super happy to receive tipps on what you do against anxiety or any other recommendations you have. I am thinking about starting something to help me off here a little but I need to test and try it first before talking to you guys about it.

So, here we go. I’ve had a discussion with a friend recently about female handbags. Why female you ask? Because we constantly manage to overpack. I am totally on the same page with most of you out there (those that have the same issue) and decided to making a small list and organising myself better before going on trips. Now, it really depends on whether I go by car, train, (I get car and train sick), by plane and how long I travel.

Here however, are my 7 must-have essentials that I try and keep in my bag constantly:

  1. Wallet – it includes everything from my ID to my blood type (yup, always in there), my health insurance card in case something happens, credit cards and some cash. I don’t carry a lot of cash with me most of the times given I feel I spend it way too fast :) though I do like to keep two-three currencies in my bag. In Switzerland that of course would be Swiss Franks, but I usually also carry some Euros and USDs – because well, you never know!
  2. Sunglasses – I always, always, always have a pair in my handbag. Even on a cloudy or rainy day, you never know when the sun peaks out – or when you just want to look super cool. Also, remember it is better for your eyes (if you have sunnies with have UV filter)!
  3. Hand lotion – a must have for me since recently! I was never into hand lotions, though the woman I get my nails done at has been telling me that my hands are too dry for too long. So I decided to now always carry one around with me.
  4. Airpods / Headphones – because you know, music. But really, I love listening to music or podcasts whenever I get the chance! Also, taking a call is always easier hands-free, especially if you have an Italian vibe to you and love to use hand gestures 24/7.
  5. Lipstick – I don’t really use lipstick often. Yet, I do always carry one around just in case. In the end, a good lipstick can save any outfit and make you look party ready when you really aren’t, instantly!
  6. Notebook and pen – I admit it, I love the old school way of writing things down by hand. I usually carry around an agenda, too, though I need to buy new papers to put in there. For now, I am using this cute little notebook for drawing down my notes and thoughts on the go. You never know when that next business idea hits you!
  7. External charger – something I keep forgetting but love having with me SO much. Phones nowadays last much longer than they did 2-3 years ago, yet by far not as long as they used to 10 years ago. Because I am a social media nerd (jk), need to check my emails and be reachable whenever and wherever, my phone has to be charged at all times!