Administrative Professional Today

Cheaper child care is increasingly necessary as budgets tighten, says Lisa Belkin, a New York Times reporter who covers workplace issues. Here are some of the creative ways working families are reducing the costs.

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How many times have you received an email message with the subject line “Hi” or “Question” or, even worse, no subject at all? Here’s a technique, by Brett Kelly of The Cranking Widgets blog, for labeling subject lines so the recipient knows instantly what the message entails.

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Scope out your shipping-fee statement for potential cost savings. Here are five questions to ask your carrier.

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Whip up a poll (at no cost) using PollDaddy.com.

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Diane Darling, owner of Effective Networking, didn’t realize her casual purple pantsuits were keeping her from landing clients—until people told her. Darling sent a survey, using online polling tool SurveyMonkey.com … That’s where she learned that she dressed too casually.

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Turn to the wisdom of crowds, rather than calling the help line, next time you encounter tech glitches on your Smartphone: BlackBerry.com’s forums break down problems by model.

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If you’re the office Eeyore who says, “We tried that before and it didn’t work,” highlighting the negatives isn’t likely to get you noticed—at least, not in a good way. Instead of pointing out the downside, try using these tactics.

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If you manage other assistants, you may be craving higher productivity from your team. If you’re a savvy people manager, though, you don’t want to saddle your strong performers with an extra layer of stress. Consider these three approaches.

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Asked for the best advice her dad ever gave her, Susan Black-Beth says: “Don’t make decisions when you’re too mad, too glad or too sad.”

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Americans are spending less but not necessarily saving more as the economy slides. According to a survey by Bank of America, 62% are either behind schedule or have not started retirement planning …

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