Friday, September 28, 2018

CRMUG Summit 2018: Events to Attend

CRMUG Summit is just a few weeks away. If you are not registered yet, there is still time! Register now and book your flight to Phoenix!

I love Summit because it is an amazing event full of learning. There are so many great sessions on every topic you could need to learn. Plus there are lots of networking opportunities to meet people who live near you, work in your industry or are Microsoft MVPs!

For those heading to Summit, I am going to be speaking in several sessions and involved in a few other events so make sure you plan to attend them all!

First Time Attendee Reception: If its your first time at Summit, or you just want to share your tips with newbies get registered for this Reception. I will be participating to share my tips with the group.

Session: Feeling Alone in the Desert: Basics for New Admins: Wednesday 2:30-3:30 Room 221B. This session helps new administrators learn the first steps for things like personal options, navigation and Advanced Find. 

Session: Solution Management: Your Customization's on the Move: Wednesday 3:45-4:45 Room 221B. Follow me from one session to the next to learn even more skills that are essential for administrators and customizers. We will give an overview of what a solution is and how to get started. Then we will open it up for questions from the audience. 

Session: Is My Data Secure? Wednesday 8:30-9:30 Room 221B. Join an all-star panel to learn more about data security and ask your questions!

Session: Creating an Oasis: Advanced Basics for New Admins: Thursday 2:30-3:30 Room 226A. After attending the earlier session, join us to to build on what you just learned. We will start talking about data maintenance and automation options such as Workflows.

DMV Chapter Party: All attendees from DC, Maryland, Virginia are invited to join us at a special event sponsored by Cobalt! This will be a great time to network and share your takeaways from the conference so far. Register now and block your schedule for Wednesday evening!

What are you most excited for at Summit? What sessions are you registered for?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Girl Power Playlist 2018

I am excited for two big events in the next few weeks. To help me get prepared I am working on a killer, motivational playlist! This is something I do each year but this year I wanted to share with all of you!

A bit about these events: first is D365 Saturday in DC. This is a great free event that anyone can attend to learn more about Dynamics 365. There is an all-star line up of MVP speakers and I can't believe I have the opportunity to speak alongside of them. Second, I will be speaking at CRMUG Summit in Phoenix. At Summit, this will be the first year that I am speaking in 3 sessions! Plus repeating the excitement of last year with a DMV Chapter Party. Side note: THANK YOU Cobalt for sponsoring and always supporting our chapters!

All of these things can be scary and intimidating! It's helpful to me to have a Girl Power Playlist to pump me up before these events. I need these reminders that I can do it and I am smart! Some of these songs just remind me that hard work is worth it. Others are just power house songs from (mainly) female fronted artists. Plus a few that are more faith-based and help bring calm in the storm. Then of course a little TayTay because all power playlists need some!

Enjoy my song selections below. I am fully aware of some of my embarrassing musical selections but we are not going to discuss the number of albums I have from Disney Channel stars.

How do you prep for these things? Any songs missing from my playlist?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

How To: Taking Notes at Conferences and Events

Today it is cold and rainy and I am dreaming of being at CRMUG Summit in Phoenix in just a few weeks. This makes me think of all the things I will be learning! When I first started attending conferences the amount of content was overwhelming. Then I would get back to the office and have no way to organize it in my mind or notes so everything would get lost and forgotten in the shuffle.

So here are my steps for taking successful notes:

Find the Right Tool

I like to use OneNote for taking notes because I can easily sync this between my devices. I can have my Surface at the event and then when I login at work I can quickly find and search for things quickly.

I am the type of person who needs to write things down to remember them. So I prefer to take handwritten notes and lock things in my mind. However, I realized that doing this at a big event means you leave with a notebook full of content that is difficult to search and share. The benefit of typing outweighs my desire to hand write everything because if I can't remember I can search for it!

Another cool tool to look at it Microsoft Lens. This is a phone app that lets you take better pictures of presentations. I use this if there is a particular slide I want to remember or share on social media.

Download the Presentation in Advance

When I am listening to a presentation I want to remember everything! I don't always have time to pick and choose what I think will be valuable in my life. To save some time, I try to download the presentation before the session begins. At Summit, I will usually be online and finding the session right before the session starts or during the introduction.

I will download the PowerPoint then copy the slides into my OneNote. You can do this by selecting all the slides (in the left slide navigation area) and then just pasting in to OneNote. If the presenter uses a PDF instead you can use the PDF Printing to print to OneNote to achieve the same effect.

Once the slides are in my OneNote, I will type any additional notes right beside the slide. This helps get my focus off of just writing down everything I see and actually start listening so I can ask valuable questions.

If the slides are not available before the presentation, then I still try to write as much down as I can. Even if the presenter plans to upload the slides, it is very possible that I will forget to download and save them.

Take Time to Review

Finally, make sure you plan time to review these notes. As the sessions are going on, if I see something particularly interesting I will highlight it and/or include extra notes for how this could apply in my organization. After the session, I like to read through all the notes to highlight my top takeaways. This helps secure the general information in my mind and can help me quickly find the big items later. 

I hope this helps as you prepare for D365 Saturday DC and CRMUG Summit! What additional note taking tips am I missing?