What To Do If You’re Getting the Paperless Pushback

Paperless Pushback-rev02The idea of going paperless is pretty revolutionary. It cuts down on waste, saves trees, is easier to organize, is easier to find, and creates a searchable document. It has been a topic of much discussion on our LinkedIn Group, The City Clerk Café, which is flooded with tips for successful implementation. So, why then, is there still pushback on going the paperless route?

Change takes time, and generations of individuals who have been working with paper for 10, 20, 30, even 40 years have a hard time exchanging a physical piece of paper for a virtual document. In addition, the prep work of scanning, storing, and organizing paperless information can be overwhelming to some. Read more >

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Prepping for Back to School in a Three Week Timeline

Back to School. Those three little words have the power to overwhelm almost immediately. The saying, “You eat an elephant one bite at a time” comes to mind when thinking about Back to School prep. As you and your family prepare to go from summer daze to school days, remember to do so by planning your to-do’s over the course of weeks, and not days, so you can digest that elephant one bite at a time.

A Back to School Preparation Timeline

3 weeks before school starts:

  • Begin with taking an inventory of your child’s clothing. Discard items that are too small by reselling or donating the items to charity (don’t forget to grab a receipt for end of year tax purposes!).
  • Read more >
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    Benefits of Going Paperless with a Tablet

    a storage room with Computer Network hub

    Tablets are quickly becoming every city administrator and office superstar’s favorite way to keep it all together in the office, abroad, and at conferences. You can keep all of your files in one place and the best part—it’s all portable! Since there’s been a lot of chatter about the benefits of going paperless with a tablet in our LinkedIn Group, City Clerk Café, we thought we would share these reasons to go paperless with you.

    Five Benefits of Going Paperless

    1. Cuts back on paper waste
    Not only does cutting back on paper waste benefit you because all of your files can be found in one place instead of scattered throughout various file folders, but it cuts back on the amount of paper you’re using in general. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

    Different Ways Local Governments Are Utilizing The Cloud

    Different Ways Local Governments Are Utilizing The CloudCloud computing usage by government agencies is on the “rise”, and that’s not just because of its name. While many agencies were hesitant to embrace the cloud in its early years due to security concerns, in recent years, cloud security has become as secure, and in many cases more secure, than on-premise solutions. That’s because a single-site back up is vulnerable to natural disasters and cyber attacks, where cloud-based data back ups are stored in numerous locations.
    In addition, with the influx of big data, data storage, and around the clock upgrades, cloud services are becoming more relevant for government agencies than ever before, increasing security, efficiency, and unlimited data storage. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Summer Lunch Ideas You Can Take to Work

    Summer Lunch-2-FinalLet’s be honest—we need fast, easy, and convenient ideas for work meals in summer to prevent us from unhealthy snacking and eating out. Finding healthy ideas can be easier said than done. A good recipe that takes only 5 to 20 minutes to prepare can help stimulate your appetite, mind, and taste buds while preparing you to take on the daily grind with a new, food-induced enthusiasm.

    BuzzFeed Recipes

    BuzzFeed is great for lists upon lists of anything, but most especially, recipe ideas! Here are a few to get you started:

    Read more >
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    The Problem With Cyber Security Hacks Is…Humans

    When selecting a technology provider, cyber security features and protocols are at the top of agencies’ considerations. But, as we described in an earlier article “Utilities are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches Too!” http://www.blackmountainsoftware.com/2016/06/17/utilities-are-vulnerable-to-cyber-security-breaches-too/. But what is not often considered is the effect users of the technology have on cyber security.

    “Sometimes a clearly defined error is the only way to discover the truth,” Benjamin D. Wiker.

    More government agencies and users are finding this lesson out the hard way. Despite their aggressive security features, there is one common denominator in security breaches that can’t be managed by great software: users. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

    Tips to Get You and Your Vehicle Road Ready for Summer Travelling

    Road Trip Check ListSummer is here! And for many of us, this means piling our families into the car and setting out to explore new destinations or a favorite location. Maybe you plan to go camping, attend a family reunion beachside, or just want to get out of town for a few days. When planning when and where, consider the shape and condition of your family vehicle before hitting the road.

    Before you travel hundreds of miles, get your vehicle maintenance up to date, and follow this quick checklist to put your mind at ease while you drive.

    • Get your vehicle serviced
    If your car is due for an oil change in a couple hundred miles, get it changed before leaving on your trip. Read more >

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    Utilities Are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches, Too!

    Data Breach Unsecured Warning Sign ConceptIf you are one of the 56 million people who have suffered a breach to their credit records, credit card number, debit records, tax returns or other types of identity theft, then the idea of a data security breach is not very foreign to you. All sorts of data—not just retailer and tax data—is subject to cyber security hacks and breaches. Vulnerabilities to other lesser-considered systems that store delicate information (social security numbers and payment accounting information) such as utilities are becoming the new victims of data breaches.

    In fact, these information breaches are happening all over the US: by a dishonest employee at a water sewer department in Southern California, from the stolen laptop of a utility worker at a North Carolina water department and by a contractor working at a Massachusetts water and sewer commission who lost a company hard drive. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

    Prepping Your Office For a Vacation or Leave of Absence

    Prep office for vacation-rev01
    How do you truly vacate on a vacation? Well, that’s pretty hard to do if you are sitting on a sandy beach asking yourself, “Did I follow-up with Barb on that vendor agreement?” or, “Did I forget to set an out of office email reply?”

    Properly preparing your office for a vacation or leave of absence not only helps you relax while on vacation, it can help you avoid unnecessary stress upon your return. These six tips for preparing your office for your departure will help you say Bon Voyage in the most stress-free way possible.

    Six Tips for Prepping Your Office For Vacation or Leave

    Break Your Schedule Down. Read more >

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    Communicating in the Office

    Office-Communication
    A recent recap of a friend’s management training experience inspired me to look into what has changed over a generation in how we communicate in the office and remotely to our customers.

    The written word has been given a much better ride since electronic advancements came on the scene. Who remembers when words were spoken by a person of authority into a dictating machine and transcribed via typewriter by a clerical assistant? Who remembers carbon paper and correction fluid, or when Spellcheck was provided by a bound dictionary, or when female professionals were advised not to do their own typing?

    Transitional electronics entered the scene around fifty years ago, when a computer occupied a room of its own. Read more >

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