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Ways We Work

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Tanja Nandor

Certified Event Manager for Canada's Technology Triangle

What do you do?

I am a Certified Event Manager and a Certified Project Manager- PMP Candidate. I manage all events and government delegations for Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc. I manage the Ambassador Program and recruit most event-related volunteers. Our company markets the Region of Waterloo globally.

What mobile device do you use?

I use my BlackBerry – to schedule meetings, write emails from anywhere/anytime, I use BBM and texting whenever possible for immediate contact with my network.

Best way to stay on top of email?

I find answering my email right away, right after I’ve read them is the best way to manage them.

My second tactic is to make use of my email folders and file everything I’ve handled. That way it’s out of my ‘in-box’ and still easy to find in a topic-related folder, when needed.

Golden rule – Touch it once!

Top five applications/programs?

I use Outlook email, Excel, Word, PowerPoint the most in my job.

What is your best time-saving trick?

I have a living ‘To-Do’ list. Each time I delegate a task to someone or am waiting for a response from someone I list it on my “To-do” checklist under the event it pertains to. This ‘To-do’ list is a word document that I constantly change/update.

This saves me from having to remember every little thing I’m waiting on. My “To-do” list is my brain and saves my brain from hurting.

Favourite productivity tool?

I rely on my BlackBerry to keep me mobile and “in the know” at the same time. It allows me to manage my communications from anywhere. As the main point of contact, for many stakeholders, this is important. Can’t imagine being an Event Manager without one!

One non-tech thing you can't live without?

Little yellow post-it notes – when I absolutely can’t forget something – it goes on a post it note and gets stuck to my desk.

They’re also great for marking spots I need to read in magazines and leaving notes on other people’s desks.

Pretty old-school but it gets my attention and it works for me.

Structure of your typical day? How do you divide your time?

I prioritize my day by reviewing my living “To-do” list either just before I leave for the day (so I know what to tackle first when I come in the next day) or first thing in the morning. It helps me keep all my tasks which need to be done in one place. Once I zip through the high priority items, I take it down a notch to the lower priority ones.

Sometimes I’ll insert a ‘quick hit’ item. Something I can volley over the fence just to get it off my plate. These are great to insert into my schedule if I only have 15 minutes left before a meeting and can’t get involved in anything too task related.

I try to do many tasks before they need to be done – this allows me time to free up my schedule if I’m unexpectedly pulled away on another project or an urgent situation comes up that demands my attention. I build in extra time into each project up front.

What does your workspace look like?

Who would you like to see featured on Ways We Work?

Jason Kipfer, Senior Business Development Officer, CTT Inc. – same company but very different job from mine.