Staff Spotlight: Cathie Clement, Technology ‘Geek’

You are known in the office as being the go-to person for all things tech. What got you interested in technology?
I have been a techno geek forever, and I use this word in a positive way. I’ve been using electronic calendars since they came out and had one of the first Palm Pilots—I bet some readers won’t even know what those were, they are so old! I was able to stay home with my kids when they were little and did work on the side – with my large desktop computer. I got plenty of hands-on learning from writing and designing newsletters and brochures; I also did transcription. Every time a new piece of technology came along I was among the first to get it. From portable phones, to headsets, laptops, digital cameras and electronic picture frames, I’ve had them all! It’s probably not the first thing you’d notice from meeting me, but I love the challenge of figuring out a new gadget and seeing how it can improve my life and work experience.

Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to become more tech-savvy in their business?
Try to have fun with it. All you need to do is play with whatever technology it is and you will learn. I have found it helpful to find someone who already knows about the technology you are interested in exploring.  I often purchase apps or equipment that I know someone else already has and they can then help me when I come across little issues. There are so many applications and pieces of equipment out there that can help streamline your time and work, all you need to do is give them a chance. Our family ran a lawn sign and catering business for a number of years. When I think of all the technology out there today my mouth waters at how much easier it would have been to stay on top of scheduling, recording, planning, etc. if we had just some of these tools.

If you are really serious about becoming more tech-savvy, pace your use of the different applications/tools. Look at one thing at a time, rather than getting a bunch of stuff and not having the time or inclination to learn it! I wrote a blog a while back on my most used iPhone apps and already have a few new favourites. It is good to keep reading/watching to seet what’s on the horizon. I enjoy App Central on TV and Social Media Examiner on the internet.

What is your best technique for staying organized?
Often at the end of the day I will send myself an email with a list of things that need to get accomplished the next day. Keeping my desk tidy keeps me feeling organized. I used to write in a notebook throughout the day, but I am moving more and more to electronic notes.

Our last Staff Spotlight, Alanna, wants to know:  What do you do to stay inspired professionally?
I like to take time every week to read something on new technology and share my learnings with my colleagues. I also enjoy talking technology with everyone I meet and learning what tools and applications they are using successfully.

What question should we ask our next Staff Spotlight?
Who has been your most influential mentor?