How to set up and use Executive Assistant
In this document, we will show you how to set up Executive Assistant and a few tips on how to use it. The purpose of Executive Assistant is to ease the load of an executive who otherwise sits at his computer and just handles his emails and handles his emails and handles his emails. The Executive Assistant is a specific feature of TimeMaker that allows the boss to route all or only specific emails to his assistant and have her handle or propose handling for his approval.
Let’s see how to set it up. In our example, we will use Tomas as the Executive, the boss, and Aman as the assistant, the Executive Assistant.
1. In the Main Menu select the button “E-mail”.
2. In the Drop-down window choose the “TMMail Account” button.
3. A new window “TMmail Accounts Manager” opens.
4. Click on “Add Executive Assistance”.
5. A new window for the Executive Assistant appears, where you can set your EA by different criteria.
6. Add who your EA will be. If you wanted to have more EA’s you need to go back to step 4 and add more.
7. In section 1 activate this EA and define whether she should be getting all your emails (with some exception or only some specific emails – the latter option).
8. In the Default Response Time, field decides how fast you want the communication handled and when you want to be notified if the communication is not handled. For example, a regular email needs to be handled within one day but Tomas wants to be notified only the second day if the email is not handled, where any Rush email must be handled within an hour and Tomas would be notified after two hours upon receiving if the email is still not handled.
9. In the Default Handling Rights section, you can select how the EA can handle your emails. (1) Executive Assistant must reply as himself – any email that comes to the boss will be replied but the junior from his own email address. (2) Executive Assistant must reply as Senior – any email the EA gets he will reply as if the senior is replying. The email will be sent using the Senior’s email address. (3) Executive Assistant can reply as Senior or as himself – the EA can choose if he wants to reply as the senior or not. Again should he choose to reply as the Senior the email will be sent using the Senior’s email address. (4) Executive Assistant must suggest an answer to Senior – any email the EA gets must be handled as if the Senior was answering. But such emails cannot be just sent back to the email sender. Such emails go to the Senior. If the Senior accepts the suggestion then he can send the email. Should he demand different handling or editing the response the email goes back to the EA, who needs to make corrections and only then again send the suggested answer to the Senior.
Note that the Senior can define which email address his EA will use when answering his emails. This applies when the Senior has more than one email address otherwise the only email stays as default.
Also in this section Senior can allow deleting emails, which he believes are not important.
10. The last Filing Rules section allows setting up Filing system if needed. If this is not activated then all the handled emails automatically fall to Completed folder. Nevertheless, the EA can file emails to his own email structure or to the Senior’s, he can also delete emails.
11. Once you are set click on the “OK” button.
12. Now your Executive Assistant is set up so you can click on Close. If you needed to make any changes to the setting in the future just double click on the EA (in the red box) and the setting window will appear again, where you can make your modifications.
13. In both of the TimeMaker accounts, a new set of folders appear. The three subfolders work as workflow. Any new incoming email always appears on the Inbox for …. Once the EA suggests an answer the email is automatically filed in Pending for …. Any fully handled email gets automatically filed to Completed for … folder.
14. The Senior has also extra notification so he can see at a quick glance if the EA is handling his email or whether there is a delay. In our example, we can see Aman’s TimeMaker (the EA) and Tomas’s TimeMaker (the Senior), who has two EA’s active – one for Aman and another one for Sandi.
15. When a new email is sent to Tomas it automatically appears in Aman’s EA Inbox for Aman folder. Note that this email will not show up in the Overall Inbox as this email is meant for Tomas originally. All the emails stay in the Inbox.
17. Tomas can also view all these emails in the Inbox for Aman folder. If he would like to go and handle it, for now, he could do so. He has full power over the emails. Also in the three field indicator, it shows how many emails are sitting in the Inbox for Aman. The dark green shows a number of emails received that within the time frame to handle. The orange field shows that Aman was supposed to handle the email but she has not done so yet. The email is still not appearing in Tomas’s Inbox. The red box means that Aman has not handled that email yet and now it also appears in the Overall Inbox of Tomas.
18. Note that Aman has 2 red items, one orange Item and one black item in her Inbox for aman folder.
19. If we look at Tomas’s TimeMaker, you can see that the numbers are indicating there is one black email (number 1 in the green field), 1 email that was supposed to be handled but it was not sent to Tomas’s Overall Inbox (number 1 in the orange box) and 2 items that are overdue and they also appear in the Overall Inbox of the Senior (number 2 in the red box).
20. If you double click on the email the ribbons give you the status of the EA email and you can also switch to a tab that gives you more detailed report for this email handling.
21. Based on the setup Aman can now reply as Tomas, reply as herself or Suggest answer to Tomas.
22. One of the action for Aman to do is to Reply. In the Reply email Aman can write the answer and send the email as herself (from her own email address) or if the Senior granted her the rights she can reply to that email on behalf of Tomas. Note that either of the email address can be used – Aman’s or Tomas’s.
23. If the Senior doesn't want Aman to just reply or to reply on his behalf he can ask her to suggest an answer to him.
24. Once Aman clicks on “Suggest Answer” button a new window appears. In the upper part ( a green field in the picture below) Aman can write notes to Tomas. These notes will never appear in any of the future emails to the email user. In the lower part ( a light purple field in the picture below) Aman writes the answer she is suggesting to Tomas – how she would handle the email.
25. Then Aman sends the notes and the suggested answer by clicking either the top or bottom button “Send”.
26. The email is automatically re-filed to Pending for aman folder. The same applies for Tomas but he can also locate the Suggested Answer email in his Overall Inbox.
27. After Tomas reads the Suggested Answer together with the notes from Aman he has two options. If he likes the suggested answer he can accept it. If he doesn't like it he can reject it.
28. A new window appears where Tomas can again write his notes responding to Aman’s notes (upper part of the email) and he could if he wanted to edit the email to the customer himself. Tomas can do that but doesn't have to. He can easily just give instructions to Aman what to write and suggest a new answer. If he then hits Send button the email gets re-filed to the Inbox for aman folder again and Aman needs to handle it. Aman can see the whole history of the notes on the email.
29. In a case of rejected action, the icon changes.
30. If on the other hand, Tomas would like the answer suggested by Aman he could hit the “Accept & Edit” button instead of Reject. If he does so the email opens with Aman’s answer and Tomas can still edit, add or remove some parts or the text and send it.
31. The original email from the customer with the whole chain of notes between Aman and Tomas the automatically files to Completed for folder unless specific Filing Rules are set up.