Sometimes I feel like a super hero at my job. I get to fly in and save the day when ever there is CAD trouble, and it feels pretty darn good. Other times, I feel like the overworked super hero in this comic I read where Joe Citizen yells for help, and the super hero responds with "Take a number.".
I can have people stacked three deep most of the day, all with problems that only I can solve. The stress from the constant stream of emergencies sometimes made me a grumpy super hero. Like any good super hero, I have found that gadgets can go a long way to helping ease that stress. Here are some gadgets that may help you out.
CAD Man demands that you take a number.
Use a issue tracking software like Spiceworks to sort out 5 alarm fires from kittens stuck in trees. This will also help with the constant calls for help that you may get as you walk around the office. Organizing all the calls for help will ensure that the big fires get handled first and the things that can wait get handled too. It will also help you track trends. Those reoccurring items can be linked to an intern Blog site, where you can document changes in procedures and fixes to common problems. This means, you may only have to email a link to the solution of a common problem instead of making a personal appearance. Blogs are super easy to make and can be made confidential to your office or shared with the world. I use a lot of screen shots in my Blogs. I used to just use the print screen function and Windows Paint but I later convinced my boss to front a small amount of cash and buy a screen capture software called Snagit. It is the best for making professional looking screen captures. I have also made a series of CAD training videos for use in my offices for when people forget how to do a task that is standard, but doesn't happen everyday. For that I use Camtasia. It costs, but it's worth it and handling repeated questions and stream lining training.
There is probably a gadget for any issue you might be having as a CAD manager. The secret is to realize it and find something that can help. it's the old work smarter not harder thing. Often the little helper you need can be acquired for free, you just have to look around.
I hope to write a long article next on using the tools that come with AutoCAD for tracking licenses and pushing updates if I have an interest out there.