One of the requirements that will seem inconvenient to you at first is maintaining your telephone log. Each secretary has her own.
When the phone rings, pick up your pen and write the client’s name. Many calls won’t take more than this: If the client wants to make an appointment, check on a statement, etc. Just leave the note blank after this and do what needs to be done. Some calls, however, will require a follow up: a statement that you need to check, a not to call someone, etc. Get all the information written down! It’s best to highlight or cross off any call that you have physically completed.
One to two times per month this log will be invaluable. When you finish each day, look through the log to make sure you’ve accomplished everything you told people you would do. This also serves as a log of what was said. Every once in awhile someone will call and ask you why you didn’t do something. This log will prevent most of these confrontations! “Mrs. Boring, I have notes here on January 3rd and January 4th that I tried to contact you, but you weren’t home. I left messages on your answering machine both times.”
Remember, get used to picking up the phone and your pen and starting to write in the notebook all at one time. Make sure you make note of all attempted calls also, and the reason for the call. If you don’t’ get through, you can make a note to the side. This will help to remind you to try again later.