Happy Fall Y’All! 5 Tips for Fall Organizing

5 tips for fall organizing

 

Sad to see summer go?  Tired of the heat? Happy for the change of seasons? Looking forward to that first fall day? It’s that transition time, mostly known as Indian Summer, where we welcome fall.   Take advantage of this transition time by organizing at your home and office.  It’s time for fall organizing!

 

  • It’s time to start and end activities.  Put away your summer swim bag, the sunscreen and goggles.  Create a bag or notebook for kids’ school papers or new responsibilities like homeroom mom.   Right away you will have a spot for all those papers.

 

  • Freshen up your clothes.  Look through your closet and let go of clothes you did not wear this season.  Put them in a shopping bag and immediately drop these off at a donation location. Do the same for your kids clothes and get their drawers  in great shape for school time.   Everyone will be happier and less stressed getting ready in the morning.

 

  • Host your family meeting and go over family responsibilities at home. Perhaps chores got lax this summer or everyone wants to shift chores.  Take 15 minutes to write out your chore chart and place it where everyone sees it each day.  Include homework time in your chore chart daily.  Plan some end of summer fun and check in about upcoming Halloween plans for your family.

 

  • Set aside an hour to freshen up your office.  It takes just a few focused minutes to eliminate all the extra paper and other stuff that has accumulated this summer.  It could be shoes to take home, resources you no longer need or books to return to colleagues.  Taking just an hour to refresh your space helps you be more efficient and effective at your desk.

 

  • Think through your daily routines at home and work.   Start a new strategy for handling the biggest time takers, such as email and paper management.   Decide on a pattern for when and how long you will get these tasks done daily.  Getting a fresh perspective and a great routine helps you get these tasks done more easily.

 

The change of seasons helps us take advantage of refreshing our spaces.  It energizes our organizing!

 

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It’s Not About Having it All

Jean Chatsky It's Not about having it all

Going Paperless: Online resources

paperless resources

 

You don’t have to struggle with so many papers. In a recent survey by Neat, 57% of workers  reported frustration with paper and believed there are better paper management tools.  There are many online resources that help you start going paperless.  Computer  and smartphone apps make it easy to share documents, work from a common agenda, collect personal documents and keep receipts for taxes.  Check out these 8 resources for going paperless.

 

 

File this

Automating your paper management can resolve your paper challenges.  File this Fetch automatically collects, files, tags, and organizes your online documents, bills, and statements in an easy to use digital filing cabinet.  Each month it “fetches” your documents and loads onto your computer.

 

Shoeboxed

Remove paper clutter by scanning your receipts with the Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker. Simply snap a photo of each receipt with your phone’s camera and it will be digitized and uploaded to your Shoeboxed account.  Let go of receipts once these are digitized.

 

GeniusScan

Genius Scan is a camera-based document scanner for the iPhone. It enables you to quickly scan documents on the go and email the scans as JPEG or PDF with multiple pages.   Easy way to share documents with your colleagues, team members or other parents.

 

DocScan

Scan a picture with your smartphone camera. Export your documents to Dropbox, Evernote, Box.net, SkyDrive, WebDAV, and Google Docs to save them.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Upload this tool to your  computer and use it to save photos, files and folders.  Share information with colleagues, friends,  and family by sending a link. Share documents between your laptop and your desktop too.

If you have ever lost important files because of a hard drive failure or if you have forgotten an important presentation file because you couldn’t find your thumb drive, you know the importance of backups. Dropbox provides file-backup services for your desktop to deal with these scenarios by automatically backing up your files. It also grants online access to your files when you are away from your desktop.Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8261020_upload-dropbox.html
If you have ever lost important files because of a hard drive failure or if you have forgotten an important presentation file because you couldn’t find your thumb drive, you know the importance of backups. Dropbox provides file-backup services for your desktop to deal with these scenarios by automatically backing up your files. It also grants online access to your files when you are away from your desktop.Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8261020_upload-dropbox.html

 

Evernote

Create digital notebooks on your smartphone and computer.  Write notes to yourself, collect information from scraps of paper, or send notes to your clients.  Whatever paper you want to eliminate and whatever information you want to keep, Evernote can keep it for your digitally.

 

Google docs

Share files and information with your team. With Google Docs, a free service run through Gmail, you can work simultaneously with colleagues on a document or spreadsheet.  Create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere. Manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more all in one easy to use spot.  Google docs is great for virtual meetings and agendas too.

 

Neat Connect

NeatConnect scans paper into digital files and sends them straight to the cloud – without a computer. At home or at the office, NeatConnect uses the Neat Desk to scan receipts, tax documents, and other important papers.  Access these documents from wherever.

 

 

Choose one of these resources to help you get started going paperless! Not sure what to scan?  Check out this resource.

More ideas on paper management on my pinterest page Paper, Paper Everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tackle Your To Do List

To Do List

 

Is your To Do list endless? Do you have too much to do and not enough time? Tackling your To Do List doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few tips and tricks to knock out your list.

 

Start with a great way to make your list.

 

There is too much to remember to keep your list in your head. There are many ways to create your list. A small spiral notebook you can carry with you makes a great spot to record actions. You can use post it notes, writing one task on each note, and post them on a wall or window. Apps like Remember the Milk, ToodleDo and Wunderlist keep your list on your smart phone. Whatever your tool, writing and recording a list helps tackle your tasks.

 

Be specific on  your list.   Write in the one next step.  Like David Allen recommends, be sure your list includes actionable items. It’s the one next step that will move you forward on that project, rather than the project itself.

 

 

Prioritize what’s on your list.

 

Establish 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) each day. What’s most important may be a task with a deadline or the first step of a long term project. You may not be able to complete your entire list, but you have started on what’s vital.

 

 

Do the one most important task first.

 

Life is complicated and unreliable. Remember that quote about eating dessert first? The only thing you can count on conquering in a day is the task you do first. This also requires you to put aside email until after you have completed a task.

 

Stay focused with a timer.

 

Set your timer for 15 – 30 minutes and work on a single project at a time. Research shows multi -tasking diminishes our productivity. You will be surprised at how much you accomplish when working on a single task at a time. A timer can be used at home, at the office, with your family or on your own.

 

If you are feeling overwhelmed at home or at work, spend a few minutes making and prioritizing your To Do List. Starting your day with a plan makes all the difference in feeling effective and productive.

 

Join me on my Powerful Productivity pinterest board.  You’ll find lots of tricks, tips and tools for making your day more productive.

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Going Paperless: Eliminating paper

 

paperless

 

 

Have you decided that there is too much paper in your home or office?  Thinking about making a small change with paper in your home or office?

According to a survey by Esselte, “88% of those responding felt that technology has helped them get organized.”

Are you thinking about going paperless?  There are several small steps you can start.   Eliminating paper that comes into your home or office is a great first step.  Transitioning paper immediately into a digital format is a small step in eliminating paper too.

 

Eliminate catalogs with www.catalogchoice.org

  • Create a free account and select the catalogs you receive.
  • Manage unwanted mail, phone books, and more
  • Decline catalog mailings when you shop online

 

Eliminate manuals and instructions

  • Find information online by product name and appliance number
  • Check on youtube.com for a video
  • Scan instructions and save to Neat cloud (sponsored link)
  • Check out www.homezada.com for maintenance checklists

Eliminate paper with online accounts

  • Set up an account with your health care provider for online access to your explanation of benefits from your medical insurance.
  • Set up online banking for your checking, savings and investment accounts.  Save the PDF version in a Banking (by year) folder.

 

 Eliminate scraps of paper

  • Are there lots of post it notes, backs of envelopes and other bits of paper around?
  • Set up an Evernote account to record these.
  • You can even take a picture of the paper and tag it in Evernote.

 

Going paperless does not happen overnight. But with small, consistent strategies and tools you can have less and less paper!

 

 

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“It takes as much energy to wish as to plan”

organizing quotes

A Productive Day starts the Night before

productivity

 

As funny as it sounds, a productive day starts the night before. Why? Because mornings are crazy and people are cranky!  There’s no time when you accidentally get up late because you or your family hit snooze.  The key to productivity is setting yourself up for success the night before.

 

Make a list

What are essential tasks that need to be done for the next day?

  • Set out clothes
  • Pack drinks, snacks or lunch
  • Charge electronics

Make a check list for you and your family to be sure these are done at night.  Post the list where each person can see it, such as a bathroom mirror.  Your list can include a spot for check marks too so you are sure you completed each step.

 

Get ready early

Getting a great night’s rest starts by getting ready early.

  • Start your kids’ off at an earlier bath, story and bedtime and you will enjoy a few minutes of extra solitude.
  • Get in your jammies way ahead of time or no later than an hour before bed.
  • Plan on 7 – 8 hours of rest for everyone.

Set your alarm and you will be surprised at how great you feel the next day. Now is the time for you bedtime procrastinators to get great shut- eye.

 

Work as a team

Get buy in from your family with a family meeting. Talk about the value of a great night’s rest and working together to have a great day.

  • Kids can help pack lunches.
  • Have a laundry party to get everyone to take their clean clothes back to their rooms.
  • Make dinner super simple so there are no dishes.
  • No team? Use technology, automation and other delegation to help.  This can look like buying precut fruits and veggies, using reminders on your smart phone, or dropping your dry cleaning off each week on the same day.

 

Getting started the night before allows for the “oops” factor.  Some thing may go wrong in the morning. But you have it covered if you start the night before.

 

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Back To School Beyond the Basics Seminar

Back to School

Back to School 

Beyond the Basics

It’s Time for a Fresh Start to a New School Year!

 

 Go beyond basics… learn different approaches, using innovative tools and apps,
all designed to help your student succeed.

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OR

Thursday, September 23, 2014



$19.95

 

Register here!

 

 

Write Stuff Down to be Productive

productivity

The biggest lie I tell myself is

“I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

 

Remember when life was so simple we just had to remember one telephone number to chat with a colleague, family or friend.  Just 7 simple digits and we chatted directly.  Now we have 2 or 3 numbers per person to remember.  But we still think we can remember it all!

 

Write Stuff Down (WSD)

For me it’s always been natural to write stuff down.  Ever  since I can remember, I had a small notebook to write down details.  If it’s not so natural to you, there’s lots of reasons to start.  In the book, Write It Down,  Make it Happen, author Henriette Klauser notes that when you write down your goals and dreams, these become reality.  When my clients find old notes, they see that they have often finished tasks and accomplished goals.

 

More reasons to Write Stuff Down (WSD)

For many of us, writing  helps us embark on our work.  It helps clear the fog in your head.  It can help you process and break a task into smaller, manageable units.  Once written, you can prioritize and filter out the more essential tasks.  Michael Hyatt refers to writing stuff down as the “secret to accomplishing what matters most to you”.

 

Notepads, Apps and More

So now you are ready to start? Or maybe you already write stuff down, but on post its, envelopes and the back of paper plates.  Here are some great options for WSD to help you consolidate and organize your notes.

  • Evernote ~ commit to Evernote “notebooks” your thoughts, ideas, tasks and more
  • Arc ~ customizable notebook with removable pages
  • Office Candy ~ adorable, small notebooks

 

For each of these options, you can create a category and put your note where you will find it again too!

 

Now’s the time to give your brain a break and get started.  What option will work best for you?  What other apps or tools help  you write stuff down?

 

 

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Quick Start Back to School Routines

 

back to school

 

Your kids just got out of school and it is already time for Back To School.  It’s hard to get started, so I have created this series Quick Start Back to School to get everyone going!   The next post is about Back To School routines.

 

For many families the thought of Back to School routines strikes a negative chord.  For some families, they welcome back the thought of getting back into the structure of the school year.

 

Adding just a few times for routines makes a difference for all families.

 

Bedtime routines

 

Starting a week before school starts, inch back bedtime to just 3o minutes before school time bedtime.  Creating a consistent bedtime helps everyone get a better night’s sleep.  Start extra early to allow for conversation.  It may not be dark yet, so adding a soothing sound can help too.

 

Once school starts, have a routine that includes bath, reading and bed.  Eliminate all blue light devices at least an hour before bedtime.

 

Parents need a bedtime too during the school year. Be realistic about the amount of sleep you need.  Sleep procrastination for parents can be a real problem!

 

Homework routines

 

Homework should have a start and finish time.  Once your kids hit the door, have a snack and start by 4pm.  The early start means homework ends before dinner.  Use a timer to get your kids started and work in 15 or 20 minute intervals, with 5 minute breaks (known as the Pomodoro Technique) for best focus.

 

Homework ends when everything is tucked back in the backpack and by the landing strip.  This spot can be at the entry where you head to the car.  Your purse, laptop and any other items should be ready to go in the morning too.

 

Other family routines

 

Family meeting time is an important communication and team building time. It’s when everyone posts to the family calendar, talks about upcoming events and shares time together.  Be sure to decide when you will meet and you will truly be amazed at the benefits.

 

Grocery shopping makes it easier to prepare family meals, healthy snacks and lunches for school.  Set a weekly time to shop and decide on how you will create your list. A magnetic list is great and so is the app GroceryIQ.

 

If your family is struggling, create a check list on a dry erase board to help them keep on top of their responsibilities and routines.

 

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