Effectively Organizing Your Small Biz Team

small business organizing



Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ~Vince Lombardi


The best businesses practices include team work.  You and your colleagues work together for the best possible outcome in revenue generation and efficiency for keeping costs low. Not surprisingly, 96% of executives cite lack of collaboration and ineffective communications for workplace failures (Salesforce).  It’s about how well you do your job and how you enhance the efforts of your colleagues that is the best of a team effort.  Effectively organizing your small business team includes strategies for communication, delegation, and  collaboration.



Team work relies on clear communication between you and your colleagues.  There are many ways to communicate with your team.  What’s most important is to keep the lines of communication open. Be open to all collaborator’s ideas and truly listen to all team members.   Set expectations for communication in the beginning by establishing email, meeting and phone protocols.  These protocols include who to “cc” in an email, what responses to expect during a meeting, and when a phone call is required.  Setting deadlines enhances communication.  Everyone knows what the next step is and when it is to be completed.  Ask for input from colleagues for communication methods and deadlines and they will be more buy in as a result.


Delegation is not only turning tasks over to others. It’s a way of getting more done efficiently and effectively for a team.  Delegation is a learned skill.  For some colleagues it’s more natural than others to ask for help, delegate or find resources for a team.  Delegate by knowing the strengths of your colleagues.  It could be a technology skill, a great researcher or another quality that makes your colleague stand out.  Remember that you are not looking for a colleague who does this work just like you or one to do the work “perfectly.”  Give clear instructions with a note to check in at a specific point.




Collaboration is more than just working alongside a colleague. It’s engaging colleagues’ minds together to work in a trusting, goal driven environment.  True collaborators feel they have contributed to the greater whole with a whole hearted enthusiasm.  Leadership sets the tone for collaboration with a clear process for working together.



Useful tools

Collaboration and delegation are easily accomplished using technology tools.  Free apps including Trello and Asana promote both by assigning tasks and deadlines to each team member.  Trello is a list of lists where attachments from dropbox and google drive can be integrated.  In Asana, tasks are recorded and assigned, with a deadline.  Collaborators can view your completion of tasks. Check out more useful Small Business tools here!


What’s most exciting about small biz team work is the outstanding outcomes.  When more colleagues tap into the powers of team work, there’s more energy, enthusiasm, positivity and income.


More ideas here!  Pinterest Small Business Organization!

5 Tips for ADHD Productivity

5 Tips for ADHD Productivity



Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. ~~Paul J. Meyer

Trouble getting started or knowing when to finish up? Easily distracted while working? Easy to do the short term projects but long term projects don’t get started? All these challenges can be part of ADHD. Planning or focus may not be the greatest strength for ADHD, however there are ways to be more productive at work and home.



Tracking and Reminders

Start with trusted tools to be productive. Use a planner that works with your strengths, whether that’s a paper planner or a digital tool. If you are highly visual, a paper planner is most helpful. If you love technology, a digital planner makes a difference. Track all dates and deadlines for both home and work. Add in reminders that are both visual (dry erase board on the wall or large sticky notes) and auditory (alarms or timer) to help you stay on track. These reminders can be to help you know where you start, where you were interrupted or what is most important to tackle that day. A kitchen timer, Any.do app, or the reminder app on your phone can be ways to stay on track. A single notebook keeps all your tasks together in a single place to find these. Track your 5 most important tasks and check them off at the end of the day. Simple tracking and reminders consolidate this information.


Chunk your day and your projects

Long term projects can get lost in the shuffle. A long day without structure can be unproductive. Break your day and your projects into manageable pieces either one hour in time slots or smaller sections of the project. Smaller sections can be just one step forward in a project or several small steps that coordinate together. Structuring your day into parts keeps you from being overwhelmed and less efficient. A typical day can include a morning, early afternoon and late afternoon time frame for work periods. Add in your morning and evening routines at home and you are set up for success.




Collaboration is the key to success. Working with a partner adds interest and accountability. The interaction and engagement with a partner brings energy to every project. Choose a partner who has different skills and abilities to bring about productivity. Your partner can keep you on track with weekly or bi-weekly deadlines to finish a project on time. The most positive partnerships engage and empower you in your work.



The most effective plans and projects include meetings for accountability and a time line. Just like when we invite company over, we are faced with an imminent deadline. With deadlines, you will complete tasks and projects timely by that extra surge of energy. Coordination brings this all into being.



Work from your strengths

Your strengths could be creativity, tech savviness, working well with others, and any number of skills and abilities. If you are unsure of your strengths, ask a colleague to reflect these back to you. Create a plan that includes these strengths. Use your strengths by choosing work aligned with these and not dwelling in negativity. Find ways to bring out your strengths in your work as well by choosing parts of the project that engage your strengths.

Get started today! You may be flip flopping between multiple planners. Just choose one and use it for 2 months and assess. It can be difficult to approach your colleagues to get started collaborating and coordinating. However, this difficult step can lead to a rewarding effort that is well worth the effort. Reach out today to start your most productive year ever.


Check out more tips on ADHD here on Ellen’s Blog ADD!


Getting Prepared and Organized in Case of an Emergency

organizing in case of emergency



Disasters happen across the US and throughout the year resulting in property damage, injuries and stress. There are some tasks that you can do to keep yourself organized during these potentially high stress situations.  Getting prepared and organized in case of an emergency makes everyone feel in control and as ready as possible.


Create a Kit

Include items like water, canned foods, a can opener and blankets. These are the basic necessities that can support you in case you are stranded or without power. If anyone in your family, including your pets, requires medication, make sure to grab this medication prior to exiting your home. Additional items like batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit and wet wipes can come in handy. Consult ready.gov for a checklist.


An Evacuation Plan

One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with disasters is knowing where your family members are located and how to get to them. If everyone is in the same house, write down a plan to leave the home and get to safety. If family members are at school, work or running errands, determine what meeting place will be the central location and how to evacuate the area. It is good practice to document these processes and review them periodically.


Get Digitally Prepared

With the use of mobile phones, computers, tablets and other technology, there are a number of ways to protect your family during an extreme situation. Make an investment in back up chargers for these devices. Using cloud technology, identify pertinent documents and take photos of all your belongings and upload this information into a solution that can support photos and documents. Safely storing your information in the cloud can protect in case your home is no longer standing after a tragedy.

Get Your Home Prepared

With some effort, making enhancements around the home can help protect your home a little better during disasters. Add boards to windows and move outdoor furniture in or out of the line of the house when a hurricane warnings are issued. Trim back trees and shrubs when heavy winds and potential wild fires are expected. Invest in a generator if you are prone to a lot of storms which take out the power regularly.

These helpful tips can help make a difference during high stress situations. It is good to practice emergency preparedness when an emergency is not present to get in the habit when the unexpected happens.



Home Zada


Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home management and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, and preparedness.

Favorite Travel Organizing Products

travel organizing



Travel  today is a bit more like stage coach travel in the wild west.  You have to be prepared for anything and everything.  You may not leave or arrive on time and there’s always weather to work around.  Being organized makes travel easier.


More of us are trying to be well prepared and hassle free by carrying on our luggage  With all the regulations on what we can carry on, it’s great to have organizing products that make it easy to consolidate what you need.    Here are my favorites for my carry on bags.


travel organizing

My Travel Tubes


Toiletries organizer

With TSA requirements, liquids need a great leak proof container.   These refillable bottles travel pack  has a zipper case to keep it together in my carry on.  This makes it easy to pull out for going through the security line.  I include my hair products, face wash and other liquids I use when I travel.




Hanging Make Up Bag

Hanging Make Up Bag


Make up and Medicine organizer

For make  up and medicines, this organizing product helps you consolidate and categorize.  Two clear zipper pockets hold my make up and the zipper case holds my medicine.  A top hook helps you hang it at your destination.  It folds into a small clutch size in your carry on.




Cocoon Grid It for Electronics

Cocoon Grid It for Electronics


Electronics organizer

With all our cords and chargers for multiple devices, we need an a travel organizing product.  The Cocoon Grid It has rubberized straps to hold cords, flash drives and other accessories in place.   It zips up for easy storage.



travel organizing products

Ebags 3 Medium Packing Cubes

Clothes, lingerie and swim organizer

Think of your carry on luggage as a big open slot.  Things slide around in there!  Packing cubes consolidate and categorize your clothes, lingerie and swim wear.  Cubes keep clothes neatly folded and ready to go when you arrive.



travel organizing

Mini charger


Communication organizer

Travel plans seldom follow Plan A.  We want to stay in touch when Plan B happens.  Having a mini charger for your devices ensures that you are always connected by your devices.  Be sure to charge this ahead of time so it’s ready to use.


Travel organizing product tips

  • These travel organizing products are available at local big box stores, online at Amazon.com or ContainerStore.com.  Purchase these well ahead of your travel date to be sure they arrive on time.
  • Spend a few minutes the week before you travel setting up your travel products so you are ready to go. Pack your bag to be sure they are fit properly in your current carry on.
  • When you return home, reset with all products needed.  Store these in your carry on and you are ready for your next trip.



 Wishing you a fabulous and organized time on holiday!




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Making the Most of Summer with Summer Organizing

summer organizing


All the signs point to summer time is here!  Our weather is warmer. Pool season has started.  Days are longer.  There are lots of ways to celebrate the arrival of fun in the sun.  Summer organizing helps you make the most of summer fun.



Start off the season organized!

  • Switch out your seasonal clothes.  It’s time to release those winter items that were not worn in the last few years.   Move your summer items into your primary closet and organize them in a way that work for you, whether its by color, sleeve length or set.  Use a bin for flip flops and organize your shoes so you can see them best.
  • Replace your winter linens with summer light weight cottons.  Swapping to lighter weight linens gives you the opportunity to clean your bed covers.  Eliminate extra decorative bed pillows and freshen up the look of your bedroom.
  • Give your pantry the once over.  During winter we cook differently.  Think of fresh new menus and ways you can start a new plan for eating.  Mark your calendar for your grocery runs that will include fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Set up outside areas.  Scrub down the patio or have it power washed.  Freshen up outdoor seating cushions and furniture.  Add in patio lighting, candles or lanterns.   Create a pool toy play bin to corral balls and floats.  Be ready for outside fun with storage designed for outside toys.
  • Get your activity bags ready to go.  Create travel or activity bags for you and your kids.  Your bag can include chargers, reading material, sunscreen, bug spray and other goodies while you watch your kids at swim team.  Your kids’ bags include whatever they need for an activity. Have one bag per activity so everything is ready to walk out the door.
  • Pick a single flower from your garden or pick up a small fragrant herb from the store.  Bringing in the smell of the outdoors is a great pick me up in the summer.


Work Life Balance

Start off summer with a plan.

  • Host a family meeting focusing on vacations, camps and time at home. Write your family’s plans on your family calendar so everyone is in the know.  Add in preparation times, when you will be packing and unpacking.  Make a list of what you need to purchase to be prepared for your outings.
  • Discuss what family time routines will be maintained or added this summer.  A little structure goes a long way during the summer.  What will be added responsibilities? What time will bedtime be?  What are ways to keep up with reading and math? Having these conversations now set the stage for summer success.  Once decided,  create a chart or online reminder system to keep your family on target.
  • Scout out additional resources for summer supervision.  Are there neighborhood teens, additional baby sitters or ways to add time with grand parents that can help you in a pinch?  You will be ready for extended meetings or other delays just in case.
  • Check out new collaboration tools that you can use to work at home.  Dropbox offers you access to your files at work from any device.  With Skype you can have a face to face conversation using your device.  LastPass keeps all your passwords accessible and organized from anywhere.  Join.me allows for screen sharing.  Evernote keeps you organized with your lists.  Just one of these tools could be a bonus for your productivity this summer.
  • Take time for real vacation and create real rejuvenation time.  According to The Energy Project,  59% of of workers are physically depleted, emotionally drained, mentally distracted, and lacking in meaning because they need time away from work.  If you are away, post an auto-response giving a heads up.  If you check email while away, keep it to a minimum.  Create space for what you love to do this summer.  Read some of the magazines or books poolside that you have collected all year.  Enjoy time for a pedicure,  exercise or cooking.  Summer is our time to play!


Best of all these summer organizing projects can be chunked down to one hour time slots.  You can enjoy the day and not be bogged down all day with organizing.  Make this your best summer ever with your summer organizing.


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Best Mother’s Day Gifts (What Mom Really Wants)

Mother's Day

Give Mom the gift she wants most.   Moms don’t want expensive jewelry, a new Dyson vacuum cleaner, fancy perfumes or other stuff.  What they really want is help around the house.  There are lots of small ways to give these gifts to your mom this week for Mother’s Day or throughout the year. What’s the best Mother’s Day gifts?  It’s the gift of service and appreciation.


Give the gift of dinner.

Mom could use some help grocery shopping.  Use the OurGroceries app to share the grocery list or simply take a photo of the list on the refrigerator.   Make dinner for Mother’s Day and add in a once a week drop off. Make a weekly date to head to the grocery store with Mom including a latte and laughter.


Give the gift of extra hands and help

Moms are often left alone to do dishes, laundry and house cleaning.  In most families individuals do their own laundry.  Give mom the gift of help by not only doing your laundry, but doing other family members laundry. It’s not only putting it in the washer and dryer, but putting it away in the drawers or hanging. Moms love to see your and their own clothes neatly hung and folded.  Work together as a team and chat with Mom while partnering to do the dishes, load or unload the dishwasher, or do a little cleaning around the house.


Give the gift of serenity.

Most moms don’t like to nag every day about putting your things away. Give mom the gift of serenity by having a nightly reset time to things are put away. Your reset can include picking up around the house, getting ready for the next day, charging your technology in a common space, or picking out clothes for tomorrow.  Prevent nagging by setting the alarm on your phone to remind you to do this responsibility.


Give the gift of appreciation.

Moms love to know that they are appreciated.  A simple text, phone call or card on Mother’s Day and any other day of the year makes a Mom’s day! Moms put a lot of energy into their work.  It’s not always  acknowledged.  Your mom will know she made a difference with a small note of appreciation.  It’s powerful for your mom to hear, “yes, you’re right Mom!”


I wish all the moms, aunties, stepmoms and other non-Moms a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Hugs and happy organizing Office Organizing

office organizing


Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s office.


Office desks become overwhelming with scraps, notes, and more. It’s hard to find the time to organize at work. Why organize when every day is chaotic?


There are simple steps to organize your office space.   Refresh your desk every evening and do a major overhaul monthly to keep productive in this space.


  • Decide what’s most important and what you use daily. These tools are the only items that remain on the desk top.
  • Set up a command center for actionable tasks and current projects.
  • Decide on what works best for you for a task list and consolidate all  your post it notes there.
  • Establish a reference area in a desk drawer or corner of your desk.  Keep what you refer to often in a notebook with inserts on the desk or a hanging file in your drawer.
  • Take home extra items that belong at home, such as extra pairs of shoes, books or personal items.
  • Keep a drawer with personal items such as lotion, snacks or hand sanitizer.


Check out these small biz ideas!