I am an Organizer Coach now!

I am an organizer coach

I have always valued education because furthering my skills makes a difference for my clients.  My clients are the reason I continue to learn new ways to help them let go, streamline and keep their intentions daily in their lives. Completing my Coach Approach training is one way for me to empower my clients with their home, work and life goals.  I am an Organizer Coach who works one on one with clients to empower your change and goals.

 

For the past year, and several years before, I have been taking classes via phone, working on skills in small groups, and completing a curriculum to become an Organizer Coach.  My classes and reading have included learning about modalities, using new tools to help my clients such as a values and needs assessment, and learning more about ADHD, depression and anxiety. Throughout the year I have coached or been coached in 3 different small groups to practice my skills and learn what it is like to be coached.

 

How do these new skills help you, my client?

  • Are you stuck and can’t get started? Coaching supports awareness, action and learning.  Your new awareness will lead you into action.  Getting started and finishing up are often holding back my clients until we work together.  Learning comes from perspectives at your success.  Overall, coaching supports maintaining the change you have created.
  • Need a trusted coach to listen to you?  I believe in the strengths of my clients. You bring thoughts and ideas and my listening brings focus to our work. Your values, needs and strengths are all a part of our work together.
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed?  Your strengths are the foundation of organizing in your home, work and life. It’s easier to maintain the systems you establish by working from your strengths.
  • Do you struggle with ADHD or anxiety?  Brain based conditions, such as ADHD and anxiety, can impact your executive function and your goals. Our work together will move you forward as you create new awareness and learning.
  • Have you created support for your efforts?  Essential structures, such as self awareness, support and education are the baseline for your life.  Together we investigate how these essential structures support your organizing goals.

 

It’s been a busy year with training through Coach Approach, a coaching skills training program designed specifically for organizers.   I want to thank my trainers Denslow Brown and Cameron Gott, as well as my colleagues in training with me.

 

 

4 Organizing Routines for Small Business Entrepreneurs

smalll business routines

 

Being a small business owner typically means wearing many hats.  You are CEO, Marketing VP, Finance Director and worker!  It’s not surprising that organizing may be a lower priority, especially administrative tasks.  By having routines you are going to be more successful each day.  By creating organizing routines, your productivity and organizing will soar.  Here’s how small business organizing routines an help small business entrepreneurs.

 

Start the day with a mindful practice

If we start the day with a routine, we are going to get on track easier. It might be your morning spiritual moment, exercise, or eating protein,  a great morning routine makes you be on time for work, be your best when you arrive at work, be focused and put a positive spin on the day.

 

Assign a day for certain types of work

When you have a specific day of the week with a specific focus, you can get more done. Focus on your plan on the way you work best. It might be Financial Friday where you enter or download your Quickbooks.

 

Early to Work or Stay Late

Getting to work early or staying late often means uninterrupted work time.  By assigning a certain day of the week that you go in early or stay late,  you can make plans and be more productive. It may be the time you do your best thinking this way.

Closing ceremony

The end of your day sets the stage for tomorrow.  My colleague Janice Simon calls it the “closing ceremonies.”  Wrap up your day with notes to yourself for where you are leaving off or a reminder for tomorrow’s most important tasks.  Finish up with a zen like desk clearing and leave nothing on your desk. When you return, you will find clarity and motivation as you welcome the opportunity of a fresh start.

 

Your small business will thrive as you incorporate these routines.  Check out more tech tools and other here.

 

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How to Organize Digital Files

organize digital files

 

Our digital life includes documents, spreadsheets, PDF docs, and photos. Add in items that are saved in the cloud. You may be saving files to your desktop or keep files attached in your email.  All of a sudden we are digitally disorganized! Simple, electronic organization is a must when it comes to keeping our digital files organized.

 

Start with the big picture

Digital organizing is just like physical organizing.  Think about the big categories of digital files to organize.  The big category of files should reside on your PC, Macbook or cloud based filing system. Why? Because like with all organizing, consolidating is important.  You want one spot to look for all these files.

 

Backing up is a critical safety factor.   You can use your cloud based filing system with a strong password, an external hard drive, or a specific back up system like Carbonite.  Whichever you choose, be sure you are backing up regularly.

 

Organize digital files with broad categories

Digital and paper file systems have a lot in common. Starting with broad categories makes it easy to file and easy to know where to find information.

Home digital files include:

  • House and Auto
  • Financial
  • Personal
  • Work
  • Photos
  • Music

Office digital files include:

  • Clients
  • Resources
  • Vendors
  • Financials 20XX
  • Expenses

Think about what applies to your business as a big category.  You can also sort by year if that’s easier.  Choose categories that make sense to you and can be easily remembered. If not, you can also print your folder and file list for reference.

 

computer organizing

 

Create files within the folder

Create a file within the folder for more specific categories.  In your Home folder, it might be Jeep and Lexus are the file names. In the Financial folder, you can create files for Retirement Merrill Lynch, Utilities 20XX, or Banking Compass.  For your photos, you can create files by event like birthday, travel or year.

Organize digital files by consolidating

  • If you save to your desktop, you can copy/cut and paste into your new document folder you created.
  • If documents are in your email, open and save as to the new file.
  • If you are saving a photo, cut and paste into the new file.

 

Scanning to your files

  • It’s easiest to create the folder before you scan.  Then simply choose PDF and scan to the folder you need.
  • Remember, not EVERYTHING is scan worthy.
  • You don’t have to scan in previous documents. Start by going forward with scanning new documents and catch up later.

organize electronic files

Remember, keeping it simple makes it easier to file anything!

 

More tech organizing here!

3 Tools to Check Your Productivity

productivity

 

Having a great tool makes any job easier. When it comes to productivity, your tools help you become more aware of what you accomplish and help you staying focused. These are 3 of my favorites for both home and work.

 

RescueTime

RescueTime runs in the background of your computer all day every day.  It tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day as well as detailed reports.  The tools also permits you to block certain elements to be sure to stay on task.  RescueTime gives me an analytical view of how much time I spent on my computer on different projects.  With new perspectives comes changes in behavior.

 

StayFocsd

StayFocusd is  Google product that helps you configure your access to different websites and the internet in general.   It has a timer that helps you set amounts of time permitted online or on specific sites.  No more surfing the net or looking at social media rather than getting your work done on the computer.  It’s difficult to undo too!

 

Stickk

We all have goals, but some are much harder to achieve. That’s where Stickk comes in.  With commitment comes goal accomplishment.  Stickk has a commitment contract to help you acknowledge what it’ll take to accomplish it, and leverage the power of putting money on the line to turn that goal into a reality.  You can track your progress, post images  your journal and invite friends to commit to accountability.

 

 

These three tools are just some of the tech ways to help yourself be more productive. Not all of my tools are tech and some of my favorites are simple notebooks.  Whatever is your trusted tool, work with that.

 

What are your favorites?

 

 

Check out my pinterest page High Tech and Technically Organized.

 

 

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.

 

Communication

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

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

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!

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.

 

 Organizing

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.

 

More organizing ideas monthly! Join my email newsletter!

Small Business Technology and Organization

small business technology and organization

 

As a business owner, we all want to find simple technology improvements that can make life and work easier. We see the value in using technology to its fullest. We seek out new technology options. Not long ago, wireless technology was a thing of the future and now two-thirds of small businesses use it unfailingly. Just a few small tweaks to our small business technology helps us in a big way.

 

Do you take advantage of the cloud?

A major trend is the use of the cloud. Did you know that 92% of all small businesses have adopted one cloud based solution? Options like Google drive, Dropbox and Box are used to store and retrieve files. The ability to store, sync and retrieve files across many platforms is a simple, smart way to efficiently run a business.

 

Are you using a scanner?

Take this to the next level using a scanner. Think about using a cloud based solution combination like Neat Connect to scan and store documents. You are on the way to a paperless office. There are fewer hassles finding and filing important documents. There is less manual entry and more automation. You feel less stress about shuffling documents between co-workers.

Do you market with social media?

Social media sites like hootsuite and klout make it easy to reach your audience.  You can post to Facebook and twitter by scheduling your posts.  Klout recommends articles of interest to your audience.   Take your social media marketing to the next step using these tools.

 

What apps apply for your small biz?

Using programs and apps that are available on smart phone, tablet and computer make powerful use of technology . Apps like Evernote and Notes help us increase efficiency with task management. Using social media across platforms helps us leverage our marketing. Apps can help with simple small tasks too. Expense reports and taking payments can be easily managed with Expensify and Square. Neat combines the power of your desktop, your tablet, and your smartphone creating a system that helps with accounting, contacts and documents.  We all have favorite apps.  Add your’s below.

 

Finding the right combination of apps for your small business makes small business work more manageable. Seek out new technology with an eye for automation. Keep open to find solutions to challenges you are facing through finding solutions within technology improvements.

 

Ideas for your small biz on Pinterest.

 

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Organizing Tax Receipts and Papers

 

scanning tax receipts

 

It’s that time of year when tax papers flood in. It’s the last task we want to do! But it’s much easier if we are organized. Tax papers arrive throughout January, February and March depending on IRS requirements. Many expenses occur all year that are tax expenses and deductions. If you have struggled with organizing your tax receipts and keeping up with tax documents, here are two options for you.

Paper Organizing

Many people have a designated location that holds their tax documents. It can be an actual drawer, a file in their cabinet, or a box once the year is over. Throughout the year, various tax documents arrive and are stashed in this spot. It’s a habit cultivated over the years. It serves you well as you always know where your papers are. Once the files are accumulated, organize them into categories and total them, possibly with an excel spreadsheet so that you know general total.

 

Digital organizing

It’s the 21st century and scanning your tax papers is the way to go. Not only can you scan tax documents in all year, you can track and categorize them. You can share these files with your accountant by sharing access to Dropbox where your tax files can be located. Tax information is easily accessible when you need it. There are lots of choices for scanning, including your ipad, multi-function printer, Neat Desk or Fujitsu SnapScan.  Keeping your papers digitally means you will never lose them.

Tax time can be less stressful knowing where all the documents you need are. Get started organizing tax receipts today to make this year much easier.

Your Most Organized Year Ever

Your Most Organized Year Ever

Each year as we start the new year, we think of ways to make a change and improve our lives.  Did you know that organizing is one of the top three goals each year?  Throughout the month of January, I will be offering 31 tips to help you have Your Most Organized Year Ever.  Implement just one of these tips, tools, techniques or tweaks this year. 

 

A little structure helps us all in our work day.

 

Having a pattern to our work week can help us prioritize and focus.

 

What’s a “little” structure?

 

Structure or routines are creating a consistent pattern for specific tasks.  This pattern helps you be sure these tasks are completed regularly more easily.  Once your routines are in place these become habits.

 

When you add a “little structure”, such as doing a few things routinely at the same time regularly, it adds to your productivity.  Deciding a baby step to your structure, such as going to bed at the same time nightly, it adds to your overall effectiveness.

 

Not sure what would make a good routine for you?  Try out one of these routines:

  • Check email only 3 times a day
  • Have a one hour power period once a day at your peak energy time.
  • Complete your expense account on the last Friday of the month.

Start with a baby step of routine to make this Your Most Organized Year Ever.

 

More ideas on routines here.

 

A daily dose of organizing and productivity on Facebook

 

Organizing Business Contacts

organizing business contacts

 

At a networking event, during a business meeting, or even in the grocery store, we get business contacts.  The contact could be in a text, written on a napkin or copied on a post it.  There’s also that stack of business cards from years past too.  You want to easily store and access contacts for your business.  Organizing business contacts is a priority for your business.

 

Customer information and vendors are important contacts for all small businesses. When we meet with or receive a call from a potential client, it’s important to capture this information right away.  When we receive a recommendation for an outstanding vendor, we want to be able to keep this information until needed.

 

Quality contacts

There are lots of business cards we receive.   Not all are important to keep. Make a note and write the date on your cards so you remember the reason you found this contact valuable.  If its a recommended vendor, write the name of the person who recommended this service provider.  It will make it much easier to know which cards to keep.

 

A call or email from a client shows their high level of interest in doing business together.  Even if not ready right away to work together, you want to retain their contact information.  When a client contacts me, I record their name, cell phone, business phone, email and snail mail address on paper first.  As soon as possible I transfer this information to my smart phone and Outlook.  If I am contacted by email, I add this information with just a few clicks.  To me all clients who have contacted me directly are keepers.   It sometimes may require a little phone tag or 2 messages but we connect and set a plan in motion.

 

Database management

 

It’s important to choose one consolidated spot for your information.  There are lots of options, including Google, Outlook, Yahoo or a CRM (customer relationship management software.)  Your decision may depend on your tech savvy-ness and the number of contacts you have.

  • You can pair gmail and google docs for a CRM system.
  • You can sync your Outlook contact and email account with your smart phone to have consistent access to your contacts.  Remember to back up your Outlook regularly to keep up with your information.
  • Yahoo offers an online contact manager you can use to store all your contact information about individuals and companies. It’s cloud based so accessible anywhere.
  • Create an Excel spreadsheet with your contact’s snail mail address, email address, business phone and cell phone.
  • Download an iphone app or android app on your smart phone.

Start with a good foundation for your contacts, but also use a solution that can expand as your business grows.

 

Consolidating all the data

 

You may have realized that you have several different places for contacts. Think of baby steps you can use to consolidate the data.

  • Add contacts 10 at a time from business cards, other email address books, post it notes or other scraps of paper.
  • Search your inbox and use signature lines to add contacts.
  • Add clients and vendors one at a time as you are contacted by email.
  • Enter vendors at the time you receive their reference from the person recommending.
  • Use a NeatDesk (sponsored link) to add business cards quickly to your database.  It quickly scans and adds information.

 

 

Organized business contacts means more money for your business and less stress for you!  Take time this week to get started or keep organizing business contacts.

 

It’s time to think about going paperless!

 

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