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.

 

 

Project Management Tools for Home and Work

project management

 

So many projects, so little time! A project is an “individual or collaborative effort that is planned with a specific aim.” Project management is the “discipline of planning and executing the work of a team to complete a goal.”

 

As Walt Disney said, “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.”

 

At home and work projects are everywhere. It all depends on your view of a project.  At home it can be an organizing project like garage organizing, a holiday project like Christmas or Hanukah, or a family event like a family reunion.  At work a project can be starting an email newsletter, marketing your product or service or doing your taxes.  If your end result takes more than 3 steps to accomplish, it’s a project.  While there are many free tools to use, these easy to use tools make it easy for you to work on and track your project.

 

Post it notes

We all love post it notes. It’s a great way to keep track of individual tasks for a project. Write each step on a separate note.  Post the notes in a time line with dates for daily or weekly accomplishments.  It’s fun to crumple them as you complete a task.

 

Trello

Trello is the digital equivalent of index cards. Set up your tasks and your timeline to accomplish your project. Capture ideas, track your progress and assign tasks to maximize your success.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud based document system. You install Dropbox on you and your collaborators devices and you can share.   What’s best about Dropbox is accessibility and portability. Whether it’s a document, spreadsheet or presentation, you can work together or alone and share your work.

 

Google apps

Many of us use gmail for our connections. Google offers a host of products to work together. Use Google calendar to drive dates for your project. Use Google docs for your collaborative documents and spreadsheets.  Work on the same document at the same time and see changes in real-time together.

 

Accessible tools make it easy to track and complete your project.  Take a few minutes to set up your tools to maximize their effectiveness and then get to work.

 

Check out this tech list for other tools for home and work.

 

 

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3 Easy to Use Small Business Tools

business organizing tools

It’s the little things that can cause the biggest snarls in business. When you are a small business owner, it’s hard at times to keep all the balls in the air. You have to work with clients, invoice and bill clients, run small errands and manage multiple projects.  These 3 easy to use business tools simplify and organize your business tasks.

 

Hours Keeper

Struggling with invoicing clients? Here’s an easy to use app that can track hours, add in extra services and send your client an invoice. It takes away the pain of invoicing later that day or later that month. You can email your client and yourself a copy of the paid invoice too.  It’s a small way to jump start an important task.

 

Task Rabbit

What do you need help with?  Assembling your new product? Shopping or delivery? Task Rabbit is available in 19 cities to help you with small tasks at a reasonable price.  Task Rabbit is “smart way to get things done by connecting you with others in your neighborhood.”

Trello

Managing multiple projects is how we maximize our time as small business owners. Trello gives us a visual way to keep everything running smoothly.  This free software is available on all devices to help you use it at the office and on the go.  Trello consists of a board with a list of lists.  You can create cards as  your project progresses and move the cards as you accomplish tasks.  It’s great to use with a team too.

business apps and tools

There’s more tech and apps that can help, depending on your small business needs.  Start small with tech that caters to a specific need.

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!

ADHD Apps and Tools

adhd apps and tools

 

Technology can make home, work and life easier to manage.  There’s happy apps and tools to keep you from being overwhelmed with paper, feeling anxious about time management, and taking care of yourself.  It’s especially helpful to have easy ways to keep notes, be financially savvy, keep up with dates, and manage time better.  Check out these simple to use apps in different categories.

To keep a note

Evernote is the most popular of all apps to keep information.  Create “notebooks” to categorize your information and “tag” it to find it later.

More than a list, Toodledo is the place to write notes, customize lists, and create recurring events.

Love paper?  There’s nothing better than the Arc notebook available at Staples. The unusual, customizable design makes this the place to write notes, organize your thoughts, or keep a list. It’s available in sizes and designs that make you smile too.

 

The most important part of writing stuff down is that you no longer have to take energy from doing a project to remember other stuff. 

 

To keep a budget

Mint helps you pull all your financial information together. It helps you create a budget and know how you are spending your money.

EveryDollar is a free budget tool recommended by Dave Ramsey.

Getting in touch with your money is a very powerful feeling.

 

To keep dates

BlueSky Week at a glance calendars help you organized your year. A week at a glance view creates a streamlined week to plan and execute what needs to be done.

Planner pad calendar consolidates your lists and your appointments. You can categorize lists, prioritize tasks and pull together details of your life.

Cozi is a simple, effective online tools for calendars and tasks. Manage tasks, keep appointments, and create a calendar that brings everything and everyone together.

Having a trusted tool for dates makes it easy to keep from double booking or feeling stressed to remember dates.

To keep information

Dropbox  is a service that keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.  It’s the best way to work on information on different devices at different locations. It’s also a great way to share photos with family and friends or collaborate on a project with colleagues.

Google Docs is an easy way to share documents, spreadsheets and other information on multiple devices and with others.  Part of google, it’s powerful enough to keep information backed up too while collaborating with others.

Never feel like you have lost a file again!

To manage time

TimeTimer is for everyone who wants to manage time better.  It shows the passage of time and helps you assess how much time you have to complete a task. It helps you get tasks complete.

Analog clock or watch is easier for our brain to connect to the movement and duration of time.

Time is on your side when you manage time.

 

To maintain wellness

Fitbit tracks your activities, sleep and weight to help keep you accountable.  How much you rest and how much you exercise are contributing factors in wellness.  There are wrist and body fitbits for your needs.

Pandora is your personal radio where you set stations.  If you are motivated by music to get things done, you will enjoy having different stations for different types of activities including organizing!

Wellness is key to all of our lives.

 

adhd apps and tools

 

What apps do you use? I have my own list of favorites, as well as student apps and financial apps.   I’d love to learn what works for you!  These ADHD apps and tools make the most of using technology wisely and help us all live well.

6 Tech Tips for Holiday Organizing

tech tools for holiday organizing

 

Holidays can be merrier with by adding some tech help.  It’s these little ways to add organizing using your computer, tablet or smart phone.  Technology can help you with holiday organizing like lists, recipes, coupons and more.

 

Evernote for Christmas lists

Make it easy to keep all your lists with you all the time with Evernote.  You can add an item after each purchase, match up your purchases with those you are giving to, and keep up with what you gave last year.

 

Pinterest for holiday recipes

No need to keep paper recipes again! Search pinterest with the ingredients and you find all sorts of recipes for holiday baking and entertaining.

 

Genius scan or DocScan to scan and print receipts

Having trouble keeping up with holiday receipts?  Not sure where to keep your receipts? It’s easy with these apps. You can store them on your smart phone and in the cloud.  It’s easy to make returns this way too.

 

Bank app for keeping up your budget

Your bank app helps you stay on track for your holiday budget.  You can access funds, make deposits, and see where money has been spent.  It’s great to keep up to date with what you spend each day for gifts, entertaining and decorations.

Pandora for holiday music

I love Pandora! It gives you instant, free access to all the genres of the holidays. Download this on your smart phone or computer to enjoy holiday themes like holiday traditional, holiday country, or Today’s Christmas.

 

ShopSavvy or Amazon app to check prices

Want to be sure you are getting the  best deal? ShopSavvy and Amazon compare prices so you can check what the lowest price for your item is.

 

holiday tech apps

 

More holiday apps of all sorts!

What are your favorite holiday apps?

 

More holiday fun on Pinterest Happy Holidays!

 

 

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.

 

 

Technology and Online School Access

technology and online school access

 

Schools are updating technology and requiring all families to have online access.  It’s quite a transition for both the schools and for families.  It takes just a little bit to be more tech savvy but it’s here to stay.  Get up to speed this fall with online school access technology.

 

Technology for online access

Now is the time for you to get started. It takes about 30 minutes.  Log onto your school district website and you will find the information you need.  Most of the school districts have a video on their website to help you get started.  It will require for you to be the guardian and have an email address.  Once you create the account, you must register through the home access account with your home address.  Just like other accounts, you will have a password and security questions.  (If this does not go smoothly, there is a Frequently Asked Questions section.  Also, it may be because you need to use a different internet browser. )

 

Technology tools and Your Weekly Update

Having all this information is amazing, but often it takes work to bring it all together.   Your school offers an online newsletter. Your child’s classroom teacher sends out a weekly update.  These are sent on different dates.  What’s a parent to do? It requires weekly planning time.  Setting aside a time once a week to review all the information sent and then consolidated on your personal planner.

 

If your kids are online, create access for them to a family google or cozi calendar.  They can update from their computer or smartphone as they learn about new activities.  They can set reminders and alarms for themselves too.  Having everyone online together helps share the responsibility of activities.

 

 

More ideas on weekly planning, family calendars and tech tools! Join my newsletter here.

 

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.

 

Join my newsletter for more ideas on productivity and your small biz.

Small Business Computer Clean Up

small business computer

Our small businesses require 24/7 computer access.  There’s nothing more troubling than computer challenges.  Check out these tips in collaboration with Lisa Margetis. She is sharing about keeping your computer cleaned up and ready at all times.

 

What’s the best way to get started “cleaning up your computer” for a small business?

The best way to start getting business files organized is to create and implement a style of folder organization that is easy-to-follow for both you and your employees. If you can create an accompanying training guide as well, this will be very helpful in keeping all of your organization’s files consistent across the company. It’s also important to enable network sharing settings for employees who may need to access files that don’t live on their hard drive. However, an alternative option would be to use a collaborative document system that lives in the cloud (such as Google Drive) so that all employees can access any documents at any time from anywhere. Google Drive is great because it also allows you to share documents with individuals both inside and outside of your organization at your discretion.

What steps do you take to organize information on your computer?

Personally, I use an organization system that organizes by project I am working on. For example, when creating this calendar, I have my files organized with the prefix CCC (for Clean Computer Calendar) followed by a bar symbol (|) and then whatever the document is about. Some example file names are: ‘CCC | Calendar Draft’, ‘CCC | Calendar Copy FINAL’, ‘CCC | Finished JPG’, etc. This way, all items from a given project are grouped together which makes it easier to find items in the long run. I often create a folder for a given project once it is complete so that my ‘Documents’ folder only contains items that I am currently working on. Likely in a few months’ time I will create a folder labeled “Clean Computer Calendar” and put all of my items labeled with ‘CCC’ into it. My folder system words so that it would be located in Documents>Projects>Clean Computer Calendar. I try to use a system that any coworker could understand if they were looking for something on my computer.

 

What’s one thing that all small business owners should do to maintain security on their computer?

The best way to maintain security is to do two things.
• Make sure to always be updating your system, as well as any antivirus or firewall software you have installed. Although it can be tedious and annoying when an alert pops up that your computer needs updating, it is extremely important to take the time to install these updates, as they are often being released to help combat some sort of security feature that will help protect your system.
• Make sure to use unique passwords and update them regularly. Personally, I try to rotate my passwords every two months. Again, this probably seems tedious and annoying, but it helps safeguard your system. It’s important to note that these passwords shouldn’t just change incrementally (ex: ilovemydog1, ilovemydog2, ilovemydog3, etc.) and instead are completely different each time they are changed (ex: ilovemydog1, catsrule23, mynameislisa14, etc). If you can avoid using dictionary words, that’s even better, as the more difficult you make your password, the less likely it is that a robot could crack the code.

What suggestions do you have for backing up computers for small business?

It is so important in today’s technology age to be backing up all the time and in different locations. For small businesses, I would definitely recommend backing up to a dedicated cloud server for your business, and doing so in a location that isn’t close to where you are headquartered. This is called co-location, which is the practice of backing up your data in multiple locations. This way, if a disaster happens (fire, flood, etc.) at your headquarters, your data is safely housed somewhere else. It also helps with business downtime, so that if your hosting company is affected you can still access files and your site can still run off of its backup servers located elsewhere.

Use this month calendar to get the job done.

 

Clean_Computer_Cal

Great tips from Lisa!