September 11, 2017
We are in the midst of weather chaos; Hurricanes and Wildfires causing massive destruction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by these tragedies. Disasters make us think about what is really important in life. If you lived in Houston would you have been prepared? I can definitely say that I am not fully prepared. Here is the short list: Do you have the proper insurance, do you have photos and other memorabilia saved in digital format, do you have vital records scanned and saved in a digital format, do you have a list of all of your insurance policies, credit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts and other important items saved digitally, is your hard drive backed up to the cloud, and do you have an inventory of your possessions; if you need to file an insurance claim? I can answer yes to some but not all of these questions. It's not just having them saved digitally but saving them in the cloud. If you have them saved on a Jump Drive and that is destroyed then it defeats the purpose.
I highly recommend saving photos and scanned copies of vital records to a cloud based account such as:
There are so many choices! How do you choose? Here is an article, The Best Cloud Storage and file-sharing services of 2017, by PC Digital Magazine that can help you decide. If you worry about your files being secure... well, there are no guarantees in life. Equifax was just hacked into; everything is a risk, doing nothing is a risk. Don't forget to back up your computer hard drive too. I use Carbonite and it backs up everything automatically.Here is an article about the best backup software to use. I may want to switch because Carbonite is not listed.
If you want to learn more about protecting your treasurers, Organize for Disaster, is available at Amazon. Disasters strike in many different forms. Don't keep telling yourself, "it won't happen to me," because it might.
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing
It’s hot outside, 90 degrees in Athens today. If you are spending more time indoors then why not spend it organizing? When is the last time you organized your address book (paper or digital), business cards, files (digital and paper), junk drawer, sock drawer, kitchen, craft area, photos, wrapping paper, book shelves, basement, attic, garage and much more?
A few years ago I challenged my Newsletter readers to organize 1 particular area of their home or office each month and I want to bring that back. Are you up for the challenge?
I challenge you to organize your address book(s) this month. All of your address books: paper and digital. You may have multiple books for different areas of your life:
Contacts in your address books need to be organized in a way where you can find the information you are looking for. As you can see in the list above it can get complicated quickly. I certainly can’t remember the names of every person I associate with or have done business with. It is imperative that I organize my address book in a logical manner for me. I no longer use a paper address book and I’m sure many of you do not either.
How to Organize an Address Book (paper and digital):
If you decide to play along and actually organize your address book this month….or in the next few months I would love to hear from you.
The Life Organizers Top 5 Organizing Tips
2. Passcodes in 1 Place
Do you use the same password for every account? Do you struggle to create passwords and struggle more to find them when you need them? Stop the insanity and come up with a system. Experts advise not to use the same password for every account. When you use a password manager program you only have to remember 1 password and the program creates very strong passwords and stores all of your passwords in a secure online vault. Here is an article with additional tips on passwords by Connect Safely.org.
If you hate digital use a notebook or the back of an address book or Rolodex to keep track of them.
3.. Inventory Digital Files
Do you store file folders in multiple places? Most people do. If you are searching for a file folder in Google Drive but it is saved in Dropbox you won’t be able to find it. Work on a plan to organize your digital file folders. I need to do this too. What program is working best for you? Use as few places as possible for storing files. Take the time to inventory what files or where. An Excel worksheet works great for this. Digital Clutter is a huge problem. This is a good article on how to protect and organize digital files.
4. Plan Ahead & Set Goals
Spend your time wisely, creating personal and business goals. Spending time evaluating what is going well, what can be improved upon, and what you should do in the future is vital. Some people spend their entire lives allowing life to dictate and navigate their future instead of personal intention and goals.
5. Just Do It! – Daily, Weekly, Quarterly and Annual Maintenance
Maintenance is not fun but it is necessary. What do I mean by maintenance? Putting things away in a designated place and creating places for things when they don’t exist. This procedure applies to file folders and practically everything else you use including tools, clothing…stuff! Just imagine if your digital files went to a To Be Filed box every time you used them. That is a very scary thought. Paper files often end up in a To Be Filed box, or even worse, they end up somewhere else entirely….the black hole. They need to be filed as soon as possible to keep clutter at bay.
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December 29 2016
Do you feel like you are always in a Hurry?
It's in our nature to always be in a hurry however, it can lead to big mistakes. I am definitely guilty of this. I want to squeeze every minute I can into my day. I want to be super productive but I make mistakes when I'm rushing, as do most people. My stress and anxiety levels rise. I also feel guilty when I rush because I know if I had planned better I probably would not be rushing around.
Here are a few things we can all do to slow down, feel better, be more productive, and make less overall mistakes.
Organize your life so you can live to the fullest.
Chief Executive Organizer
There are so many Apps! In June of 2014 Apple iTunes and Google both had 1.2 Million Apps according to Tech Crunch.com. That number is just a little overwhelming….. If you are the least bit intimidated by the vast majority of Apps…like me, you will appreciate this list.
This is a list of Professional Organizer Approved Apps. Apps can help us organize and keep track of so many things, such as, mileage, recipes, documents, maps, other people’s business cards, projects, schedules and so much more. Some of my favorites are Evernote, Drop Box, and Card Star.
If you are curious about Apps; I recommend going to iTunes or Google, type in a category in the search bar, and see what is available. Apps are easy to install and uninstall, so no harm done if you don't like it.
Edit, touchup, design and collage for photos.
Free Photo Editing, Drawing and Sharing with a Global Community.
Measure objects with your phone camera
They supply local people to help you move heavy furniture around your home or move into a new home.
Turn your phone into a portable document scanner. Scan docs, receipts, and notes into PDF.
Mileage and Expense Tracker
World’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app
This App tells you how much longer the rain is expected to last. Great for outdoor activities
Organize all of your store reward cards. Take photos of them and store in your phone then you can throw away all those little annoying cards.
The 5 Best Personal Assistant Apps to Help Organize Your Life:
Simple Solution Organizing
Simple Solution Organizing had a contest in August on our Facebook page. Would you like to connect with us on Facebook? Click here. We gave away 2 free hours of office organizing. Our lucky winner, Valerie, is LOVING her new office. Here are the photos -- they say it all.
Valerie, is ready to use her office as an office again. She will use it for her work as an Artist.
Transformed into a beautiful office
Does your office resemble this photo or maybe the before photo? Your office does not need a complete overhaul for Simple Solution Organizing to help you. We work with individuals and small businesses to increase efficiency and productivity. We begin this process through our comprehensive evaluation. Our consultation consists of reviewing your evaluation and current systems. Client's tell us, this exercise is extremely beneficial.
The evaluation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and an hour to review. The client fills out the evaluation on their own and we review it during our first appointment. Our session consists of brainstorming, goal setting and developing an individualized plan, including recommendations and solutions, to help you and your business streamline processes.
Here is a list of a few clients we have worked with: Heyward Allen Motor Company, Stanfield Air, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Keegan (now Raymond James), EO Studios, Connected Technologies, Athens Atlas Chiropractic Center, The Retreat Day Spa.
Siri can read your texts to you. Siri can send you an email or text (to remind you to do something). Siri can schedule appointments in your calendar, make phone calls for you. Help you find your way home or other places, and locate restaurants.
It's a good idea to learn more about the tools we use everyday....and paying a lot of money for. Here are a couple of articles to read Siri tricks and 10 Siri Tricks to make you more Productive.
I have definitely had problems with Siri but the more you use it the better it gets. When Siri pronounces a name wrong you can correct it. There is trial and error and best to practice using it in your home, not while your driving. That could be a prescription for Road Rage.
Technology the more we research our tools the better.
Below are tips from Mike Song the author of The Hamster Revolution.
This is a great book about managing email. Read my article and implement some of the book's suggestions today.
We love our email and we hate our email. I definitely fall into this category. Sometimes, I feel anxiety flowing in as my in box fills up. Here are some tips that can help us all get a handle on our email. Let me know if you would like assistance implementing these tips.
I help clients find homes for all of their stuff. For some people, creating or finding homes for items is innate; but for others it’s a daunting overwhelming task. The more stuff you own, the more places you have to create.
I recently met with a client that wanted her basement decluttered. However, she and her husband enjoy collecting things. It’s fine to collect things when you have room for them and it does not take over your space. It’s easy for me to say this and live this principle because I hate clutter. When you are a person that loves finding deals, frequenting Garage and Estate Sales, and collecting items it is extremely difficult to stop the hunt.
Do you love collectibles more than your space? There comes a point when 'collectors' have to decide what is more important. A life they envision: a decluttered beautiful home where they entertain friends and family, or a home filled with collections that prohibit them from enjoying their lives to the fullest.
When it comes to living a clutter-free life; you are in charge. However, your decisions have a profound impact on your family. I have many clients that hire me with children who tell me “I do not want my kids to grow up and live the way I do.” I often see children’s rooms emulating the rest of their house.
I am writing about 2 very different things: 1 finding a home for all of your stuff (reasonable amount that fits in your home) and/or 2 determining and accepting the hard truth that you have too much stuff and it has taken over your home or is in process. In the next few months I will share several options for 'homes' for all of your stuff in my future blogs.
I would like to help you find a home for all of your stuff. Call or email me today.
Would you like a little inspiration? Check out the photos of my basement below.
Have you ever heard someone say, "My Supper Club group is meeting this weekend" and thought...that sounds like so much fun. I wish I were in a Supper Club. I hear this a lot from friends and acquaintances.
Supper Club is an important part of my family’s life. I have participated in various Supper Clubs for 19 years. The people, location, and “rules” have evolved but the sole purpose has never changed: spending quality time with friends on a regular basis. It all started when a good friend, Sharla, in Gulf Breeze, Florida suggested we start a girl’s and kids Thursday night get together at her home. Sharla had the nicest house of the bunch; it was very conducive to FUN! She had a beautiful swimming pool connected to her living room via a wall of sliding glass doors. We socialized, with cocktails in hand, while our young kids burned off energy swimming and playing. It was a welcome release for all of us. My friend’s and I talked about our week: the good, bad, and the ugly. Each week we rotated bringing an entrée and on occasion our husband’s would join us and other friends. We looked forward to it week after week. Lives change through the years and eventually our Supper Club fizzled out. We continued to get together sporadically; however, it was never quite as special.
My family moved from Florida to Georgia in the summer of 2003. Some of our neighbors invited us into their Neighborhood Supper Club in Athens, Georgia. Again, lives changed, people moved and eventually that Supper Club dissolved. A few of the original families are still getting together, month after month. These families are so special to us. Our kids have grown up together through our Supper Club gatherings. Our kids attend different schools and live in different neighborhoods but they are very good friends. Our kids look forward to Supper Club and often ask their parents, “When is Supper Club?” That really warms our hearts. Our last Supper Club, to date, was October 2014 and my family hosted. I had hurt my back in a Kick Box class the day before. I was in a lot of pain and considered cancelling but my son, Connor (11 years old), begged me not to. I am so glad that we did not cancel it. It was one of the best parties ever and we started a new tradition: sharing old photos of yourself from High School or younger. Many of us laughed so hard we were crying and I think someone in the group may have experienced incontinence.
Our Supper Club is unpretentious. We meet at people’s homes, parks, restaurants, bowling alleys, pumpkin patches, and any other venue that sounds inviting. The goal of our Supper Club is to meet and spend time together, the place and the food is really secondary. Two new families have recently joined our group. The decision to add new families was not decided lightly; it was given a lot of thought and discussion. Our group is pleased with our decision. Sure, there is more food to purchase and more kids running around but we are enjoying the companionship greatly.
Let’s talk about how to get started with a Supper Club:
A Coordinator is vital to the success. Look for one that is ready, willing,and able, to jump in and handle the details. One person has to be the planner and the communicator for the group. I send out a schedule for the year and families sign up for the month they want to host. This initial schedule may change but having a schedule helps our club stay committed. Here is a link to additional information about Supper Clubs The Daily Meal, Cooking Light Magazine, and they have an App for that.
The fun times continue in our group; we look forward to many more gatherings for decades to come…I hope.
Supper Club Coordinator
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing