8 September 2020

Are you a Paper Piler or a Document Filer?

When it comes to organizing papers, people generally fall into two categories – the pilers and the filers. Filers tend to put papers away in cabinets/drawers, while pilers stack their documents where they can be seen and remembered.

There are benefits to both ways of life. Those who pile like to say there is an organizational method to their madness. For many people, having information out where you can see it and easily access it is key to their productivity. 

However, for filers, these piles can be distracting. They may function best when their work station is clear of documents and other papers. To recall things, filers rely on a carefully created file structure and hierarchy. 
Regardless of which way you manage your information, take advantage of well-labeled folders or binders, as well as a solid organizational structure to increase your productivity.

When creating labels use words you know and understand. Don’t label something Auto if you refer to it as Car or Toyota. The best label choices are the ones you use most frequently. I tell clients that they should use the first word that comes to mind when they are trying to find something. If you have to look in more than one location for a document, considering moving it to the first place you looked, even if it doesn’t fit ‘conventional wisdom’. 

When it comes to organizing your papers, filers often take advantage of traditional file cabinets or smaller file storage boxes. Pilers may find stacking boxes like these at the Container Store helpful in managing their information. Remember, the best system is one that works for you so don’t be afraid to try different configurations till you figure it out.

If you want more help getting your files in shape, let me know! Schedule a Discovery Conversation and we can talk!

11 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Email

Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that junk getting in your way and slowing down your productivity? Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!

Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!

Week 2: Email

If you have over 100 emails unread – you’re not alone!

To start the cleanup process, go through your inbox and mark all the emails as read. Then scan each email starting with the most recent.

Read the email once and decide right away – action item, reference item, trash item. Need details on how that all works? Check out the series I posted here about email management –

When cleaning up, tackle your email in 5 or 10 minute chunks – don’t allow email cleanup to monopolize your whole day. Remember, if an email is more than a month old, there’s probably no urgency with it.

Once you’ve got your email cleaned up, remember to tackle incoming email with the same question – action, reference, or trash. Asking the question, and acting on it, will help you stay on top of email clutter. 

Join us next week when we talk about maintaining a clean desktop. 

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4 August 2020

Computer Cleanup Challenge – Contacts

Is your computer bogged down with too many icons and too many bookmarks? Are there files and documents everywhere but where you need them? Is all that stuff getting in your way and slowing down your productivity?

Maybe it’s time for a computer cleanup!

Join me this month as we clear away the clutter and streamline our computers!

Week 1: Contacts

When working with contacts the first step is to remove any duplicates or combine them to create a more complete entry. This includes finding those entries listed as ‘Lisa’ or ‘Joann’ and completing the entry with her entire name.

Are your contacts in multiple areas like your computer, your phone, your paper calendar? Take some time to go through and consolidate those multiple lists into one location – ideally an online account like a gmail account or iCloud account. Consolidation will help with the duplicates and make it easier to find someone when you need them.

Don’t forget to make sure your phone contacts are set to sync with your online account. This prevents contacts from being saved only on your phone. 

Join us next week when we talk about everyone’s favorite subject – organizing your email!

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9 July 2020

My Favorite Organizing Books

Not everyone is born knowing how to organize. Just like so many things, it’s a skill you develop. So where do you start when you’re ready to declutter and get organized? Here are three of my favorite books on organizing:

Julie MorgensternOrganizing from the Inside Out

It’s a classic for a reason, and many consider it to be fundamental to the organizing world. Julie takes you from step one to finished project.

Barbara HemphillOrganizing Paper @ Home

Even as we move to a more digital world, we will probably never be paperless. In this book, Barbara tackles the goal of paper – less and how to organize both papers and memorabilia like photos and family records. 

David AllenGetting Things Done

David explains the GTD method, which is a great way to organizing your information. However, I do recommend people Google GTD and look at some of the basic diagrams and graphics to get an idea before you tackle the book because it is a dense read if you are coming at it cold.

How about you? Do you have a favorite book on organizing that you’ve bookmarked or underlined? Let me know!

Not into the DIY? There’s an organizer for that! Schedule a call with me to learn more. Or check out napo.net

4 July 2020

App Review – RescueTime

Purpose: RescueTime software automatically tracks your digital activity to provide a clear picture of how you are spending your time. RescueTime works in the background to track what you do and where you go – websites, software, apps, etc. – with the goal of taking you from overwhelmed to focused and productive. 

Benefits: One of the greatest benefits of RescueTime is that it can track online activity as well as desktop activity – time spent on apps such as Word or Photoshop. This means you get a detailed report on where your time goes. In RescueTime you can adjust the settings to indicate certain sites/software as productive while other sites are non-productive. This means that I can mark LinkedIn as productive rather than it being categorized as just another social media site.  

Cost: $0, $9/mo

Opinion: RescueTime is good for keeping me aware of how much time I am spending on non-work activities. Which is usually more than I need to. But it is also helpful to see what I actually accomplished during the week. Sometimes it can feel like I got nothing done, and RescueTime shows me that it isn’t exactly true. I love that it tracks desktop as well as mobile activity. We spend so much time on our mobile devices – both doing work and goofing off – that it’s vital we track the activity to get a clear picture of our day. Another cool RescueTime feature is the ability to block a site or activity for a certain amount of ‘focus time’ to make sure you don’t get distracted.

Need help getting organized?

25 June 2020

Time for a clean sweep!

It’s time for a clean sweep! (anyone else remember that show on TLC?)

Grab your phone, set aside ten minutes, and go through your apps. Find those keeper apps, the ones you can’t live without, then start eliminating the ‘maybe’ apps or the ‘why did I download this in the first place?’ apps. You’d be surprised at how many of those are cluttering up your phone!

Create new folders if necessary to corral your apps. Once you’ve done your clean sweep, take just one more moment to clean off your phone and case.

Now you’re clean, organized, and ready to go!