Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

4 May 2018

Creating a minimalist workspace

 

In a recent post on Unclutterer Leo Babauta of Zen Habits  has some great advice for minimalism for those of us with a stationary office.  But what about those of us with a mobile office? Or those who regularly use a co-working space to conduct business? You can still apply these principles, with just a little tweaking.
So how do you maintain a minimalist workspace?

minimalist workspace
  1. Move your documentation digital. Get rid of as much paper as you can so there aren’t loose items falling out of your work bag or spilling across the table. Need paper for brainstorming or note taking? Choose a journal or other bound notebook like a Moleskine instead of loose leaf paper.
  2. Have one Inbox. I’m a big fan of using Evernote to put all my ideas, notes, and action items. Maybe you use something else – or a combo of programs like Trello and Google Keep. Whatever it is, streamline as much as possible. When an idea comes in, or an action item pops up, go immediately to your app to enter the information. This can eliminate the post it note syndrome.
  3. Manage your cords. Sure, we need to stretch them out when in use, but when not in use, make sure your power cord, mouse, and other accessories have their own contained space in your work bag. Look into items like Grid-It or other cord control options and a travel pouch to put them into. This way you can find what you need as soon as you need it, without pulling everything out of your bag.
  4. Headphones. Not only can you add music to your day – which helps some people focus – but you can use headphones to block out the noise from other people in your work area.
  5. Keep your work area clean. This includes your digital desktop! An organized computer can increase your efficiency and decrease your stress.
Do you have other suggestions? What’s worked for you to stay organized when mobile?
April Merritt

April Merritt, owner of Ilios Digital Organizing, uses her education in Information Science and her passion for problem solving to help entrepreneurs increase their productivity and revenue. Her focus is on the right tech for the right task, finding what works for you so you can save time, make money, and grow your business.

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Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

21 May 2018

Tech to Go

What’s in Your Bag?

We carry all sorts of things in our purses. Gum, chapstick, wallet, Matchbox cars, old receipts, Tylenol, you get the picture. Your phone is another essential item, but do you keep any other tech gadgets in your bag?  Any items you consider a ‘must have’? As a tech type of girl, I tend to carry a few essentials with me that the average person might not consider, especially in my work bag or when I’m using my computer. So what do I consider essential? Let’s start small.
Continue Reading
4 May 2018

Creating a minimalist workspace

 

In a recent post on Unclutterer Leo Babauta of Zen Habits  has some great advice for minimalism for those of us with a stationary office.  But what about those of us with a mobile office? Or those who regularly use a co-working space to conduct business? You can still apply these principles, with just a little tweaking.
So how do you maintain a minimalist workspace?
Continue Reading
9 April 2018

Keeping your contacts safe

Everyone knows I’m all about backing up your data. But have you backed up your contacts lately?
Your contact list is a highly valued item for an entrepreneur. The first step to being organized is to make sure that all of your contacts are in one place – or attached to one ‘account’. This step includes making sure that contacts, especially new contacts, aren’t being saved to your phone but rather that cloud based account.

 

Once you are organized, you can back up your contacts. If you are using Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook.com,  or Apple Contacts, there should be a menu option that says ‘export’ or ‘export contacts’. Choose to export them in a CSV file.

 

Now that you’ve got the CSV file exported to a safe place (the cloud or as part of your online backup), it’s time to rename it. Most files come as contacts.csv which means nothing when you’re looking for a specific backup. Instead, rename the file with the date and ‘Contacts Backup’. Finally, make sure the file is included in your online backup. Depending on how often you add contacts to your list, backing them up doesn’t need to be more than a quarterly or twice a year task.

 

Having a CSV file of your contacts can come in handy when it’s time to import contacts to a new CRM, mailing service, or other software!

 

Need help organizing or backing up your contacts? Call me and we’ll do it together!
7 March 2018

3 Ways To Close Those Open Browser Tabs

So you have nine million browser tabs open on your computer. Some of them are for projects you’re in the middle of, other tabs are for articles you want to read, or information you need to grab to use later. I would bet some of your open tabs are active tabs – email, calendar, CRM – all of which are great to have open so you can easily check them. But is open tab practice really the best way to manage your information? What happens if your computer suddenly restarts? Windows users, you know what I am talking about! Or what if you accidentally close your browser? I’ve done that more often than I’d like and I bet you have too.

 

But how do you take care of all these open tabs? The first step is to figure out what you are using the open tabs for. Is this your version of a to-do list? A visual reminder of what you want to work on? Are you unsure where to put the information so you can reference it later? Do you just not have time to read those articles you’ve opened? There are better options for all of these issues!
Continue Reading
9 February 2018

How to use Dropbox, G Drive, and OneDrive

Online file storage services.
What are you using them for? Long term storage? Another place to store your photos? A backup site?
Did you know that these services are designed to “store all your files online and keep them synced across your devices (G Drive)” These online file storage services allow you to to access your files when you need them, regardless of where you are or what device you are using.  In addition, these services allow you to easily share files with collaborators. (They are not designed as online backup! There are better programs for that.)
I currently use all three services. I use Dropbox to store my active business files because this lets me get to the same information regardless of using my Mac or my PC. G Drive is used to share files and collaborate with my professional organization. One Drive is used with a specific client to share important files.
Regardless of which file storage/sharing program you use, I recommend keeping one type of business all in one area – don’t let your business work spread over three different services. This type of organization will let you find what you need quicker and reduce the amount of duplication.
Questions? Are you ready to learn more about online file storage? Contact us or schedule a session!
30 January 2018

Too much to read! 3 ways to manage your online reading pile

To read or not to read

Is your online to-do reading pile growing? Are you using your browser bookmarks to keep track of all those articles? There is a better way! Check out the following apps –
RSS Readers – collate all your articles in one area so you can quickly check them and see what you want to read – either now or later.  Feedly is an example
Pocket – a great option for ‘read it later’ articles. Great aspect of Pocket is that you can read articles when you are ‘off line’, which makes it perfect for long airplane or car rides. Get your copy of Pocket at their website!
 Evernote – another option for storing articles until you are ready for them. There is an option for taking the articles offline as well.
If you’ve got a lot of articles saved to ‘read later’, maybe take some time to review that reading list and see which ones you still want to make time to read, and which you can just delete.
Need help organizing your reference articles? Contact Ilios and we can get you started!

Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

21 May 2018

Tech to Go

What’s in Your Bag?

We carry all sorts of things in our purses. Gum, chapstick, wallet, Matchbox cars, old receipts, Tylenol, you get the picture. Your phone is another essential item, but do you keep any other tech gadgets in your bag?  Any items you consider a ‘must have’? As a tech type of girl, I tend to carry a few essentials with me that the average person might not consider, especially in my work bag or when I’m using my computer. So what do I consider essential? Let’s start small.
Read More

4 May 2018

Creating a minimalist workspace

 

In a recent post on Unclutterer Leo Babauta of Zen Habits  has some great advice for minimalism for those of us with a stationary office.  But what about those of us with a mobile office? Or those who regularly use a co-working space to conduct business? You can still apply these principles, with just a little tweaking.
So how do you maintain a minimalist workspace?
Read More

9 April 2018

Keeping your contacts safe

Everyone knows I’m all about backing up your data. But have you backed up your contacts lately?
Your contact list is a highly valued item for an entrepreneur. The first step to being organized is to make sure that all of your contacts are in one place – or attached to one ‘account’. This step includes making sure that contacts, especially new contacts, aren’t being saved to your phone but rather that cloud based account.

 

Once you are organized, you can back up your contacts. If you are using Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook.com,  or Apple Contacts, there should be a menu option that says ‘export’ or ‘export contacts’. Choose to export them in a CSV file.

 

Now that you’ve got the CSV file exported to a safe place (the cloud or as part of your online backup), it’s time to rename it. Most files come as contacts.csv which means nothing when you’re looking for a specific backup. Instead, rename the file with the date and ‘Contacts Backup’. Finally, make sure the file is included in your online backup. Depending on how often you add contacts to your list, backing them up doesn’t need to be more than a quarterly or twice a year task.

 

Having a CSV file of your contacts can come in handy when it’s time to import contacts to a new CRM, mailing service, or other software!

 

Need help organizing or backing up your contacts? Call me and we’ll do it together!

7 March 2018

3 Ways To Close Those Open Browser Tabs

So you have nine million browser tabs open on your computer. Some of them are for projects you’re in the middle of, other tabs are for articles you want to read, or information you need to grab to use later. I would bet some of your open tabs are active tabs – email, calendar, CRM – all of which are great to have open so you can easily check them. But is open tab practice really the best way to manage your information? What happens if your computer suddenly restarts? Windows users, you know what I am talking about! Or what if you accidentally close your browser? I’ve done that more often than I’d like and I bet you have too.

 

But how do you take care of all these open tabs? The first step is to figure out what you are using the open tabs for. Is this your version of a to-do list? A visual reminder of what you want to work on? Are you unsure where to put the information so you can reference it later? Do you just not have time to read those articles you’ve opened? There are better options for all of these issues!
Read More

9 February 2018

How to use Dropbox, G Drive, and OneDrive

Online file storage services.
What are you using them for? Long term storage? Another place to store your photos? A backup site?
Did you know that these services are designed to “store all your files online and keep them synced across your devices (G Drive)” These online file storage services allow you to to access your files when you need them, regardless of where you are or what device you are using.  In addition, these services allow you to easily share files with collaborators. (They are not designed as online backup! There are better programs for that.)
I currently use all three services. I use Dropbox to store my active business files because this lets me get to the same information regardless of using my Mac or my PC. G Drive is used to share files and collaborate with my professional organization. One Drive is used with a specific client to share important files.
Regardless of which file storage/sharing program you use, I recommend keeping one type of business all in one area – don’t let your business work spread over three different services. This type of organization will let you find what you need quicker and reduce the amount of duplication.
Questions? Are you ready to learn more about online file storage? Contact us or schedule a session!

30 January 2018

Too much to read! 3 ways to manage your online reading pile

To read or not to read

Is your online to-do reading pile growing? Are you using your browser bookmarks to keep track of all those articles? There is a better way! Check out the following apps –
RSS Readers – collate all your articles in one area so you can quickly check them and see what you want to read – either now or later.  Feedly is an example
Pocket – a great option for ‘read it later’ articles. Great aspect of Pocket is that you can read articles when you are ‘off line’, which makes it perfect for long airplane or car rides. Get your copy of Pocket at their website!
 Evernote – another option for storing articles until you are ready for them. There is an option for taking the articles offline as well.
If you’ve got a lot of articles saved to ‘read later’, maybe take some time to review that reading list and see which ones you still want to make time to read, and which you can just delete.
Need help organizing your reference articles? Contact Ilios and we can get you started!