Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

6 June 2019

Delayed Decisions Lead to Clutter

My husband takes off his socks at night when we’re sitting in the living room playing on our computers and pretending to watch TV.  No big deal, right? Except for the next three days, both of us will walk past those lonely white socks four or five times a day and still, the socks stay where they fell.

Email is like this too. We get a new action email, read it – and decide it would only take a few minutes to complete – then leave it in our inbox while we wander off to do something else. We come back to our email how many times a day, re-read that action message, but still leave it undone until ‘later’. Well, later comes with twenty other action emails waiting for your attention. 

What would have happened if you had taken 2 minutes to respond to the email instead of putting it off till later? Probably the same thing that would have happened if my husband had taken 2 minutes to pick up his socks and put them away.

Less clutter.

Our delayed decisions lead to clutter – both in your inbox and in your living room. David Allen of Getting Things Done says if you have a task that will only take a couple of minutes, you should complete the task then, don’t put it off till ‘later’. Doing those two-minute tasks right away is another way to keep your inbox under control. Sure, some action emails require more effort but don’t ignore those two-minute tasks. 

Too many emails to tackle on your own? Let me know! Ilios Digital Organizing offers an Inbox Detox program that can get you back on track.

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6 November 2019

Managing Tech/Life Balance

Look up the effect technology is having on our lives and chances are you’ll see this cartoon. It’s decrying how much time we spend on our devices, even when we’re with each other.

But why is that so bad? This picture is me and my husband nearly every night. After supper, we sit down in the living room and play on our computer (him), work (me), and watch TV together (kinda). And even though we spend a lot of time focused on our screens, we still talk…because we’re together, not off in our separate offices staring at our screens alone.

Is that a good example of tech/ life balance? Or is all tech bad when you’re with other people? Does it depend on the activity you’re doing? I’d love to know what you think!

17 October 2019

How To Stay On Top Of Your List

Today was grocery shopping day. I’d made a list of meals we could have during the week, cross-referenced that with a list of things I needed to get at the store, and off I went. Having just moved, I’m in the gradual process of restocking things like baking essentials and condiments. I’m also in the process of testing out several different grocery stores, so it’s hard to remember what I’ve bought from where.

You would think having a grocery list to follow would eliminate any confusion about what I actually had in my cupboards but nope. Just like everyone else, there is the grocery list and then there is all the other things you pick up that you forgot you needed. Do I have the sliced cheese I need for BBQ sliders? Probably not, because I didn’t like the options at Kroger. Cooking oil for the brownies? I remember looking at it, but did I pick any up?

Our brains weren’t designed to hold everything in memory, and it’s easy to forget what you’ve done or didn’t do. Email is like that too. You’ll be in the middle of writing an email to a colleague when you suddenly wonder…did I send a follow-up email to that prospective client last week? Then it’s back to the inbox to search for their email. Or back into your sent items to scan and scan and scan to see if you can find the reply. 

But instead of anxiety about not knowing if you’ve followed up or not, what if you could check your Waiting folder and quickly find out the status of your conversation? What if you had dealt with the prospective client email when it arrived? There’s an easier way to manage your email, and it’s through action folders and follow up folders.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for my newsletter to find out when my Inbox Detox self-study course goes live in November!

 http://eepurl.com/cxQtvr

(For the record, I now have a lot of sliced cheese and still no cooking oil)

10 October 2019

How to handle record-breaking email

It’s fair season here in North Texas and the newsman tonight reported that the Grand Champion steer sold for a record $155,000. It was a good looking cow, objectively speaking, all creamy yellow and doe-eyed.  Was it worth $155,000? Who knows. I couldn’t tell you if that was an impressive number or not – cows aren’t my thing. 

But email is my thing. I’ve seen unread counts of 70, 700, even 70,000. That last one might have been close to record-breaking email – although I’d bet someone can beat it. It seems everywhere I go, someone has a higher unread count than the last person I’ve talked to. When I ask them ‘how do you feel about that?’, most people shrug and say it’s just life, probably won’t ever be any different.

They’re wrong. It doesn’t matter how high your unread email count is, you can get your email under control and keep it that way. Yes, it takes a little work, but it is doable. The first step is accepting that you’re never going to read all those unread messages. Chances are, you’ve read some of them already using your phone or tablet.

Interested in more tips to get your inbox under control? I’m going to be offering an Inbox Detox self-study course starting in November. Make sure you’re on my mailing list to get all the details! (Hint, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/cxQtvr )    

8 August 2019

Organizing to Fight Anxiety

Anti-anxiety meds and organization have more in common than you would think.

I used to be a nervous wreck – stressed out about everything, constantly second-guessing and wondering if I was making the right decisions or saying the right things. Heaven forbid if a major disaster or life change came along and amped everything up to 11. 

But now I take pills to manage my anxiety. Sanity savers, I call them, and they really do help me keep control of my life. Somebody once told me that anti-anxiety pills help us manage the day to day things so that when the major issues come along, we’ve got the bandwidth or energy to deal with them.

Organizing works the same way. Having an organized workspace, an organized life, seems to make things flow smoother. Makes getting things done a little easier. You stress less about missing documents, or too many emails, or getting out of the office on time.

And when everything is humming along as it should, you’ve got the energy for that last-minute client request or that project deadline that just got moved up by two days.

So how is your day going? Could you use a little organization to make it easier? Ilios Digital can help! Schedule your Discovery Call and we can get started today!

20 July 2019

What business tools do you need to survive?

I love post-apocalyptic stories and I’m writing this while watching my husband play a post-apocalyptic video game (Days Gone, in case you’re wondering). In these games, it’s always about the tools you can acquire, and how you use them. The right tool can make the difference between life and death.

Especially when there are zombies.

It got me thinking about the tools that I rely on every day. 

What couldn’t I live without?

Anyone who knows me should have already guessed Evernote. Evernote is my multi-purpose tool. It’s a place to store information, plan my day, create content, and a place to park idea’s until I’m ready to use them. Without Evernote, my brain would be a whirling, jam packed mess no good for creating new ideas.

Dropbox is another tool I depend on. I work between three different computers, and when I need to access documents or forms, Dropbox is right there. Because all my documents are stored in the cloud, they’re accessible from everywhere. This cuts down on the time I would have to spend wondering where I put something. 

Rounding out my top three tools would be Zapier. Zapier allows me to connect different software – like Evernote and Google Calendar for my task list – that normally wouldn’t speak to each other. This means one less step in my workday, which saves me time and energy. Not to mention, it means I don’t forget the little things.

What about you? What software tools do you need to survive and thrive? Are you using them as well as you could? Comment below and let’s talk about how to get the most out of your software!

27 June 2019

What to do with a bulging computer

I was working with a client the other day on photo organizing. Like so many of us, she had photos on her computer, in various storage places online, and on USB drives. With two teenagers in the house, there were a lot of photos. First day of school photos, birthday photos, photos that show the folly of being the first in a group of teen boys to fall asleep, and more. 

My client was like most of us these days, she’d taken multiple shots of the same thing trying to capture the best image. Easy to do with a digital camera or your phone. But all those images take up space, and who has the time to manually go through and weed photos? Not us.

As we were gathering all these photos in one place to sort them, her computer decided that, nope, it didn’t really have enough room for all those photos. And unlike with a bulging suitcase, when a computer says it’s full you really can’t squeeze one more thing in. Not another photo, document, or file.

So what are you supposed to do then? 

Ilios Digital can help you get your computer back. If photos have taken over your device and left you with no space for anything else, let’s talk about how to take back control.

Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

6 November 2019

Managing Tech/Life Balance

Look up the effect technology is having on our lives and chances are you’ll see this cartoon. It’s decrying how much time we spend on our devices, even when we’re with each other.

But why is that so bad? This picture is me and my husband nearly every night. After supper, we sit down in the living room and play on our computer (him), work (me), and watch TV together (kinda). And even though we spend a lot of time focused on our screens, we still talk…because we’re together, not off in our separate offices staring at our screens alone.

Is that a good example of tech/ life balance? Or is all tech bad when you’re with other people? Does it depend on the activity you’re doing? I’d love to know what you think!

17 October 2019

How To Stay On Top Of Your List

Today was grocery shopping day. I’d made a list of meals we could have during the week, cross-referenced that with a list of things I needed to get at the store, and off I went. Having just moved, I’m in the gradual process of restocking things like baking essentials and condiments. I’m also in the process of testing out several different grocery stores, so it’s hard to remember what I’ve bought from where.

You would think having a grocery list to follow would eliminate any confusion about what I actually had in my cupboards but nope. Just like everyone else, there is the grocery list and then there is all the other things you pick up that you forgot you needed. Do I have the sliced cheese I need for BBQ sliders? Probably not, because I didn’t like the options at Kroger. Cooking oil for the brownies? I remember looking at it, but did I pick any up?

Our brains weren’t designed to hold everything in memory, and it’s easy to forget what you’ve done or didn’t do. Email is like that too. You’ll be in the middle of writing an email to a colleague when you suddenly wonder…did I send a follow-up email to that prospective client last week? Then it’s back to the inbox to search for their email. Or back into your sent items to scan and scan and scan to see if you can find the reply. 

But instead of anxiety about not knowing if you’ve followed up or not, what if you could check your Waiting folder and quickly find out the status of your conversation? What if you had dealt with the prospective client email when it arrived? There’s an easier way to manage your email, and it’s through action folders and follow up folders.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for my newsletter to find out when my Inbox Detox self-study course goes live in November!

 http://eepurl.com/cxQtvr

(For the record, I now have a lot of sliced cheese and still no cooking oil)

10 October 2019

How to handle record-breaking email

It’s fair season here in North Texas and the newsman tonight reported that the Grand Champion steer sold for a record $155,000. It was a good looking cow, objectively speaking, all creamy yellow and doe-eyed.  Was it worth $155,000? Who knows. I couldn’t tell you if that was an impressive number or not – cows aren’t my thing. 

But email is my thing. I’ve seen unread counts of 70, 700, even 70,000. That last one might have been close to record-breaking email – although I’d bet someone can beat it. It seems everywhere I go, someone has a higher unread count than the last person I’ve talked to. When I ask them ‘how do you feel about that?’, most people shrug and say it’s just life, probably won’t ever be any different.

They’re wrong. It doesn’t matter how high your unread email count is, you can get your email under control and keep it that way. Yes, it takes a little work, but it is doable. The first step is accepting that you’re never going to read all those unread messages. Chances are, you’ve read some of them already using your phone or tablet.

Interested in more tips to get your inbox under control? I’m going to be offering an Inbox Detox self-study course starting in November. Make sure you’re on my mailing list to get all the details! (Hint, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/cxQtvr )    

8 August 2019

Organizing to Fight Anxiety

Anti-anxiety meds and organization have more in common than you would think.

I used to be a nervous wreck – stressed out about everything, constantly second-guessing and wondering if I was making the right decisions or saying the right things. Heaven forbid if a major disaster or life change came along and amped everything up to 11. 

But now I take pills to manage my anxiety. Sanity savers, I call them, and they really do help me keep control of my life. Somebody once told me that anti-anxiety pills help us manage the day to day things so that when the major issues come along, we’ve got the bandwidth or energy to deal with them.

Organizing works the same way. Having an organized workspace, an organized life, seems to make things flow smoother. Makes getting things done a little easier. You stress less about missing documents, or too many emails, or getting out of the office on time.

And when everything is humming along as it should, you’ve got the energy for that last-minute client request or that project deadline that just got moved up by two days.

So how is your day going? Could you use a little organization to make it easier? Ilios Digital can help! Schedule your Discovery Call and we can get started today!

20 July 2019

What business tools do you need to survive?

I love post-apocalyptic stories and I’m writing this while watching my husband play a post-apocalyptic video game (Days Gone, in case you’re wondering). In these games, it’s always about the tools you can acquire, and how you use them. The right tool can make the difference between life and death.

Especially when there are zombies.

It got me thinking about the tools that I rely on every day. 

What couldn’t I live without?

Anyone who knows me should have already guessed Evernote. Evernote is my multi-purpose tool. It’s a place to store information, plan my day, create content, and a place to park idea’s until I’m ready to use them. Without Evernote, my brain would be a whirling, jam packed mess no good for creating new ideas.

Dropbox is another tool I depend on. I work between three different computers, and when I need to access documents or forms, Dropbox is right there. Because all my documents are stored in the cloud, they’re accessible from everywhere. This cuts down on the time I would have to spend wondering where I put something. 

Rounding out my top three tools would be Zapier. Zapier allows me to connect different software – like Evernote and Google Calendar for my task list – that normally wouldn’t speak to each other. This means one less step in my workday, which saves me time and energy. Not to mention, it means I don’t forget the little things.

What about you? What software tools do you need to survive and thrive? Are you using them as well as you could? Comment below and let’s talk about how to get the most out of your software!

27 June 2019

What to do with a bulging computer

I was working with a client the other day on photo organizing. Like so many of us, she had photos on her computer, in various storage places online, and on USB drives. With two teenagers in the house, there were a lot of photos. First day of school photos, birthday photos, photos that show the folly of being the first in a group of teen boys to fall asleep, and more. 

My client was like most of us these days, she’d taken multiple shots of the same thing trying to capture the best image. Easy to do with a digital camera or your phone. But all those images take up space, and who has the time to manually go through and weed photos? Not us.

As we were gathering all these photos in one place to sort them, her computer decided that, nope, it didn’t really have enough room for all those photos. And unlike with a bulging suitcase, when a computer says it’s full you really can’t squeeze one more thing in. Not another photo, document, or file.

So what are you supposed to do then? 

Ilios Digital can help you get your computer back. If photos have taken over your device and left you with no space for anything else, let’s talk about how to take back control.