Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

13 June 2018

S.P.A.C.E Organizing in a Digital World – Getting Started

How do I get organized? What do I do first? How do I decide what to get rid of?

 

Those are common questions, especially because so often it’s hard to know where to start. The SPACE model of organizing was made popular by Julie Morgenstern in the book Organizing from the Inside Out. She used this model to provide guidance and direction for individuals wanting to get their home or workspace organized. Although originally designed to deal with physical space organizing, the same principles she spoke about can be applied to a digital world with just a little tweaking.

 

 The S.P.A.C.E organizing model starts with S…

 

S is for SORT  Identify what’s important to you and group similar items together. Get your action items in one app, not spread out over three different task management apps and on post-it notes. I use cloud storage for my documents, but make sure all my business documents are on Dropbox and all the documents for the professional organization I belong to are on Google Drive.

 

P is for PURGE  Decide what you can live without and get rid of it. This can be tough with digital records, but that’s what retention guidelines are for. They are in place to let us know when important, but not vital, documents can be deleted. For your business documents, consider if something is a final copy or just a draft. Also consider the space you have available. If you’ve got space to spare, then you have the ability to keep more items. Tight on space? You’ll need to be more diligent about your purging.

 

Check out the next part of the story next week! If you’ve got questions about getting started with your organizing, just let me know!

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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

18 January 2019

Sync Up!

Are You In Sync?

When you move from one computer to another, do your bookmarks and settings follow you? Can you be reading an article in your office, then switch to your phone to finish the article as you wait in line at the store? If no, then what are you waiting for? 

Chrome and Firefox both offer a version of account sync. You create an account, set up your browser to your preference – certain extensions, zoom level, home page, etc. – then when you log into another digital device and open the browser you will see the exact same setup. I have sync set up for Chrome, which is my primary browser, and Firefox which is my secondary browser. 

Productivity wise, sync has been awesome because no matter what computer or device I am on, I have access to my bookmarks and recent tabs. I currently operate on three different computers and two mobile devices, so sync makes it mostly seamless. There have been a few hiccups trying to access recent tabs from another device (pulling up a web page I saw on my desktop when I am using my laptop), but overall its been great. 

For more info about sync, check out the following articles about sync:

Chrome Sync

Firefox Sync

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4 January 2019

Too much to read, not enough time

I was the girl who always had a book in her hand. At home, I stored books on bookshelves, under my pillow, or under the bed (that was where the romance novels were stashed when I was in high school!).  In school I got in trouble multiple times for reading a paperback behind my textbook when I was supposed to be working. But what was I supposed to do? There were all these great things to read and not nearly enough time to read them all in!


These days I am more likely to be found reading online – books and fan fiction mostly, and articles or blogs that I follow. But just like the pile that used to stack up beside my bed, the online reading pile can get to be overwhelming. The amount of online fiction I’ve bookmarked should keep me busy till summer. To keep track of all the blogs I follow and articles I want to read, I used to use my browser bookmarks. But that was just another pile of things to go through. The great thing is, today there are several different options for keeping track of what you need to read.

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17 December 2018

3 ways to get ready for 2019

2019 is almost here and I know there’s always the temptation to let things slide as we get to the end of the year. It’s vacation time, holidays, and everyone has so much to do outside of work. But before you take that next snow day – or rain day if you’re here in Southern California – there are three things you can do to set yourself up for success in 2019.

  1. Get your inbox cleaned up – Remember all email is either an Action item, Reference item, and Trash item. Get those reference and trash items out of your inbox, leaving only action items that need your attention. (Psst…check out our post Inbox Hero for more details)
  2. Back up your files – If you don’t have online backup already set, get started now! Don’t let all your hard work from 2018 be at risk. I’m a fan of Backblaze for online backup.
  3. Clean out your Downloads folder – all those items have homes, make sure they get to them!

Take a few minutes today to prep for the new year. Then, take a few minutes for yourself to reflect on all the great things you accomplished in 2018!

Interested in more ways to increase your productivity? Schedule your Discovery Call today and let’s talk about how to get you more time and less stress.

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11 December 2018

Keeping in touch when you’re away

All the mental health articles tell us to, but do you ever manage to leave your email behind? I’ll admit that it’s the first thing I check when I get up in the morning, and I usually check it again right before I get ready for bed. Not because there is usually anything urgent, but it’s more of a habit than anything else. There are some days, though, where we do want to leave email behind. Vacation time, baby leave, even sick days are times when you might not be in your inbox regularly. I know that as entrepreneurs, ignoring email isn’t really an option. However, there are things you can do to manage expectations for those who are trying to get in touch with you when you’d rather be out of touch.

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6 December 2018

Trying new things!

I’m trying something new! I’ve been a fan of and devoted user of Moleskine notebooks for years. Before I found Evernote I used my Moleskines for everything – notes about business, writing scenes, jotting down ideas, you name it. There is even a stack of used Moleskines, carefully indexed, on the top shelf of my closet. But since Evernote and I became BFFs, my Moleskines haven’t been seeing as much attention.

I still use my Moleskines for brainstorming and sketching out ideas, but almost all my writing is in Evernote now. For some reason, brainstorming and note taking on paper are easier for me. I keep the ‘neat’ version of my notes in Evernote. Maybe it’s a generational thing – I didn’t grow up with computers – or maybe its just a personal preference. Either way, where I used to go through a standard 5 x 8 Moleskine every couple of months, I’m down to two a year.

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28 November 2018

How long should you keep that document?

Do you really need to keep that paperwork?

Records retention guidelines may vary in their recommendations, but you can usually consider these guidelines to apply to both paper and digital files. Yes, you could hang on to digital files longer since they appear to take up less space. But the question becomes, do you need to?

Instead of weeding through their digital files, many people purchase more cloud storage or an external hard drive. But consider this…purchasing that extra space is equivalent to purchasing a storage unit for your physical papers. Do you really want to do that?

Vital documents such as a birth certificate, marriage license, immunization records, etc. should be considered permanent. These are often in paper form, so go ahead and scan them into your computer to have a second copy you can keep ‘at home’ while you put the originals in a safe place. When discussing records retention, financial documents require special attention. I recommend contacting a lawyer or financial advisor if you have specific questions about keeping your investment reports or other financial paperwork.

For more information, check out these guidelines for how long to keep your records:

IRS Guidelines for Taxes for small businesses and the self-employed 

BBB Records Retention Schedule for Individuals/Consumer Records 

Questions? Need help sorting through your files? Let’s talk!

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Ilios Digital Organizing Blog

18 January 2019

Sync Up!

Are You In Sync?

When you move from one computer to another, do your bookmarks and settings follow you? Can you be reading an article in your office, then switch to your phone to finish the article as you wait in line at the store? If no, then what are you waiting for? 

Chrome and Firefox both offer a version of account sync. You create an account, set up your browser to your preference – certain extensions, zoom level, home page, etc. – then when you log into another digital device and open the browser you will see the exact same setup. I have sync set up for Chrome, which is my primary browser, and Firefox which is my secondary browser. 

Productivity wise, sync has been awesome because no matter what computer or device I am on, I have access to my bookmarks and recent tabs. I currently operate on three different computers and two mobile devices, so sync makes it mostly seamless. There have been a few hiccups trying to access recent tabs from another device (pulling up a web page I saw on my desktop when I am using my laptop), but overall its been great. 

For more info about sync, check out the following articles about sync:

Chrome Sync

Firefox Sync

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4 January 2019

Too much to read, not enough time

I was the girl who always had a book in her hand. At home, I stored books on bookshelves, under my pillow, or under the bed (that was where the romance novels were stashed when I was in high school!).  In school I got in trouble multiple times for reading a paperback behind my textbook when I was supposed to be working. But what was I supposed to do? There were all these great things to read and not nearly enough time to read them all in!


These days I am more likely to be found reading online – books and fan fiction mostly, and articles or blogs that I follow. But just like the pile that used to stack up beside my bed, the online reading pile can get to be overwhelming. The amount of online fiction I’ve bookmarked should keep me busy till summer. To keep track of all the blogs I follow and articles I want to read, I used to use my browser bookmarks. But that was just another pile of things to go through. The great thing is, today there are several different options for keeping track of what you need to read.

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Read More

17 December 2018

3 ways to get ready for 2019

2019 is almost here and I know there’s always the temptation to let things slide as we get to the end of the year. It’s vacation time, holidays, and everyone has so much to do outside of work. But before you take that next snow day – or rain day if you’re here in Southern California – there are three things you can do to set yourself up for success in 2019.

  1. Get your inbox cleaned up – Remember all email is either an Action item, Reference item, and Trash item. Get those reference and trash items out of your inbox, leaving only action items that need your attention. (Psst…check out our post Inbox Hero for more details)
  2. Back up your files – If you don’t have online backup already set, get started now! Don’t let all your hard work from 2018 be at risk. I’m a fan of Backblaze for online backup.
  3. Clean out your Downloads folder – all those items have homes, make sure they get to them!

Take a few minutes today to prep for the new year. Then, take a few minutes for yourself to reflect on all the great things you accomplished in 2018!

Interested in more ways to increase your productivity? Schedule your Discovery Call today and let’s talk about how to get you more time and less stress.

Want more time in your day?

Are you ready to learn more about Digital Productivity and how to get out of the office quicker?

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11 December 2018

Keeping in touch when you’re away

All the mental health articles tell us to, but do you ever manage to leave your email behind? I’ll admit that it’s the first thing I check when I get up in the morning, and I usually check it again right before I get ready for bed. Not because there is usually anything urgent, but it’s more of a habit than anything else. There are some days, though, where we do want to leave email behind. Vacation time, baby leave, even sick days are times when you might not be in your inbox regularly. I know that as entrepreneurs, ignoring email isn’t really an option. However, there are things you can do to manage expectations for those who are trying to get in touch with you when you’d rather be out of touch.

Want more time in your day?

Are you ready to learn more about Digital Productivity and how to get out of the office quicker?

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Read More

6 December 2018

Trying new things!

I’m trying something new! I’ve been a fan of and devoted user of Moleskine notebooks for years. Before I found Evernote I used my Moleskines for everything – notes about business, writing scenes, jotting down ideas, you name it. There is even a stack of used Moleskines, carefully indexed, on the top shelf of my closet. But since Evernote and I became BFFs, my Moleskines haven’t been seeing as much attention.

I still use my Moleskines for brainstorming and sketching out ideas, but almost all my writing is in Evernote now. For some reason, brainstorming and note taking on paper are easier for me. I keep the ‘neat’ version of my notes in Evernote. Maybe it’s a generational thing – I didn’t grow up with computers – or maybe its just a personal preference. Either way, where I used to go through a standard 5 x 8 Moleskine every couple of months, I’m down to two a year.

Want more time in your day?

Are you ready to learn more about Digital Productivity and how to get out of the office quicker?

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Read More

28 November 2018

How long should you keep that document?

Do you really need to keep that paperwork?

Records retention guidelines may vary in their recommendations, but you can usually consider these guidelines to apply to both paper and digital files. Yes, you could hang on to digital files longer since they appear to take up less space. But the question becomes, do you need to?

Instead of weeding through their digital files, many people purchase more cloud storage or an external hard drive. But consider this…purchasing that extra space is equivalent to purchasing a storage unit for your physical papers. Do you really want to do that?

Vital documents such as a birth certificate, marriage license, immunization records, etc. should be considered permanent. These are often in paper form, so go ahead and scan them into your computer to have a second copy you can keep ‘at home’ while you put the originals in a safe place. When discussing records retention, financial documents require special attention. I recommend contacting a lawyer or financial advisor if you have specific questions about keeping your investment reports or other financial paperwork.

For more information, check out these guidelines for how long to keep your records:

IRS Guidelines for Taxes for small businesses and the self-employed 

BBB Records Retention Schedule for Individuals/Consumer Records 

Questions? Need help sorting through your files? Let’s talk!

Want more time in your day?

Are you ready to learn more about Digital Productivity and how to get out of the office quicker?

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