Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-17-2013 8:00AM
By Naomi Cook
Is your email inbox count currently in the triple digits? Do you forget to write people back because new emails are constantly piling up on top of the older ones? Are you forgetting about events or even worse, forgetting to pay your online bills? If you answered even one of these questions with a resounding YES, then you need an inbox intervention!
Take these simple steps to reduce the amount of emails that you receive and keep a handle on the ones that you do get. Turn it into a game and try to get your inbox down to 0!
1) List your emails in order of "From". That way you'll see everything from A-Z and you can see all of the emails that relate to a person or business in one tidy grouping.
2) Quickly scan for any emails from businesses that you can unsubscribe to and deposit them into the trash folder. Do you really need a daily email from J Crew? Consider instead finding them on Facebook and giving them a "like" to keep up with new products and sales.
3) Create new folders as you go through your list. If you want a certain folder to be visible at the top of the list, and its name does not start with an "A", use an asterisk (*) and that will automatically bring it up to the top. This is good for bills to be paid and events that are coming up.
4) As you move emails to their respective folders, mark the important ones as unread. In my mail system, those emails stay bold. Then when they get put in a folder, a number is automatically shown next to the folder name, which corresponds to each email that is unread. That way you can have a visual of important emails that need to be reviewed.
5) Move through your inbox rapidly. Create lots of folders and move the emails in; you can always delete them later. The main idea is to have a clean slate for important emails that arrive daily.
6) Don't worry about accidentally sending an email to the trash folder. Set your preferences for your trash to delete items after one month. That will allow you to find something recent, but also keep your trash folder from "overflowing".
So, did you reach 0, or get down to at least one page? Congratulations - there's the 1 point in your favor! Now get started on any other email account(s) you may have. You'll find it much easier now that you've tackled one successfully!
Thanks Naomi! Your tips will most definitely be helpful. Give her a cheer and check back later for more great ideas for organizing ideas. If you're in the greater Philadelphia area, take advantage of her professional organizing skillshttp://itlooksgoodinside.com/
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-13-2013 12:03AM
If you find yourself asking this question frequently, it's time to change upyour system. Most of the time, the simplest solutions work best.
- Leave your keys in the same spot - and while you're at it, leave your cell phone, wallet, and other daily essentials there as well.
- Suspend them in your purse - if your keys are attached to a Finders Key Purse,then you can pull them from your purse at a moment's notice. You'll never have to shuffle through the bottom to locate them.
- Add a reminder - putting a list of your left-behind essentials on the back of your door can help you get in the habit of taking them with you.
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-13-2013 12:02AM
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is the easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-12-2013 8:00AM
If you're a student celebrating the end of the school year, you might just throw some clothes and basics into a duffel bag and hit the road. For the rest of us, though, there are several things to prepare for a successful vacation.
1. Mode Of Transportation - If you're taking an airplane to your destination, booking early can save you lots of money and can lead to a better selection of departure times.
If you're driving, schedule an appointment for a tune-up before you go. Not only will this help you save gas mileage, but it will also give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your car is running smoothly. A breakdown can seriously ruin your trip.
2. Process Your Paperwork - Your trip will have lots of paperwork associated with it. Printed tickets, passports, insurance information, ID documents, itineraries, destination activity packets - keeping track of these will be important for a successful vacation. Put them in the Travel Organizer, and you'll have them when you need them.
3. Budget In Advance - Sometimes it seems that vacations force a difficult choice: break your kids hearts by not going on the roller coaster, or break the bank by riding. Get everyone together before the trip starts and research local activities where you're going. You can balance free activities with expensive activities, and eliminate the worry of a post-vacation budget hangover.
4. Plan What To Leave Behind - Sometimes, the key to enjoying a vacation is knowing what not to take with you. In an increasingly connected world, make sure to take care of your work projects before you go, so you won't feel pressure to check your work email on the beach.
While some vacations are pet-friendly, for others, you might need to arrange for your pet to stay at home. Making arrangements for a neighbor to pet-sit or dropping your pet off at a pet hotel or vet's office lets you enjoy your vacation without worrying about Fido.
5. Pack Effectively - Depending on your destination, pack a smaller amount than you think you'll need. If the worst happens and you're missing something, you can always purchase it there, and most likely spend less than you would on overweight baggage fees.
Here's wishing each of you a great summer vacation!
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-10-2013 8:00AM
By Carmen Coker
As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. But your kitchen can also be the heap of the home if you let clutter pile up! If you want to know how to organize your kitchen now, then here are five easy, low-cost ways to do just that:
1) Edit your counter space.
It's so easy to put most of your appliances on the countertop. Doing this is totally understandable - you get quick access whenever you need something.
The problem? Most of us are true conformists to the 80/20 rule; 80% of what we keep, we never use. That includes 80% of the items in your kitchen! So look at what's on top of your counters and ask yourself ... does this really need to be there?
2) Out with the old and unnecessary.
You wouldn't really eat stale crackers, would you? Then why are they in your kitchen? Get them - and all other old or expired foods - out of your cabinets, pantry, fridge, and freezer.
Of course, food isn't the only thing that might have worn out its welcome. Donate any cookbooks or kitchen gadgets that haven't been used in a year or more. Scrutinize any freebies you've nabbed recently, like sports squeeze bottles, beer koozies, and magnets. Truth be told, you likely didn't need them in the first place, and you likely don't need them now.
3) Let the W's guide you.
Think about how you use your kitchen when you're making dinner - more specifically, what do you use, and where or when do you use it during the cooking process. Separate your kitchen into distinct quadrants based on your kitchen habits (i.e. cooking, preparing, cleaning, storing) and then organize utensils and supplies accordingly.
4) Think outside-the-box ... or in this case, outside the kitchen.
The kitchen is a high-traffic area, and often times, stuff from around the house will find its way in and start to pile up. Designate a bag, bin or basket for items that should not be in the kitchen. At the end of each day, have an assigned family member fill the container with non-kitchen items and carry them back to the room where they belong.
In addition, bulk foods purchases and items like fine china - which are used sparingly or only a few times a year - can be stored elsewhere in your home to free up more space in the kitchen.
5) Deal with paper before it becomes a problem.
Mail, bills, and other papers can easily clutter your countertop or table. One solution: hang large envelopes and label one per family member. Use these containers to distribute papers, mail, messages, etc. Another idea? Store take-out menus in a file folder and tuck the folder away in a drawer near the phone or inside the phone book.
Thanks for the great advice Carmen!
Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to CarmenCoker.com for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super OrganizedTM.
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-07-2013 9:50AM
You can say a lot about organization specifics - the best way to organize a junk drawer, great strategies for handling bills, or the proper order for your medicine cabinet. Sometimes, though, it's just handy to live by basic organization principles and apply them where needed. Try applying these basic organizing rules to your daily life:
- Everything Has a Home: or, as the old saying goes, a place for everything, and everything in its place.
- Decide Quickly: it's easy to spend more time thinking about the easiest way to accomplish a task than it would take to do it the hard way. Pick a strategy and get it done.
- Delegate: you can't do it all - don't be afraid to let others help you.
- Be Honest about Time: it takes time to plan, time to communicate, and time to execute. In your schedule, give your self enough time to plan and give every project a time cushion - you never know when a short simple project will hit an unexpected snag.
- Follow the Rules: just as children perform better and are happier when given boundaries, when you develop and follow your own rules, you spend less time arguing with yourself and more time accomplishing your goals.
- Establish Accountability: let someone else know of your goals, whether it's a trusted family member or a professional co-worker. It can provide some powerful motivation for keeping with your plan.
Like the old proverb of giving a man a fish, if you apply these rules in your daily life, you'll stay organized for more than just a day.
Do you have any organizing rules you live by?
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-06-2013 12:08AM
"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
- Ella Fitzgerald
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-06-2013 12:05AM
We live in a world of distractions, a world where during the course of a single meeting, you can get five notifications on your cell phone – two recurring notifications for obsolete meetings, a spam text, a voicemail from your significant other, and a Facebook notification.
Using a paper planning system helps you focus without being drawn away to other pursuits, letting you write down and accomplish the most important tasks in your life. Rather than getting bogged down with notifications and navigating a touch keyboard, you can remain on task and have your notes in one place.
Submitted by GOAdmin on 05-03-2013 10:08AM
Which programs and apps are best suited for your needs? By Joshua Zerkel
In 2013 it’s just crazy not to gather all your favorite blogs and websites into one easy-to-read RSS feed. The question is, which one is the best? Well, it depends on how you keep up with your internet reading: on a computer, a tablet like the iPad, or through your smart phone. Here are some of my favorite programs and apps for each scenario.
For the computer: I really like Google Reader. It is a very simple, clean interface—not many frills, but it gets the job done. It lets you read your feeds easily and simply, and you can organize your feeds into groups—for instance, segregating your tech and sports blogs, or grouping your favorite, must-read blogs into one folder. Other aggregators like My Yahoo will also let you import RSS feeds, so if you are already using My Yahoo you can import your feeds there too and just get them into a site where you are already in the habit of visiting.
For the iPad: Flipboard, which is available in the App Store, is a really beautiful way to you’re your feeds. It takes all of your different feeds—whether they are RSS feeds, social media, or websites—and presents them in a magazine-style layout. It takes today’s technology and meshes it with yesterday’s presentation format of a magazine, coming up with a really great, usable result.
For the smart phone: If you are on an Android or an iPhone, you might want to look at Pulse, which is a really nice way to read feeds on a smaller screen.
Excellent organizing advice Josh, thanks for sharing! You can find more pro organizing solutions from Josh at Custom Living Solutions, or see more space-saving organizing solutions from FranklinCovey.
Submitted by GOAdmin on 04-29-2013 12:35AM
"The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed."
- Henry Ford