Business · Decorating · Home · interior design · Organization

Paper versus online?

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I love office supplies and stationery stores.  So many tempting items.  Pens, pencils, notebooks, calendars, agendas, and supplies to organize.  Can we name January organization month?  It is the beginning of the year and time to start fresh and organize everything for the beginning of a new year.

I use a combination of online and paper to keep my life organized.

  • Agendas – I keep two one that I keep by my bed (Inslee by Design at Inslee.net) and one that fits in my tote.

 

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  • Office calendar – I use a circa calendar (weekly version) in the office.  It serves as a diary in addition to a calendar.  Appointments, phone numbers, meetings and projects and related notes end up there.
  • Online calendar – I keep all my appointments entered in an online calendar that is synched to my phone and iPad.  I love having that information electronically available and at my finger tips.
  • iPhone reminder app – I love this app.  I keep my to do list, grocery list and every other kind of conceivable list there.  It synchs across my devices and I can enter due dates.
  • Ulysses notebooks – I keep three going at all times.  One has important facts related to contacts and other key life information.  It is the notebook I take in advent of fire.  Also, it includes information I don’t want available online.  The other notebooks are more project based and hold notes for various projects and from related meetings.  One or both always seems in my tote.

 

  • Online file storage – this is a must and is available from a variety of different services.
  • Circa notebook system – I love this system.  I have custom notebooks for every project.  Small ones for travel, large ones for large projects and everything in between.

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Last but not least is my converted hope chest.  I’m southern so, of course, I have a hope chest.  Actually I inherited it from my grandmother who got it from her grandmother.  While my grandmother kept lines and her memories in her chest, I’ve turned mine into a file cabinet.  I outfit the interior with hanging folders and use it to organize and keep the papers I don’t want online or those things that simply don’t lend themselves to scanning. Added bonus is that the chest looks beautiful in my office.

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Business · Fashion · Organization · Travel

Packing for a business trip

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I have to present at a conference next week and I’m trying to decide what to pack.  This is a professional engagement and that means either suit or sheath dress and jacket.  I tend to be cold natured so I always travel with a sweater or a jacket to cover my arms.

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Business trips tend to be quick  so I always try to minimize what I’m taking.  I usually opt for either navy (is that a Southern thing?) or black.  By electing a color scheme I minimize shoes.  I also opt for having an extra outfit that I can pull out in emergencies.  That is a lesson I learned after being caught unaware on two separate occasions.  I’m leaning towards a wool, navy shift dress from Tory Burch and a navy pant suit, also Tory. I will accessorize with a scarf and my everyday jewelry of watch, earrings, necklace, rings and bracelet  By electing two Tory pieces, I can use the jacket with the dress and have the pants as my “just in case” feature.  It also saves on shoes.  I’m short so I always opt for heels.  For me that is a professional thing even in today’s climate of casual dress.  I am projecting an image of confidence and authority when I present so I try to consider presenting the complete package, thus the suit and heels.   I’m going with CL’s for the day.

My travel outfit is inspired by a wonderful TSA agent at Laguardia.  She advised me to wear a warm up suit to make the TSA line easy.  Since I have far too much of my mother and grandmother in me to go with a warm up suit, I opt for pointe leggings and a long cashmere sweater. I’ll complete the outfit with flats and a scarf.

To round out my packing, I’ll take leggings and a long sleeve exercise top, a nightgown and unmentionables with an extra set thrown in for the just in case things that happen when you travel.  My toiletries, Bluetooth speaker, conference information, laptop, and notebook with my conference papers will go in my tote with room for my handbag.

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My goal is to avoid checking my bag and by opting for minimal packing and a uniform color scheme I may just make it.

 

Business · Home · Organization

Routine?

Do you have a routine?  I recently realized that I do.  On the pro side of the equation, it helps.  I’m busy.  I have a job, a house, a family to care for and time is scarce.  On the con side, sometimes I feel constricted by my routine.  I’ve also found that I’m a creature of habit so the routine helps.  Amazon prime is a lifesaver and I can’t wait for the day when I can order my groceries online and have them appear at my house within a specified hour.  The reminder list app on my Iphone is my savior.  I keep a running grocery list, a life “to do” list with reminder dates and times and other lists for work, professional, and volunteer organizations.  The best suggestion I’ve ever received is to create a reminder with a date and time when I read an email.

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My routine tends to go something like:

Sunday:  church, cook a pot of something either for the freezer or to eat for the rest of the week, yoga class, or track, or hike with the fur children depending upon the time of year and the weather,  pay bills and answer any correspondence that came during the week, gather laundry for the cleaners, iron, class prep for Monday.  Much to the pup’s dismay, this also tends to be bath day.  Continuing a tradition from childhood, this is also the day I reach out to family and friends for a chat and catch up.  I like talking, so brunch with friends or a mid afternoon chat over the phone, is a delight.   If I’m very lucky, I can squeeze in a nap or a movie or something fun for an hour or two.  I always end the day with a long hot bath where I can relax and start the week off on a good note.

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Monday – Thursday:  work from 8 to ???, exercise class two nights a week, write my blog posts for the next week, catch up on life maintenance that can’t wait for the weekend and catch up on work maintenance that didn’t get done during the day. Update my “to do” lists for the next day, the week, and weekend and answer all emails received before 11PM.

Friday:  work, dinner with friends or tennis, Netflix evening.

Saturday:  check on Mom, tennis, laundry, grocery shopping and errands, house maintenance.    Fresh flowers are a Saturday thing for me.  I love the brightness that a vase of flowers brings to the house so I usually pick up flowers at the grocery store and arrange them for the kitchen table.  Glass of wine at night and time to relax with a good book.

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What is your routine?

Business

Back to school equals time to organize!

I have not been a student for decades but I love back to school.  There is something sad about the end of long lazy summer days and a sense of an anticipation of a new beginning with the start of a new school year.  With the start of a new school year there is the sense of learning something new, meeting new people, reuniting with friends you’ve not seen over the summer,  and anticipation of fall with the changing of the leaves, tailgates and football season.  Yet what I love most about back to school is the school supplies, or in my case, the chance to organize my life!

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I clean up my office.  Shred all the papers that I no longer need.  File away the finished projects, review to do lists, and figure out what still remains relevant.  The clean out takes the longest amount of time and then I get to organize what is left over.

Have you heard of Levenger?  If not, check out their webpage at levenger.com.    I am addicted to that company and their Circa system in particular.    The circa system uses a series of discs and covers to create notebooks where you can easily move pages in and out to where you need them.  This is one of my favorite travel tips. When I travel I create a notebook with my flight and hotel information as well as information and recommendations on any local places I might want to visit.  That way, if wifi fails me, I have everything in one place in print!  The circa system also lets you add features like a zip pouch for receipts or a sleeve for brochures or other things you might collect.  I use the circa notebooks for business as well as personal.  I have a notebook for each major project so that everything related to that project is in one place and at my fingertips.  That makes it easy when someone calls or pops in with a question.

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Next I’m off to Amazon, or Staples, or Target for folders, clips, and pencils and, well you get the picture.  When September comes along I have everything in place, at least for a few months!

In addition to the circa notebooks, I also use three Ulysses notebooks and a Neely and Chloe/Inslee planner to organize my life.  I have one small Ulysses notebook, a PM, that I use for nothing but life critical information.  A larger Ulysses notebook, the GM,  goes with me to every meeting for notes which I can then transfer into the topic specific notebooks with the rest of the information relating to that project.

I also use my mac calendar and the reminder feature on the iPhone to organize my life.  The reminder app is great as it carries across all my devices and permits me to schedule tasks.  I’ve learned to add a reminder or make a calendar entry when I respond to any email or as I work on a project.  That way I get the satisfaction of clicking completed when the task is done!

So what are your tips on how you organize your life?