Sunday, March 29, 2009

A series on time - Finding the perfect planner fit.

I will confess that this is a crazy time of year for me.  Without my planner I would be totally lost.  What do you expect out of your planner/calendar system?  Is it working for you?

It is the end of the first quarter of 2009!  I can’t believe we are this far into the year.  I also cannot believe that many of our poor lost citizens are still struggling with a planner system that doesn’t fit their needs.  Maybe you are struggling with your system.  Or maybe you just can’t coordinate all the different calendar systems that are present in your life?  After a quarter of the year feeling like you just can’t get it together, maybe you haven’t thought that it isn’t YOU… but it is the SYSTEM that is the problem?  Ah.  The incorrect system, of course.  Let’s work on finding a system that works for you.

What should I look for in a planner?  That’s a great question!  I’m so glad you asked.

It is important to:

  • have only one calendar/planner
  • have a durable planner
  • be able to see the whole week at one time
  • have room to write in the space provided
  • have full days for planning weekday AND weekend activities

What does the planner of a professional organizer look like?

  • The book itself is thin enough to slide into my satchel or into a file folder.  It is very easy to have on the go. 
  • The days and months are pre-labeled.  
  • I have had ones in the past where I am supposed to fill in the numbers on each individual day… I can tell you right now, 
    that is not going to happen in my life. 
  • I can see the whole week at a time… Monday through Sunday.
  • Each day has space available from 7 am until 10pm.  I get FULL days.  Seven of them!  All week long!
  • Those spaces are large enough for me to write in!  
  • Each day is divided up into 30 min slots. 
  • The top of each day has a space for “follow ups” and three lines for “action items”
  • There is an added space in the margin labeled “this week’s priority”, “weekly action items”, and “notes”.
  • The top of the page has all twelve months in little thumbprint-sized print.  This is great for a quick reference.
  • And while this last feature didn’t seem like a big deal to me at first… the bottom corner of the page is perforated!  Why  does this excite me?  No more need for a “bookmark” that can get misplaced.  No more fumbling with finding what page I should be on for the current week.  When the week ends, I tear off the little corner and then the book automagically opens to the correct week for me.

Where did I find this perfect planner?

My specific planner is from Time Management Whiz Harold Taylor’s shop over at Taylor in Time.  He has quite a collection to choose from.  Just click “Planners” in the left column of the site.  This is the identical planner that I own and love. 

What about electronic planners?

If it works for you, then I think that is wonderful.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  I need to SEE what I have planned.  I need that whole week at once.  I need the tangibility of an actual paper planner.  What can I say?  I am a 30-something luddite.  It works for me

I’m off to work on this week’s priority:  Spring Break.  How do you spend your Spring Break?  No matter what activities you choose, I hope that you have a great week with your families, catching up on your Spring cleaning, or getting to that yard work.

(Does anyone else dislike Live Writer today?)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pay It Forward

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a “handmade” gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There’s a small catch though…Post this same thing on your own blog and then come back and leave a comment telling me you’re in. Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift!

Ok, I copied this from this site:

I think Beth captures every blogger’s sentiment when she states… 

now that I am blogging I understand how important those comment can be… If only all the blogs I have lurked at for the past year knew I was there, sometimes every day they would know they had another fan/bloggy friend out their in cyber space.

So go post this on your blog and then come back and comment.  Go ahead.  Go.  :)

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It’s all in the bag.

I love purses.  Totes and handbags are fun and I do have a collection.  I love them and I USE them.  I have room to store them.

There has been some hubbub lately in the organizing community about handbags.  One bag, the Butler Bag, in particular seems to keep cropping up on everyone’s radar.  I have to honestly tell you that I do not see the appeal.

Maybe it is because I checked out the cheaper version at my local Kmart.  Maybe it is because I have a system for keeping things in my bag tidy.  Maybe it is because this bag it ultra shiny and I’m just not a “shine” kind of girl.  I don’t know.  I do know that this bag is not for me.

To read more about the famed bag, you can head over to Aby’s blog at Simplify101 or Tanna’s blog at Complete Organizing Solutions. 

To learn some tips for purse organization, keep reading!

Don’t carry what you don’t need. If you can get away with not toting around the kitchen sink, then by all means do it!  Also be careful what personal information you carry with you.  If you do not need to carry your marriage license, birth certificates, shot records, military id cards, social security cards, and the like on a daily basis then leave them at home – neatly filed away, of course!  If you have such sensitive personal information in your purse and your purse is lost or stolen, the ramifications of identity theft can be astronomical.  Now, if you have seen the size of my usual satchel, you must be wondering about this one.  In general, I do need something large enough to house: a Capri Sun, a snack for B, a snack for me, the occasional water bottle, my wallet/keys/cell, the packet of useful loose cards/change, business cards, and the “personal stuff” packet.  If I am out alone, my choice of purse is often much much much much smaller. 

Which brings me to point #2 – packets!  I love this and I think you will too!  Dump your purse out and group like things together.  When I do presentations, we use zip top bags to group things but in real life you can use something sturdier and prettier.  I like to use make up bags or these neat little mesh bags from the office supply department.  The bonus for using the packet system is that when you change handbags, you don’t have lots of lose things to sort through, you only need to choose the necessary packets to move into that day’s bag. 

What do we do with all of those loose cards?  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  There is a savings card for the grocery store, the pharmacy, the school supply, the baby superstore, the pet store… and on it goes!  In addition we mustn't fail to mention club cards, gym membership card, library card… It is enough to drive anyone batty!  This is where I share a tip from Debbie S. of Jacksonville (and I’ll be sending her some coffee love later this week for sharing!) who suggests punching a whole in the corner of your savings card, alphabetizing the cards, and putting them through a simple binder ring.  
A few caveats: Do not this with any official card (like your driver’s license).
If you are in doubt about IF this may invalidate your card, ask the vendor.
Do make sure that when you punch the card, you are not punching through any vital information.

This is my current (unedited) purse and its contents:



So ladies, what are some of your tips and tricks for keeping it “all in the bag”?

As you read in last week’s reveal:

Home Hub Notebooks are now available (to Jacksonville/St. Johns area residents) in an array of Spring colors!  Just in time for Spring cleaning.  If you’ve been itching to organize all of your paperwork, this is for you!

I have had many requests for a visual, so here it is: 


Spring Green (aka Mint), Sky, Rose, and Coral.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome Spring!!!

Ok, so it is still snowy in some parts of the country.  The temperatures have been getting warmer here.  I spent first part of this month in SUNNY Southwest Florida (7pm and 72 degrees)  and can tell you that the afternoons were like summer.  I have been to the beach this past week, not once… but TWO times.  Indulgent!  All of this combines together to make me think of one thing… SPRING IS COMING!  and with Spring comes???? Spring Cleaning!  I can hardly contain my excitement!  Can you tell? 

I am going to start our Spring cleaning with some gentle suggestions for you to do this week. 

*Pick a closet (or two or three) and switch out all that winter gear!
*Wash your windows (one at a time if you have to!) to let that Spring Sunshine in!!
*Lastly gather up your paperwork that is scattered through the house because…


I can hardly contain my excitement!  Can you tell? 
Spring Green (aka Mint), Sky, Coral, and Rose (yes, Jo, we are going with “Rose” even though I still say it is more Lavender) are here just in time for SPRING!!!!

If you are in the Jacksonville Area and are inspired to set up your own Home Hub Notebook System, or to have a Home Hub Home Party, just say the word!  If you want to have a party and don’t want to open up your home, I have some alternatives that may get your guests hopping for a Springtime paperwork makeover!!


Friday, March 13, 2009

Daylight Savings

How is everyone adjusting to the time change?  Today was a topsy turvy day for us, and I cannot officially blame the time change.  (Although… I would LOVE to blame the clocks.)  Speaking of '”Topsy Turvy”… Livewriter let me down with auto posting this week AND it took me all week to realize it.  Just think of this as bonus weekend, I suppose.  You will get TWO TWO TWO posts in ONE weekend.  Woo hoo!

Because of some feedback I have gotten recently from the ladies of Women Enlightened… and because I really love talking about it… I thought it was an appropriate TIME to talk about time management

If you want to know the truth, I do not do so well with keeping track of time.  It is true!  For this reason, I set timers/alarms for myself through out the day.  I do not miss appointments or deadlines.  I am not late for meetings.  I am on time or early to pick my child up from school.  My tasks for the day are all accomplished without stressing at the last moment.  If time seems to escape you, this is a trick you too might try.  My cell phone alarm is a daily godsend.

What is your time management weakness?  How do you overcome it?  If you haven’t found a way to work through your dilemma, let me know and we can work to find a solution together.

Many of you just do not do well with schedules and planners.  I must now confess that I am a typical Type A person when it comes to planning.  This is my administrative gift, I suppose.  I have always been a list maker - and thus a planner for when those tasks should get accomplished.  You see,  it isn’t enough to make the list and jot the “to-do” items down.  We must also decide WHEN to do these things.  That, dear friends, is planning.  Planning will lead to goal setting and all sorts of other wonderfully time management oriented things… alas, that is a post for another day.

Spring is just around the corner.  And with Spring comes a very special announcement from Organize With Julie.  I know the suspense will have you coming back for more!  Stay tuned this month as we launch a new twist on a product to help you conquer your clutter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New excitement!

As a push to get through this incredibly cold winter and move towards Spring I took a little weekend get away trip.  Not only was it a time of family, greeting old friends, communing with nature, refreshment and sunshine for my soul… I’ve been working on some things FOR YOU!

A new and improved way to connect and see all of the goings on of Organize with Julie is happening right under your nose… well, at least very close to your nose…  Check out our new fan page on Facebook

Not only have we updated, NEW Spring Specials have been posted to the website as well.  Just click on the “Special Offers” tab to learn more.  If you are thinking that it really is time for you to get organized… whether it is your New Year’s resolution or a general life goal, NOW is the time.

Welcome also to our new readers from Women Enlightened!  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of you over the past few weeks.  If you are a woman in the Jacksonville area looking for inspiration and a place to give to your community, I highly recommend checking out this group of dynamic ladies.

Don’t forget that I like to give out random awards to bloggy winners like I did in February, so if you are reading this, leave me some love in the comments section.  You just never know when I might be feeling generous! 

I look forward to “seeing” you all here again this weekend as we start to think about Springtime!