I know. It’s getting hard to do everything – to keep a clean house, email promptly, get all your errands done and still have a life, make dinner and do what needs to be done.
But I have found some pretty incredible products that will help you, whether you are looking for time management tips or something to organize all those papers of yours.
I can’t make it all go away, but I can make it better!
Publisher & Editor – the knack
Elizabeth Hagen is an organizing expert and she knows that paper can be completely overwhelming.
She believes in the FAT System – File-Act-Toss. She can show you how to figure out what you need to keep and what you should get rid of.
If your dining room table is awash in papers and magazines, don’t worry. She can help you. If you can’t close the door to your office, she can help.
Elizabeth says, “Imagine having a home for all the papers that you keep to remind you to take some action in the future. Invitations, school forms to sign, soccer schedule to put into the calendar, etc. Imagine what it would be like to put the paper away and on the right date it would show up to remind you!”
And that, ladies and gentlemen is her Complete Tickler File System!
It is “a place for reminders to go, and on the right date they will be there for you to take action.”
It is a no-fail method that allows you a place for everything and very little work in order to stay on top of the mess of papers before you.
She includes a Smead Daily/Monthly Desk File/Sorter that includes 43 dividers – 31 numbered for days of the month, and 12 months. This is where you put all of your papers and then you simply go to that month or day and complete the work that needs to be done on the papers enclosed, whether it’s bills, phone calls, emails or memos that need writing. IT IS ALL IN ONE PLACE, ORGANIZED AND READY TO BE ACTED UPON.
I’m calling it my Personal Assistant. It keeps me organized and on time and I am constantly updating the system with new entries, so nothing gets left behind.
You can use it for whatever your business or interests. I like that it can be personalized to what you do – it’s not just made for the businessman on the go or someone in engineering. You can be a mom, student or busy entrepreneur or anyone that has work to do. I’m guessing that includes you.
In Elizabeth’s kit, you get:
- Accordion Tickler File (tabs for 1-31 and January through December)
- Pre-printed labels for your customized hanging files
- Checklist to keep track of what you need to get done each day
- CD with handouts and an interview with Elizabeth Hagen on “Calming the Chaos of Clutter in the Home” which explains how to use the Tickler File
She guides you though organizing everything that may pass through your desk.
The only thing you have to do is buy the system and put your papers in it, then do the work on those papers.
It’s the simplest way to organize what you need to do.
Audrey Crawford has created a Project Organizer Workbook that allows you to list and then check off the things you need to do in each room.
She has laid out neat column in a small spiral-bound book where you can list what you want to do every room in the house. And Audrey’s thought of them all!
living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, bathroom, family room, coat closet, office, laundry room, master bedroom, second bedroom, third bedroom, fourth bedroom (you should be so lucky!), half bath, full bath, walk-in closet, office closet, hallway (1), hallway (2), hallway (3), hallway (4), and many, many more!
I like that she has included little helps along the way like “Buy new towels” for the guest bathroom and “put away lawn furniture” for the deck/balcony.
You can list things like “paint walls,” “reorganize closet “ and “build shelves” and list them as things to do right away like “call washing machine repair man” or plan for future projects and fixes.
It is a sweet, simple little thing, but boy does it make it easier having everything in one place!
This easy-to-read spiral-bound book is filled with 2010 tips, ideas and suggestions for managing your time and organizing your life.
There are sections on email, family, magazines, multitasking, goals, decision making, paperwork, planning, travel and tyranny of the urgent, among others.
Each topic is broken into small little helpers of 2 or 3 sentences, so you can read it and use it or go onto the next without investing too much time in ideas that won’t help you and quickly finding the ones that will.
I read 2010 Time Tips cover to cover, and came up with a long list of things I’m going to implement. There are a few repeats of ideas under different subject headings, but mostly there are a lot of great ideas that may just spark you to do something differently, better, and/or more efficiently.
I like Harold’s idea of using business cards as note pads (p. 15), putting deadlines into your email’s subject line (p. 40), his “one page per day” rule (p. 52), identifying cartons (p. 95), not using scraps of paper (p. 105), the value of planning (p. 119), a 4-step method for getting things done (p. 132), the brilliant but oft-forgotten “one thing at a time” (p. 140), and well, there’s a lot of them.
I can’t list them all.
You’re just going to have to buy the book.
Or do Time Tip # 2008.
Organizing your closets and your kitchen are probably 2 areas that have yet to be solved.
Her Simple Division Garment Organizers come with 12 Organizers and 60 Sorting Labels. Not only will you be able to find things quickly, but you can organize your clothing into whatever categories work for you – making the whole process of finding the clothes you need in mere seconds actually possible!
There are labels for everything you can imagine including capris and shorts and even seasons! The large white markers are easily visible in even the smallest closet.
Once you try them, you’ll wonder how you managed without them this long!
And to organize the kitchen, you can label all of your cupboards with the SpaceScaping Kitchen Organizing System to reorganize your space or to plan where you’ll put things after moving in.
They are completely removable, so you can move things around as you use them, perhaps finding a better, more accessible place for things.
A couple of months ago, I reconfigured how the stuff in my cabinets was arranged. I had had glasses on a shelf too high to reach and items that I never ended up using taking up the space I needed for more used items.
Switching things around every once in awhile is important. You accumulate new stuff and sometimes you forget about things that eventually get shoved to the back.
This Kitchen Organizing System will help give you the kitchen you’ve always wanted. At least, organization wise!
Marlo Nikkila is one of those people who make organizing completely free of stress, using a very personable and stress-free approach.
I mean, even her ACTION PLAN is gentle and easy-to-follow. They’ll be no finger pointing or yelling here, just gentle suggestions to help you improve your life and the way you’re doing things.
This is the kind of help I think is most helpful to those who are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.
The Organize Out of the Box Card Deck contains 52 colour-coded cards that help you take control of your life – a bit at a time.
Each card suggests specific advice for organizing a particular area of your life:
- your self
- your space
- your stuff
- special occasions
- significant others
And they aren’t things that you can’t do or don’t have time for. They are all things that you can start doing RIGHT NOW and have the life you’ve always wanted, the life you deserve to have!
She has a fantastic suggestion for board games that I implemented right away, how to get rid of piles, great laundry solutions and how to find your big frog (you’ve got to get the cards to understand this one!).
The cards are the size of my hand so you can leave it out for a week or a couple of days to remind yourself of what your new goal is. She also has suggestions on ways to use the cards that are a lot of fun!
I think these are great for someone that finds reading a book on organizing too overwhelming and for someone who works better with small, easy-to-follow tasks than large projects.
So in other words, they are perfect for those completely disorganized and can’t see their way out from under the mess and for those of us who sometimes fall off the wagon and can use a gentle reminder every now and again about how to stay on top of the stuff, so that we can spend time on the things that really matter.