Do you listen to podcasts? They make excellent commuting companions and workout buddies because the time seems to fly when listening to something entertaining and educational.
If you want some extra inspiration and information for your organizing journey, try the Keeping You Organized podcast by Smead (maker of innovative home and office organizing products). The podcasts are 15-20 minutes long and cover a wide range of organizing topics such as paperwork, time management, and decluttering.
Find the Keeping You Organized podcast in iTunes or on the Smead website.
P.S. If you like podcasts, two non-organizing related ones that I enjoy are How I Built This, which profiles entrepreneurs and innovators, and The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe, which tells surprising stories about people and events you thought you knew.
Do you get confused trying to remember all of your passwords for various websites?
Do you keep the same, simple (easily-breached!) password for every site so it's easy for you to remember?
Do you write down passwords in a book or keep hard copies of passwords in files?
Do you never update your passwords because it's too hard to remember new ones?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should check out a password manager such as LastPass.
After a couple of years of using my own complicated password system and having to manually update all of my passwords on a quarterly basis, I finally decided to give LastPass a try. After a brief learning curve, I now find it very simple to create, store, and update complicated passwords to any site I log onto and to use LastPass across all of my devices. You can even use LastPass to share password access to designated sites with family members or coworkers.
Organize your passwords with a password manager!
(Click here to read why The Wirecutter picked LastPass as the best password manager and here to read their opinion as to why everyone should use a password manager.)
“Put it away right away.”
That sounds annoyingly goody two-shoes, doesn’t it? Well, never mind that. This little mantra works for me!
I say it to myself to get me through those moments when I just “don’t wanna.” (Can you hear the whine in my voice?)
I say it when…
I’m tempted to dump the mail on the kitchen counter instead of taking, seriously, one minute to sort it into recycling, action, and filing.
I’m tempted to drop the action and filing items onto my desk instead of just slipping them into the appropriate files. Why? To save 20 seconds?
I’m tempted to leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher or the sink full of dirty dishes, when really I can have those dishes put away in about three minutes.
I’m tempted to toss a pen onto my desk instead of putting it back in the drawer. (Later, when I can’t find the pen in the drawer, I accuse all of my family members of stealing my favorite pen!)
I’m tempted to leave the folded laundry in the basket because haven’t I done enough already by washing it, drying it, and folding it? But if I leave it in the basket tonight, it’ll still be there waiting for me in the morning – so just put it away right away!
Every time you’re tempted just to be lazy and drop whatever it is wherever you are, say to yourself, "Put it away right away!"
Your home, office, or room (Hello, my teenage daughter!) will stay so much tidier and putting things away will become an ingrained habit, making it easier to maintain a less-cluttered environment.
This time of year can easily get out-of-control busy. Streamline your activities by taking a few minutes to list them using this 1-2-3 system.
Must Do’s are things like buying Christmas gifts for family, putting up a tree, going to school performances and/or church Advent services, and sending cards*.
Want to Do’s might be things like going to a certain party, decorating a gingerbread house with the kids, or going to see a holiday play or concert.
Skip Doing’s are things you enjoy and might have done in the past, but that you can put off for a year or so just to make this year a little less hectic. These could be things like the Want to Do’s (parties, performances, crafts) and they can also be the extra gifts or homemade items that you sometimes do. If making time for those things this year will stress you out, then choose a simpler option. I know someone who now skips gift wrapping: he shops at stores that offer gift wrapping and, when that’s not possible, puts everything in gift bags to make the holidays easier.
If you have a family, it’s a good idea to include everyone in planning your Holiday To Do List so you can get their input about what’s important and then divvy up the chores so everything doesn’t land on your plate.
Happy Stress-Less Holiday Season!
*A side note about Christmas cards: I have a friend who emails her annual family update letter along with candid photos from the year. I always look forward to reading her witty words and to seeing how her kids have changed. As an organizer, I must admire that her Christmas card contributes no physical clutter. And, after addressing, stuffing, and stamping all of my letters, I appreciate how much she must save in time, effort, and money. Email cards are definitely an option to consider!
5/28/2020 UPDATE: Sadly, Wunderlist was bought by Microsoft and is now defunct. My new to-do list app of choice is the fabulous TickTick!
Cons: The free version is very limited, so unless your to-do-listing is very basic, you'll need the paid version.
Pros: The straightforward layout is similar to my beloved Wunderlist plus it is feature-rich with smart lists, list sharing, in-app communication, calendar integration, and even a built-in Pomodoro timer so you can learn to be super productive!
I’m so excited to share this week’s tip with you. It’s my favorite app ever – the one I can’t live without: Wunderlist!
This is the app that does all the work of keeping me organized and on task. I honestly can't remember what I did before I had Wunderlist. I guess I just wrote stuff down on paper -- ugh, how archaic!
Now I keep every kind of list imaginable on it: a basic To Do list, packing lists, a list of books I've read, grocery lists, a list of things I want to buy (so I don't impulse shop), and more. (As a child, didn't you love the story of The List in Frog and Toad Together?)
My recent favorite is my Recurring list. These are things that I have to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis Wunderlist reminds me to do them, so now I can't "forget" to practice piano or wash the doormats.
Another excellent feature is the ability to share lists with others. This is great for collaborating on projects and for keeping your kids on track.
Best of all, the lists sync between my laptop, iPad, and Android phone, so I'm never without Wunderlist.
Oh, yeah, and did I mention it's free?