Being able to find something the instant you need it is important!
I have an Outlook contact for each app installed on my laptop. When I received the post-purchase confirmation email, I copy/pasted the codes and other information into the notes area. When I need a code (like recently after installing a new hard drive on my laptop), a quick search in Outlook, copy, paste. Done.
No need to find a document and look for the code. Finding something in Outlook is so much quicker, especially since it’s always open.
This is especially important now since we rarely get the actual software DVDs. Back then, I’d write the code directly on the disk with a sharpie (and still created the Outlook contact).
How do you keep up with your codes? Let us know in a comment.
I like systems, especially when it’s something I’ll do more than three times. And I always want to be organized. When I started walking in the neighborhood and going to the gym, I discovered the things I needed with me at all times.
I keep my backpack ready to go. Except as noted, these items stay packed.
My ID. There is a special inside pocket for my ID (driver license, healthcare cards, credit cards). I put it back in my purse at home.
Extra car key on ring with key card. I have to turn in a car key when getting the key to the treadmill. To avoid giving them all my keys, I keep an extra car key on a separate ring. It made sense to put the center’s key card on this ring.
Tube of skin protection. I rub this on before I leave home and throughout the day.
Sunglasses. I keep an extra, miscellaneous pair.
Small towel. That treadmill makes me sweat. I take it out for cleaning after each use.
Car charger for iPhone.I listen to music while working out, and my Steps app that tracks my calories sucks the battery life). When I’m on my way back home, I need this. This is an extra one that stays in the bag.
Armband that holds iPhone. Actually, I wear this around the house too. My Steps app that I mentioned above only works if my iPhone is on me.
Ink pens, notepad, business cards. Always ready to network.
Pack of Lysol wipes. Always with me for disinfecting anything I touch that’s someone else has used.
Arm band. This verifies I’ve been trained on the fitness equipment at my center.
Igloo cooler left in the car. I keep one bottle of water in the backpack. When I get back out to my car, I want cold water. I bought this small cooler and load it with a couple of bottles from the freezer before I head out.
I am going to lose weight and get more fit. I have healthy eating habits, but I was spending too much time at my desk, in front of my laptop.
I started walking in my neighborhood, and I have a Yoga mat (Ross has a great selection) and hand weights (Amazon) that I use at least every other day (great lessons on YouTube for anything you want and at any level).
I made my first trip to the senior center Downtown Durham and signed up to use the fitness center. I connected with two classmates, and we commit to each other to come back. We do.
I needed to remove all barriers to procrastination. Make a plan and work it, as they say. Here’s the plan for getting ready.
Schedule the time. Block out time on your calendar to do it. Turn off the TV, and you’ll be surprised how much free time you have.
Buy some cute outfits so you don’t have to ponder over and stress out about what to throw on. If you haven’t exercised before, you won’t have anything suitable. I found some great buys at Dollar General (of all places). I’ve washed them and am happy to report the quality has held up (I have no interest in buying designer workout clothes…at least not yet).
Organize everything. I organized the outfits with all the tops and sports bras in one drawer, and the bottoms in another. Everything is somewhat arranged by color.
Bought another pair of sneakers (Ross for $20). I wanted a pair that matched most of my outfits.
I like taking advantage of every space I have in my small home office. This is a solution I’ve used for years as a mailing station. This particular organizer is where I store various envelopes I use for mailing and also greeting cards. It’s perfect for my needs.
This is an over-the-door organizer designed for a small pantry. I don’t remember where I purchased this, but I found something similar at Sears and a similar one at Target.
Everything else I need to ship or mail items is in an organizer next to my desk and includes tape, multiple denominations of stamps, and mailing/shipping labels.
Etiquette expert, Jacqueline Whitmore, liked this idea. Here’s what she did with it (for office supplies).
Hope this will jumpstart your next organizing project.
I’ve been using colored stickers (my dots) for years to match my gadgets with their cable. Place a sticker on the cable, right side up so you’ll know at a glance which way it plugs into the port. If you exhaust all colors, just add two or more matching stickers.
This is also a great way to organize books, CDs, DVDs, etc., by genre.
Here’s a link to stickers on Amazon. Avery also has some, but you have to order as an add-on item (orders of $25 or more, which is no problem for me).
It’s so easy to pack beyond the 50-lb limit that airlines, trains, and buses limit you to. I’m a light packer and don’t usually worry about being over, but just in case, I ordered this portable luggage scale. I used it recently on a train trip, and this gadget matched exactly to Amtrak’s scales.
I hooked the strap through the handle of my bag and lifted it. 33 lbs.
This is an inexpensive item that will give you one less thing to worry about.
When it comes to returning items to the store, I want it as painless as possible. No digging through drawers or the trash looking for receipts for me! And I definitely don’t want to end up procrastinating about returning it because I can’t find the receipt.
Here’s a system that I’ve used for years, and it’s simple enough to maintain. Take a few minutes upfront so you won’t have to waste time later. Since I’d rather get my money back than a store credit, I take those few minutes every time.
Remove all tags from garment. I don’t want to strut out the door thinking I’m looking cute with a tag hanging somewhere so I remove everything when I’m reasonably “sure” I’ll keep it.
Write a description of the garment and the purchase date on the tag. Write a description in your own words…something that would make perfect sense to you later when searching. (For example, I purchased a pair of beige strappy shoes when I was in Durham NC, and that’s exactly what I wrote on the tag.)
Staple any tags together that you need to keep…per garment. Too many tags on a garment I just don’t get. I only keep the ones the store will probably want if the item is returned. I staple each set of tags in a different place they I know immediately which ones go together (because multiples items are listed on the receipt).
Write matching identifiers on the main tag and the receipt. This is such a timesaver. I’ll write “A” on the front tag and the corresponding “A” on the receipt for that particular garment.
Write the date and receipt number on the receipt. The ink on store receipts fade eventually so this is my backup.
Staple the tags to the front of the receipt. Keep everything together with the tags in the front. That’ll make it easier to find the right one faster.
Store in a logical place and keep everything together. One organizing solution is a receipt pack. Since I have different things itemized per receipt, keeping them by quarter works for me (Jan-Mar, etc.). Or keep everything together in a drawer with the most recent purchases on top.
That’s it. It’s always easy and quick when I decide to return something. Do you have a system you use? Hopefully, you’ll create one if you don’t.
P.S. Yes, I’ve tried that scanning thing, and I procrastinated. Although I’m a technology lover, this manual method works better for me.
I had a face-to-face conversation with a woman the other day. Her entire demeanor spelled
She started talking about all the things she was involved in (church, social clubs, etc.). Wore me out just listening to it.
She has entirely too much on her plate, and it showed. Way too much volunteer work added on top of paid work. It was obvious that she never has time to stop long enough to think, reflect, or do nothing. This is not healthy living, and if she ever decides to change (or is forced to), the solution is quite simple.
List all the things you HAVE to do (work, cook, etc).
Next, list all the things you CHOOSE to do (e.g., volunteer work).
Consider the most important person in your life – YOU—and ask yourself what can be eliminated.
Take a deep breath, make some calls, send some emails, and do it!
Don’t worry, they’ll either find someone else to do it or drop it because it wasn’t as important as you thought…not your concern because you need to focus on you right now.
When someone responds to an email message that “yes” they’re going to do something and I see it comes from their phone, I have just about zero confidence that they’re going to remember to do it. Here’s why.
At my computer, I’m inside Outlook, and a new message arrives. I immediately drag it to my calendar or tasks with a reminder or an appointment. And depending on the situation, I might flag that message for follow-up. On the other hand, when I check email on my iPhone, I’m not going to do all that. Neither will you. You most likely look at the email, respond with a quick “yes,” and make no effort to put anything in place to help you remember.
When I MONITOR email, I’m just checking for anything I need to respond to right away (e.g., an inquiry from a reporter on a deadline, a cancelled meeting, etc.). Otherwise, I’ll deal with everything else when I’m in front of my computer because I can MANAGE better and easier.