Do you need to get more organised with your paper? Ahem! Who said ‘no’?
Put your hand up! You are a rare breed, indeed.
Who is inspired to take the paperless office to the next level? Who wants to lead a generally normal life without drowning in paper clutter? That would be the rest of the western world, right?
Well, we have a NEAT solution - visit http://www.neat.com. Seriously, ‘Neat’ have developed a range of scanners to functionally and easily record the vital information from receipts, business cards and documents into organised digital files – imagine a digital filing cabinet – what a space saver!
Piles of receipts....stacks of business cards...reams of paper. Of course, what we really need is the information trapped inside them! That's why Neat's scanners and software solutions use patented OCR and parsing technology to read and extract key information from your paper, so you can organize it, export it, or securely store it in their easy-to-use database system.
In receipts, it looks for the date, vendor, amount and sales tax. On business cards, it captures all of the contact information: name, company, title, address, phone, email, website and fax. And on documents, the software captures all of the printed text and gives it to you in searchable PDF format. You can also perform keyword searches on any scanned item to find what you need quickly and easily. Voila!
We love this concept, the technology and the paperless pathway. For PC or Mac. Order online at http://www.neat.com for Australians or other out-of-towners, call them and see if they'll ship one to you...Enjoy!
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Ok, who doesn't have an iPhone. Hands up...
Oh, ok, well, there are quite a few people who haven't (yet?) been bitten by the Apple-bug. As many of you may have realised by now, the Get Organised team has a predilection for the iPhone in all its glory.
In the past, I raved about the benefits and beauty of the Palm Pilot and subsequently the Palm Treo.
Many people (still) love their Blackberry's or another much-appreciated style of phone/PDA. I found the transition from Palm to iPhone a little daunting - after years of advocating Palm - and I wanted to be sure that I was going to be recommending a product that I truly admired and found useful for getting more organised. After all, that's what I'm all about - well, not all about...
So, what did I do? I stood back for a while and watched (with envy) until a few of my friends took a breath from raving about them, gave one a bit of a whirl and I was hooked! I mean, what this little gadget can't do it not worth doing!
We all know 'Apps', yes? I mean, really, I'm sure that word is going to be entered into the Oxford English Dictionary soon enough (like 'Google' has made its way in - hang on, I'll just go and check 'Facebook' in the online dictionary...nope, not yet. How retro!)
So, a few goodie apps that we like...
- Of course, the freebies like Yellow and White Pages, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and LinkedIn are really popular, but what about...
- MyFitnessPal - a wonderful free software that tracks your daily calories via a self-paced meal plan. Even if you're not into the whole recording thing, just the calorie counter is useful (before you dig into the scones...)
- iMapMyRun goes with it - really drill down the whole in/out fitness thing. GO!
- CPR and Choking has a great info app for performing CPR - a real life-saver - literally!
- Shazam - well - this is a great one: catch a tune in the local cafe? Shopping in DJ's and the overhead sound system plays that rockin' 80's hit that you're too embarrassed to ask the assistant the name of? Shazam will listen for a few seconds and voila! Your nutty head moment is relieved! Woohoo!
- A GPS app is self-explanatory.
- For the budding (or experienced renovator) DIY Calculator does exactly that: calculates the amount of paint, tiles or wallpaper you'll need for that kitchen reno, and, while you're at it, download the ColourChange app so that you can take a photo of your room and muck around with the colour at your leisure. iHandy Carpenter turns the phone into a plumb bob, protractor and ruler(!).
- While you're at it, check out when the latest House Renovating program is on with the TV Listing app, and it will even tell you when you faves are coming on!
- eBook readers can be real time-and-money savers - but only if you can tolerate reading a book from a small screen. The Gen X and Y'ers probably find it as easy as breathing, but, hey, we're not all pre-thirtysomething. Ooops! Did I let that out? Lugging around a library of books in an iPhone is a real advantage instead of the generous paperback when travelling - great for the ecosystem, too. But, take your magnifiers!
- You can find Inspirational quotes, Esther Hicks and even The Secret (buy or rent)!
So, there we go! Anything is possible! Wow! Something for everyone, yes? Go on over to the Apple Store and while away a few squillion minutes checking out the range of the 230,000-odd apps that are guaranteed to change your life! Or, at least make it easier, fun, more interesting, even educational. A real pocket rocket!
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At Get Organised, we are constantly on the lookout for ideas that help people teach their kids the value of organising. Is that stretching the concept a bit far?
What about just teaching kids to BE organised? Or, just getting them to hang up their stuff in the right place??
Seriously, as children grow into adults in our materialistic world, organisational skills can be a bit thin on the ground. Many parents are too busy to teach their kids the basics, more children have more ‘stuff’ and lots of people simply haven’t tamed the clutter beast themselves.
So, in an effort to help parents help their children, we at Get Organised are researching topics and tips for our new eBook, Get Organised with Children. It is a work-in-progress until publication, of course, so we are putting out for any ideas, tips or experiences (funny or frustrating) that you may have to share with others like you. Don’t be bashful! Really, we all need to club in together and teach our kids the stuff of life, before they drown in it! That wasn’t meant to be a pun!
In the meantime, here’s a novel, but spunky, idea that one couple had for creating order in the bath-house. Colour-coded towel racks. Each child knows their colour, so any missing or floor-dwelling bath bits could be assigned to a particular culprit at once! More positively, each child (regardless of age) has an easy solution for remembering which place was theirs, no buts!
The colour-coded theme was repeated around the home, not just in the kid’s rooms, but in the living areas as well. Baskets for toys, hooks near the front door etc. etc.
Each child (from 2 to 12) knows exactly where their stuff goes and can take responsibility for their own things. No discussion! We like the straightforward solution that this idea presents.
Let’s face it, if there is a loophole or a crack, the kids will find it, and then argue with you about it until the cows come home – far longer than it takes to follow through on the task!
Is that your experience? Any clues, tips or tricks to share with the other trillion parents out there who could use some?
Leave us a comment, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
and be a part of our new book! Or, find us on Facebook, and post on our wall!
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Sunny days and balmy nights seem to have replaced the cooler winter months overnight! Of course, I’m sure that the big chill isn’t all over yet, but the weather has certainly brought the promise of bare toes and swirling skirts to the front of my mind…
In saying that, I’m always a little reluctant to say farewell to winter – not so much the cooler temperatures, but the scarves, gloves, hats and coats that go together to make winter fashion so FUN!
So, as the time draws near to file away our winter accessories and woollies, let’s take a few moments to consider how to store them so that they will be fresh and beautiful when we pull them out to play with next winter!
I know that many of you don’t have lots of space for wardrobe storage, so it can be really useful to put your out-of-season clothes and accessories into what we call ‘deep storage’ and at the same time bring last season’s clothes back into service in your current wardrobe space. But to do this really well, here are a few hints to be aware of:
Go through your clothes and accessories
and weed out anything that you haven’t worn this season. Unless the item is formalwear, or fancy dress, or a couture garment that you simply haven’t had occasion to wear, consider moving those items on – to a charity shop, a second hand clothing consignment shop, or even to ‘Fitted for Work’, a service committed to helping long term unemployed and disadvantaged women obtain work, maintain employment and ultimately achieve financial independence. (see http://www.fittedforwork.org
While we’re on the subject of storage,
if you want to see how the other half (?) lives, have a look at Garde Robe
. Storage at its finest! I want to play in there!
With your remaining items, make certain that everything is clean and pressed. Food and other substances can be invisible at first, but over the duration of a season, will develop and permanently discolour your valuable clothes and accessories.
Don’t forget that dry-cleaning is often Tax-deductable, so keep the receipts! Why not see if your cleaner will do a bulk deal for you – all your scarves, coats, and jackets together! Once this is done, and it’s a great feeling, be sure to remove all of your items from the plastic bags, and choose instead to store them in fabric coat bags on great hangers!
At a pinch, you could use a sheet and some pegs to form a makeshift coat bag for a few items at a time…
Put a few cedar balls in the bag.
Also, I make a point of collecting those silicone absorbing packets that come with shoes etc. and these can be a good idea as well, in case of any dampness.
On the subject of great hangers, by now you may have taken our advice and decided to invest in some quality coat hangers. Coats, jackets and specialty garments really need to be hung with due respect to their nature.
Good wooden hangers should be reserved for other, less-structured garments. This is the time to invest in a few really chunky, sculptured hangers, purpose-built for tailored garments.
Trouser hangers with non-slip bars (available from good storage outlets) are perfect for storing multiple pairs of trousers on one hanger, and are ideal for storing half a dozen cashmere or woollen scarves, or pashminas.
Why not consider identifying one brand or range of hangers that you like, and adding to your collection each season when changeover time comes?
Knitwear should be cleaned and pressed, and stored loosely folded or rolled in an airtight box. This is a great opportunity to use some cedar balls as a preventative measure against moths and silverfish.
Made from cedar, the aroma from these balls is an environmentally friendly way to deter creatures dining on your best cashmere.
Make sure that you avoid allowing the timber balls to come into direct contact with your clothing, perhaps placing them loosely in tissue, or a small ziplock bag which hasn’t been closed.
I always use the opportunity of storing my woollies as an excuse to do a maintenance chore which many of you may be familiar with by now.
I get out a razor (or a specialist tool) and the ironing board, and ‘shave’ my woollens to get rid of all the little balls that accumulate over the season. Time-consuming and, yes, boring…but use it as an opportunity to catch up on the past seasons of a favourite TVseries, and it will be time well spent.
Press well, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that the next time you see your beloved cardi, it will be clean, beautiful and in perfect order! Well done!
Sadly, the time has come to say farewell to our beloved boots…! How I love my boots, well, I love shoes in general, but that’s a whole other story. Boots and shoes need to be stored carefully. Polish them first… shoe polish nourishes leather, and if shoes are stored polished, they will love you for it.
Of course, now is the time to take any shoes that need re-heeling to the bootmaker. There’s no point in owning a $250 pair of shoes, and then letting a $10 heel job stop them from lasting more than a couple of years.
One of the wonderful things about growing older (growing up?) is that you don’t change your shoe size – so ensure that your shoes thrive for as long as you can! After all, you don’t want to be seen as ‘down at heel’, so to speak!
Consider using ‘Booty Shapers’
available at our online store
. These hold the boots in shape beautifully, and can be deflated for travelling should you be lucky enough to go somewhere cool and exotic this summer!
Dust is a common issue in storage: dust collects in crevices and seams, and acts as an abrasive which destroys your shoes over time. Shoe and boot bags are perfect for this. Sole Passion makes a stunning range of protective shoes bags, which are also ideal for travelling – they keep your shoes separated from your items of clothing.
Dry clean or wash all of your precious scarves and wraps, and as indicated, and hang them over a trouser hanger, to save them from being wrinkled. Hang in the coat bags with your coats etc.
Socks, winter hosiery, gloves and hats can be stored in marked shoeboxes, or plastic boxes with silicone sachets, and hats should certainly be clean and stored loosely in hat boxes. Don’t forget that inner brims can become soiled and need occasional attention from your drycleaner.
Repair anything that requires it, or if you really don’t want the seamstress to do it, move them on! Drop them off at the alterations shop on your way to another appointment. Do it this season, and they’ll be ready to wear next season. Otherwise, why store a problem?
Finally, when you open up your Summer collection of clothes, make a list of anything that you really need to fill the gaps from last summer, and be prepared to be firm with yourself and buy those things that you really need first.
Be sensible about your wardrobe selections and you’ll get miles more use, for a fraction of the cost, and you’ll need less storage space. Did you know the average woman wears 20% of her wardrobe 80% of the time!
Well, farewell winter fashion, and roll on summer! Now is the time to pull out your summer sizzlers and PLAY!
I always forget what I’ve put away, so it’s a bit like Christmas…and since I practice the same rules for summer storage as winter, my clothes are always in perfect order! I can’t wait, actually!
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Special occasions are important events in our lives, and it can be really disheartening (and sometimes embarrassing!) when you realise that you have forgotten a special birthday, anniversary, graduation ceremony or even the passing of a beloved friend.
Save yourself any discomfort, and precious time, by becoming more organised in the way that you deal with remembering these special occasions.
Make sure that you diarise any significant event in your diary.
You could consider using a special pen colour, highlighter or symbol so that you can clearly see the significance of the note.
We suggest that you make a reminder entry (up to a week earlier in your diary) that the occasion is coming up, to remind you and give yourself enough time to organise a gift or card, especially if you need to post either of these.
If you have a smartphone, you’re lucky! It’s easy to be organised with one of these – simply select the date of the occasion, select ‘all day event’, in ‘categorise’ you can select a special colour, call up ‘recurrence’ and create a ‘once a year’ recurring event.
Make sure that you create a reminder for at least a few days in advance (this may depend upon whether you need a long lead time to send a gift, or just a moment to make that call!).
For the iPhone users out there: select the Date, input a Name for the occasion, select the Timeframe, choose a Recurrence and set a Reminder. Probably one of the few complaints about the iPhone setup (did we say complaints?) is that it is impossible to set a reminder more than two days in advance. Not enough lead time, really.
So, we recommend setting the event up in Outlook on your computer, setting a more logical reminder (say one week), then syncing it to your iPhone.
The iPhone will remind you one week out from the event, even though its software won't allow you to schedule a one week reminder! When the reminder pops up, take the opportunity to set a second reminder on your iPhone, say, one day from the event (something you can't do with Outlook!).
There are a number of eCard companies that specialise in electronic gift cards which are created for you with the opportunity to input your own special greeting.
Check out Jacquie Lawson
as an example of a card company that produces exquisite eCards. For a small membership fee, you can send unlimited eCards globally. They have an address book facility that enables you to do a mass mailing to your entire family, as well as a scheduling facility so that you can choose and input all of your cards at one time, and schedule them for dispatch any time later in the year.
For example, you could be at your computer and organise a few cards when
you have the time, and then schedule them to be sent at the appropriate
time (on Mother’s Day, a friend’s birthday, a Thank You card, or
whatever you need).
This will save you time, and assure you that at
least a beautiful card will be delivered to your recipient’s email box- how organised is that? And, of course, membership would likely be a Tax deduction for small businesses - bonus!
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A client showed me some sock clips recently, that her husband had bought so that he didn’t lose his socks anymore. It was causing so many problems in their marriage, he took the initiative and purchased some from a $2 shop. Now when he takes his socks off, he clips them, throws them down the laundry chute and never loses his socks anymore!
There are a number of companies who sell different varieties of sock clips. Check out Latest Buy
. It’s such a big issue for everyone – lost socks…even me – sometimes mine go to another planet…and I’m organised!! It’s the sock curse – they’re having the last laugh I think…
To the untrained eye, tumble dryers and washing machines look innocent enough - but not to the humble sock clip. It takes a glance at these machines and immediately sees beyond their "innocent whitegoods" exterior. It sees a pair of compulsive thieves harbouring the guiltiest of secrets – a fetish for socks and smalls.
Haven't got a pack of sock clips yet? Well, chances are, you have a navy sock on your left foot and a black one on your right. That's because your washing machine and dryer have gobbled up your socks' matching companions...and if the whitegoods don't get them, your sock drawer probably will – ever noticed how two socks seem to enter a drawer...and only one ever comes out? Very spooky!
But if you use a sock clip to keep your pairs in, er, pairs, you'll never have to step out in mismatched socks again (unless that's the kind of look you're after).
Simply clip your pieces together then put them through the washing machine and tumble dryer, toss them straight into your drawer – and you can be guaranteed that the clever little clip has kept them together throughout the entire laundering and storage process! Imagine what they could do for your children's sock drawer! Cheaper than the school sock they lost last week!!
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