Posted By IOTeam

time for changeBy Karen Simon


As a tech specialist, I see that technology drastically changes and drives our lives! I see it in how people and families communicate, how we receive & pay bills, how we buy things. It's even taking over our cars - parallel-parking automatically! Some people fight against it, saying they're going to stick to their own (and old) ways. But tech will not allow it. Soon, all parking meters & lots will be "unmanned," the only option will be to "pay by card." Why? Because tech saves time (our most precious commodity) and labor (our most costly expense).

Do I HAVE To?

Tech forces us to do things we may not want to do - like order online, file electronically, or take & keep photos digitally. Instead of resisting, we can figure out ways to celebrate and embrace it. Use it to our advantage! If you're a business owner, there are ways that tech can FREE you from burdensome tasks. It can save you time, space and money. It can do the same in our personal lives.

Why SHOULD I?

Armed with the right apps and devices, we can relax. We can free our minds of having to recall who we know & how to contact them, where to be & when, and even, how to get there! A business can easily leverage its information and re-use it in multiple ways to get new customers, retain existing ones and engage old ones.

What Does It Take?

With an open mind, little bits of learning and some patience, you can get there. Find someone to help you - perhaps a Digital Trainer. Just like a Fitness Trainer, it's a person you trust, who has an interest in your success! They'll have more impact than one who just "knows more than you." As you set your resolutions for the New Year, be CURIOUS about how tech can help you get those goals!


 
Posted By IOTeam

By Karen Simon, Island Organizers2014 npm

     September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2014 is "Resolve To Be Ready." This year, President Obama has declared two days- April 30 & Sept 30- as part of America's Prepare-A-Thon to encourage everyone to take steps to prepare for any type of disaster.

What Is A Disaster?

     In recent months there have been a few devastating disasters: Malaysian Airlines' missing plane & plane crash in Europe, a 6.0 earthquake in California, 3 hurricanes in the Hawaii... the list goes on.  Consider what a disaster is to you. What if you, a family member or close friend were in a major accident? What if your home was ransacked & robbed? What if your neighbor's house caught fire and it spread to yours? Would you consider these events to be disasters?

Being Prepared For Anything

     Recently, a friend told me about his brother-in-law, Joe (name has been changed), who passed away due to a terminal illness. On the day that Joe had an appointment with his attorney to sign his will, he died before the appointment. He is survived by two sons, a grandson and a live-in girlfriend. His major assets are a home with a mortgage and a business with seven employees. Joe's estate is now in Probate.

     Since none of Joe's family was involved in his business, no one is left in charge to manage it during the Probate. What happens to the business in the meantime? About the house, who makes the mortgage payments? We hope that someone can find his life insurance policy. We hope that someone has access to Joe's financials and other funds he may have. We hope that...

Prepare Your Paperwork

     Gathering vital documents & paperwork is a necessary step to being prepared for anything. Leaving behind a legacy like Joe's is not what most want for their heirs. It's not what you want someone to leave to you. Trying to recover documents is not what you'll want to be doing after any type of disaster.

     This September, pledge to prepare your vital documents & information. Scanning and filing them electronically will keep them safest, make for easier access and allow you to share with the VIPs in your life. Do it for yourself and your loved ones - don't delay!

=====

REGISTER for our Vital Documents Webinar on Sept 30, 2015!

A Shortlist of Resources:

Replacing Your Important Papers at FEMA

Document Checklists at SafelyFiled

Organizing, Scanning & Digital Filing at IslandOrganizers


 
Posted By IOTeam

by Karen Simon , Island Organizers

eCalendar

     It's time to set up your calendar for the coming year with birthdays, holidays and special occasions. Before the days of electronic calendars, you'd take out both your new and old calendars or date books. You flip each page of the old to write your days to remember into the new. Those who use an eCalendar on their smartphone, computer and/or tablet can take advantage of the three most useful features that save the time and energy of this chore.

#1 - Recurring/Repeat Events: Birthdays, holidays and annual events that fall on the same day of the year can be plugged in once and will appear every year thereafter.

#2 - Import the holidays: Some holidays occur on different days each year, e.g., Thanksgiving, and some religious holidays. With most eCalendars, these dates can be automatically added in a blink by downloading a small file. Smartphone and tablet users can go to the app or Play Store. Web calendar (Google, Yahoo, etc.) users can just check a box to "turn on" holiday calendars to show the holidays. Note: for Calendar apps like Outlook or iCal and others, do an internet search on "import US holidays" to download. Get it on one device and the dates will sync with all your devices!
#3 - Reminders/Alarms: Especially with birthdays, take advantage of the alarm or reminder feature to notify you several days or weeks in advance of special dates so you have ample time to buy and mail cards or gifts. eCalendars can sound an alarm or popup a reminder; some send a reminder email when it's time.

Start your year off with an organized calendar. Take advantage of our Get Organized Month (January) specials, including one that includes help with e-Calendars! Ask me how to do it now.

Contact Us:  808-943-2053 & 310-391-7392

 


 
Posted By IOTeam

karen simon by Karen Simon

What steps will you or staff take when damage or loss occurs out of the blue? Disasters are defined as a sudden event that causes damage, failure and/or destruction.

So much of what you'll do depends on a number of factors. What type of business is it? What type of disaster? How much do you depend on the income? If you're like most small businesses, it's likely that you & the staff highly depend upon the funds earned by the business.

A study by the Institute for Business & Home Safety revealed that 25% (one out of four!) of all companies that close due to disasters never reopen.

As a long-time computer consultant, I always stress the importance of a backup system. I always ask, "How much data are you willing to lose?" It's a question of risk. I learned from my 10 years in a corporate Risk Management Department that when disaster strikes, having a good plan in place minimizes the amount of loss - plain & simple.

Five steps to create your plan:

1. Identify Risks - What can and/or will happen?

  • Natural disasters
  • Human-caused hazards
  • Technology-related hazards

2. Plan To Stay In Business

  • Analyze impact of risks
  • Identify ways to reduce risks
  • Define minimum requirements for business continuity

3. Create The Plan

  • Identify resources required to stay in business
  • Outline emergency communication methods
  • Define procedures
  • Train staff

4. Test the plan

  • Step through scenarios
  • Modify plan as necessary

5. Review and improve

  • Review plan annually
  • Identify triggers that will require plan modification
  • Allow others to contribute ideas

How much are you willing to risk? When asked, our clients respond, "Not much." We provide worksheets, questionnaires and aides. Then, we coach clients through each of the five steps, asking questions to get to the most crucial information. Within a few hours, they're well on their way toward a completed plan.

How will YOU stay in business when disaster strikes? During September's National Preparedness Month, Island Organizers offers promotions and discounts for help with Disaster Prep. Call or email for an appointment.

"Small businesses that don't have a plan in place generally don't survive after a disaster, whether it's a flood or a tornado. We see that anywhere from 40-60 percent of those that are hit like that simply don't come back to business," said David Paulison, former executive director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). What are you waiting for?

 ___________________

Resources:

www.ready.gov 

www.fema.gov

On Sept 11, 2013 we held a teleseminar. Hear this informative and vital session.

Organizing your Vital Documents  creates a "home" for your most important information & paperwork.


 
Posted By IOTeam

karen simonBy Karen Simon, Island Organizers

 

Got a scanner to get organized, but need help with How To? If you've tried to go paperless but are having trouble getting set up, you're not alone. Today, people are caught between the paper- based and digital document worlds. So many of them feel disorganized because they have some information on paper while other information is in digital form. They want all of their information to be "somehow" merged together into some kind of system that makes sense for them, is easy to maintain, and allows them to find it quickly when they need it.
 
Intuitively, they know that turning the paper into digital format is the answer so they purchase (or contemplate the purchase of) a scanner. That's where they get stuck because now, they realize that they don't have a system for filing the documents once they're in digital format - or they don't know how to create one. It becomes more of a headache to "figure it out," so they quit. Their investment in the equipment, and especially their time, is now wasted.
 

Just one of our solution-based services, Island Organizers helps you to set up your digital filing system to match how you work. We'll teach you how to use your scanner and teach you a routine to make your office and your life into one that is "paper-less" and organized so your information is always at your fingertips!

Find out how we can help you. Contact Us today. If you have a success story with your scanner, post a comment about how your scanner has helped you!

 

 _________________

Other Blogs about Going Paperless

Other Solution-Based Services:

Managing Email and Paperwork to get things done (and on time)!!
Setting Up Successful Routines to stay in front of clients and contacts
Maximizing Space for an organized and efficient office
Collaborating with others for virtual workers
Mobilizing The Office for staying organized on the road
Organize Anything to start, get and stay organized, finally!

 

Contact Us:  808-943-2053 & 310-391-7392

 


 


 
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