Posted By IOTeam

Mint.com logoOrganizing Expert Interview With Donna & Karen
 

       "Disorganization causes people to lose credibility. Their reputation suffers. They lose clients and miss opportunities because of lack of follow-up. They pay penalties due to late payment of bills, and other financial problems such as credit worthiness, etc.," say Karen Simon and Donna McMillan, co-founders of Island Organizers.

       How do you avoid all this? Karen and Donna were featured in an Organizing Expert Interview on Intuit's Mint.com ("online" version of Quicken). In the interview, they discuss:

  • ways to safeguard and backup financial info to prepare for disaster
  • going paperless and online finances
  • tricks for organizing financial information  
  • our favorite organizing tools for paperwork and digital info

‚Äč       Read the article to find out how YOU can be free of the struggles, stresses, and strains of disorganization!

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Learn skills and techniques to manage finances, time, digital tools, and more with Online Sessions and Private Appointments


 
Posted By IOTeam

by Donna D. McMillan, Island Organizers

    As a childhood Girl Scout, I learned so many life lessons - such as “Being Prepared.” That motto means to always be in readiness to do your duty.  As a longtime Professional Organizer, I’ve seen via countless client experiences, how valuable it is to be ready for disasters and medical emergencies. They usually happen without warning, anytime and anywhere. 

    "That'll never happen to me," people believe. They just don't want to think about the possibility! In reality, it's better to be prepared and never need it. According to AARP, a medical emergency can be a frightening, all-too-frequent experience that few people are prepared for. Are you??? 

    Recently, a client was unexpectedly told that she was to have surgery in six days. We helped her to get ready by organizing …

     • VIP (very important paperwork): Advance Directive, Power of Attorney, current list of drugs/supplements, allergies, eyeglasses prescription, up-to-date medical history, health insurance card, drivers license and credit card.
     • People: inform key persons of plans, list of personal & professional contacts, phone numbers & email addresses: family, friends, doctors, insurance agents, and ICE (in case of emergency) contacts added to cell phone. Appoint one or two organized individuals to assist and manage: tasks, people, research and paperwork while recovering.
     • Tasks: pay bills in advance and keep list handy, do bank deposits, get cash, backup digital data, ensure business will continue, do laundry and prepare home for absence, pack personal bag & electronic equipment for hospital.
     • Post-Op: grocery list, supplies & home medical equipment list, Home Care services if required, schedule friends/helpers to visit at hospital & home. Set-up a portable file to collect medical paperwork, etc. 

    All vital personal and legal documents should be updated frequently and stored together in a safe, convenient location. Inform loved ones of access to emergency documents. Make copies for special people or use & give access to a web service like SafelyFiled. Create ongoing lists of questions to ask doctors, insurance agents and other professionals who can help and support. 

    Organizing all of this, for some, is time-consuming, overwhelming and emotional. Are you prepared? Got other tips for our readers? Share a Comment.

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Resources:

Hear our Teleclass: Your Disaster Plan Is Not Just A Kit

Get a discount on SafelyFiled & Learn about SafelyMD

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

by Donna D. McMillan, Island Organizers

National Preparedness Month is September. Businesses large and small are getting ready. Fires, floods, windstorms, earthquakes, all disasters are devastating. Emergencies strike with little or no warning. If one were to hit your area, you will be affected physically, financially and emotionally. Is your business prepared with a plan in place, in case an unexpected event happens?

According to Business Wire 9/7/12, Staples and National Safety Council Team Up to Raise Disaster Planning Awareness Among Small Businesses. For the Aloha state, Retail Merchants of Hawaii Partners with Counties for Disaster Preparedness Campaign.

It's vital to be in control, as much as possible, after a catastrophic event. Businesses must get back on track immediately. Your customers and other businesses that rely on you are impacted if your business is not operational. Also, if insurance claims are necessary, specific information will be required.

PREPAREDNESS PLAN FOR BUSINESSES
- Inventory - Passwords & Software, Possessions & Valuables, People: employees & clients
- Communications - keep VIP numbers in cell phone & the cloud for accessibility.
- Safety Procedures - for employees & customers
- Protect - property, business records, contacts
- Insurance - contact your agent for advice & appropriate coverage
- Photos/Video - of current possessions & property, save copies off-site, send to insurance agent
- Supplies - emergency kit including chargers & batteries, food & water
- Resources - suppliers, vendors, etc.

You can protect your business, be informed, have a plan. Visit www.ready.gov/business, www.redcross.org/prepar e and www.fema.gov/mobile.

Is your company prepared for disasters?   Share your story ... add a comment.

 

On Sept 11, 2013 we held a tele seminar. Get this informative and vital session.

Get help Organizing your Vital Documents & creating a "home" for your most important information & paperwork.

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

 


 
Posted By IOTeam

by Donna D. McMillan, Island Organizers

DecoFlex  What happens when loose papers and small notes are buried in piles? We don't know what's there and can't do what we need to do. My longtime mantra is: "Paperwork that is lying down is sleeping or hiding. When it's standing up, it can communicate with you."

The Decoflex® box by Oxford® and Pendaflex® has been my favorite organizing tool for many years. A desktop file storage box with hanging folders and labeled tabs creates a highly-effective Paperwork Management System. Each tab designates a specific category or task and identifies folders' contents. This handy solution eliminates piles, wasted time and stress related to lost notes and vital documents. Learn more

"HOT ACTION FILES" -- This is the perfect tool to hold "active" documents, unpaid bills and other important To-Do's.  Once they're separated into categories: To Call, To Pay, To Input, Waiting For Reply, etc., the appropriate actions can be taken in a timely manner.  This is a temporary "home" for paperwork; it is not for storage.

PROJECTS --  Create a mailbox for your office staff, manage info for a client's project, store details while planning a move or a party, and save notes for an organization's committee.

FILING SYSTEMS -- In limited space, filing systems can be created using several of these portable containers. Each holds a different category of files and is labeled on the end of box, ie: 2012 Income, Paid Bills, Investments, Medical Records. They fit nicely on a bookcase or on shelves in a closet. 

Other versions are available in acrylic, plastic, mesh, metal & cardboard. Buy online at Office Depot, Office Max and the Container Store.  In Honolulu, visit local stores: Simply Organized and Fisher Hawaii. NOTE: Organizing products don't usually come with instructions!

We'd love your feedback. Comment below!

Register for our webinars/teleclasses for more organizing solutions

 Tabletop_File_Metal  Tabletop_File_Mesh  Acrylic Desktop File

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