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Posted By IslOrgs Team

karen simon By Karen Simon, Island Organizers

Organizing time is easier when you get to know your calendar software. Knowing how to use it eliminates the embarrassment of forgetting a birthday, reduces the stress of being late or missing appointments, minimizes the frustration of scheduling with others. For efficient time management, here are my TOP FIVE reasons to go digital with a calendar app.. 

1. No more lugging around a heavy datebook! My shoulders thank technology for making my calendar portable. It's on my smartphone, computer (or anyone else's since it's on a web/cloud server) and even my electronic tablet! I can search for activities past, present or future without having to flip through pages, and how easy it is to erase or change an appointment. No pen required! 

2. Losing my datebook is no longer an issue. I used to panic at the thought of losing it. "It's my life!!" I hear others say. With my calendar app, a copy is stored on my smartphone, my computer and/or in the cloud and all without wires! Amazing. 

3. Repeating activities is simply checking a box. If you're like me, you've got events in your work and home lives that happen weekly, monthly or annually at the same time, on the same day. Whether it's scheduling time at the gym, a monthly meeting or remembering a birthday, I put it on the calendar once, check a couple of boxes and instantly the time is blocked off repeatedly. No more rewriting birthdays on a paper calendar every January! 

4. Coordinating time with family and co- workers is truly fantastic with the Sharing feature. I used to spend so much time trying to find a mutual time slice to schedule a family outing or time to meet with business partners. We'd sit together and go day by day, week by week and compare calendars. Now? I can peek to find the matching holes in our calendars, and simply ask them to confirm one of the empty time slices! 

5. Alarms never let me forget when it's quitting time! I used to always be late to everything. It got so bad that I would miss appointments and friends stopped asking me to go to lunch. With alarms built into my electronic calendar, I'm reminded of when it's time to LEAVE or stop what I'm doing to get ready for appointments. I'm still late sometimes but my forgiving friends saw such an improvement, I have lunch with them several times a week now! 

If you have been hesitant to move to calendar software and apps, or want to know more about how to make the best use of them, do some research, take a class, start today! I guarantee, you'll be SO GLAD you did!

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

 


 
Posted By IslOrgs Team


By Karen Simon, Island Organizers

Is your business ready for anything? What will you do if disaster strikes? Preparing for disasters such as fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis is the focus of September’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) campaign. To businesses, even theft and computer failure are just as devastating. What should you do to prepare your business before disaster happens?

Info & Data

The most precious part of any business is the information & data. Inventory, equipment, supplies & other hard assets can be replaced. What about the data? After a fire raged through one of my client’s homes, she was interviewed for a local newspaper & TV station. They asked, “What is the biggest loss your family will feel? ” Her answer was that her entire home-based business’ computer data was gone. She had no records of her customers’ contact information, invoicing & all business financial records – everything gone within minutes.

Back Up!

We all know that backups protect our data. But where are they kept? If your backup is in the same office or building as your computer, that won’t help if there's a fire, tsunami, or tornado.

How will you continue to do business if you can't access your computer? If you have offsite backup and an inventory of software, you could simply get another computer and restore your data from backup. You'll be back in operation within a few hours.

Vital Info

What information is vital to YOUR business to keep it running? If you’re like most businesses it's customers, employees & vendors, accounts receivables (who owes you), bank & insurance account info and numbers. Where is this info kept? Do you have inventory of it? What format is it stored in? paper? electronic? Is it easily accessible? Is it portable & duplicated elsewhere?

These are the questions you want to ask yourself during 2013’s National Preparedness Month. Get ready and be ready – prepare your business BEFORE disaster strikes. FEMA’s Ready Business website has extensive resources to get you started. Need more help? Ask Me How

National Preparedness Month 2012

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

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

 


 
Posted By IslOrgs Team

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 IslOrgs Team

by Karen Simon, Island Organizers

     Keeping the Email Inbox uncluttered is one of the biggest challenges my clients face. They keep all of their email in the Inbox because they don’t want to forget to do things. But then, it gets out of hand because there’s just too much and it comes too fast! Here’s one method I teach to help them to organize and manage their email to get things done. At Island Organizers, we call it the Hot Action File method.

1)   Create a set of Action Folders with Action Labels. For example: To Call, To Reply, To Buy, To Attend, To Read, To Pay, Waiting for Reply (Hint: putting a “1” in front of each folder name will sort the folders together and at the top of your folder list – e.g. 1Waiting)

2)   Immediately delete unwanted email or spam

3)   As you review each item in your Inbox, put any appointments or events on your calendar. If you need to keep the email with the details, file it in the To Attend folder; otherwise, just delete it. Tickets or receipts for events go in To Attend also (they’ll never be lost again!)

4)   Put any bills into To Pay folder, Email subscriptions go into To Read. Discount Coupons or items to order go in To Buy. Anything requiring a call or response goes into To Call or To Reply.

5)   Orders waiting for items to arrive, email threads waiting for a response from others, keep those items in Waiting for Reply.

     Now you’re ready to work. Psychologists say that completing like-tasks together is much more efficient than hopping from one task to another. Open your To Call folder and make the calls. Open the To Reply folder and do all your replies at once. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done by doing similar tasks together!

     The Hot Action File method helps you to manage your email in smaller time slices, too. You can break up the process by setting aside time just to "Clear the Box."  Later, when you have a bit more time and are ready to tackle the To-do's, you don't have to deal with the Inbox, you can just go straight to your Calls folder or your Reply folder and get those done.

     Be sure to review each folder each day. Open the To Pay and Waiting folders to see what needs attention there. Once tasks have been completed, e.g. bills have been paid, decide whether you need to keep those emails in a Paid Bills folder otherwise, delete them. 

     As you’re working, more email will come in, try not to get distracted by them, finish your task at hand and then address the new arrivals. For more details on this method and how it also works for paperwork, check out our booklet, “Information Overload: from Piles to Actions to Results” at www.IslandOrganizers.com/resources.htm.

     I invite you to give our Hot Action Method a try, then come back and post a comment about how it worked (or didn't work) for you.

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Posted By IslOrgs Team

by Karen Simon

        Ever wonder who the “smartie” was that said computers were the way to a paperless office? Does it seem that computers have created MORE paper in our lives than less? I say that it should be called "paper-LESS" not "paper- FREE." With a few simple steps, you can have less paper and free up space in your home or office!

What’s Needed?

In order to convert the paper into electronic documents, you need a scanner, a computer with scan software and a PDF (portable document format) creator program installed. If you have a multi-function printer, you already have the scanner and the scan software. Some scanners come with PDF software, too. Otherwise, there are free or low- cost programs that you can download and install onto your machine.

Scan and Store

Create the electronic version of your paper document by placing it in your scanner. Open the scan software on the computer and hit the scan button. Once scanning is complete, choose to save the document as a PDF and voila! You’ve just turned your paper document into an electronic version of it! (Note: These steps vary depending upon the software used.)

Keep It Organized

Realize that computers store documents just as we do in our file cabinets and folders. Before you start scanning all of your insurance policies, tax papers, receipts and everything else in sight, be sure to have a plan in place for how you'll RETRIEVE the documents when you need them!

Like any filing system, have folders with names and categories that make sense to you so you can find them later. Label scanned documents as you would if you were labeling a file folder. For example, if you were scanning insurance policies, create computer folders named: auto (or car) insurance, health (or medical) insurance, homeowners insurance, business insurance, etc. Then, when you scan a policy, name it “2007-2008 Auto Policy” and save it in the Auto Insurance folder. Later when you are looking for that document, simply open the Auto Insurance folder and the item is easily found. 

Before You Toss

When deciding which paperwork can be tossed or shredded after it has been scanned, be sure to verify with attorney, accountants, insurance agents, etc about what is safe to dispose. They may advise you that some originals must be kept. However, since they are now digital, they can easily be viewed on the computer. You can now store them somewhere outside of your immediate space. 

Back It Up

Storing information on the computer without backup is like thinking that YOUR house will never catch on fire! Be sure to have a backup system in place for your computer filing system!

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