we understand your to-do list is long. Same here. But some things just never
seem to get done, right? Time for some gentle prodding: make 2013 the year you
add these five simple steps to your usual to-dos. Most only take a few minutes
of time to complete. Happy more productive 2013.
up earlier. This may not go over well with the night owls in the crowd but rising
and shining even 15-30 minutes earlier each day will jumpstart your day. More
time equals less stress and better organization. You can even use the extra
minutes for exercise or other wellness activities such as mediation or
got mail!...somewhere. Check your spam folder weekly for emails that have gone
astray. And if you have multiple email accounts, do a weekly review to make
sure important messages aren't being missed. Finally, take 10 minutes at the
end (or beginning) of each week to free up your inbox by clearing out old emails
and responding to outstanding items.
out your 401(k) contributions. Each month countless employees leave money on
the table in terms of matching funds from their employers. If a reduced
paycheck is daunting, cut costs elsewhere to make up the deficit. There may be
no such thing as a free lunch, but free money? Yup, it exists.
your credit history? If you're like many Americans, you have no idea. Given
that identify theft is increasingly on the rise, staying on top of your credit
history is critical. Once a year, use the three main credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and
TransUnion--to both monitor and protect your credit. Many experts caution that
credit monitoring is just the first step, and advocate signing up for two years
of a free credit freeze at each of the three main credit bureaus. With a
freeze, no one can look at your credit profile without having you first allow
the ban to be lifted. So crooks can't open accounts or buy items under your
Extra Credit: Overachievers,
we know you love to add a little extra to your routines. How about a thirteenth
mortgage payment versus twelve? Did you know that by adding just one extra
payment annually, you can shave as much as five years off on your loan? For homeowners in your fifties, this can mean
one less expense during retirement. Now that's golden!
Alphabetized spice rack? Check. Clothing sorted and
stored by color? Check. Drawers and medicine cabinets purged of odds and ends?
Check and double-check! Face it: You are an über-organizer.
In search of uncharted terrain to organize? Check out
this round-up of projects that only an org junkie could love.
Journal: Document 2013 from start to finish with a 365-day
photo project. Perfect for new parents or anyone with a passion for detail:
take one photo each day of your child, your garden, your yard, or whatever
inspires you and share the results on a blog or in a photo book. For
inspiration, read Are You Doing a 365 Photo Project?
Star: Do you collect toy cars? Or other small memorabilia? Make
a statement by massing your items together for an
eye-popping storage meets art display.
Get chart smart with this kitchen cabinet organizer
that doubles as a measuring conversion chart. Now you're cookin'!
Houses: Seeing is not only believing, it's organizing. When
you can easily eyeball where things belong, odds are good that items will end
up in the right spot. So embrace the glass jar, perfect for decanting cooking supplies and for corralling craft materials. People who live in
glass houses...are organized!
Store: Sure your closet is color-coded but are your shoes stored and organized by photo? Yeah,
now we're talking über-organized!
Shoe addicts, meet your dream closet!
Still at loss for resolutions as January slowly slips
away? Fear not, it's never too late to
We've rounded up some "Jan Plan" inspiration to get you
motivated. And if it slides until February? Hey, better late than never....
Keeping: Give your house the old spit and polish with the January Cure from leading home site Apartment Therapy. You'll be decluttered and neat and tidy in no time flat.
Loss: Fans of TV show The Biggest
Loser know that fitness guru Jillian Michaels can help you drop pounds. Now, lose
weight at home with Michael's 30-Day Shred workout,
designed to help users shed 30 pounds in 20 days with a 20-minute daily
workout. Lose weight, win a healthier body.
Flatter Abs: Anyone can do anything for 30 days, even if
it's ab-burning crunches. This 30-day regimen from Women's Health Magazine starts slowly and builds as your endurance grows. Ab-flattening
eating strategies are part of the equation. Go for it - your jeans will thank
Health: Holiday shopping sprees can do major damage to your
budget. If you've racked up whopping credit card bills, or wish you had a
better handle on your overall financial health, this 30-step
path to financial wellness is
More: Heartbreaking stories about natural and man-made
disasters filled our airwaves and newspapers at the end of 2012. If 2013 is the
year you want to make a difference in the lives of others, read 30 Ways in 30 Days for inspiration about how you can help Ronald McDonald House or other similar
Relationships: Would you be willing to spend 21 days to
vastly improve your relationships? Gretchen Rubin of
the Happiness Project thinks so and she's crafted a 21-Day
Relationship Challenge designed
to make your relationships more loving.
Getting more organized tops
many a resolution list. Move from resolution to success story with some
organizing inspiration from Pinterest.
Many common household items can do double-duty as storage. Clever organizers
use everything from a cheese grater to vintage cups and saucers for
jewelry storage. How about a DIY drying rack for your laundry room? See how
this repurposed ladder does
the trick. Or declutter a bathroom or kitchen counter with this shoe rack. Put
your best (organizational) foot forward!
Face: Tame makeup clutter with these ingenious storage
solutions. A magnetic board teamed with beauty products bearing small magnets equals
storage magic in this clever DIY. Or think vertical and hang your tools on a wall in
attractive canisters. We also like this smart idea for sorting makeup
Space: Think you lack the space for effective organizing? Look
up: your ceiling is the fifth wall in any room, task yours with storage duty
with these handy organizers. Other resourceful ideas for finding space where you least expect it, include
using peg board to turn empty walls into spaces chock full of storage options. Finally, use the
space under window eaves for fun places like a book nook, dreamy shoe storage,
or this adorable perch for a pooch.
Fun Space: We think organizing is fun and after you see
these fabulous and funky organizing ideas, we think you'll love it as much as
we do. Banish boring shelves with some of these spectacular
shelving ideas. How fabulous is this bookshelf man? We also love organizing with color: the links here, here and here show how every family member can be assigned a color for effective
organizing meets pretty palette. Even boring papers can be transformed when
rainbow hued. See ideas here and here.
You multitask like nobody's
business, juggling work, home and family demands all week long. Now, with 2013
in swing, it's time to add New Year's resolutions to the mix.
Keep all your balls in the
air, and all your resolutions on track, by plotting your progress in the new Ampad® Versa™ Crossover Notebook,
offers a crossover design that
takes the best of a notebook, binder and dividers and puts it all in one. Want
to log your exercise time? Keep track of healthy recipes? Capture inspirational
articles on quitting smoking? Get more organized? Whatever your New Year's
goals may be, Ampad® Versa&trade can help you keep track of all the moving parts.
Adds Up to Productivity
New Year is a fresh start, so why dive into it with an outdated notebook? Now,
Ampad® Versa™ lets you manage multiple projects or subdivide one large project into
smaller sections. Plus, the highlighting flags make finding and organizing
notes easier than ever. And you can reorder and reorganize your notes, again
reimagines the notebook; use it for your own 2013 reinvention.
sticking to resolutions are an inescapable part of the January landscape.
But while experts are
everywhere offering tips and tricks for remaining committed to resolutions, few
pundits take a "no resolutions" approach to ringing in the New Year. In the
spirit of "there's two sides to every story," we take a look at the notion of
skipping resolutions altogether. Hey, you still got the champagne!
Make New Year's Resolutions: They're Not Good for Your Health: If you're thinking
about adopting a healthier lifestyle, eliminating resolutions may be the first
step, according to this article: Don't
Make New Year's Resolutions: They're Not Good for Your Health. The article posits
that sticking to resolutions can create stress, rack up unnecessary expenses
and can cause depression when resolutions are unmet. Rather, the article
promotes the notion that the healthiest, happiest, fittest people are those
that develop successful patterns in their lives--lives which
involve achievement and close relationships. By building on successes, whatever
they may be, and by maintaining committed relationships, health and wellness
naturally flow as part of their "active, achieving, and dependable lives." So
socialize with the healthy and happy - wellness is contagious!
New Year's Resolutions Don't Work - Here's Why: Did you ever stop to think that goal setting
is akin to declaring that your life isn't good enough, that happiness is always
around the corner and is missing and absent from your life right now? The
article New Year's Resolutions Don't Work -
Here's Why, makes the case that when we constantly
resolve to make changes, that when we look ahead to a goal, rather than
focusing on, and enjoying the present, that we miss the chance to focus on the
happiness and success that is currently in hand. Food for thought, no?
Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work: This
article suggests that many resolutions are made with pie-eyed optimism that
generally doesn't translate into success. But rather than truly eschewing the
notion of New Year's goal setting, the author does in fact make the case for
something quite similar: planning. The article advocates making time for an annual
(or better yet, quarterly) planning session(s) to lay out goals and concrete
strategies for moving the ball forward. Read on for more about why taking
stocking of your life or business, and planning for growth or change should be
a part of your 2013: Why New Year's Resolutions Don't
Did you notice how
your office looked more festive and welcoming around the holidays? The seasonal
décor, baskets of treats and smiling faces gave your workplace an extra glow.
Carry that good
feeling througout 2013 with this round up of advice for jazzing up even the dullest
10 Design Tips for Tiny Offices: A welcoming environment doesn't need to
be costly, as the tips from these ten small startups prove. Snacks and smiles
go a long way to warming up any atmosphere. Other ideas include punchy paint
colors and pets. Yes, Fido is a welcome guest in some offices; they see the
paws-itive benefits of interacting with furry friends!
9 Pieces of
Furniture That Make the Work Day More Fun: Put
a smile on even the grumpiest face
with fun furniture. From a swing set that
doubles as a conference table, to a green rug designed to mimic picnic grounds,
to a ping pong conference table, these designs will put some play in your day.
5 Rules for Office Feng Shui: A calm, clutter free workplace gives out a welcoming
vibe. This beginner primer for organizing your work environment promotes energy
we leave you with a mind-blowing design project from a German company that used
over 55,000 Lego bricks to
create a divider wall in their office kitchen. This year-long
project may not be in the cards for every workplace but it shows that when
creativity meets teamwork, magic can happen!
No excuses this
year: we have fantastic apps to keep your New Year's resolutions on track.
Add Exercise: Put your money where your mouth is and link
your fitness goals to a monetary incentive (or penalty) with the GymPact app. Users commit to a
number of workouts and tie each to a monetary sum, when you show up, it adds
up. Skip a workout and cough up. Users can even join in a group and challenge friends/family/coworkers.
Other helpful exercise tracking apps include MapMyRun's app and the Nike Training app. Or use the mobile
companion to the monster exercise hit p90X with this app. Get up and get going!
Smoking for Good: Dump
those cancer sticks once and for all with the iQuit app, which lets you track your decreasing
cigarette schedule and plot your progress on social media. The social element enlists
positive peer pressure: your social network can cheer successes and rally
support if you stumble.
Watch Your Money: Whip
your finances into shape with the Expenditure app, which tracks spending across categories
as well as one-time only expenses. The user-friendly interface shows where the
money is flowing. Or check out award-winning app Mint.com,which lets users track,
budget and manage money in both checking and savings accounts, as well as
credit card accounts, investments and retirement funds. Reminders also help
prevent late fees. You'll love the price tag: free!
Be More Organized: Ready
for a more organized 2013? Productivity app Evernote,lets
users create and save notes, pictures and voice memos and sync them across your
phone, computer and the Web. Never lose
track of a to-do list again. When you team Evernote with a time-management tool
such as OmniFocus, which
lets users track tasks by date, person, place or project, you're on your way to
an organized day. Still procrastinating? RescueTime, not
only tracks all
your time, it'll block you from visiting distracting websites when you work.
Get Up Earlier: No
time for resolutions? Wake up earlier
each day with the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, http://bit.ly/Vw6Jzr an intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes
you in the lightest sleep phase of a set period so you wake up feeling rested
and relaxed. The app offers lots of customization such as 15 alarm
options, sleep cycle monitoring and wake-up options. Use your extra morning
hours to keep your resolutions on track.
Finally, if the
thought of tracking all your resolutions across various apps makes you overwhelmed,
this one-stop-shopping app is for you. Centralize all your goals in one spot
with the All
My New Year's Resolutions 2012 app. http://bit.ly/YoTDYf
Happy New Year!
'Twas the season for toys, toys, toys. Whether the eight
days of Hanukah, Santa, or gifts from generous grandparents, your toy box is likely
Make room for the newest additions by getting rid of
playthings that are no longer in use. Ideas for keeping toy chaos under control
Take a good look around your toy room or spare closets. Often we have brand new
toys or art kits that simply don't get opened or used. Many local charities run
toy drives this time of year: Goggle for drop-off spots and make another child
While many charities require donations to be new, others
accept gently used toys. SAFE (Stuffed
Animals for Emergencies) accepts gently used stuffed animals for children in
need. Look for a local chapter here. Another great place to donate items is Goodwill, a
nationwide organization providing assistance and job training for needy
families, funded in part by its network of retail outlets selling donated
Plan ahead to the spring for a toy yard sale. Find a spot in your attic or
garage to store toys in a clean, dry area. Enlist your children in identifying
items that are likely to move in a yard sale. A yard sale is a great way to
teach valuable lessons about money; it can also be a great bonding activity for
the whole family. Consider recruiting
friends and neighbors to join the fun; multi-family yard sales are often more
lucrative. For advice on throwing a great yard sale, read How Much for This Lamp? Tips from the Garage Sale
Repurposing: Saying good-bye to beloved toys can
be hard. Consider saving a few special keepsakes by giving them new life. Small
toys like Lego minifigures or a Barbie outfit can make excellent tree
ornaments. Or use wooden blocks to create decorative signs for your home or as
gifts. Other creative ideas for repurposing toys can be found in this wonderful
article, 10 Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Toys.
up your New Year with funky and fabulous organizing treats.
Slim Purse Organizers: Tame
purse clutter with one of these small, compact cases. The organizer makes
switching bags simple: just slip the case into your new bag, confident that all
your must-haves are on-hand.
Travel Bags: Fashionistas
will love these stylish bags for corralling small items while traveling. Not
shopping for a road warrior? The exercise nut in your life will find these equally
handy for gym bags.
iPad Organizer: Gift the tablet lover in your life the Grid-It organization system, which
uses a weave of rubberized elastic bands to hold digital devices, cords,
chargers and other items firmly in place. The neoprene casing also protects
your tablet from any knocks.
Minimergency Kits for Her: Good things come in small packages: this glittery little case has every
product you would ever need in a pinch. The must-haves include: hairspray,
clear nail polish, polish remover, emery board, lip balm, earring backs, clear
elastics, sewing kit, double-sided tape, stain remover, deodorant towelette,
pain reliever, tampon, breath freshener, dental floss and adhesive bandages. Whew!
Mini Flashlight: Shine
a light with a handy, hand-crank flashlight. Perfect for power outages or
sneaky bedtime reading for tweens to the young at heart.
Charge It!: Keep the juice flowing to
your lifelines (aka iPhone, iPad and iPod) with this compact and stylish portable
battery. Each adds an extra three-hours to your Apple device.
Petite Ports: Take your digital files on the go with this cute cat shaped USB port. It's purrfect for the cat lover in your life.
Key Holder: Mount
this mod Magnetic Cloud Key Holder near
your front door and never lose your keys again.
Recipe Box with Divider Cards: Keep
kitchen inspiration close at hand with a recipe box that organizes your
culinary greatest hits.
Sticky Notes: Pretty
post-its keep your to-dos attractive!
When climbing the
corporate ladder, people often pause to take stock of their skills, resume, and
experience. When was the last time you paused and took stock of the people
Are You Good for Me?
A recent Inc.com
article with the eye-catching headline 9 People You Must Remove From Your Inner
Circle takes a look at
the personality types that are best weeded out of your life. Obvious gotta-go
types include backstabbers and schmoozers, who value surface connection over
deeper relationships. Less obvious sorts are "raving fans" - those individuals
who lavish excessive and unconditional praise on you at the expense of honest
and unvarnished truths.
So if certain
people are best to avoid at work (and in life) who are the people that you
should have in your corner?
quarterback will tell you, you need a team to move a ball forward. Very little
in life is accomplished entirely on one's own: so look to partner with the
right people. Not sure who should be on your roster? You can't go wrong with the
folks in this Forbes.com article, The 6 People You Need
In Your Corner, says
contributor Jessica Hagy. Create an inner circle that includes the following:
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.