Articles for Mail
Paper and clutter–as busy parents we are flooded with more each day. One of last year’s resolutions was to learn how to organize my family’s schedule using a paperless system. I am getting there and I am going to share some of my tips with you!
First I encourage you to de clutter your email. If you have a hotmail account, aol, or just a local ISP. Merge them all into ONE. My only recommendation is GMAIL. Gmail is one of Googles MANY tools to get you organized. Besides, if you have multiple email accounts you can check them all via Gmail as well as send and receive emails from a POP account.
In addition, it’s easy to organize your family life with the use of different Google applications such as Google Calender, Google Black Berry Sync, Google Contacts, Google Documents, Google Mail, and Google Voice.
Google is quick to point out to business; the value of time saved using Google to manage their business. Busy Moms rejoice because these same tools can save you time and sanity for both your busy family and yourself as well!
So how do I manage my family’s schedule with Google ?
The first step is to register for a Gmail account for each of your family members old enough to have an email account (old enough to learn how to use one.
I do not suggest creating a ‘family account’. Each user needs to have their own individual Google Account. Google will allow you to share what you want with each user.
Once you’re signed up with Gmail you can begin to coordinate the different accounts and start organizing you family life from wherever you might be whether it’s at home or on the road.
You can head over to the Google Calendar section and begin filling out your own calendar that you can then share with everyone, other individuals or specific groups of people. You can limit some events to private settings while sharing other information with a different level of access. You can even sync your calendar with other popular applications like Outlook or you Iphone or Blackberry.
Guest post by Paula Constable
I love routines to help me make the most of my time. It’s about picking a day or time of day to do recurring tasks or activities. By doing this you take control and decide, based on what works best of you and your schedule, when you want to get stuff done.
It’s all about having a game plan. Of course that plan can always be done away with when you are a mother, but I find it’s helpful to start with one; you can always adjust as needed.
Here are some examples:
• Meal planning for the week on Sunday night and shopping on Monday.
• Paying the bills every Thursday or on the 15th and 30th of each month.
• Washing 1 load of laundry everyday or all of it on Wednesdays.
• Planning your next day the night before or first thing in the morning.
• Devotional and prayer time in the morning.
• Checking email at the kids’ nap time and after the kids go to bed.
• Returning phone calls between 9 and 10 a.m.
• Vacuuming on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, and washing the floors on Wednesday.
• Starting meal prep 1 hour prior to dinner time.
• Opening and sorting the mail everyday after dinner.
• Filing your “to file” pile the same day every week.
• Waking up 30 – 60 minutes before the kids to get yourself ready for the day.
• Exercising on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
• Eating out with the family on Thursday nights. Read More→
It’s another Busy Mom! I try to feature tips from other busy moms each week to help remind us all we there is no such thing as ‘perfect’, but to instead strive for ‘real’.
How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My children are both in college now, but we basically used a big calendar on the kitchen wall.
Do you use a particular day planner ?
No. I use Microsoft Outlook to keep track of upcoming business interviews, meetings and appointments. I also use it for personal stuff to, like: my husband and kids activities, doctor appointments and family gatherings.
Do you own a blackberry?
No, but everybody tells me I need to get one.
What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I don’t have one. Can you help me with that? J I can’t get any help from kids or husband, so a lot of things go undone.
Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
We call it Jean’s special. Named after my mother-in-law.
Take a pound of ground beef, box of frozen spinach, two eggs, ½ cup parmasean cheese, ¼ cup minced onion, salt & pepper. Read More→
Yesterday my copy of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life arrived in the mail ! Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my thoughts as I work through the book and better YET – YOU could win a copy over the next few weeks!
My excitement was evident and my son was quickly caught up in it as we opened the parcel. Upon opening the parcel, he was a bit disappointed to learn that the book was “about cleaning his room”. He perked up when I asked him to be my model though.
So just how do you win a copy of Lorie Marrero’s book The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life?
The contest starts Saturday February 28th and runs through to March 14th 2009. (Hopefully this will be enough time for me to get through the book and share my favourite sections with you.)
During this time you can earn one entry for each of the following (be sure to comment and tell me which you have done and provide your email address in your comment):
1) Tweet this contest out to your followers for one entry (you can do this each week for two entries).
2) Simply leave a comment telling me why you need this book
3) Mention the contest on your blog for two entries.
UPDATE: Contest is now over.
On March 14th one winner will be selected using Random.org and notified by email. The winner has four days to reply at which time a second winner will be selected. This contest is open to residents of the USA, Canada, UK, and Austrailia.
Good Luck !
The Almost Always Organized Mom
We all have them, those little pieces of papers called receipts in the bottom of our purse, the drawer, the desk, your work bag, maybe even your glove compartment! Receipts are a large part of our every growing Paper Clutter. I have found a way to get them organized for free. You can too !
I own my own small business and the receipts can be a bit overwhelming, I easily spend a total of 3-4 hours a month organizing and entering receipts into an excel chart. How much valuable time are you spending organizing your receipts. Those receipts you may be saving for budget purposes, receipts for tax purposes, receipts for work, receipts for business ? Regardless of the reasons why you keep a hold of them, if you consider your time is worth at LEAST $10.00 an hour then you should check out ShoeBox start as a free member and scan and upload those recipts. Organize your receipts into groups, export them as excel or PDF.
I KNOW i spend more then 2 hours a month dealing with all these receipts they are right up there with all the paper bills for me (we will talk about those another day !). So now I simply place them all into an envelope (I convinced my 9 year old son to address them for me;) and mail them away and awaiting them to show up on Shoe Box where I can save them and have them ready for tax season.
I also organize my childcare related receipts and children’s medical and activity receipts so that I can easily send Dad a copy so he knows what his share of expenses are and it keeps it readily available if needed in the future.
So for $20.00 and the cost of a stamp I have one more thing you will NEVER see on this Busy mom’s to do list! No more organizing and entering receipts. Join me in the Receipt Revolution Moms!