Category Archives: Office Organizing

Post-It Notes, really?!



Have you ever planned what you wanted to do that day only to find at the end of the day you did everything BUT what you had planned?

I was visiting my amazing friend, Theresa Rose, in Minneapolis. She showed me a unique way to know what you want to do each day and stay on track. Very unique. Using Post-It Notes!

She has a home office and in her office is a fireplace with 5 tiles at the top. She takes unique colored post-it-notes and labels them: Marketing, Sales, Network, Social Media, Admin, Book, etc. She then looks at her calendar to see if she has a speaking event that week. If she does, she puts a ‘Job’ Post-It Note on the day’s tile. Then she takes her other Post-It Notes of tasks she wants to accomplish that week and puts them in the ‘am’ or ‘pm’ spot on her tiles.

She can just glance at the tile to know what she needs to do. Genius!

So, of course, with her blessing, I did what she did! I used the cupboard theresa-computerabove my desk and there are 6 doors. Perfect. One for each day Monday through Saturday.

Now I know exactly what to do every day.

Theresa also has a very cool way to make sure she does what she says she’s going to do. She puts a bright-colored Post-It Note on her computer that says, “Back On Track”!

Do you need a new way to look at your week? If so, give the post-it-note thing a try!

There are people and then there are PEOPLE

I met my friend, Kris, at Starbucks recently. I was outside when she pulled up and she parked in front of the store next to Starbucks. I remembered from previous visits that there were BIG signs saying only patrons of that store could park in those spots.

I walked over to Kris to tell her about this policy. We both looked at the huge sign in the window right in front of her car. We then looked at each and were both thinking the same thing – probably a good idea to move the car.

I noticed where she parked there were two men visiting and when she walked by they said starbucks-parking(2)something to her. I didn’t think anything of it.

After we got our drinks we were deep in conversation. All of a sudden, a man appeared by our table and put two Starbuck gift cards down.

We both were shocked and asked him, “Why?”
He was the owner of the adjacent store and was one of the men who talked to Kris as she walked by.

He was so appreciative he gave us gift cards! There are people and there are PEOPLE. Right?!

The adjacent store is a liquor store. I told Kris, “I don’t drink, but since he was so nice I may just start so I can purchase something!” No, I’m not going to but, wow, that was a surprise.

I believe that every day we get chances to be one of those PEOPLE. How often do we deliver? I’m not talking about purchasing gift cards. I’m talking about noticing nice actions and showing appreciation.

It’s hard to notice when your mind and schedule is full. And, for many, they are full to the brim.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot and I’ve been wanting to give back more to those on my list and those I meet when speaking, thus, the Clear the Desk Movement was born!


I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘clear the decks.’ Do you know what it really means? Clear the decks means to prepare for a particular event or goal by dealing with anything beforehand that might hinder progress.

I found that fascinating.

What about your desk as opposed to a deck? Are you more ready to prepare for a goal by having a clear desk? What about a clear mind? A clear schedule? A clearness about who you want to hang around with and who you don’t?

My Clear the Desk Movement is all about being part of a community where we are ready to stop chasing squirrels and focus on what is important in our life and in our work.

Clear the Desk is a mindset philosophy that will not only organize your space and time, but get you clear on what matters most and go after that!

My movement is free to you! Yes, it is a gift.

All you have to do to join is go to the Clear the Deck Movement private Facebook group welcomeand ask to join. You may already be a member as I changed a previous group to the new Clear the Desk Movement.

When you become a member in this movement you will receive a free gift that will make you fearless!  Also,  I have a theme each day to help you move forward to clearing the desk, your mind, your schedule, your files, and clearing negative people out of your life.

To join go to this page and if you see a +Join Group button click on it and I will approve you as soon as possible. If you see a Joined button you are already a member. Read through the description and, if it seems like a fit to you, please stay a member. If not, simply unjoin the group.

It’s that simple. Especially if you want to be one of those PEOPLE and having such clarity in your life you see every moment when you can make someone else feel appreciated.

See you in the Movement!

Tickle your way to productivity

I was thinking about my systems in my office that keep me sane and productive. Sane being the most important!

What makes me crazy is trying to get a lot of different things done at one time (which never works) and realizing later that nothing got done.

Sierra Exif JPEG

The system that keeps me most on track and helps me to get things done on time is my Tickler File. This is an age-old system and it never fails me.

The Tickler File is 31 folders for each day of the month and 12 more folders for each month.

If I want to make sure I get a project done by the 12th, I put my notes for that project in the 10th. On the 10th I pull out my notes and get to work knowing I’ve got plenty of time to get it done.

If it’s something that needs to be done in a future month I put it in that month’s folder and it’s there to remind me when I need it.

I hope this sounds really simple; because it is.

I think that we complicate things way too much now days. We have all of these great electronic devices and apps but do we really use them?

It may be time to go back and make things simple.

A few years ago I wrote an article on how to use the Tickler File System with Action folders. You can access the article here.

What will you tickle today!?

Want to set up the Tickler File System in your office?

tickler-file-systemYou can Google ‘Tickler File’ and find one online or you can get my complete Tickler File System here. My system includes a CD on “How to Get Rid of Your Paper Piles…Once and for All!”


Speakers – are you ready to get organized?

office worktable file system close up CC file systemTwo organizing systems have changed my life as a speaker.  One is my office workroom table where I put together speaking packets, handout packets, etc.  I got all the parts from IKEA and I’m in love!

The other system is a filing system that hangs over the door and is from Clever Container. I got the file folders from Hobby Lobby.  All the materials that go into a speaking packet are in the folders and 1, 2, 3 and my speaking packet is ready to go!

You know…time is money.  Start saving time with great systems!

Do you have a ‘ring of attack’?

iStock_000002543406XSmallWhen I speak on “Organize with Confidence” I always bring up the fact that when most people organize they get distracted by things they find that belong somewhere else.

For example – you may be organizing your junk drawer and find a tool that belongs in the garage. Thinking that you are doing this organizing thing right you go to put the tool away in the garage. While you’re there you think that you might as well organize the tools! You completely forget that you were organizing the junk drawer and when you go back in the house you’re shocked at the mess you’ve left in the kitchen. But by that time you need to leave for an appointment so you shove everything back in the drawer and it’s worse than before!

This is where I teach about the Elizabeth Circle. When you organize you need to draw an imaginary circle around your feet called the Elizabeth Circle. You may not leave the circle until you are COMPLETELY done organizing that area. Have a bag marked ‘take to another area’ for items you find that belong somewhere else and bring them away AFTER you are done organizing. But after a workshop a few years ago I may have an alternate name for the Elizabeth Circle.

One of the greatest joys I have as a speaker are the emails I get after my workshops. My latest workshop was no exception as I got the best email! I thought that you would enjoy it, too, so here it is in part with her name withheld to protect the unorganized!

I just had to drop you a note and tell you how much fun I had at your seminar. True to form, I came home all inspired but this inspiration woke me at 6:00am this morning! So, I trotted downstairs, opened the “mom’s going to scream” drawer and started the process. I didn’t move my feet, I had all my tools there, I formed my “put someplace else” pile and didn’t wander from the attack zone. It was all great and wonderful …until … I came upon that one piece of paper … the memory that had to go acknowledged. It was either irony or divine intervention.

I found a printed menu from the very first night my friend (who also attended your workshop) and I hosted our “Girl’s Gourmet” night. Yes, as a group of 12 we were all professional women, some married, only one with kids and lots of time to enjoy a long dinner and lots of wine. Things change and we have changed as a group as well. We have tried cooking schools, nights out, less intense “gourmet” experiences, etc. Finally, we are all too busy and too disorganized to get together. Well, not any more.

The menu was from February 24, 2000 and so my stepping out of the ring of attack I had to call my friend. I got her voice mail and that was best … no further digression or distraction … just left her the message that in our newly organize lives, we will be hosting the 9th Anniversary of “Girls’ Gourmet” at my home and we will even be ahead of the game enough to do a fabulous menu because we won’t be distracted by the clutter and junk in our homes! So, thanks for a fun night and the wonderful reconnection with a wonderful group!

Isn’t that just the best! Notice two things – she got up at 6:00am to organize (which I find amazing!) and she changed the Elizabeth Circle to ‘the ring of attack’. I found that fascinating. I wrote her back thanking her for the email and then asked about the name change. She wrote back “I do believe that future projects will not require such intensity and I can return to the ‘Elizabeth Circle’!”

So, I now have an alternate tool to help you stay focused. If it is an area of great intensity stay in the ‘ring of attack’!

What are your best tools/systems/ideas for getting things done?


I love having my own business and a home office.  Love it!  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite tools/systems/ideas that help me not only get a lot done every day but also really enjoy my work environment.  Then, I’d love to hear from you what systems you have in place and what you love about your home office.

FYI – you may want to set some time aside to read this post as there are a lot of links to check out!

The Office
Years ago I took a leap of faith and invested in really nice office furniture by Hooker. I mean – really nice.  I have never regretted it.  When I’m sitting at my desk I feel like a pilot in the cockpit.  I am in control central.  Nothing is more than a swing or scoot away in my chair.  My Command Center is in a drawer to the lower right of my chair, my project files are in the upper drawer to my left and paper supplies and copies of handouts  are in the lower left desk drawer.  One of the files in my project drawer is a ‘To File’ folder.  It’s easy to place items there and I file once a month.

The 2nd best thing I ever bought for my office is a second computer monitor.  I feel a second monitor is one of the best productivity tools you can purchase.  Whatever I’m working on is on the monitor in front of me and my calendar/web/e-mail, etc is on the 2nd monitor to my right. If I need to take a peek at my calendar or check e-mail I make a quick look to the right and  check what I need and then get back to work with the project on the first monitor.

I love the wall size ‘At-A-Glance’ calendars. I keep track of all my speaking on this calendar color coded by type.  I can tell at a glance when I’m hitting my benchmarks for speaking each month.

shredderUnder my desk is my shredder with a Post-It envelope on the side of the desk next to the shredder.  I collect what I want to shred and then shred once a week.

closetOffice Workroom Closet

Recently we downsized to a home half the size and it was one of the best things we’ve done! The move made me also downsize all my work supplies which had crept into almost every closet in our former home.  Now everything either is stored on a shelving unit in the garage or in the workroom bookcases or closet.  Not only stored – but labeled!!

workroomOffice Workroom

I am most excited about my new work table.  For years I’ve put together handout packets/binders/products, etc on the dining room table or a card table.  This was disastrous for my back as I had to lean over.  I knew I needed a talk work table but had no idea where to find one.  So, I Googled and found this blog post. I got the supplies from Ikea and Bruce put together my amazing work table with storage bins.  I’m in Heaven!

Forms, Forms, and more Forms
I’ll admit I’m a form fanatic.  If I do anything more than twice I’ll create a form for the task.  One of my favorites is my Scan Your Brain form to keep track of projects and make sure I reach out to prospects via phone/email/note cards.  E-mail me if you want a copy.


Outlook – probably the most amazing software ever! I use it for my e-mail and calendar which syncs to my phone.

Infusionsoft – my online database, newsletter service, and works like my own administrative assistant.

Blogsy – When I’m traveling and want to write blog posts on my iPad this is my best friend.

Buffer – Great tool for when I want to write Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook posts in advance.

Pages – Great note talking app.

Jesus Calling – my daily devotional I can access no matter where I am.

QuickBooks– enough said.  If you are not on QuickBooks get on it and look at your P&L every 30 days (stop waiting until January 1!)

Numbers Tracking Tool – if you are a coaching client or have been to one of my “Growing Your Business with Confidence” workshops you will know about this tool.  This is how I keep track of exactly how much business I’m booking every month and motivates me to keep booking new business.  If you don’t have a way to help you keep track of your bookings, deposits, and compensation you have a hobby not a business.  Sorry, no link for this as this is a gift to my coaching clients and workshop attendees.

Roboform – remembers all my logins/passwords on all my devices

GoToMyPC – I can access my home computer no matter where I am and work on it just like I am in my office. Amazing!

Google – what would we do without it?!

Ready to take action?
1.  Did looking at my tools and systems make you realize you want to change anything in your office? If so, what will you take action on first?

2.  Now it is your turn!  What are your favorite furnishings, tools, systems, and/or software/apps that help you run your business.  Please post below. I would love to know!


A way to be super organized!



Would you like an all-in-one place for your active project papers?  Well, Smead has just the product for you – the SuperTab Organizer with 90% larger tabs and labeling area.  Label away!  •  605-310-5764  •

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