2015 … Really?
As I write this, it is hot in Southern California, making it hard to believe that summer is almost over and fall soon will be upon us. This year we didn’t take a big vacation, but took a couple of short ones. Our end-of-the-summer getaway was a few days on Catalina Island. Catalina is an awesome gem, just an hour by boat out of Long Beach, Calif. We hiked, visited the interior where bison roam, saw bald eagles, did miniature bowling, at which I am horrible, and had a few good meals. Getting away is so important to our personal and professional development.
Taking some time off is good and taking some time to be organized is also smart. Might I suggest that we invest a bit of time to get organized so we are ready to attack the crazy fall season? Amazingly, 2015 will be here before we know it!
In my world, it’s a struggle to get organized. Like me, you may not consider yourself blessed with natural organizational skills, but it’s still a good idea to get your business and work space organized.
I function well with a bit of clutter, but too much is not a good thing. We may think that everything is important, but consider tossing out whatever is outdated or no longer relevant. Here are some hot spots of clutter accumulation that are good to focus on.
email inbox: This is really a tough one for me! My email inbox has become a catchall for every email, and it’s time to clean it up. Reduce the number of emails you get each day by unsubscribing to newsletters or other subscriptions you don’t read. That said, if you are not receiving my twice a month FreePromoTips.com e-newsletter, sign up here. It’s good stuff!
Sort to folders: I’m a content junkie, so I enjoy getting information that I can share, but I have created folders to more effectively manage my email box. I also set up rules, so when related emails come in they immediately go into their marked folder, allowing me to go in and read them when I am ready and not fill up my inbox.
Desktop: Clean up your workspace. I like when I do this. It just makes life easier. I try to keep spots on my desk for specific things. A pile of paperwork related to phone calls I need to make, a section with paperwork related to emails that I need to send, another for work I need to tackle. I still work within a pile system, but just having the piles divided goes a long way.
Use the Sky: Consider using cloud-based tools to share and save documents. Google Drive lets you store up to 15 GB for free, while giving clients or colleagues access to collaborate. We are starting to use this tool more. I love using Dropbox for documents and pictures. It gives you 2 GB of free storage and offers easy ways to get more free space.
Note-taking: One key to staying organized is effective note-taking. I still use a dedicated notepad at my desk and also love Evernote, which is an excellent free app that gives me access to my notes on all our computers as well as my phone and iPad. If you are a Post-It note fan, 3M has an app and there are several other sticky note apps.
Throughout the year business ebbs and flows. For me, the fourth quarter is pretty crazy. On the FreePromoTips side of out business, we are talking with suppliers about how we can help them reach distributors as they budget for 2015. And we are developing new, innovative ways to communicate business-building content. Watch for a new SuccessTracks format that’s coming soon.
The distributor side of our business of course perks up with holiday business. It’s going to be a crazy few months. Then the PPAI Expo will be upon us. This event is the highlight of the year for many of us. I look forward to seeing many of you there. Keep in mind that this year the dates are Sunday through Thursday, Jan. 11 to 15, which is a slight change from the usual Monday through Friday days that we are used to.
I have no groundbreaking insight on how to keep my business organized, but I know it’s important to our success. We each have our own system that works for us. No matter what, the most important thing is that you have a system and use it.