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The Roadmap for a Healthy Business Trip

>A good business trip takes careful planning. So does maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you travel frequently in your line of work, or for your business, you know how difficult it can be to keep up good habits and how easy it is to slip into bad ones. The good news is that, with a little added preparation and smart choices, you can considerably reduce that risk. Here’s how:

Set realistic goals – Goals will help you stay focused while you are away, but be realistic. For example, instead of losing weight, why not set maintaining your current weight as your goal?

Be prepared – It’s easier to maintain your health and weight with a little preparation. For example, call ahead to the hotel where you are staying and see if they have a fitness centre. Or, for frequent stays, consider a pass to a local facility. And be sure to take along your workout gear.

Scan the menu – Taking time to review your choices will help you make healthy ones.

Consider avoiding foods with descriptions such as ‘fried,’ ‘crispy,’ or ‘battered.’ They are likely high in fat. Instead, look for high-fiber meals, like a baked potato or salad.

For baked potatoes and salads, avoid high-calorie dressings and sour cream, or extras such as meat, cheese, egg and croutons. Or, ask to have dressings and toppings on the side so you can control your portions.

Ordering a small or kid-size portion. This is a great way to reduce the amount of calories, sodium and fat you consume.

Eat on schedule – Skipping meals or not eating for long periods increases your hunger and the risk that you will overeat when you finally make time for food.

Curb the urge to splurge – Keep snacks like graham crackers and fruit on hand in your car, bag or briefcase. This will help keep your appetite in check when standing at the buffet table or ordering a meal.

Forego fast food where possible – If fast-food restaurants are your only option, remember that many now have health-smart choices. Be sure to ask for the nutritional information and check the calorie, fat and fiber counts before ordering. Often, these choices aren’t healthier than what is on the main menu. Avoid the value meals; the calorie content is generally equal to two meals.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at http://www.organizeanything.com

Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
http://www.organizeanything.com
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.

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Best Use of Space in Your Office


Professional Organizer and Business Consultant Colette Robicheau shares the best ways to organize your home office. See the best products to improve your performance.

She shares simple, easy, economical options to fine tune your home office into a productive environment. Increase your efficiency while decreasing your clutter.

Capturing Inspiration

Harnessing Your Brilliant Moments

Many people get their best ideas when they are doing a mundane task where their minds are able to wander. For me it’s long drives in the car, on the elliptical and more often in the shower.

When inspiration hits at an inopportune time, whether you’re halfway through your lather-rinse-repeat cycle or just about to drift off to sleep, it’s important to remind yourself to jot it down. At Organize Anything we like to be able to capture our great ideas on the fly, so we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you jot down even your most fleeting brilliant ideas.

1.   Brilliant ideas in bed. If you’re prone to being struck with inspiration right before you close your eyes for the night, reach over and turn your alarm clock upside down, lay the nightstand lamp on its side, place a shoe in a drawer or drape your housecoat over a lamp. In the morning when you wake up, your first thought will be “Why did I do that?” Then your natural memory will take over and remind you.

2.   Flip out in the shower. Did your conditioner spark a creative idea this morning? Reach out and flip your shower mat. You’ll link the idea to the physical action and after you towel off you’ll be able to remember the idea so you can write it down.

3.   Don’t stress over memorization. Albert Einstein famously said “Never memorize something you can look up.” In this case, don’t worry about getting every detail written down. If you can remember the framework of your idea, the rest will come to you.

4.   Kitchen inspiration. Keep a whiteboard in your kitchen so you’ve got a handy place to jot down ideas when they hit. Attach a marker by string to it, and you won’t lose your thought while searching for a dry-erase marker.

5.   Early morning musings. When you’re making your breakfast and getting ready for work, you don’t want to be rooting around for writing tools. Keep a recording device handy in the kitchen if you find yourself inspired over toast. A voice memo can be transcribed and followed up on after you’ve had your coffee and start on your day.

6.   Tools to help. If you’re a shower genius who needs to capture ideas right away, we love using waterproof pens and paper – like scuba divers use! You can write down that missing link to your next work presentation even with the water running.

These tips and tools will help you keep track of the great ideas that come to you spur-of-the-moment. Memory is subjective, and capturing your brainwaves before the thought is gone is a great way to keep yourself fresh and motivated.

Scheduling Tools for Home and Office

Manage Your Office and Family From Your Home Page

Did you know that a great ally in getting your life organized and streamlined is just a click away – and it’s free?!

At Organize Anything we’re big fans of the Google Calendar. So often we think that electronic calendars are just for the office, but we’ve discovered that Google Calendar works great for the busy family too.

Here are some really fun and easy ways to use the Google Calendar to streamline your office and home organization.

1) Colour code it. Assign every member of your office/team/family a unique colour. Every time they enter an appointment/meeting/practice into the calendar it will display in that colour so a quick glance tells you who’s doing what.

2) Choose your view. Find a month view overwhelming? You can customize the view of your calendar to be daily or weekly if you want to stay focused on the here and now. The best part? Everyone who accesses the calendar can choose a different way to view it!

3) Sync it. Once you have a Calendar set up (and it’s as easy as getting a Gmail.com account), you can sync the calendar on your smart phone with your Google Calendar. This means your busy teenager on-the-go can update their schedule as they sit rink-side at hockey practice, or the office administrator can update schedules in real-time during a conference call.

4) Combine it. The great thing about this app is that you can make parts of it private and others public. Your office manager doesn’t need to see your 7th grader’s project due dates – so you can simply make that calendar private. Chose who sees what and when – with you getting all the information you need with a mouse click.

5) Schedule meetings. Need to get the office together or plan a family meeting? You can create an event and invite everyone who uses your calendar to attend. They can RSVP right from the Google account and on-the-go.

6) Access anywhere. It’s cloud based and covers all devices so works for everyone almost anywhere and anytime.

7) Reminders to take action. You can set three types of reminders to ensure you never miss an appointment or meeting. Popup reminders display on your computer screen if you leave your calendar open – they also appear on your phone. Email reminders can be set for anytime – I will often have an email reminder of key appointments a day early so I can make sure I have all materials gathered that I need. SMS reminders are perfect if you’ve enabled your calendar for mobile integration – your calendar will text you reminders of upcoming meetings.

In this digital age and being constantly on-the-move, having a way to co-ordinate schedules on the go is critical. We love how versatile it is and how you can create calendars for work and family, and keep them all in one place! If you would like to learn more about how productivity tools can help YOU, contact us today.

Sticky Do’s and Sticky Don’ts

Do use sticky notes for:

  • Marking catalog and magazine pages
  • Reminding your self of special tasks (on bathroom mirror, front door, fridge).
  • Out of office notice-have sticky notes prepared to leave on your office door such as back in 10 minutes, at lunch, working at home, in a meeting.
  • Flow charts and scheduling.
  • To avoid writing on original documents.
  • Brain storming sessions.
  • For quick lists (errands, groceries) to place on your to do list.
  • For daily affirmations. Put a positive message on mirror.
  • To enter the fax number on a document you are faxing.
  • Writing positive notes to employees and family members.

sticky-notes

Don’t use sticky notes for:

  • To remind yourself of day-to-day activities or projects.
  • When there is more than one task to complete.
  • As a record of phone messages. Use a notebook instead.
  • As a method of retaining information on permanent documents. They can get knocked off and will dry out after awhile.
  • To label computer disks and CDs
  • For external or formal correspondence.

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Is Your Office Set Up Working for You and Your Health

It’s time to audit your office set up.

Is your office set up working for you and your health? Position yourself and your equipment correctly to ensure a quality-working environment.

Get organized for the health of it. And remember if you have specific concerns always check with your practitioners to ensure the set up is right for you.

An improved working environment will elevate one’s overall well-being.

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Announcing the 2014 Organize Anything Top 10 List!

Organize Anything Top 10 List
Our favourite Organizing Products

The Organize Anything Top 10 List is an annual celebration of products we love – whether you want to eliminate clutter in your home, streamline your business life or take stress-free vacations. The annual Organize Anything Top 10 List is published each January. A comprehensive collection of products for anyone who lives life at full speed, the Top 10 List includes items for your home, office and leisure.

Organize Anything, a full service Professional Organizing agency in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.

The items on our list come to us in many different ways. We get recommendations from clients, store managers, businesses, product reps, colleagues and our own experiences. We love trying new things to find out how they can improve the lives of our clients – and we’re so lucky that companies get us to try new products and give our feedback. Helping companies perfect products that help our clients is one of our favourite things to do.

We put together this list to share so that everyone can learn about the gadgets and ideas we use and love so they can be inspired to find new ways to de-clutter and de-stress their own lives.

“Taking our cue from our clients and partners, we’ve put together a list that has something for everyone” says Colette Robicheau, Organizing Consultant, Life Coach and President of Organize Anything.

Urbio

Whether you want to plan the ideal indoor urban garden, or are looking for a funky small space organization solution, Urbio is it. The system uses a grid of wall mounted steel plates and super strong magnets to hold your vision together – storage solutions for a home office, a hanging garden for the living room or fun (and functional) decorations for the kid’s rooms. This cool-looking product will go as far as your imagination.

Available online or in stores in EQ3 stores.

Livescribe 3 Smart Pen

We love the Livescribe Smart Pen! This super-useful tool lets you take notes on specialty paper that appear instantly on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via Bluetooth. With the latest model you can sync the pen to the microphone of your smartphone/tablet so it transcribes as you record. It’s easy to share your notes as PDFs via Mail, Messages, Evernote and Dropbox. Perfect for students, busy professionals or anyone looking to reduce the clutter of notebooks and paper in their life. Available at Future Shop, Best Buy and online.

Dyson DC57 Hard Vacuum Cleaner

This is the Dyson to die for. There are many reasons to love the whole Dyson line of vacuum cleaners but we’ve fallen hard for their DC57 Hard Vacuum. This machine uses a wet wipe and suction at the same time to combine moping and vacuuming your hard floors. Got to love eliminating a step in your weekly chores! It’s light enough to handle cleaning high spaces and can be used with one hand! The detachable hose means you can still use it to clean upholstery without worrying about getting the carpet wet. And of course, that patented Dyson technology means it doesn’t lose suction.

Available wherever home appliances are sold.

Guard Your ID Stamp – Roller Mini

Safety first. We are a big fan of this tiny product! It fits perfectly in a desk drawer, purse or medicine cabinet. It’s small and flexible enough that it blacks out the label easily on a pill bottle, but can be used for envelopes and other projects as well. Unlike some other privacy stamps, this roller is not see-through – effectively blocking out your information in one quick swipe. A perfect pick to keep identity theft at bay.

Available online at www.guardyouridstamp.com and Sears

Joseph Joseph Nesting Bowls

Think small. Nesting bowls are great for those who love to cook, but have small kitchens without a lot of storage. If you don’t want to have to keep your mixing bowls and measuring cups in the hall closet, we recommend these fun, bright and stackable bowls and measuring cups. They snap together, have no-slip bases and the set includes a colander. They’re a downsizer’s delight and make cleanup and storage a snap.

Available at Sears and various home goods stores.

One Sole

This is perfect for the fashion conscious, but baggage weary traveler. OneSole is an interchangeable shoe product. You buy the soles of the shoe, and can then customize with easy to change tops so you can change your look without changing your shoes. Soles come in a variety of styles and a large selection of tops. We love the variety of looks, and the limited space they take up in our closet and suitcase when we’re traveling.

Available online at www.onesolestore.com

Gear Lending Program at Westin Hotels

Packing workout gear when heading on a quick business trip isn’t always top-of-mind. Cramming gym sneakers in beside your business suit is never fun. The Westin Hotel Chain has teamed up with New Balance to offer sneakers, socks, shorts and tops to guests for a rental fee in all of their hotels. You can reserve your gear in advance or inquire when you arrive for your stay. All equipment is freshly laundered and sneakers come with disposable insoles so you’re not sharing sweat with the last person who used them.

For more information visit www.gear.westinwellbeing.com

All Access Organizers

The Rubbermaid All Access Organizer has a feature that we think rocks – a clear drop-down door at the front of the storage unit so you can easily grab items without un-stacking the boxes and rifling through their contents. These stackable units work everywhere closet, garage, basement, dorm room for Try these and you’ll see the countless organizing possibilities.

Available at Walmart, Home Depot and Canadian Tire

Sticks Multi-Hook by David Quan

Sticks Multi-Hook is a unique and fun coat rack that will surprise your guests. We love functional art and this piece makes a statement and holds all your scarves and coats! Take a closer look to see it features five flip-down ‘sticks’ that work double duty as hefty wall hooks. Hooks flip back creating a decorative wall item when not in use.

Available online at www.umbra.com or at fine home good stores

Lay-n-Go Men’s Traveller

We’re big fans of this product line – especially their Men’s Traveller bag. It fits all of the toiletries you need on the go, has a waterproof secure pocket on the inside and you can toss it in your bag knowing all your items are secure. It’s easy to use too – just lay it flat on the counter, put whatever you need to take in side, and then pull the drawstring (that has its own handy storage pouch on the outside!). 

Available at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us

 

If you love the products on this year’s OA List as much as we do, share this list and show these companies some love. We’ll be sharing more information on our various social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube in the coming weeks. Do you have a product that you swear by? Send it to us to try and maybe it’ll make next year’s list!

Home Offices are Not Just for Your Job

Command Centre Ideas for Everyone

Just because you have a desk, chair and computer at your workplace doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a home office. Think of this VIP home space as “command centre” for your family. Don’t have the space in your home to dedicate to an entire room? Don’t worry, even the smallest rooms can have an office.

Our organizing experts have compiled a list of their favourite tips about organizing your home office.

1. Think outside the desk. With laptops and tablets becoming increasingly popular, you don’t need a huge desk and blotter to carve out an office. A sideboard in the kitchen, an empty nightstand in the guest room – anywhere that you can sit with your computer and have a drawer or two for writing utensils and files can be the hub of your office! These ideas give new meaning to the corner office.

2. Don’t worry about closed doors. If you have the space to have a quiet, closed space for an office, great. If not? Make the office the central hub for the family. Post the monthly calendar where everyone has their own colour, keep pencils and pens handy with writing paper, a basket for mail to be answered and a hanging file folder rack for bills that need to be paid. Check out our Pinterest board “Home Office Organization” for more great ideas.

3. Cute storage. If you don’t have a lot of space, but lots of small items to be stored on your desk, get creative. The silver tray your grandmother gave you is perfect for cups of pencils, your stapler, dishes of paperclips, and more. If you need to file paperwork but don’t have the space for a filing cabinet, consider using decorative stacking boxes or baskets.

4. Keep it in the cloud. If you have too much paperwork to keep at home that even creative storage solutions can’t solve, consider storing information “in the cloud.” You can upload documents to a secure server so that if your computer crashes you won’t lose anything important. You can also scan bills and keep them digitally if you’re worried about losing the hard copies. A Google Calendar works well for busy families on the go.

5. Don’t forget the ergonomics. Because we are often not in an office in the truest sense of the word, we often forget that posture and proper ergonomics are still vital.

6. Office On the Move. Forget the dining room table, these movable offices offer great working AND storage space – and then you can easily get your home back when you’re done working.

Organize Anything Group Board

A collection of organizing tips from some of the smartest Professional Organizers on the globe.

http://www.pinterest.com/organything/organize-anything-group-board/

Business Card Basics

He rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a wad of papers.  He shuffled through the pile of receipts, 20 dollar bills, and various business cards. He finally found what he was looking for and handed me his card, with bent, worn edges, as he jammed the remaining wad back into his pocket.

Giving someone your card can seem like a simple task, but how it is done can have a serious impact on how your business is perceived—and whether that card is safely filed away or tossed in the wastepaper basket.  Your business card is a miniature representation of your business: your style, your focus, your unique selling proposition.

– Treat your cards with respect!  Keep them stored safely in a business card case.  Cards will become worn and bent when kept in pockets or wallets.

– Keep your card separate from others you receive.  If you are at a networking event, keep your cards in your right pocket and the ones you receive in your left.  You want to be  able to effortlessly take out one of your cards. For women, always keep in the same section of your purse.

– Treat others’ cards with respect, as well.  If a business card is a representation of a person’s company; you don’t want to defile it.  Ask for permission before jotting a note on the back.  Never fold or bend the card.

How to exchange business cards

  1. Unless someone is expressing interest in your business, do not shove a card into their hand.  First, ask for their card.
  2. Thank the person as you take their card.
  3. Take a moment to look at the card and comment on it or ask a question related to what you see on it.
  4. Put their card away in a secure place.
  5. Offer them your card by handing it to them with the text facing them.  Don’t make them turn it around to read it.
  6. Don’t give them numerous cards unless they ask. They are not automatically your sales team just because you were introduced.
  7. Make sure you don’t abruptly end the conversation now that you have ‘done the deed’. Remember, networking is about building relationships.  Even if they aren’t your ideal customer, they may know someone who is.

Business card organizing tips

–          Have a basket that you put newly received business cards in.  This is your “to be processed” inbox.

–          Send follow-up emails to those people you have met.

–          Transfer the cards into your database, electronic address book, or business card book.

–          Use categories or groups to help you find these individuals later.  Put information on where and when you met and any other information you can recall about this person.  Some sample categories:

  • Leads
  • Services
  • Customers
  • Event where you met them
  • Competition
  • Industry
  • Networking

What do you do with all those cards?  They aren’t trophies; you only want the information they contain.  After the information has been entered in your electronic files, toss the paper card.  If you use a business card book, routinely go through a weed out cards that are out-of-date or of no use to you.  Be generous and pass along cards to colleagues who might be interested in the information.

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