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What are some of your favorite organizing products?
July 9, 2013. Organized Desk. Need help selecting organizing products for your office? There are so many products on the market to choose from, but where do you start? Here is a quick list of 4 of our favorites and why we like them: 1) Product: iStand. iStand. Why We Like It: Frankly we've been ...
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Do you prefer paper or electronic calendars?
July 2, 2013. Paper vs Electronic Calendars. Many busy professionals have already made the switch to electronic calendars, but others are sticking to their tried and true paper planners. So which type does our team at Innovatively Organized think is best? You'll have to keep reading to find out!
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Electronic certainly!
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Are you a small business owner? We have 6 quick productivity tips for you!
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Customizing Your Two Computer Monitors to Boost Efficiency

At Innovatively Organized, we are big proponents of using two monitors to help increase productivity at work.  We have two monitors set up in our office so we can view and work on multiple documents at once.  If you are wondering whether you could benefit from using multiple monitors, check out our previous blog post, “Do Multiple Computer Monitors Make You More Productive?”

But if you already have multiple monitors, we’re excited to share a few more ways you can customize your monitor set-up!  Here are two ways you can use your double computer monitors to boost your efficiency while working:

Switch the screen orientation
As pictured above, you can change one of your monitors into a vertical position.  This technique is most frequently used by accounting and legal firms because it helps to view spreadsheets in the portrait view.  If you usually work with long spreadsheets or legal documents, you might consider changing the orientation of one of your screens to help you view more at once.

Duplicate your screens
This option is great for meetings with a client or team member—you can face one of your screens towards your audience while the other one remains facing you.  This way, you can display the same exact screen without everyone huddling over one monitor to view it.

How do you use your multiple monitors?  Share with us in the comments below!
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We love using our dual monitors! For us it is best to use our second screen as an extended screen so we can use our local desktop on one screen and our remote desktop on the other.
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How I Stay Productive On-the-Go

As a Productivity Consultant with Innovatively Organized, I am constantly on-the-go. Each week I meet with my clients at their various locations throughout the greater Seattle area, which is one of the aspects I enjoy about my job – the variety. However, as a mobile professional I’ve come up with ‘my way’ to be productive on-the-go. I may work from my home office one day, then be on the road and in between appointments the next.  A typical day in my life usually involves…..

Mobile Devices
I often find myself switching between my devices depending on my location and what I need to do. I have a 15” laptop, which is great to work on from the office or when I’m sitting in a coffee shop, but there are times when I’m preparing for an appointment and I’m in my car, so I call in the iPad (see screenshot at left)! I can review client session notes on Dropbox, update documents with Docs To Go, or read and respond to emails (I use a Bluetooth keyboard when I am sending longer emails; for me it’s much quicker than typing on the iPad itself.) My Android phone completes the productivity trifecta. In addition to being able to read and reply to emails from my Droid, I often touch base with the Innovatively Organized team between appointments to check in or debrief about a project. We set up a conference call and get a lot accomplished from the road!

Microsoft Exchange Server
Our company email is on a Microsoft Exchange Server, which allows me to read my email on my phone, iPad, laptop, or via the web and keep it synced. I never have to worry about emails incorrectly showing up as read or unread (and therefore I avoid the time wasted trying to figure out if I’ve read or responded to a message). I’m also confident that when I move an email to a folder, it syncs across devices. Knowing my email is synced no matter where I view it from makes my work life MUCH easier!

Traffic App
I use my WSDOT Traffic App a lot since I travel to meet with clients all around the city.  It saves me a lot of valuable time and helps me avoid traffic by finding alternate routes when needed. There are similar apps available in other cities. If you’re on the road a lot, it’s worth finding a good traffic app. Your time is valuable – if you can find a way to save it, you should!

Want to learn more about Jackie Chapman? Read her bio here or connect with her on LinkedIn.
June 4, 2013. Jackie Chapman - Productivity Consultant. As a Productivity Consultant with Innovatively Organized, I am constantly on-the-go. Each week I meet with my clients at their various locations throughout the greater Seattle area, which is one of the aspects I enjoy about my job – the ...
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Task Management for Visual People – Action Method

One of our favorite task management product recommendations is the Action Method Journals since they effortlessly turn your to-do list into actionable tasks.  Their system helps you focus on your priorities and requirements, instead of just making a running list of back-burner ideas. It is especially beneficial for visual people or creative types.

So we were excited to test the new suite of Action Method Online tools—a great opportunity to continue using the Action Method system while going paperless.  Action Method Online even syncs with your mobile devices—allowing you to work more efficiently on-the-go.  Here are a few of our favorite things about Action Method:

- It’s great for project management and task management, especially for visual people
- Tasks are displayed like sticky notes, to help you organize and prioritize them
- You can use 3 colors (blue, orange, and gray), which allows you to color-code your tasks
- Easily delegate tasks and monitor their progress (we also recommend changing the color of the task to denote that it has been delegated)
- You can create your to-do list for the day by adding items to your “Focus Area”
- If you like to use a combination of paper and electronic tools, the Action Method Journals match their color scheme, offering continuity to your task management systems

The Action Method Online is available online, as well as with iPhones, iPads, and Androids.  You can try the introductory system for free; let us know your thoughts!
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Do any of these sound familiar?
July 5, 2013. Symptoms of a Broken Office. Far too often, businesses are so focused on keeping up with their day-to-day tasks, that they fail to see how much time they're wasting. In other words, they have a broken office. But, how do you know if you have a broken office?
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Best of Small Business Week 2013

We’ve had a great time celebrating Small Business Week in Seattle, learning new tools and techniques to improve business, networking with local leaders, and recognizing some of the best small businesses around.  We’ve compiled a handful of articles we found interesting this week, in case you missed them!

Small Businesses: Then & Now [INFOGRAPHIC]
This infographic highlights the results of a Constant Contact survey where small business owners were asked to compare running their small business now versus five years ago.

Lessons Learned From A Year of Working From Home
This post, by Stephen Searer, first appeared on the Turnstone Blog and gives a good first-person account of how to stay productive while working from home.

Productivity’s Worst Enemy And How To Conquer It
Jason Womack writes about how to reduce the anxiety associated with your busy schedule and your daily productivity.

Happy Small Business Week
This short video from Google Business celebrates the “dream-chasers” and “do-it-yourselfers” that make up the small business community!

10 Eye-Opening Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read
Geoffrey James reflects on books that “reveal the truth of how organizations really work.” Have you read any of these books?

Have you come across any interesting articles this week about small businesses? We’d love to hear about them!
June 21, 2013. Small Business Week. We've had a great time celebrating Small Business Week in Seattle, learning new tools and techniques to improve business, networking with local leaders, and recognizing some of the best small businesses around. We've compiled a handful of articles we found ...
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To celebrate Small Business Week, check out our list of Essential Productivity Apps to Keep You Efficient
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How to Edit Documents On-The-Go

We understand that you are constantly on-the-go.  Whether you are catching your bus for your morning commute, heading to another meeting, visiting a client, or en route to a conference, you are always moving but you’re still expected to get things done.  Our goal at Innovatively Organized is to help you stay productive on-the-go, utilizing your time efficiently.

One way you can use pockets of time throughout your day is by editing documents or reviewing files.  While you are waiting to meet with a new client, for instance, is a great time to pull out your tablet or laptop and continue working.  There are two main components to efficiently editing documents on-the-go:

Sync your devices
Make sure you have access to the documents you need when you are not in the office.  A service like Dropbox allows you to store all of your files in the cloud, which can then be synced across all of your devices, allowing you to access them from almost anywhere.

Have the right tools
You will also need a tool that allows you to edit your documents.  We recommend the Docs2Go app because it allows you view, edit, create, and format Microsoft Word and Excel documents, as well as view PDFs and Powerpoints.  Docs2Go can sync with your Dropbox account, so once you have finished editing a document, you can save the updated version to Dropbox and access it at a later time. Below are a few screenshots of how to connect Docs2Go with your Dropbox account.

Next time you find yourself with at least ten minutes, pull out your pending contracts, proposals, projects, or letters that need attention.  You’ll make the best use of your time while on-the-go, while also keeping your documents synced and ready to be picked up again later.
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How Much Digital Clutter are You Hoarding?

While you may be sitting in a very organized office with a clean desk surface and perfect file cabinets (or maybe not…), there are still piles of clutter right in front of your nose! However, this culprit is hard to see or even conceptualize – it’s digital clutter. But what is digital clutter?

How do you know if you have digital clutter? Here a few signs…
- Your computer desktop is barely visible due to numerous shortcuts, documents, and file folders
- You spend more than 30 seconds trying to find electronic files
- You only use a handful of the 40+ apps currently on your phone

To get an idea of how much digital clutter you are hoarding on your computer or laptop, let’s imagine those electronic files were “physical files.”  Follow the steps below to calculate how tall your pile of digital clutter would be if 1 sheet of paper represented each individual file on your computer.

Step #1: Determine how many files are currently stored on your computer.

If you have a Mac:
Open Finder
On the left-hand side, click on Applications
Open the Utilities folder
Click on the Disk Utility icon
On the left-hand side, click on Macintosh HD
On the top header, click the blue Info icon
A new window will pop up. Locate “Number of files” to find your grand total (see screenshot below)

If you have a PC:
Click Start
Under search, type “cmd”
Open up CMD to run a command prompt
Type “cd/” then enter and type “dir/s”
Click enter and let the system count for 5-10 minutes
Once it has finished, scroll to the bottom and find “Total Files Listed” for your grand total (see screenshot below)
Step #2: Calculate the height (in feet) of your digital clutter
Now that you know exactly how many electronic files you have, it’s time to imagine them as physical files.  Let’s say each of your electronic files represents just one single piece of paper.  When stacked in a pile, it takes 3,000 sheets of paper to reach a foot tall.  Take your total number of files and divide that number by 3,000 to yield how many feet tall your files would stack to.
Now look around your office.  Do you have enough room for all those piles and feet of paper?  Do you need to keep all of those files? Do you have duplicate files? Can you find the electronic files you’re looking for quickly and easily? Just because you don’t need to physically store these files, your electronic files are still piling up into digital clutter…lots of digital clutter.

To learn how to clear out, reduce, and manage your digital clutter, sign up for our “Reduce Digital Clutter: Keep Your Electronic Files Organized” webinar on June 19th.

How many feet tall would your digital clutter stack be?  Let us know in the comments (scroll to the very bottom of this page) to see how you “stack up.”
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How to Set Reminders in Evernote

We are thrilled about a great new feature in Evernote: the ability to add reminders to notes!  If you already use Evernote virtual notebooks for your to-do list and project management, adding reminders to notes will help you stay more productive and timely.

Ways to use reminders
Besides adding them to your tasks on your to-do list, you can add reminders to action items from meeting notes or even create reminders for annual checkups (for your car, insurance, etc).  You might also want to add reminders for follow-ups with contacts if you store business card images in Evernote.

How to add reminders
First, if you haven’t already, you need to update Evernote to Version 5.1.3 in order to add reminders.
Then, on the top right of each note, you will notice a new alarm clock image.
Once you click the reminder icon, you can specify the due date and write your reminder on the left side.  You also have the option to receive reminder emails when your due date is approaching.

Let us know how you like the new reminders feature in the comments below!
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