Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Organized Artist/Author SARK

During my Creativity Consult with author SARK, I took the opportunity to ask her about her own organizing habits.
When she was in Atlanta on book tour I found out she was not only organized, she confessed to being ultra-organized, something that is hard for a creative person to own, because creatives are supposed to be messy and embrace messiness, right?
SARK loves being organized.

  • Her files are organized by topic and then alphabetically within the topic.
  • She organizes her address book by first name, which computers and phones are not very cooperative about.
  • She says she would rather do her winter clothing purge than go to a party!
  • She is Virgo rising for all you astrology followers out there - which she says indicates she is obsessed with detail.

We got to talking about junk drawers, and the point at which I just toss the crumbs of stuff into the trash. She told me a short story about her packrat parents. She would organize the junk drawer and throw out the stray paperclips and pennies.

But her father would go through the trash and emerge asking, " Do you know what I just found? A string, a paper clip, a rubberband and a penny! Do you know where I found them?"
She would answer, "in the trash."
She laughed thinking about it now.

By the way, SARK says she is planning to add these individual creativity consults to her business coming in January 2009. She's going to call it Couching with SARK, (instead of coaching - It tooke me a few minutes to get the play)

So you too can get inspired by the juicy artist/writer/coach.
Keep watching her website for more details.
Oh - do sign up for her newsletter. It's colorful and so fun to get each month.

There are a few other freebies on the site and one really silly spot - ask Jupiter (her cat)
If the Magic 8 Ball was a cat, what would the answer be when you asked it a question.

Find it in the the Sark Studio

Monday, November 10, 2008

on a SARK high!

I drank from the SARK water tonight and I'm on a high!
I won a creativity consultation with the author in a blogging contest and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect prize. See I've been hesitating to promote my book "Color Me Organized" because my evil lizard self keeps sending me "not good enough" thoughts.
So tonight I got the chance to talk to my muse about my thoughts.
What an extraordinary woman. She was so easy to talk to, like talking to a friend I've known for years. She gave me some great pointers for using my "not good enough" thoughts to spark the answers for myself.
I give my SARK time two thumbs up with sparkly purple nail polish on my thumbs.
Now I do my exercises and baby steps and become the best organizing writer for artsy fartsies.
-- Allison

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Alternate to Filing

Filing is a great way to store paper. But let's just face the fact that Righties often take issue with it.
1. if you don't do it regularly you get a pile.
2. why not just pile in the first place
3. I know where things are in my piles so why should I put things in a drawer or box because then I won't know where they are anymore.

There are some handy alternatives for those who don't want to file because it is more work or suffer from OOSOOM (out of sight, out of mind).

My favorite is using stacking trays because you can get lots of them and at least have categorized stacks. The same principles apply as in filing, but you will need broader categories so that you don't have 137 or more trays.
These fun colored trays are from See Jane Work

Begin with the action trays: To Do, To Go, To File, To Pay and Someday
That can be one stack.
2nd Stack will be home papers: House, Finances, Insurance, Health, Personal
This only works well if you're willing to cut the crap and just save the minimum amount of stuff.
If you are an info-holic, you gotta pick another route because you'll end up with too many trays to manage.

Other handy bins, buckets and trays:
coupons to use
receipts to keep/file/toss later

The people at Pendaflex did a bunch of research and found that there are a ton of people who actually prefer piling to filing and they created some great products to make your piling more workable.

My favorite is the Pilesmart files .
You can see into them and lay them across your desk with just the tab showing or the whole thing showing.
There are a variety of these with write-on tabs on the side or bottom.
The files also make it easy to take your action items on the go.

Lots of people will tell you all kinds of rules about managing paper, but there is only one rule
Find out what works for your style.
Do what works for you
And make it work!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gadget Junkie Confesses

Part 1 - The Stuff
It's me. I admit it. I'm a gadget junkie. It started out as a kid. I wanted a calculator (can you guess my age?) They were expensive and were the Bar Mitzvah gift of choice. It grew as I collected walkman after walkman, cd players, tape recorders and cameras. Then came the computer era to usher in a new unfathomable pletorha of cool gadgets. It's not just the stuff that plugs in either. It's also the software and the online tools.
It can be an organizers nightmare.... or a dream.

I have dealt with this need to try new stuff by making a single rule. I can only keep the thing that is newest and the one that came before it. (keep the last generation in case something stops working suddenly) Anything older must go. It's about the only way I can stay sane and not become the collector of all things gadget.

Do I wish I still had my 512K macintosh from college to use as the coolest doorstop ever? Nah.
Once you begin living with a rule, it becomes the norm and a rationalization you can live by forever.

I recently found my college broadcast journalism tape recorder and microphone. I wish I could say they are collectors items, but alas, they are just new techno junkery.

PART II - The Passwords
Every time I want to try out new online gadgets I have to sign in with a user name and password. And sometimes they don't let me use the same one that I usually use.
And like a true Right Brainer - I don't want to take the time to open up my spreadsheet of passwords every time I make one.
So instead I write the PW on a post-it along with my user name and website.
I stick the PW on my every-day-spiral where I write everything I'm doing, thinking, messages, etc.
When the pile gets to be about 10 high - I go to my spreadsheet(s) and enter them all in, and alphabetize the list (by website)

How do you organize your passwords? And is it working?