Monday, December 29, 2014

Organized Scripture Study

I made these a while back (like several years ago), and print them out every year or two to help me with my scripture study. I find it helpful to use as a bookmark, and also to note where I've read for the year already. Some folks like to start at the front of a book and work their way to the end; others like to jump around by topic. This bookmark works no matter how you choose to read your Scriptures!  Feel free to print them out and pass them around -- just please do not sell them!

Each are 3 up on an 8.5x11 sheet. The Old Testament is broken into two bookmarks. 

Please feel free to copy, share, distribute, but absolutely DO NOT SELL these.
Here's to a wonderful new year in 2015!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Piles and piles of papers

I started my desk/office area organization by taking all the piles covering all the surfaces, and dumping everything into a couple of banker boxes... Just temporary of course -- it would be easy to just leave things that way, but then instead of being overrun with papers, I'd be overrun with banker boxes. Quite honestly after moving as many times as I have, I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to cardboard by now.

I realized in doing this that one of the issues that I struggle with is what to ultimately do with all those papers... Bills, invoices, receipts, medical papers, tax forms...aaack!  Using a file cabinet is one idea, but it really isn't convenient, plus those folders and drawers fill up fast too, making it difficult to file, causing me to go back to just throwing things into boxes...

But still, that being said,  I'm pretty sure that my previous way of dealing with these items (I.e., shoving everything in a box to file or deal with later) was not working out too well. Heaven forbid I needed to retrieve anything from that black hole of papers.

I did a little research and found that the IRS accepts scanned copies of receipts so why keep all this paper? I have a paid Dropbox account, and a lovely scanner. So! I spent the evening scanning receipts into appropriate folders and creating a huge pile of papers TO TOSS! Yay.  The only papers I'm keeping the actual original receipts on are things that I can't easily get a new copy of, or things with an important original signature on them. Most everything else can be accessed or requested online anymore anyway.

Because I am quite the nerd about backing up and having things accessible, I set up two folders in my Evernote account to automatically check the corresponding two folders in my Dropbox account. This means that when I scan something directly into my "2014 Tax Receipts" folder in Dropbox, Evernote will go in and grab it and put it in the corresponding folder I have set up in Evernote, so I have it saved now in two places. I also did that for serial numbers and product codes for the software that I upgrade from time to time.

(Side note here: The reason that I like to save things, especially really important things in Evernote, is that even scanned PDFs are indexed within the program automatically, and even line items in a receipt become searchable.)

Day 2 now, still scanning away. I should have the last box of papers finished shortly. It's actually pretty exciting to imagine this step almost done!

(I'm sure it would go a lot faster if I wasn't juggling an almost-2-year-old on my lap watching vacuum videos on my second monitor).

Update - December 28, 2014 -

Two boxes of "to file" papers emptied. Important documents scanned and electronically filed!  The rest are being filed here:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Toting Stuff

This arrived today so I'm jumping ahead in my organization timeline/plan to post a picture. I'm excited to be able to organize all the stuff I lug around to work, on day trips, as carry-on on planes. I bought the Vera Bradley 'Get Carried Away' style travel tote, from (I had a gift card). They also had great deals at the Vera Bradley website on discontinued patterns so be sure to check there also. 

I previously made a trip to the Vera Bradley store to check out the different bags in person, to be sure I was choosing the one that would best suit my needs. VB bags come in all sizes, patterns, colors and options. I chose this one mainly because of the end pockets for water bottles (I don't like them sloshing about on the inside of a bag with my stuff, and definitely want liquids separated from my electronics), plus the roomy front and back pockets for quick access to keys & phone. VB bags are pricey, but when on sale, they are definitely worth it -- well made, distinctive fabrics, comfortable to carry, and perfect attention to organization details.

This tote is big - about 18" x 15" x 7", with four roomy outside pockets (one at each end for water bottles, etc., one on each side - fits my iPad mini perfectly! my phone easily slips into the pocket on the other side, with room for other stuff too (keys, for example).  The handles are soft and have extra padding at the shoulder. The bag itself is soft and quilted, and should make a nice pillow itself if ever I find myself stuck in an airport overnight (which seems to be whenever I fly in the winter).

Inside, the fabric is a contrasting blue and white chevron stripe pattern. The inner sides are lined with pockets, and the bag is very roomy - roomy enough for a large purse, lunch bag, some books, probably a sweater or sweatshirt and still more. It will easily hold everything I need to lug about, but still have everything neatly organized and easily and quickly reachable, plus it zips closed at the top so nothing will fall out when stuffed under an airline seat.

The pattern is called Venetian Paisley, which is kind of special to me personally, because one of my favorite SecondLife avatars is named Paisley, and I went to Venice this summer on a cruise with my oldest daughter and absolutely fell in love with Venice. 

All said, this tote makes me quite happy, and being happy is what it's all about.

Friday, December 26, 2014

My organizational journey begins

It has to start somewhere, and my somewhere is the Emergency Room, Christmas eve 2014. A simple cold turned to bronchitis after a month, kept at bay with Dayquil/Nyquil and cough drops by the handful, but finally in the excitement of Christmas Eve turned to bronchial spasms and ohmygosh-I-can't-breathe! Instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the treasures I took home were azithromycin, prednisone, and hydrocodone - the three magicians of medicine. The problem is now that I'm feeling great, re-energized, and ready to start projects and face life head on, my past fatigue, malaise, and stress have left me with a mountain of "stuff" that "I'll organize later". Later starts now

I'm starting this journey at my "control center" ~ my desk/office space.  Here's what it looks like tonight (full disclosure - I did actually tidy the desk a little bit before the picture).

my desk

my, um, workspace behind my desk.

I really am an organized and tidy person at heart. My motto has always been, "Organization is the key to survival".  I read that somewhere once, and it really stuck in my head. Just not always in practice. But you know it's much easier to stay organized when you've started out organized! So now I'm just going to start from scratch, get it together in as many areas of my life as I can, and do more than survive... thrive! Woohoo!

This blog is my record of this particular journey, to hopefully keep me on track, and remind me where I started, and where I'm headed. Nothing more, nothing less. Anyone reading is welcome to tag along and share ideas.