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February 28, 2011

The Winner of My Three Books is...

Kim K. who said:

I scrapbook at my computer. I went digital last year and I am so happy with it. My biggest organizational challenge is keeping up with my downloads. I have a very complicated system that works great when I use it. My biggest problem is I started the system so late into the process that I am backlogged really bad.


Congratulations Kim! I'll send you an email with the details on how to get your books! Thanks to everyone who participated. :)

Monday Morning Check-In

Hello my Finish It Friday friends! I hope you had a great weekend. This is the place to share how you did with your weekend to-do list. Here's my check-in.


Play List

  • Boot camp. Check! And...I'm not too sore this week. Feels like progress. :)
  • Basketball game. Check. This was actually basketball games...and away games. So we were gone all day yesterday. Which was fun...but it also meant that everything else on my to-do list had to get done on Saturday.

 To Finish

  • Laundry. Check!
  • Plan meals / make grocery list. Check. And I did the grocery shopping this week.
  • Start and finish cleaning the house. A partial check. I did some of the tasks on my weekly cleaning list, but not everything. I will do a bit more cleaning throughout the week. (Oh joy, right?)
  • Order my Mom's birthday gift. Check!
  • Run some errands. Check! I even went to Lowe's in search of a counter top for my bathroom...and well, it wasn't so productive. I really couldn't figure out what the options were, or the cost, and the one guy working in the department was helping another couple...the entire time I was there...and I had to leave to go pick up Collin at basketball practice. I think I may try to go to the kitchen and bath shop one day this week.


How did you do with your list?

February 25, 2011

Freebie Friday: My Three Books

It’s my favorite kind of Friday—Freebie Friday! Up for grabs today are my three books. Book number three was just released last week. It’s an Ella Publishing e-book called How to Scrapbook Your Personal Heritage which I co-authored with Wendy Smedley. So, one lucky blog reader will win a copy of:

How to Scrapbook Your Personal Heritage


AND a copy of my first e-book the happy scrapper: simple solutions to get organized + get scrapping.


PLUS a signed copy of the new edition of The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker.


Here’s how to enter for a chance to win a copy of my three books:

1.  In the comments answer this question:  Where do you scrapbook, and what’s your greatest organizing challenge that comes from scrapbooking in this particular space? OR…

2.  For a second chance to win link to this giveaway on Facebook. OR…

3.  For a third chance to win, tweet this giveaway with a link on Twitter. OR…

4.  Do all three for three chances to win! Make sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do—answering the question, linking on Facebook or Tweeting.

Comments will close on Sunday February 27, 2011 at 9 PM central, and the winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!!


**Comments are now closed. Thank you!**

It's Friday...time to get organized for the weekend!

Happy Friday to you! I hope you had a great week. I, for one, am ready to put this particular week behind me and move on to the weekend. The weekend is a great time to create a fresh start—get some things checked off your to-do list, and take some time to relax, unwind and recharge. And, since it's the last weekend of the month, let's send it out with a bang. Shall we? 


If you've been sitting on the Finish It Friday sidelines up until now, why not give it a try this weekend? (I may just have a little surprise for one lucky Finish It Friday participant. Hint, hint. Will it be you?) I'd love to hear what you're up to this weekend and have you join in the fun. Okay, here are my lists...


Play List

  • Boot camp.
  • Basketball game.



To-do-list-copyright-simplify101 To Finish

  • Laundry.
  • Plan meals / make grocery list.
  • Start and finish cleaning the house.
  • Order my Mom's birthday gift.
  • Run some errands.'s your turn. What's on your to-do list this weekend? Thanks for sharing!!

February 21, 2011

How did your weekend go?

Happy Monday morning my Finish It Friday friends. How was your weekend? Here's my update:


Play List

  • Movie at a friend’s house. Check!
  • Basketball tournament. Check!
  • Boot camp. Check. (And ouch! I'm really feeling it this week.)

To Finish

  • Laundry. Check!
  • Clean. Check!
  • Go to Home Depot or Lowe’s (or both) to explore bathroom counter top options.Nope...the other activities took priority. I'm okay with this because we really won't have time to work on this project next weekend either...more basketball on the calendar. :)
  • Plan next week’s menu / make grocery list. Check!
  • Spend at least 15 minutes going through archive files. Check!
  • Finish at least two lingering office tasks. Check!


How did you do with your to-do list? Hope you had a great weekend!

February 18, 2011

Get Organized for the Weekend — It’s Finish It Friday!

Happy Friday my friends. I hope you had a wonderful week. What are you up to this weekend? Are you up for a round of Finish It Friday? If you haven’t participated before, it’s an easy, fun and useful thing to do. You simply share your weekend to do list—including some things you will do just for fun—and then check in here Monday morning. What’s the point of all of this? Well, the idea is to help us all have more fun and get more done. I hope you’ll join us this weekend!


Here are my lists:


Play List

  • Movie at a friend’s house this evening.
  • Basketball tournament.
  • Boot camp.

To-do-list-copyright-simplify101 To Finish

  • Laundry. It’s in process already—I love having a few loads already done before the weekend begins.
  • Clean. Just a light cleaning this week.
  • Go to Home Depot or Lowe’s (or both) to explore bathroom counter top options.
  • Plan next week’s menu / make grocery list.
  • Spend at least 15 minutes going through archive files.
  • Finish at least two lingering office tasks today.

What’s on tap for you this weekend? If you’re looking for some ideas…here are some to explore: 

Itsabouttime-static125x125My online workshop It’s About Time is just getting underway and there’s still plenty of time to join the fun! If you feel like there’s always more to do than time to get it done, this workshop will show you how to change your approach to managing your time and your to-do list so you have more time for the good stuff.

If you’re in the St. Louis area and have some sensitive documents in need of shredding, this weekend is the NAPO St. Louis shred event. Learn more by following this link:  Download Shred Event Flyer 2011


Remember to take at least one hour this weekend for the good stuff.


No matter how you decide to spend your weekend, make it a great one! See you back here next week.

February 16, 2011

Time Management Myth Buster: You Don't Need an Extra Hour a Day...

Clock-copyright-simplify101 Today’s time management blog post is designed to challenge your beliefs about time. Does this sound familiar:  Do you feel time starved? Do you feel like your to-do list rules your life? Do you feel like if you could just get caught up, then you would be able to have time for yourself…to have fun…to spend with your loved ones and other people who matter most to you?


I was blown away by your responses to the Freebie Friday giveaway when I asked the question “If you were given an extra hour a day to spend however you’d like, how would you spend it?”  The things you would do if you had an extra hour each day are really important things! If you didn’t have a chance to read the comments…just look at this list—this is how blog readers would spend an extra hour a day.  


  • Connecting with loved ones via phone or email or writing letters.
  • Cooking healthy meals
  • Crafting
  • Creating—keepsakes for my kids, photo albums
  • Doing something creative.
  • Doing something just for me…hot bubble bath or listen to a relaxing piece of music maybe a glass of wine or all three at the same time and just empty my mind of all my to-do's.
  • Doing stuff with my girls. We would cook, craft, scrapbook, snuggle, read, play games, ride bikes - anything we could think of, but just time with them is so needed!
  • Drinking tea
  • Enjoying nature
  • Exercising my body and mind! I think my life would be better this way.
  • Exercising so I have more energy to do other things.
  • Going through all of my mother’s stuff, she recently died and I have tons of paperwork as well as photos I would like to organize and sort of scrapbook somehow.
  • I'd do nothing.
  • I’d spend it alone.
  • I'd like to think I'd use the time to relax, unwind, read a book, rest... and not feel guilty about it. But I would probably use the hour to be more "productive", do more work, get more things done so that one day I could relax and not feel guilty about it. (Hmmm... there's something wrong with this picture, isn't there?)
  • Doing something FUN, just for me - craft, read, etc.
  • Knitting.
  • Learning sign language.
  • Looking for a new house.
  • Making a list of all the things I like to do.
  • Meditating.
  • Organizing:  the papers on my desk, my digital supplies, craft room, desk, my home, my scrapbook space, my mind.
  • Playing a game with my kids.
  • Practicing guitar.
  • Praying / reading the bible.
  • Enjoying quiet time.
  • Reading a good book or the blogs I subscribe to; read with my kids.
  • Re-energizing.
  • Resting.
  • Scrapbooking guilt free.
  • Scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking, making photo albums, working on my photos.
  • Sewing.
  • Sketching.
  • Sleeping.
  • Spending it guilt free to do "nothing" and be silly.
  • Spending it on myself, doing something I like to do.
  • Spending time with friends and loved ones, my family (unplugged), my husband.
  • Taking a walk by MYSELF.
  • Training my cat to do circus tricks.
  • Volunteering.
  • Doing yoga.
  • If I had one more hour in the day, I would treasure every second.
  • I'd love an extra hour to spend with my kids without worrying or thinking about anything else. I bet I could make this happen with some discipline. I'm going to make it a new goal!
  • Being given an extra hour every day would be a gift. As a result, I would offer myself an hour in my craft room to make cards or scrapbook!
  • …without feeling guilty about wasting the time!
  • Honestly, an hour extra every day... Without a good plan and some more discipline, it would probably and sadly just slip away. I would love to get to where I could and would use it for strategic personal growth in some area that needs improvement.
  • If I had an extra hour I would spend it connecting with people I love!! Thanks to your help, I have implemented good systems for paper, a decent sleep schedule, and a daily workout - but since I'm working on a new business venture, communications with those that don't live in my house have fallen aside. I would definitely use this time to call, write, or email them and let them know how much they mean to me!!

This is the good stuff my friends. It is the stuff that makes life worth living. And yet, for so many of us, we feel like the way we could do these things…or the way we could do these things without feeling guilty…is if we had an extra hour each day.


But wait…


What about the 24 hours we already get every single day? Do we truly believe that none of those hours (or even some of the minutes) shouldn’t be invested on the activities and people that make us happiest? Do we really think that those things that matter most and make life worth living should wait until our to-do list is done?


One thing I find when I talk to others about time, in my time management workshop and with coaching clients, is the belief that a big windfall of time is coming. In other words, many of us live our lives as if someday things will be different. Someday we will have the time to exercise, cook healthy meals, scrapbook, sew, knit, organize our homes, hang out with our loved ones unplugged, and dare I say it just plain live. But here’s the news flash:  the big windfall of time isn’t coming. We aren’t going to get an extra hour each day—unless we create it for ourselves.


There is a way to have time to do those things that nurture your soul and make your life worth living…and it is this:


Spend less time doing something else.


If you have an answer to the question “If you were given an extra hour a day to spend however you’d like, how would you spend it?” then it’s time to make a change in your approach to time management. It’s time to spend some of your daily 24 hours on you—doing things that inspire you, energize you, fill your heart with love. And it’s time to do these things guilt free!


Here’s the thing, when you do these things on the list above, you will have more time, energy, enthusiasm and love to share with everyone you care about. You will have more time, energy and enthusiasm for all of the other tasks on your to-do list. And guess what that means? Your to-dos will get done more quickly and with far less effort.  


Stop-sign-copyright-simplify101 Take Action! My challenge to you is to spend one hour this week doing that thing you would do if I could give you an extra hour each day. You have the power to create an extra hour every day…but if that feels impossible, start with an hour a week. If that feels impossible, start with fifteen minutes, and then build up to an hour. This is your life! This is your time! Stake a claim to a piece of it today to spend on the activities and people that matter most to you.

February 15, 2011

How to Feel Good + Get More Done: weekly quick tip

The following is a sample of my weekly organizing quick tip. If you don't yet subscribe, you can sign up here.


A few years ago I wrote an article on how to make every day your most productive day. This article explained the elements that were in place during my most productive day. It was a day where I had a mile-long to-do list, and everything on that list got done. Wouldn’t it be great if every day was like that?


My terrific mood was one of the key factors that contributed to my productivity that day. I was getting ready to go on a much-needed vacation, and I was excited about it! I was in a great mood, and did everything on my to-do list enthusiastically, quickly and with purpose.


Have you ever noticed the connection between mood and productivity—that it’s much easier to get things done when you’re in a terrific mood? Once you become aware of this connection, it only makes sense to become more intentional about being in a good mood, or to look for ways to improve your mood whenever you can. A pick-me-up list is like a better mood in a bottle. Create a list of activities that make you happy, and then pull out your list and do one any time your mood and productivity need a boost.


Checklist-copyright-simplify101 Here are some ideas for your pick-me-up list:

  • Make a list of things you’re thankful for.
  • Spend 10 or 15 minutes getting up and moving — walk, run, do yoga or dance.
  • Read a few pages of an inspiring book.
  • Turn on your favorite upbeat music.
  • Spend time with your children or pet doing something silly.
  • Visualize your goals or focus on what you want, instead of dwelling on the way things are right now.
  • Do something creative.


Take action! What activities consistently transform your mood? Create your own pick-me-up list today, and then use it to help you feel better and get more done! I'd love to hear your ideas for your pick-me-up list in the comments! Thanks for sharing.

February 14, 2011

and the winner is...

I am happy to announce that the winner of free enrollment in the online workshop It's About Time is...

Dawn who said:

If I had an extra hour a day, I would do something FUN, just for me - craft, read, etc.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Congratulations, Dawn!! Email me at aby at simplify 101 dot com to claim your prize! :)

February 13, 2011

Monday Morning Check In

I have another busy Monday lined I'm posting the Finish It Friday check-in early again this week. I hope you had (or are still having!) a great weekend...and that you got some things done but had plenty of time for fun. Here's how my weekend unfolded...


Play List

  • Kailea’s Tae Kwon Do test. Check! 


To Finish List


  • Finish the laundry. Check!
  • Start + finish cleaning the house. Check!
  • Help Kailea finish a couple of projects. Check!
  • Organizing appointment on Sunday. Check!
  • Trader Joes run. Check! There's nothing quite like the feeling of being fully stocked with Trader Joe's stuff! Hooray.


How did you do with your Finish It Friday list? Can't wait to hear!

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