Denise Caron-Quinn is now an Evernote Certified Consultant

Evernote is a remarkable productivity tool that offers cloud-based storage, flexibility, and multi-platform support. We’re pleased to announce that In Order to Succeed Founder, Denise Caron-Quinn, has become an Evernote Certified Consultant. Having completed the comprehensive Evernote Business training, Denise is recognized as an Evernote expert. She can help show clients how to quickly get Evernote Business set up for their team and guide them towards maximum productivity.

Benefits of Working with an Evernote Certified Consultant:

Custom-designed workflows tailored to meet your needs
Guidance on how to best deploy Evernote in your business
In-person assistance to ensure fast adoption of Evernote among your team
Access to a personal go-to expert when you have questions
From small tasks to major projects, Evernote is where you’ll achieve your best work, day in and day out. As one workspace that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer, Evernote is the most productive office for modern teams.

Getting Started with Evernote

Interested in trying Evernote?

Sign up for an Evernote account and get one month of Evernote Premium for free

Contact us to get started using Evernote for you or your team.

Denise is looking forward to attending the Evernote Conference: EC4. Please join her and use code EB25 for 25% off registration fee.
Evernote Business Certified Consultants

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Tip Day Wednesday: Fake It Til You Make it

It’s a cliched expression but sometimes you really do just have to fake it til you make it. Research shows that people who act happy by smiling more and laughing actually become happier.  Just for day attempt to fake it til you make it at least one thing – being happy for example, or being more confident.

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This photograph is titled Am I an angry cloud or a happy cloud? Well, what do you want to be?

Further Reading
Check out past Tip Day Wednesdays for more organizing, productivity, and time management tips.
Image via flickr by Kevin Dooley.

7 Tips For Creating a Healthy Vacation

Hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. In honor of the beginning of summer we decided to repost a previous blog post on creating a healthy vacation in time for summer travel planning.

7 Tips for Creating a Healthy Vacation
vacation

Vacations, if done right can be restorative. It is a chance to spend time with family and friends, relax near a beach, or discover new places. Research suggests that taking time off makes workers more productive and can reduce the risk of serious medical illnesses such as heart disease. Americans, however, take less time off than citizens of any other nation in the industrialized world, and over a third of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days.

Here are seven tips for a creating a healthy vacation:

  1. Take at least a week. One vacation of at least seven days is more relaxing than taking several three-day vacations. It allows you time to settle into your new surroundings and truly enjoy the break.
  2. Don’t forget to exercise. Light exercise during your holiday such, as walking tours or daily laps in the hotel pool with leave you feeling more rejuvenated than simply lounging around the whole time. Get out and take a walk around the city or town.
  3. Indulge in delicious locally made foods. Everyone wants enjoy himself or herself while on vacation by sitting down to a delicious meal you wouldn’t normally have. Instead of worrying about gaining weight let yourself have foods that use fresh local ingredients. You’ll get a better understanding of the local culture and fresh local meals are healthier than anything else you’re going to find.
  4. Spend time learning about yourself. Self-reflection and realization are keys to a healthy vacation. Take the time to think about your life and try something new that you’ve always wanted to such as taking a cooking, pottery, or surfing class.
  5. Plan a vacation the entire family will enjoy. If you taking a family trip make sure there will be something for everyone. You don’t want to spend the entire holiday arguing so if one person really wants to go rock climbing and another wants to visit museums try to pick a destination that will allow for both.
  6. Get some sleep. Yes, we said to make sure you kept exercising while on your vacation, but also take some time to sleep. Let your kids sleep in and try to let yourself sleep in as well. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to go on a walking tour of Rome go in the afternoon. You’ll enjoy the tour more and learn more if you’re not tired or dragging your kids around the Coliseum.
  7. Get lost in the moment. It’s hard to resist the urge to check emails, call the office, and even create a jam-packed holiday itinerary. Taking the to time to really get away, freeing yourself from work and allowing for spontaneity, however, will let you have a healthy vacation and create memories.

Image courtesy of irldefender.wordpress.com

Useful Link: templealloys.co.uk

5 Happiness Secrets

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Our favorite happiness secrets are simple, attainable, and will help you become a happier version of yourself.

1. Sleep: You many think a good night’s rest is overrated but we promise it’s not. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep, but whatever your desired hours of sleep try to get it as much as possible. It will boost both your mood and immune system.

2. Exercise: Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It will have a calming effect on your body.

3. Recharge yourself: stop worrying, stop thinking, just stop. Make time for yourself and just slow down and breathe.

4. Spend time with happy people: surround yourself with happy people and people who make you happy.

5. Natural Light: fill your home and office with natural light. It’s an instant mood booster.

Image courtesy of Srboisvert.

Further Reading
5 Tips For Creating a Zen Desk (October 2009)
7 Tips For Creating A Healthy Vacation (September 2009)

7 Tips For Creating A Healthy Vacation

vacationSummer may be over, but that doesn’t mean your vacations have to be. Learn how to make your next vacation a healthy one.

Vacations, if done right can be restorative. It is a chance to spend time with family and friends, relax near a beach, or discover new places. Research suggests that taking time off makes workers more productive and can reduce the risk of serious medical illnesses such as heart disease. Americans, however, take less time off than citizens of any other nation in the industrialized world, and over a third of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days.

Here are seven tips for a creating a healthy vacation:

  1. Take at least a week. One vacation of at least seven days is more relaxing than taking several three-day vacations. It allows you time to settle into your new surroundings and truly enjoy the break.

2. Don’t forget to exercise. Light exercise during your holiday such, as walking tours or daily laps in the hotel pool will leave you feeling more rejuvenated than simply lounging around the whole time. Get out and take a walk around the city or town.

3. Indulge in delicious, locally made foods. Everyone wants enjoy himself or herself while on vacation by sitting down to a delicious meal you wouldn’t normally have. Instead of worrying about gaining weight let yourself have foods that use fresh local ingredients. You’ll get a better understanding of the local culture and fresh local meals are healthier than anything else you’re going to find.

4. Spend time learning about yourself. Self-reflection and realization are keys to a healthy vacation. Take the time to think about your life and try something new that you’ve always wanted to such as taking a cooking, pottery, or surfing class.

5. Plan a vacation the entire family will enjoy. If you’re taking a family trip make sure there will be something for everyone. You don’t want to spend the entire holiday arguing so if one person really wants to go rock climbing and another wants to visit museums try to pick a destination that will allow for both.

6. Get some sleep. Yes we said to make sure you kept exercising while on your vacation, but also take some time to sleep. Let your kids sleep in and try to let yourself sleep in as well. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to go on a walking tour of Rome go in the afternoon. You’ll enjoy the tour more and learn more if your not tired or dragging your kids around the Coliseum.

7. Get lost in the moment. It’s hard to resist the urge to check emails, call the office, and even create a jam-packed holiday itinerary. Taking the to time to really get away, freeing yourself from work and allowing for spontaneity, however, will let you have a healthy vacation and create memories.

Image courtesy of irldefender.wordpress.com

Effective Organization of Your Life

andrew

This article exists purely to stimulate your thoughts about how you can better spend your time. I hope you enjoy it!

Let me pose a question for you: What do you do at work?

Chances are it is reasonably specialized. You may be in a very academic career such as a lawyer, teacher, engineer, accountant; the list goes on and on. Or you may be in a more creative industry, a marketing expert, writer, designer, or musician. The career options are numerous but you’ll have picked one that suits you and that you’re good at.

What then would happen if you work in advertising as a Creative Director and suddenly have to do the company accounts? I think you’ll agree with me that it might be quite challenging.

How about your home life? Do you try and do everything? From the cooking to the cleaning and from the shopping to the gardening, when do you have time to “be you”?

I’m going to tell you what I do. I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I basically start and build companies. My expertise is in marketing and business innovation, but one of my companies is a web development business, Expanding Web. How does that work then? The answer is obvious isn’t it? Someone else does the web development while I deal with business strategy, marketing, and innovation. Everyone is happy – the company gets great marketing and innovative new ways to grow, our clients get great, technically accomplished sites, and we create a bit of additional employment in the community as well. Seems like I’ve got that one sorted, eh?

Why then do we not structure our home lives in a similar way?  Too often we try and do everything, from cooking to cleaning, and shopping to gardening.

I want you to “turn your work brain on”, just for a moment and think about how much better life at home would be if you could delegate out tasks that you don’t enjoy, tasks that consume your time that could be better spent doing something you’re good at (game of chess anyone?), and that you enjoy (or perhaps a game of tennis?). I don’t know about you, but I seem to be working just about every hour of day and night. And if you’re anything like me, when you’re not working you really need some time to kick back, relax and just enjoy living!

Keep your work brain on a little longer for me and think about what would happen if someone at work asked you to do something that had nothing to do with your qualifications and expertise. It would take you twice as long as somebody who was experienced in that field and probably would not be up to the same standard. Now think about your home life, what can you delegate out to other people that will allow you to really live when you’re not at work? You’ll suddenly find that you really do have the time to take that weekend break that you’ve been talking about, or throw a neighborhood barbecue, and simply have fun.

Just think about it. Apply a bit of your work attitude to your home life, delegate out some tasks, and focus on the parts of life that you really do enjoy. It really does make sense!

Visit Andrew’s website at: www.andrew-ng.com

Follow Andrew on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Mr_Ng

by: Andrew Ng
Guest Blogger Andrew is a serial entrepreneur and leading media and innovation consultant in the UK. His businesses include media innovation company, Fat Mouse Productions Ltd; positive communications agency, re:Markable; and web development and marketing business, Expanding Web. His most recent venture is in developing a “home concierge” service helping people “enjoy living” by taking care of their domestic chores and life’s practicalities.


Week In Review: 8/23

Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 11.03.29 PMHome & Business Organizational news and chatter from around the globe

The Importance of Omitting

 

Image from Laure WayaffeWilliam Stunk Jr, the Cornell English Professor wrote Elements of Style in 1918. Today the book is required reading for journalism students across the country, but not only journalists that can learn from Stunk. 

In Elements of Style Stunk wrote that “one should omit needles words.”  Zen Habits: Simple Productivity took this one step further in a recent blog post by suggesting we omit needless things.

What are some of the needless things in your life that you could omit?  Zen Habits suggests we apply the philosophy of omitting needless things to various aspects of our lives such as:

  • possessions
  • buying
  • eating
  • doing
  • goals
  • what we produce


Give us your suggestions of things you would omit!

15 Organizing Tips for a More Orderly Life

denise-quinnAn organized life is a more peaceful life, and having your surroundings in order allows you to enjoy everyday free from stress and clutter. Here are 15 organizing tips from In Order to Succeed to create a more orderly life.

1. Begin the organization process with areas that are most visible and/or problematic. Start small and be sure to allow sufficient time for each step in the process: sort, purge, assign a home, containerize, then maintain and equalize regularly.

2. Create systems that fit your life and surroundings.

3. Keep your systems and procedures as simple as possible.

4. Sort everything by how it is used and keep things close to where you use them.

5. Automate as much as possible – become more familiar with technology to use it to help organize information and pay bills to the extent that you feel comfortable.

6. Learn to say NO, lessen your commitments in accordance with your big picture life goals.

7. Use a master list to keep track of to-dos and projects.

8. Delegate whenever possible and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends and professionals.

9. Purge and weed continuously. Set aside time each day to tidy and maintain your surroundings and schedule.

10. Establish a home for everything and return items to their proper place immediately (or shortly) after use.

11. Use proper containers and tools to more simply organize your environment and schedule.

12. Invest in a good labeler (ie. Brother P-Touch) and label EVERYTHING.

13. Fight procrastination. Make decisions about things when they show up – not blow up!

14. Adopt the habit of letting something go (donate, sell or toss) with every new acquisition and/or purchase.

15. Tell someone about your commitment to the process of getting organized – it will help you stick to your plan and reach your goals.

by: Denise Caron-Quinn
Founder & President of
In Order To Succeed

Manage Your Actions and You’ll Free Your Time

 

Denise Caron-Quinn

by: Denise Caron-Quinn
President & Founder of In Order To Succeed

In a recent Wall Street Journal article we’re told of the development of a new type of drug designed to battle biology. This pharmaceutical agent is growing in popularity for it assists sleep-deprived individuals to remain awake, less groggy and supposedly more productive. The desire for extended periods of rest is being overtaken by a zeal in our society to banish fatigue and maximize our capacity to get more done each day.

Grade school students are introduced to the concept of time management at increasingly younger ages. These youngsters are challenged to plug more activities into their schedules while maintaining high academic performance standards. Whether studies, sports, work related or leisure – these fuller schedules of youths and adults heap on the stress for all of us who attempt to masterfully juggle a wider array of events into each day.

How do we stay on top of all the unfinished work, tasks and projects without being consumed by the anxiety and stress of having so much lingering on our daily to do lists? The answer lies not so much in the concept of how we manage our time but more appropriately how productively we manage our actions.

Getting projects completed on time and maintaining a sense of control over our business and personal affairs requires effective oversight of a variety of actions that are crucial to the success of each task or endeavor. These actions whether done or delegated need to be prioritized, categorized and followed-up to prevent mishaps or crisis from occurring. The idea of working smarter instead of harder is imperative if we wish to reach our goals and still find time to decompress.

It’s been observed that some relatively simple action management strategies can be successfully incorporated into our routines to maximize our achievement of stress-free productivity. Described below are five extremely useful methodologies that can help you regain control of your life and experience a clearer sense of order and achievement.

Using a Master Action List.

Whenever we have an obligation to fulfill or a goal to reach, we remain thoughtful of its presence as long as it remains undone. We’ve all experienced from time to time the sense of stress related to having too much to do and not enough time. This unrelenting bombardment upon our conscious and subconscious thought brings about that sense of discomfort, anxiety or dread as long as the task remains outstanding. This state of mind is unproductive and often unnecessary. The use of a Master List coupled with systematic strategies allows us to more effectively manage actions thus alleviating the apprehension of unfinished business. Often we feel some relief just by committing the action item to the list – even without yet taking any action upon it.

To begin a Master Action List, simply write down or type absolutely everything no matter how small. Develop the list without considering the importance or significance of each item. This will be looked at later. It does not matter whether you create your list using paper or a computerized devise. What is important is that you remove everything out of your head and get it onto your list Write down all things for which you have even the smallest responsibility to change, finish, get involved with, handle or do something about.

Once completed, create sub lists by grouping and consolidating similar actions. Examine how to best subcategorize the items on your list. Some tasks may be associated with certain days of the week or need to be done in a specified location or even with a particular person. Try not to over-categorize but keep the breakdown simple. I prefer to keep my action lists on my Palm Pilot. The categories, which I find useful, are: Errands, Calls, Online actions, Computer work, Agendas (according to project, committee, or partners with whom I’m working), Pending or Awaiting Response (for those activities that have been delegated), to read/research, and Projects. I also maintain categories for my partner, key clients, technological advisor, and assistant. This helps me remain focused upon the work with which they are or will be involved. Upon defining your own personal categories, move each action item onto an appropriate sub-list. This will facilitate reviewing and accomplishing each step.

Examine each list daily or as often as you need to get them off your mind. Now it is recommended to look at your pending tasks giving consideration to their overall importance and due date. Identify the action items that offer the greatest return on investment. Also note those action items that hold the greatest potential to escalate into a crisis situation if ignored. Schedule a time for a comprehensive weekly review of these lists. Reevaluate and reassess for the coming week.

Making the Most of Delays and Short Windows of Time.

 

Expect the unexpected as scheduling set backs are unavoidable. Be prepared to fill in gaps as they arise. Keep on hand reading/ reference material, files/folders, and contact management tools so you can make use small parcels of time making appointments, returning phone calls, or responding to emails. When no work is on hand consider sorting receipts or cleaning out a briefcase or wallet. A considerable impact may be made upon your action management lists by regularly taking small bites. Develop the habit of handling instant tasks (2 minutes or less) as they arise or at the first reasonable opportunity.  You’ll gradually make an impact as you continue taking small bites.

Aim for Success not Perfection.

Any job or project has a point of diminishing returns. Think of time as return on investment. Will the payoff of this task be worth the effort that you’re putting into it? That is the juncture at which additional time or effort spent is not going to significantly affect or enhance the end result. Beware of trying to complete an action step more perfectly than is necessary to satisfy your boss, client or yourself. A job that is done “too” well may require the devotion of time that could be better applied somewhere else.

Backward Scheduling.

 

Determine the time you need to leave the office and that which must be completed before heading home. Schedule your tasks into the day beginning with the time you need to finish. Be sure to overestimate the time that it will take to complete tasks as things always seem to take more time than we expect.  If travel is involved, allow a buffer zone for traffic or subway jams. Include break time for lunch and a snack, as this too will improve your productivity.

Identify and Master Recurrent Timewasters.

Minimizing outside interruptions is a crucial aspect of an effective action management program. The first step is becoming aware of how, why, and when interruptions prevent you from completing work. Then consider ways to deter these common breaks in your schedule. Establish private time during the workday if your business will permit such a practice. Private work time periods should ideally be without instant messaging interruptions or the distraction of pinging notifications of arriving emails.

Callers should either speak to a secretary or be routed into voicemail. Remember to change your greeting during “do not disturb” periods to inform callers that you are in the office but unavailable until a given time. Either forward callers to a suitable designee or advise them how to reach you if they have an emergency requiring your immediate attention. You may wish to appoint staffers as liaisons to regular callers or clients.

The staffer could be titled “account manager” or “personal representative” and empowered to handle all calls of a routine nature – forwarding only problematic matters to you. Return calls all at one time if possible and keep them brief. Plan callbacks when people are less likely to chat – such as before lunch or at the end of the day.

Drop-in visitors are another challenge requiring forethought and finesse. Ask your secretary to protect your interruption-free periods and angel her desk to provide a physical barrier between you and the would-be intruder. If you don’t have secretary, you may choose to reposition your own desk to avoid direct view of those passing by your office, close your door during private work time and put up a sign-notifying visitors when you will be available. If you plan to establish regular interruption-free periods each week then notify staff of this new practice in a memo. When someone does manage to get in front of you while you’re busy with other work, ask if the matter could wait and if so, schedule a time later in the day to address it.

Having worked for many years as a Registered Nurse, I admit to having philosophical conflicts when I think about widespread use of drugs aimed at helping us work harder and for longer periods. No one will dispute the existence of the fast paced, high-pressure environment that surrounds our homes and workplaces. Survival of the fittest still remains a truism and if we are to reach new heights on the productivity fitness scale, we must assimilate effective action management methodologies and strategies into our routines. Successes will be achieved when we find proper balance in the various spheres lives. I’m highly skeptical that any pharmaceutical agent can provide us with this; however, implementing the strategies described above will get us soaring in the right direction.