How to Declutter Your Inbox

Long gone are the days of “letter mountains” where the only reasonable way to cut through the clutter was paper shredding. Digital has taken over practically all forms of communication – funneling everything into one place: our inbox.

Between social media updates, work correspondence, and personal emails, we’re getting a larger and larger influx of emails daily. How can you tame the disorder of the typical Gmail inbox in 2013? The following five tips will tell you how to declutter your inbox:

1. Unsubscribe!

Maybe you’re still getting campus news emails years after graduating or maybe you forgot to say no to a company’s newsletter when making a purchase. Either way, a lot of us are subscribed to newsletters and ads that do not interest us. Think of the time you’d save if you never had to see this junk again! Most of these emails contain unsubscribe links near the bottom of the page. If they don’t, you always have Gmail’s “Mark as Spam” feature.

2. Take advantage of customizable tabs.

While changes to tools we use so frequently, such as Gmail, often seem aggravating at first, the new tabs in Gmail can be quite useful in un-cluttering your inbox. With tabs like social, you’ll never have to sift through Facebook updates to find work emails or bank statements again!

And, since these tabs are optional, you can always revert your inbox to its previous settings. You really have nothing to lose.

Also, consider integrating apps into your workflow to keep files out of your inbox and in the cloud.

3. Utilize stars and folders.

Maybe you received an important email this morning that you need to set aside until you have time for it. Rather than letting it get lost in the abyss of your inbox, star it! Then, regularly check your starred mail by clicking “starred” under “more” on the left side of the screen. Once an email is taken care of, you can unstar it.

Alternatively, create your own customized folders for important messages. For companies and practices like real estate law, organizing files, transcripts, records, and documents is essentially the glue that holds everything together. If you get a particularly large number of important emails, creating folders that you regularly check are a good alternative to stars. And if you really want to be sure you’ll look back at an email, mark it as unread.

4. Create a designated email time.

In the 21st Century, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly checking your email 24/7. Many of us would start to panic if we were disconnected from our email for only several hours. Life as an email addict, while it may seem efficient on the surface, is a very inefficient lifestyle. You can never get big projects done without constantly taking breaks to check your email, even when you have no important messages waiting for you the majority of the time! Organize your routine so you have one or several designated times during the day when you check your email and type up any necessary responses.

5. Consider other communication methods.

Remember the phone’s original purpose: making calls! While email is perhaps a more stress-free method of communication, think of all that the information that is lost and the misunderstandings that can arise when your recipient can’t hear the tone of your voice!

Think about companies that have recently emerged over the past 10-15 years to fuel the digital world. These practices are new and confusing to people who’ve grown up working without all the digital interference. A company offering SEO cannot explain everything in a few emails or on a PDF. They must make calls to educate new and/or foreign organizations.

And when you need a response right away, a 20 message email conversation is much less efficient than a 10-minute phone call or IM conversation.

Author: Jesse Aaron is a professional blogger with a passion for homebrewing and recommends using quality metal for any homebrewing project. Follow Jesse on Google Plus.

10 Professional Organizers to ‘Like’ on Facebook

Quick self-promotion: If you haven’t yet liked In Order to Succeed on Facebook, do it now. You’ll find time management tips, productivity tips and of course organizational tips from In Order to Succeed’s professional organizers and project consultants. Plus, you can ask us all your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.

O.K., now that the self-promotion is over with, it’s time to talk about some other professional organizers. We love our fellow organizers. They are an inspiration to us and are constantly sharing great advice. Here are 10 professional organizers (in no particular order) we think you should ‘like’ on Facebook.

  1. Julie Morgenstern Enterprises
  2. Blissfully Organized LLC
  3. The Organizing Guru
  4. SoBe Organized
  5. Organizing Goddess, Inc.
  6. IHeart Organizing
  7. Innovatively Organized
  8. Memories Organized LLC
  9. Organized Home
  10. The Organized Mom

In Order to Succeed is a full service Professional Organizing firm providing Home and Business Organizing Solutions, Moving/Relocation Coordination Assistance and Time Management help to people throughout New York (NY) and Connecticut (CT) and across the US.  Our Professional Organizers, Relocation Specialists and Productivity Experts will make your home and office more efficient and attractive.  We can help create a zen-like, less stressful environment giving you the time and calm to focus what you enjoy. For more information visit www.inordertosucceed.com.

10 Professional Organizers to ‘Like’ on Facebook

Quick self-promotion: If you haven’t yet liked In Order to Succeed on Facebook, do it now. You’ll find time management tips, productivity tips, and of course, organizational tips from In Order to Succeed’s professional organizers and project consultants. Plus, you can ask us all your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.

O.K., now that the self-promotion is over with, it’s time to talk about some other professional organizers. We love our fellow organizers. They are an inspiration to us and are constantly sharing great advice. Here are 10 professional organizers (in no particular order) we think you should like on Facebook.

  1. Julie Morgenstern Enterprises
  2. Blissfully Organized LLC
  3. The Organizing Guru
  4. SoBe Organized
  5. Organizing Goddess, Inc.
  6. IHeart Organizing
  7. Innovatively Organized
  8. Memories Organized LLC
  9. Organized Home
  10. The Organized Mom

In Order to Succeed is a full service Professional Organizing firm providing Home and Business Organizing Solutions, Moving/Relocation Coordination Assistance and Time Management help to people throughout New York (NY) and Connecticut (CT) and across the US.  Our Professional Organizers, Relocation Specialists and Productivity Experts will make your home and office more efficient and attractive.  We can help create a zen-like, less stressful environment giving you the time and calm to focus what you enjoy. For more information visit www.inordertosucceed.com.

10 Professional Organizers To Follow On Twitter

Social media makes it easy to keep up with your favorite shops, restaurants and news organizations all from the comfort of your own home. But what about keeping up with professional organizers? There are a ton of professional organizers on Twitter and they frequently share great tips for staying organized and productive. Here are 10 of In Order to Succeed‘s favorite Twitter  organizers.

The following list is in no particular order.

  1. C. Sgrott Wheedleton
  2. Lorie Marrero
  3. NAPO NY
  4. Julie Morgenstern
  5. Jen Tankersley
  6. The Inspired Office
  7. Lisa Zaslow
  8. Blissfully Organized
  9. Buttoned Up
  10. Organizing Tips

Tell Us: Who are some of you favorite organizers on Twitter?

Don’t forget to follow In Order to Succeed on Facebook and  Twitter

Last Minute Tax Tip: Seven Things to Know About Filing an Extension

Many taxpayers may still need more time to file their tax return. If you need extra time, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file from the IRS.

Here are seven important things you need to know about filing an extension:

1. File on time even if you can’t pay If you completed your return but you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. To pay the balance, apply online for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov or send Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your return. If you are unable to make payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your options.

2. Extra time to file An extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 17 deadline, plus you may owe penalties.

3. Form to file Request an extension to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to the IRS. It must be postmarked by April 15, 2013. You also can make an extension-related electronic credit card payment. For more information about extension-related credit card payments, see Form 4868.

4. E-file extension You can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software with your own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. You must e-file the request by midnight on April 15, 2013. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you e-file your extension.

5. Traditional Free File and Free File Fillable Forms You can use both Free File options to file an extension. Access the Free File page at www.irs.gov.

6. Electronic funds withdrawal If you ask for an extension via one of the electronic methods, you can also pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers. For information about these and other methods of payment, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call 800-TAX-1040 (800-829-1040).

7. How to get forms Form 4868 is available for download from the IRS website or you can pick up the form at your local IRS office.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tax Tip: Seven Things to Know About Filing a Tax Extension

Many taxpayers may still need more time to file their tax return. If you need extra time, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file from the IRS.

Here are seven important things you need to know about filing a tax extension:

1. File on time even if you can’t pay If you completed your return but you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. To pay the balance, apply online for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov or send Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your return. If you are unable to make payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your options.

2. Extra time to file An extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 17 deadline, plus you may owe penalties.

3. Form to file Request an extension to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to the IRS. It must be postmarked by April 15, 2013. You also can make an extension-related electronic credit card payment. For more information about extension-related credit card payments, see Form 4868.

4. E-file extension You can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software with your own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. You must e-file the request by midnight on April 15, 2013. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you e-file your extension.

5. Traditional Free File and Free File Fillable Forms You can use both Free File options to file an extension. Access the Free File page at www.irs.gov.

6. Electronic funds withdrawal If you ask for an extension via one of the electronic methods, you can also pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers. For information about these and other methods of payment, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call 800-TAX-1040 (800-829-1040).

7. How to get forms Form 4868 is available for download from the IRS website or you can pick up the form at your local IRS office.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

2013 Last Minute Tax Tip: Eight Tax-Time Errors to Avoid

If you make a mistake on your tax return, it usually takes the IRS longer to process it. The IRS may have to contact you about that mistake before your return is processed. This will delay the receipt of your tax refund.

The IRS reminds filers that e-filing their tax return greatly lowers the chance of errors. In fact, taxpayers are about twenty times more likely to make a mistake on their return if they file a paper return instead of e-filing their return.

Here are eight common errors to avoid.

  1. Wrong or missing Social Security numbers.  Be sure you enter SSNs for yourself and others on your tax return exactly as they are on the Social Security cards.
  2. Names wrong or misspelled.  Be sure you enter names of all individuals on your tax return exactly as they are on their Social Security cards.
  3. Filing status errors.  Choose the right filing status. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, to help you choose the right one. E-filing your tax return will also help you choose the right filing status.
  4. Math mistakes.  If you file a paper tax return, double check the math. If you e-file, the software does the math for you. For example, if your Social Security benefits are taxable, check to ensure you figured the taxable portion correctly.tax booklet carefully.
  5. Errors in figuring credits, deductions.  Take your time and read the instructions in your tax booklet carefully. Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. For example, if you are age 65 or older or blind check to make sure you claim the correct, larger standard deduction amount.
  6. Wrong bank account numbers.  Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Make sure you enter your bank routing and account numbers correctly.
  7. Forms not signed, dated.  An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check – it’s invalid. Remember both spouses must sign a joint return.
  8. Electronic signature errors.  If you e-file your tax return, you will sign the return electronically using a Personal Identification Number. For security purposes, the software will ask you to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2011 federal tax return. Do not use the AGI amount from an amended 2011 return or an AGI provided to you if the IRS corrected your return. You may also use last year’s PIN if you e-filed last year and remember your PIN.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tax Tips: Errors to Avoid on Your Taxes

If you make a mistake on your tax return, it usually takes the IRS longer to process it. The IRS may have to contact you about that mistake before your return is processed. This will delay the receipt of your tax refund.

The IRS reminds filers that e-filing their tax return greatly lowers the chance of errors. In fact, taxpayers are about twenty times more likely to make a mistake on their return if they file a paper return instead of e-filing their return. These tax tips can save you time and money.

Here are eight common errors to avoid.

  1. Wrong or missing Social Security numbers.  Be sure you enter SSNs for yourself and others on your tax return exactly as they are on the Social Security cards.
  2. Names wrong or misspelled. Be sure you enter names of all individuals on your tax return exactly as they are on their Social Security cards.
  3. Filing status errors.  Choose the right filing status. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, to help you choose the right one. E-filing your tax return will also help you choose the right filing status.
  4. Math mistakes.  If you file a paper tax return, double check the math. If you e-file, the software does the math for you. For example, if your Social Security benefits are taxable, check to ensure you figured the taxable portion correctly.tax booklet carefully.
  5. Errors in figuring credits, deductions.  Take your time and read the instructions in your tax booklet carefully. Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. For example, if you are age 65 or older or blind check to make sure you claim the correct, larger standard deduction amount.
  6. Wrong bank account numbers. Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Make sure you enter your bank routing and account numbers correctly.
  7. Forms not signed, dated.  An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check that’s invalid. Remember both spouses must sign a joint return.
  8. Electronic signature errors.  If you e-file your tax return, you will sign the return electronically using a Personal Identification Number. For security purposes, the software will ask you to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally filed 2011 federal tax return. Do not use the AGI amount from an amended 2011 return or an AGI provided to you if the IRS corrected your return. You may also use last year’s PIN if you e-filed last year and remember your PIN.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

2013 Tax Tip: 10 Ways to Get Help from IRS.gov

When you’re looking for tax information, you want to find it as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why the IRS redesigned its website. It’s now even more user friendly. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit IRS.gov:
1.     Get 24/7 Access. Whether you do your taxes during the day or burn the midnight oil, IRS.gov has the tax forms and answers you need when you need them. It’s accessible all day, every day. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a helpful tool that will answer many of your tax law questions. Several tax forms, publications and information are also available in Spanish.
2.     Use Free File. Anyone can prepare and e-file their taxes for free with IRS Free File. Offered exclusively at IRS.gov, Free File’s brand name software or fillable forms do the work for you. If you made $57,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income is more than $57,000 or you feel comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free File Fillable Forms. This option provides the electronic versions of IRS paper forms.
3.     Try IRS e-file. Whether you do your own taxes or hire a preparer, IRS e-file is the safest, easiest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed more than one billion returns. If you owe taxes, e-file gives you options to file early and pay by the tax deadline. If you are due a refund, you should receive it in less than 21 days.
4.     Check Your Refund Status. You can track your refund using the enhanced “Where’s My Refund?” tool. It’s quick, easy and secure and has a new look this year. You can start checking on the status of your refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed return. You can check your refund status four weeks after you mail a paper return. The tool includes a tracker that displays the progress of your return in three stages while it is processed. Once IRS approves your refund, “Where’s My Refund?” will give a date to expect your refund.
5.     Make Payments Electronically. E-payment options are a convenient, safe and secure way to pay taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, use a credit or debit card or enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
6.     Use the EITC Assistant. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for working people who earned less than $50,270 in 2012. The credit can be worth as much as $5,891. Check your eligibility using the EITC Assistant tool. You may be among the millions of eligible workers who get the EITC this year.
7.     Get Tax Forms and Publications. You can view and download tax forms and publications any time. It’s the easiest way to get IRS forms and publications.
8.     Figure the Right Withholding. The IRS Withholding Calculator will help to ensure you don’t have too much or too little income tax withheld from your pay.
9.     Request a Payment Agreement. Paying all your taxes on time avoids penalties and interest. However, if you cannot pay your taxes in full you may be eligible to use the Online Payment Agreement Application to request an installment agreement.
10. Get the Latest Tax Law Changes. Learn about tax law changes that may affect your tax return. Special sections of the website highlight changes that affect individual and business taxpayers.
The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Don’t be misled by sites that claim to be the IRS but end in .com, .net, .org. Some thieves use phony websites to gain your personal and financial information. They then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tax Tips: 10 Ways to Get Help from IRS.gov

When you’re looking for tax information, you want to find it as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why the IRS redesigned its website. It’s now even more user-friendly.

Here are the top tax tips on visiting IRS.gov:
1. Get 24/7 Access. Whether you do your taxes during the day or burn the midnight oil, IRS.gov has the tax forms and answers you need when you need them. It’s accessible all day, every day. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a helpful tool that will answer many of your tax law questions. Several tax forms, publications, and information are also available in Spanish.
2. Use Free File. Anyone can prepare and e-file their taxes for free with IRS Free File. Offered exclusively at IRS.gov, Free File’s brand-name software or fillable forms do the work for you. If you made $57,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income is more than $57,000 or you feel comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free File Fillable Forms. This option provides the electronic versions of IRS paper forms.
3. Try IRS e-file. Whether you do your own taxes or hire a preparer, IRS e-file is the safest, easiest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed more than one billion returns. If you owe taxes, e-file gives you options to file early and pay by the tax deadline. If you are due a refund, you should receive it in less than 21 days.
4. Check Your Refund Status. You can track your refund using the enhanced “Where’s My Refund” tool. It’s quick, easy and secure and has a new look this year. You can start checking on the status of your refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed return. You can check your refund status four weeks after you mail a paper return. The tool includes a tracker that displays the progress of your return in three stages while it is processed. Once IRS approves your refund, “Where’s My Refund” will give a date to expect your refund.
5. Make Payments Electronically. E-payment options are a convenient, safe and secure way to pay taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, use a credit or debit card or enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
6. Use the EITC Assistant. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for working people who earned less than $50,270 in 2012. The credit can be worth as much as $5,891. Check your eligibility using the EITC Assistant tool. You may be among the millions of eligible workers who get the EITC this year.
7. Get Tax Forms and Publications. You can view and download tax forms and publications any time. It’s the easiest way to get IRS forms and publications.
8. Figure the Right Withholding. The IRS Withholding Calculator will help to ensure you don’t have too much or too little income tax withheld from your pay.
9. Request a Payment Agreement. Paying all your taxes on time avoids penalties and interest. However, if you cannot pay your taxes in full you may be eligible to use the Online Payment Agreement Application to request an installment agreement.
10. Get the Latest Tax Law Changes. Learn about tax law changes that may affect your tax return. Special sections of the website highlight changes that affect individual and business taxpayers.
The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Don’t be misled by sites that claim to be the IRS but end in .com, .net, .org. Some thieves use phony websites to gain your personal and financial information. They then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.