How to get a Fresh Start in the New Year (or any time of year)

How to get a Fresh Start in the New Year (or any time of year)

Aside from new goals etc, January is a great time for having a de-clutter and making space for all that the new year will bring. Of course you can do this anytime of year when you're feeling snowed under too.

How you can use Evernote to improve your Small Business Systems

How you can use Evernote to improve your Small Business Systems

From those who aren't familiar, I often get asked, what does Evernote do? A lot of people have heard of it, or maybe even downloaded it but haven't really put it to use yet. And I know when I first discovered the app (pre-installed on a laptop I bought in 2009!) I thought "hmm this looks interesting and useful but what should I use it for?"

It's one of those tools that is such a blank canvas and so flexible that it can sometimes bring on a case of writers block! 

So let's look at just some of the ways I have seen Evernote used and how I use it myself for my business. 

3 Options to Deal with Newsletters and Declutter your Emails

3 Options to Deal with Newsletters and Declutter your Emails

Most people receive more emails each day than they'd like. And we all know that an overflowing inbox can cause stress and overwhelm. It can make it hard to find the important emails that you need to respond to.  So the first simple thing you can do to reduce some of that email clutter is to get rid of the newsletters and junk mail! Watch the video or read the steps below.

A simple checklist for a new financial year

A simple checklist for a new financial year

If you're dreading getting ready for your accountant, then it's extra reason to check out the tips I have for you today.

The new financial year is a great chance to review your P&L for the year gone and plan how you'll get a jump on the new one. But I also want to remind you to make a fresh start of your filing. So you can cruise through the next 12 months knowing exactly where to put anything tax related. AND you can feel super clever and calm when it comes to tax time next year.

Important Questions about Information Management in your Business

Important Questions about Information Management in your Business

Over the last few months, I have been busily furthering my organising and productivity knowledge with a well respected industry veteran in the US, Barbara Hemphill. I will soon be able to add the title Certified Productive Environment Specialist (CPES) to my accomplishments and it's already given me some really effective extra tools to help my small business clients to manage their information and be more productive.

Digital Filing with Evernote

So much of the information we have coming at us these days is via some digital medium. Whether its a bill or quote emailed to us, an article read online or a picture that we want to save for future reference. So how do you save all this info in a way that you can find it when and where you need it?

My preferred method is with an app called


. It's so easy to learn, it's convenient and it's free (unless you become are really heavy duty user but even then it's quite reasonable).

evernote digital storage
evernote digital storage

Easy ways to capture info

When you come across something that you want to save for future reference, no matter where you are or what it is, you can add it to Evernote!

There are free apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android, or you can just log in to the website on any computer. Whichever device you use, it all syncs to the cloud. You even get a special email address set up so you can forward emails to it and it appears as a new note in Evernote!

What can you capture?

Type text, take a photo, record an audio note, clip info from a website, import a photo from your phone or save PDFs to read later.

Organising all that Info

Everything you put into Evernote becomes a "note". You can sort your notes into "Notebooks" which are just like folders. Add extra text or images to existing notes and you can also add "tags" to notes to help you sort them and find them later. You can make it as basic or complicated as you want but a good way to set it up, as with any filing, is to think about how you would search for it later.

Finding it again

One of the great features in Evernote is the search that lets you find a word that appears in your note, even if its an image! So for example if you take a photo of a recipe from a magazine, you can search for one of the ingredients and Evernote will still find it!

I have so many uses for Evernote! Including:

  • Recipes - with notes added about how good it is and pics of the end result
  • Photos of dresses or furniture that I like - can add the details of where to buy from
  • Receipts that I need to keep for product warranties - whether from an email or just a photo of the cash receipt
  • Contact info - Photos of business cards or information clipped from a website
  • Travel itineraries and information - booking numbers, ideas of places to visit, weather forecasts, packing checklists
  • Instruction manuals for gadgets - You can download these from the manufacturers website and throw out the paper version
  • To-do lists - sometimes I even make a wishlist so that next time someone asks what I want for my birthday there are no more mind-blanks! 

I don't know how I managed before I found Evernote, how do you keep track of things you want to remember later?

Filing Cabinet Clearout

It's that time of the year again, for business it's a new financial year, for individuals it's tax time. Either way it's a good time to have a look at your filing system and give it a bit of a clean out. Over time filing cabinets fill up, making it harder to find what you need and even harder to file new documents.