Use Google Calendar to Simplify Your Life

by Lyn Marsteller on September 16, 2014

google calendarKeeping track of your own calendar can sometimes seem a daunting task. Having to also keep track of your husband’s, your kid’s, your grand kid’s, etc. can seem almost impossible — or at a minimum something that will surely give you a headache.

If you have a smartphone and a Gmail account, and you’re not also using Google Calendar, I challenge you to give it a try.

Basic Calendar Features

Start off by adding events to your calendar to keep track of your own appointments, tasks, outings, birthday’s, days off, etc. — I add events for anything that I would write into a paper planner. By doing this, I don’t need to remember to carry my paper planner with me (unless I’m attending a meeting). Wherever I am, I can quickly glance at my calendar on my phone to check my future availability, and I can add new appointments/events to my calendar directly from my phone.

To add an event to your calendar, click the date and time. A popup window will appear where you can add whatever details you’d like to include. You can be as basic or as elaborate as you’d like. You can also set an event to repeat. Do you pick you son up from tennis every Thursday after practice? You can set this as a repeating event. You can use this same feature for birthday’s and anniversaries you want to remember. When you create events, be sure to set a reminder — I use 30 minutes as a reminder for appointments, but one week for an out -of-town birthday which give me time to pick up a card and mail it to arrive before their birthday.

You can also invite people to your calendar events, and they can invite you to theirs. You can invite your husband to a party you both need to attend this weekend. You can invite him, and then pass off additional information such as: ‘I can’t pick up John from tennis on x date. Please be sure you arrive to pick him up by 6 p.m.”

Use your calendar to share the little snippets that you would share in a verbal conversation. I’m not suggesting you should replace talking to your husband or significant other, still share things with them, but also confirm the information through the calendar. This way, there’s not any room for someone not being where they need to be. We’ve all done it. Blissfully doing something when suddenly our phone rings or we jump up realizing we’re supposed to be somewhere else at that precise moment.

Share your Calendar

In order to invite others to your events, they don’t have to be using a Google Calendar. But, if they are, in addition to inviting others to your events to keep them informed or involved, you can also share your calendar with them. With a simple click, they’ll be able to view your calendar (you can choose which events you want to share — I prefer to share it all, that way there’s no chance of being double booked).

In order to view a calendar that’s been shared with you, you’ll need to select it from sidebar under the area which says “My calendars”. Click the small arrow next to that, and any of your calendar’s or ones shared with you will appear. This is also where you can create separate calendars if you’d like to color code your own evens/activities. You can create separate calendar for work activities versus personal ones. By assigning a color to each calendar, you can make your electronic calendar color coded just like you might do with your paper planner/calendar.

This is also the same area where you can share your calendar with others.  (For privacy issues – don’t make your calendars public – if you’re going to share them, share them only with specific people.)

Here’s an example:

 Example of Google Calendar

The different colors on here are for different calendars. You can quickly see by looking at the calendar, and the color, who is where when.

Google Calendar Tasks

Use Tasks to Organize your “To Do List”

Another neat feature in Google Calendar is the ability to create tasks. These can be found on the right hand side of the calendar. You can use them to remind you to do every day tasks or to remind you do pay bills, purchase gifts, etc. Whatever you would include on a paper list, you can create a task for. You can add due dates, reminders, notes, etc. The nice thing is when you check them off your task list, they get a nice big line through them. Talk about satisfaction!

Using Google Calendar is just like using any calendar – either paper or electronic. It’s a trial and error process to determine which features work best you and which ones don’t.

If you have tips on how to use an electronic calendar which isn’t covered here, please be sure to post them in the comments section.

 

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Purse Perfector is a Labor of Love

by Lyn Marsteller on August 27, 2014

2014 labor

Kids of all ages are heading back to school. Notebooks, folders, books and organizers are all being checked off of shopping lists. Maybe today is your day to “head back to school” and put some organization into your own life as well. We’d love to help you get your handbag organized.

As the creator of Purse Perfector, I can share with you that from the first pattern and prototype to the product we now offer, this has been a labor of love for me. I wanted the Purse Perfector to not only be useful and functional, but well-constructed and made to last.

Using the Purse Perfector not only means you can find things quickly in your handbag, but that you can switch your handbag quickly and easily. If you still follow the rule to switch out your handbag after Labor Day, then you’ll love having your own Purse Pefector.

Through September 5, take 15% off your purchase by using code USAMADE at checkout.

Cheers, Lyn

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What are you buying Mom this year?

by Lyn Marsteller on May 1, 2014

May-2014-NLWhen it comes to buying the perfect gift for your Mom, the possibilities are endless. Should you get her flowers? Or maybe candy? How about something that she’ll use every day all year long?

The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving. By giving your Mom a Purse Perfector, every time she opens up her handbag, she’ll think of you.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11 this year. To help you make this the year your Mom will remember for a long time, we’re giving you 25% off list prices. Use promo code MOM2014 at checkout through May 11.

This code isn’t just for shopping for Mom, either. Treat yourself or a special friend to a Purse Perfector. 

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Home Office Zones

by Lyn Marsteller on April 25, 2014

I’m pleased to have Lisa Woodruff as a guest blogger. Lisa brings a wealth of organizing knowledge to us. Her focus in this post is how to organize your home office.

Home Office Zones | Organize 365

Working from home creates flexibility, opportunity and chaos! Very often, the home office is also the HOME office. Family paperwork, photos and kids’ artwork mix with business proposals and deadlines.

Home Office Zones | Organize 365

And then your office looks like this. Flexibility in your schedule and work location make you a great home-based worker. So, let’s think outside the box with your office space, too.

Home Office Zones | Organize 365

The first step is to empty EVERYTHING out. Even the pile behind the door! Pitch liberally and relocate anything you can out of the office area.

Home Office Zones | Organize 365

Next, look at the bulk of what you have left and match the size of the pile to the size of the furniture you have to work with. In this office, most of the true business work was reduced to one file drawer and a computer. That left this 2 drawer lateral file completely open for family storage.

The hanging files on the right were perfect for storing the youngest child’s artwork and memories. But using boxes, the left side of the drawer was able to hold all the loose photos we found while organizing.

Home Office Zones | Organize 365

The bottom of the lateral file gave each of the other 2 children ample space for their memories, too.

Lisa Woodruff_RGB_1 (1)

Lisa Woodruff shares her organizational tips, her entrepreneurial spirit and humor to encourage other moms on her blog www.Organize365.com,“Helping you organize your home and your home based business”. Lisa is a direct sales trainer and has helped hundreds of women successfully organize and monetize their businesses. Her podcast and training information is available at http://successfuldirectsales.com.

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No Stress Vacation Photos

by Lyn Marsteller on March 27, 2014

SLR type camera - wide Depth of FieldIt’s wonderful to have Jody Al-Saigh from Picture Perfect Organizing to be a guest blogger once again for us. Today she’s imparting some great tips on how to enjoy not only your next vacation, but all of the wonderful photos you’ll take while you’re away.

Just like other types of organizing, keeping up with your photos is an ongoing task. I recommend to clients to try to go through photos on a monthly basis. But vacation photos add a whole new element to this process. Sometimes we take hundreds of pictures in just one vacation. That’s when my clients say to me:

“Now what?!”

The good news is, with a little preparation, you can do some of your sorting and organizing as you take your photos, for instance, on a vacation.

Before you travel, label a series of large envelopes or manila folders with the date and location you will be each day/week. This will be a catch-all for any memorabilia you collect along the way – ticket stubs, brochures, postcards.

As you are taking photos at different locations, take a photo of a sign or another descriptive shot so you will know where you are in each photo. This will help you later if you choose to make albums and want to include descriptive captions. It’s also helpful if you visit a lot of places that look similar. Marble statues and ornate cathedrals begin to blur together once you are out of vacation mode!

At the end of the day, keep a journal or log of the day’s events, special people you met, or places you went. This can be in a small notebook you keep in your pocket or the notes app on your smartphone. On this log, you can also keep a running list of people in the pictures alongside the picture number from your camera.

When you get home, if you have prints made, label them immediately, even if you don’t have time to work with them yet. This will save you from stress and headache later – after all isn’t that why you took a vacation in the first place?!

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Ireland Musing this March

by Lyn Marsteller on March 18, 2014

Cliffs-of-MohrerLet’s celebrate St. Patrick’s day for a few more days this year, shall we? I’ve extended my offer for 25% until March 23, 2014 with code IRISHEYES.  Click here for available Purse Perfectors.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Ireland’s famed west coast, meandering by car from Shannon airport to the village of Kenmare. After a hearty breakfast (memorably good oatmeal and almost orange yolks in my eggs over-easy), we shared the narrow roads with tour busses in the intermittent showers of “Irish sunshine.” Although we missed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, we did enjoy beautiful vistas and charming characters.

These are a few of my favorite images caught while looking for wool and knitting mills that took us to Dingle peninsula, to the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Mohrer and ending in far-flung Leenane, home to a wonderful wool museum. Did you know that most of the wool sheared from the sheep is cut to help the health of the sheep and that it is exported to China and India for rugs?

And I finally got an answer to questions I’ve pondered in England, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland: what does the blue or red paint color on the sheep mean? Is there a difference in which color is used on which sheep? The fifth-generation owner of Kerry Woolen Mills divulged the big secret: color doesn’t matter. It means that the sheep has been inoculated for disease prevention.  

May all your travels lead you on beautiful paths, to interesting people and to answers to your questions.

Cheers,

Lyn

P.S. – photos from my trip can be found on Pinterest.

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You Won’t Need to Find a Four Leaf Clover this Year

by Lyn Marsteller on March 11, 2014

StPatDayThe luck of the Irish is yours with a little help from all of us at Purse Perfector. Between now and March 17, 2014, use promo code IRISHEYES in order to receive 25% off the list price of our medium or large Purse Perfectors.

Remember as a child how you thought you’d be able to follow a rainbow to its end, and discover that pot of gold? I’m not sure the Purse Perfector will make that dream come true, but I do know it will give you the freedom to have everything you need from your handbag right at your fingertips. That’s worth a twinkle in your eye, and a skip to your step.

“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

Order now.

Cheers,
Lyn

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Bring Peace to Your Home

by Lyn Marsteller on February 20, 2014

pp wordleOur days are almost always too full — we are constantly on the run with little time “to stop and smell the roses”.  It’s important to make purposeful decisions to keep your life just that, your life. That’s why I was pleased to read this recent blog post from a dear friend of mine, Laura, at I’m an Organizing Junkie. Laura gives us six steps to help us bring peace to our home.

Here’s an excerpt:

“My home makes me happy.  Not because I have a gorgeous large fancy house or anything (I really don’t) but simply because it’s home, it’s where my people are.  No matter where I’ve been, I always love coming home.  In fact I hate leaving most of the time.  My home is cozy and it comforts me.  It brings me peace.  And that’s what I want for you…a peaceful organized home (POH for short).”

You can read the rest of this blog post on Laura’s blog here.

My hope is for each of you to be able to create a home you enjoy coming home to every night. A place where you can walk through the door, smile and let out a sigh of pleasure.

Cheers,
Lyn

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