August review, Sept goals and Get it done day

I had a great weekend two weeks ago. It was the Live Organised Community‘s Get It Done Day.

Basically, I created a form, put it in the member downloads area with the instructions/ suggestions, we each decided what we wanted to do, and we did it.

This was my list for the day.

I’m pleased to say I got it all done, not because there’s anything special about me but just because I’d made my list and put it out there. There’s such power in intention. Oh, and I wanted to lead by example :)

I got the first 5 things done on the Saturday and I used 15 minutes on Sunday to attend to my birthday card book.

All in all, a fabulous idea for me to tick some things off the list of projects.

As for my August goals:

  1. Increase coaching fees done
  2. Have a birthday sale done
  3. Post about the kids’ party done
  4. Vision board project – done. I wrote 3 posts – 2 published in Aug and the last will publish next week
  5. Get to 90% done on the writing of the time book - done but I need a hook. I’m not sure what my hook is…
  6. Write blog post – top 5 time management books – will publish later this month
  7. Write blog post – top 5 organising books – started planning it and realised I don’t even have 5 excellent ones that come to mind. Might have to be top 3 organising books :)
  8. Get more people signed up for Live Organised Community. Big Fat Fail. Not one extra :(

September is a really good time to sign up though. The product of the month is Organise your home which is a bestseller in the store.

How did your goals for August go?

Monthly goals | Organising Queen

Business goals for September

  • Write 13 blog posts
  • Finalise the top organising books post
  • 5 Pick my brain sessions
  • Sign up more people for Live Organised Community
  • Read two books for review on this blog – organising, time management, goal-setting

What are some of the goals on your monthly list?

Some reading for the weekend

Some reading for the weekend

How interesting! Having fewer options makes you happier. Makes sense when you think of it, doesn’t it?

I love how Gretchen Rubin summarised her whole book in 12 sentences. Do you think I should do it for Live Organised and 31 days?

Are you in this 1%? (such a lovely infographic)

Consume vs create

Sherman Owens once said “there’s no traffic if you go the extra mile”. LOVE! This is the practical version.

Do you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)? Tsh wrote a really thought-provoking post. I don’t, by the way. Except sometimes afterwards for a few seconds, I may think, “oh, it would have been nice. Oh well”

and last but not least, Ronnie wrote a fabulous post about letting go of perfection with your clothes.

Which was your favourite link?

(mine was number 3 – this is why!)

How to make a vision board – part 2

Have you read part 1 yet? If not, go ahead and read that part first as it sets up the thinking behind the vision board process.

Today we’re talking nuts and bolts.

How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

What do you need to make your vision board?

  1. A2 cardstock
  2. Glue stick
  3. Magazines
  4. Scissors
  5. Prestik/ washi tape
  6. Markers/ glitter (optional)

(cheapest craft ever!)

How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

How do you do it?

  1. Page through old or new magazines and catalogues to find words, phrases, pictures that “speak” to you.
  2. Look through birthday cards, scraps of paper you may have torn out before, photos that mean something to you. The idea is to collect as much as possible in this initial stage.
  3. Cut out the words and images, and arrange them on the cardstock.
  4. Are there some that you feel don’t fit? Toss them.
  5. Are there other areas you feel are not represented but are important to you? Look through those magazines again, google for other images, find them.
  6. When your arrangement of words and images feels right, use the glue stick to glue it all down. If you have some heavier items (shells, etc.), you may need some craft glue.

How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

And when you’re done sticking and pasting…

Find a suitable spot in your home where you will see it daily. When I had a business board, I stuck it up above my desk. I used to keep my big vision board on the back of our bedroom door.

My A2 posters have always stuck quite comfortably with Prestik. Please will someone – Laura? – tell me what the rest of the world calls Prestik? Dion tells me in his day (!) Zimbabweans called it Stickistuff. If you prefer, why not make a washi tape frame  around your board?

Be inspired and enjoy the process.

I’ll show you my completed one when I do my the end of the month goals post.

Live Organised Community members – I made a PDF document with lots of photos and the steps (some extra ones) all in one place. I’ll add it to the member downloads area next week.

Are you making a vision board?

What are your questions? I’ll answer in the comments.

{Blogging} Using an editorial calendar

I really love to fly by the seat of my pants as far as blogging is concerned BUT that doesn’t work so well when you have a full and busy life, and have committed to blog three times a week.

So for about a year now I’ve been using an editorial calendar.

Using an editorial calendar | Organising Queen

I really don’t get all Fancypants about it. It’s a free printable calendar (mine from Creativemamma.com). If you search Pinterest, you will find TONS.

I start with all the things I know will happen in the month – goals post, some reading for the weekend, and then on a Wed, the newsletter goes out. There are always two articles, a free printable and a recommended resource (whatever I’m selling for the month) so I put those in.

Using an editorial calendar | Organising Queen

Using an editorial calendar | Organising Queen

Then I try to think up some topics for organising projects, and some mindset/ behaviour things that relate to time!

Once the calendar is full, I quickly type it into my dashboard and then I generally start writing. When a post is done and ready, I highlight it in yellow. I also highlight the newsletters in orange (a brief version of the newsletter goes here; none of the personal titbits do).

Using an editorial calendar | Organising Queen

I recently downloaded a WordPress plug-in for an editorial calendar which is fabulous. The best thing is you can drag and drop. If I look at the calendar and it doesn’t make sense to publish posts in a particular order, I just drag those posts to where I want them. So easy!

This is great because just looking at the photo, 6 of those posts got canned!

Do you use an editorial calendar?

{Organising} Presents for kids’ birthday parties

Remember my theme of the year presents I blogged about before?

Since then I’ve done a baking theme – handmade aprons with recipe books/ baking mixes/ measuring cups, cookie cutters, etc. Whatever I could find at the shops to go with my theme :)

The current presents came about (as usual) because my kids LOVE these kinds of things: tape, scissors, post-it notes, little notebooks, foam stickers, glitter glue, fancy pens, highlighters, etc. I personally like to have things contained in a box so I first used up all the spare containers I had (all organising queens buy extra containers, right?) and now I get some lunch boxes which serve the purpose beautifully.

So I make craft/ stationery/ keep ‘em busy kits and add some activity/ colouring/ notebooks too.

Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen Organising presents for kids | Organising Queen

The kids and I have a system for birthday parties – I do the present (I select things based on the child, gender, etc.), one twin does the card and the other decorates the gift bag. In this case, Kendra did the card and Connor decorated the gift bag.

I personally LOVE cards for kids (and for myself, who am I kidding?!) and I want them to have the joy of creating something for someone else.

I stamp the happy birthday and let the kid loose with washi tape, stickers and their markers. I write out the birthday child’s name and they mostly get on with it by themselves.

And bonus – it’s a craft afternoon :)

I know it’s a hit when the kids start asking when I’m going to make boxes of fun for them to use :)

Do you have go-to presents for birthday parties you attend?

{Free Printable} Lovely things to do this year

I have a new free printable waiting for you if you’re a newsletter subscriber…. and if you’re not one yet, go sign up and you’ll still get it.

We attach the printable of the month to the welcome pack so you won’t miss out.

Lovely things to do this year |Organising Queen

For the last four years I’ve done a 36 things list, a 37 things list, a 38 things list and a 40 things to do by 40 list.

This year I was tired of the list …. and I didn’t feel like having a lot of pressure, so I made a lovely things to do this year list instead.

It’s very low-key and easy-breezy.

Use this list if you’ve recently had a birthday but also if you want a low-pressure place to hold some intentions to finish out 2014 (I can’t believe I’m writing about finishing this year!).

Get the list here

This year’s free printables

  1. Monthly and weekly goals
  2. Life list
  3. 3 areas in 2014
  4. Lovely things to do this year

What are some of the lovely things you want to do this year?

{Blogging} Setting up photos for your blog posts: my 5 strategies

My blog has become much more photo-heavy over the last couple of years as my photography improved and I now seem to have a really good workflow.

We’ve spoken about how I organise the photos I want to use before but this is a step before that one – actually setting up to take the photos for your blog posts.

Here are the 5 things I ensure when I prepare to take photos for the blog:

1. Take a photo with lots of negative space so I can “write” on it.

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

2. Add a few supplies to “style” the photo better (I have no illusions that my styling is good, so don’t burst my bubble)

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

3. Use at least two different backgrounds initially til I download and see which looks best

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

4. Use lots of angles. If you want to play with this concept (it’s a really good creativity stretch), try take a photo of something from 5 different angles til you find the 2 – 3 that work for you (for me that’s straight on, and close up with some blur in the background).

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

5. Take photos from the front and the back, right side up and flip side. You never know when something you didn’t even consider looks REALLY good. This happens a lot with me.

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen  Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

Of course, the most obvious one is wait for good light. Everybody says this so I won’t harp on too much about it.

I’ve tried to bypass this step and I end up deleting those photos 98% of the time, so now, I just wait for good light and then go on a photo-taking frenzy of all my projects :)

By the way, the photos in this post are how I packaged these photo cards for a gift.

What are your tips for me and other bloggers?

#kandcturn5 – 5th birthday monkey party – thank-you notes

So I’ve written a lot about thank-you notes over on this blog over the years. Here is one post.

I strongly believe in thank-you notes, these days even more than before.

I actually googled something about age appropriate thank-you notes and the comments on the particular post were so… well, ugly, especially from people who didn’t feel they had to send a note.

Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

Four sets of twins

a few quick notes on my thinking:

  • People have taken the time to traipse into a mall and buy something for you. They then wrapped it and some very nice people even attached a card (I love cards!).
  • The least I can do is instill in my kids gratitude both for the gift but more importantly, for the time spent in getting it.
  • (maybe it’s because I hate shopping so much – I’m a “surgical shopper” (a phrase I picked up somewhere) – I go in, get what I want and get out)
  • In years past, it’s still been a partnership – I’ve handwritten all those notes myself and the kids have helped in varying degrees – sticking the stamps, choosing the washi tape, putting stickers on the envelope, going with me to the post office, etc.
Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

This is a font but it is a neater version of my actual handwriting :)

After the party, I sent this note to all the guests by email, along with one photo with most of the kids.

So this year they can write!

Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

On the one hand, that’s great. On the other hand, they don’t get the whole spacing thing (no matter how many times I tell them) and I had to physically stop and take deep breaths MANY times.

I was really tempted to just do all the notes myself – it would have been quicker, neater and most of all, prettier!

BUT then I remembered the purpose of me going through this torture – to make them feel grateful and express that gratitude. It’s not about me and what people think of me.

How we did it:

  1. They were not allowed to play with anything til after they’d done the thank-you note. I allowed a few things on the weekend because I wasn’t ready with the card assembly line yet.
  2. I gave each twin half of the cards to do; I think Connor had about 2 extra because he was going faster.
  3. They decorated the envelope and stuck washi and address labels on the back.
  4. I wrote down the people’s names; they copied that and they know how to write their own names.
  5. Connor wrote : From Connor and Kendra; Kendra wrote From Kendra and Connor

Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

Result – it was imperfection at its very best.

However, my mother, Dion’s mother and one of our friends (at the time of this writing) all told me they LOVED the thank-you notes, so I’m considering three out of fifteen a success!

Do you do thank-you notes?

How to make a vision board – part 1

I was clearing out some old papers, etc. when I found an old vision board. I posted a pic to Instagram and Facebook, and a few people started commenting on it which reminded me that I hadn’t updated my one for years (at least 6 – 7 years, I actually think it was more like 10 years).

How to do a vision board | Organising Queen

I made a vision board book a few years ago – a sketch book with a double spread for each area of my life – but it didn’t really work for me although it is very pretty :)

How to do a vision board | Organising Queen

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a visual representation of what you want from your life. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like as long as it resonates deeply with you.

Know your why

Is this vision board for your entire life or just one part? I’ve done vision boards for my whole life, and separate ones for business and babies. If you really feel like you need to explore one particular area, maybe you want to do a vision board for just that section of your life – e.g. work, family or home.

The idea is that as you keep looking at it, you’ll focus more on what you want out of life and those things will come to pass.

How to do a vision board | Organising Queen

This is a picture I’d printed off from the internet as it was the type of photo I wanted to be able to take. Who knew? I can now take these kinds of pictures! I started scrunching it up to toss and then realised that it’s a live example I can show you guys!

These are just some of the words and images I’ve already gathered for this next vision board.
How to do a vision board | Organising Queen

Actions for this week

  1. Get clear on what you want your vision board to represent
  2. Start paging through magazines for words and images

Do you have a vision board?

#kandcturn5 ; 5th birthday monkey party – photos and party favours

Announcements

  1. Three days left of the birthday sale!
  2. In the Live Organised Community, we’re going to start building our vision boards this week. I’m also going to be putting these forms in the members area.
  3. Have a great week!

birthdaysale

Something I love to do is to take photos of parents in photos with their kids. And, in turn, I LOVE it when people say, “wouldn’t you also like to be in the photo?” and take my camera to get a photo of me with my kids :)

So, I grabbed a few parents to get some photos of them with their kids as they were leaving. I totally bribed the kids and said, “let me take a photo of you with your mum, and I’ll give you your present” #anythingforaphoto

Aside from that, I obviously take a few candid photos (!) too.

Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

Let’s talk party bags.

My friend, Robynne, gives good party favours . At one party, each kid got a fleece blanket. Mine still use them for watching movies. At another party, she gave out little bags with facecloths and soaps. They still use the little bags for “treasures”. My other friend, Louisa, hand-sewed bags too at one of her daughter’s parties, and those are still my kids’ library bags.

I love doing party favours but not just sweets and chips. I think a bit differently…

I’ve given notebooks with pencil cans, airplane craft kits, and crayons and colouring books.

For this party, since it was a breakfast party, my first thought was, “what do you do straight after breakfast?”

Well, you brush your teeth!

Monkey birthday party | Organising Queen

ignore my post-it note – this is the only photo I have!

I decided to give toothbrushes as party favours and had to hunt around for reasonably priced ones.

Turns out I found a really good deal on a toothbrush and toothpaste combo so I bought 18!

Then I realised some of the kids (little brothers and sisters) were too little for proper toothpaste so I went back for some “baby” toothbrushes.

Personally I think this is a genius idea because I know how much MY kids love having their own toothpaste.

I haven’t had any feedback but hopefully the other kids are enjoying their new toothbrushes too.

What do you like to put in the party bags?

Which was the most original party bag you received?

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