Resolve 2013: Laughing in the face of organization

A note from Jessa: Today’s GET ORGANIZED advice comes from author, mom and perpetual motion machine, Jenna Bayley-Burke. She always has something going on, so I know she’ll have great suggestions on how to keep it all together.

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Jenna Bayley-Burke
Author of Drive Me Crazy

Jenna Bayley BurkeI’m excited to see all the tips everyone else has during the Resolve 2013 tour. Alas, organization is not my strong suit. I’m always forgetting something. And most of my tips have to do with kiddos, not writing. But here goes…

  1. Carpool – Any and everywhere you can. I trade ride duties for the kids preschool, chess team, matholympiad, yearbook club, play practice, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, ballet – if I can get out of driving half the time, it’s beyond worth the work of scheduling. I even carpool to the gym for Zumba because it gives me time to chat with a friend.
  2. Menu Plan – It is boring as all get out, but planning a week’s worth of menus before you hit the grocery store can save time in many ways…you don’t have to think up what to cook and it really cuts down on trips to the store.
  3. Recycle – This is very easy here in Oregon. The recycling goes in a giant bin at the curb that is collected every other week. It gives me the deadline to make sure all the newspapers, junk mail, cardboard and magazines have made a mass exodus from my kitchen counter.
  4. Donate – I cannot throw away a book. Ever. I can, however pass them on to those who need the distraction. I take a bag of books with me every time I visit the hospital. (Sadly, I know where the family lounge rooms are and like to keep the shelves stocked with romances.)  I donate books the kids are done with to the local library. I’ve even been known to sell books back. For more books. Not really helpful with the whole organizing bit.
  5. Bankers Boxes – OK, so this is going to sound crazy. But I bought a pack of bankers boxes for like ten dollars. And when the pile on my desk gets too high…I load the whole mess into a bankers box. And then I date it. And if a year goes by and I haven’t opened it in a mad search for something important…it hits the recycling bin. It’s all paper anyway.

Find Jenna : Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest 

Another Jessa note: The bankers box idea is brilliant! The clutter builds up in massive, dated chunks, so I should unearth it in massive, dated chunks. Nice. Today I’m posting with Susan Lute on her resolution to reduce stress – find and follow your bliss.

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Tips from an organizing pro

Note from Jessa: Today we have author Cassiel Knight reviewing ways to GET ORGANIZED when it comes to time and effort. I usually think of organization as a physical thing, so this should be interesting.

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Advice from Cassiel Knight
Author of 
Key of Solomon (Relic Defender, Book 1)

Cassiel KnightNine of us picked one resolution as our own and the rest of us get to offer advice to our friends about their resolution. One thing I’ve noticed is that most of them have a resolution that involves some form of time management and organization.

Time management is difficult for me in that I have a lot to do – so much that I feel overwhelmed but then I plunge back in and I’m good to go. It helps that I love what I do.

Now, organization is a different beast. Jessa wants to tame that beast in 2013. So, I’m going to share a few things to see if I can help her wrestle and collar that bear. I’d say dog but she and I are dog lovers and I’d hate to think of beating them into submission. J

So, getting organized. Well, just like so many things, it’s best to start small. While I have a somewhat messy life, overall, I’m neat and most times, I can find things I want.

I get bitten by the spring cleaning bug every spring. I don’t know why. It’s not something from my childhood—I don’t recall my mother ever engaging in massive clean-out-the-junk days but for some reason, it’s my thing. Every spring. Each weekend, I attack a room. That’s me biting off a bit at a time. Because, frankly, the older I get, when the bug bites, I want to smash it into tiny pieces instead of cleaning.

Well, why the heck do I keep doing it? Because there’s a sense of satisfaction in cleaning out the junk, the things I no longer need or use. I love the elation I get when I know things are neat and clean. It’s weird, I know. I also love knowing I’m doing my part by donating to veterans’ organizations and families. Most importantly, I love the simplicity of the clean closet, organized drawers and nicely labeled folders.

Still not sure of the benefits of being organized? Well, I have a class at Savvy Authors coming in April that can not only sell you on why you should get more organized but some tips and tricks on how to get there. It’s tailored around the principles of project management. Yep, a business method can help you manage your time in your self, your writing and your career. While it’s mostly designed to help with your writing career, the principles can be applied throughout all aspects of your life.

The idea of time management and organization, ack, structure!, may give you the willies but getting organized will help you quit fumbling around and find the time to engage in things you like to do.

You can find more information about the class here: http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/showevent.php?eventid=1747

Happy organizing and good luck!
Have a fantastic 2013!

Cassiel Knight resides in the beautiful, and evergreen, state of Oregon with her husband of over 20 years and two female Shih Tzus, which are her children in every sense of the word. When she isn’t editing, writing or reading (and that is most of the time), she can be found playing with her Shih Tzus, gardening (when the weather permits and sometimes when it doesn’t) and cooking fancy meals as long as someone else does the dishes. She writes paranormal romances with kick-assitude that blend archeology and mythology—just a few of her favorite things—for Samhain Publishing, Lyrical Press and Champagne Book Group.

You can find me at these places:

Website  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Another Jessa note: I’m kinda digging the “wait ’til spring” approach 🙂 Although I can’t help but notice that Cassiel’s New Years Resolution is dealing with procrastination! Today I’m posting with Cathryn Cade on pursuing other creative passions. If I managed my time better, I’d have more time for other passions!

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Organize my life–Please!

A note from Jessa: Today, author Cathryn Cade shares her thoughts on my resolution to GET ORGANIZED. Since Cathryn is a former teacher and I’ve seen what kids can do to a schedule (heck, I think I WAS that kid who trashed schedules) I’m sure she’s learned to perfect staying organized.

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Cathryn Cade
Author of Hawaiian Heroes III; Blooming in the Wild

Cathryn CadeI love to cook. And I love to buy cookbooks. Must be a book thing.

Confession time; I also save recipes out of the newspaper, and I sort of rip them out of magazines at the doctor’s office (shameful, I know) and I find them on the internet.

So … you can imagine what my cookbook shelf looked like. Yup, like the cooking section at Powell’s Books exploded. The good news is we moved recently, so I got rid of stacks of old recipes that I was never actually going to use. But I still had a problem. All those cookbooks.

Then a miracle happened. My new daughter-in-law asked me for some of my son’s favorite recipes. So I typed them up on my computer, saved them in a Word file in My Documents & emailed them to her for the cute new 3-ring-binder cookbook I bought them.

And suddenly (!!) I realized that now I could get rid of like seven old cookbooks, because the only recipe I ever used out of each was that one family favorite. And if I bought myself a cute new 3-ring binder cookbook, I could put my recipes in it. Tah-dah! Lightbulbs flashing, drumroll please.

I feel so stoopid. I could have done this so long ago. Oh, well. Sometimes it takes that friendly nudge, or that hard kick in the patootie.

I guess it was just time, ‘cause that organization thing started spilling over into my writing. I made more new folders in Word, and typed up notes from conferences, classes, etc. And then I threw away the papers, notebooks, etc. Whee, less office clutter!! (And yes, I back my computer up every day with Carbonite. My whole writing life is on this machine.)

And then I bought a new writing program, and started organizing the way I plot my books.  And now that has become so much easier. Good grief, girlfriends, the next thing you know I’ll be running for governor and organizing the whole state of Montana. (Okay, not happening.)

But just wanted to say, when you do something positive, it can spill over in wonderful and unexpected ways.  So what’s on your list? Begin today, rule the world tomorrow!

Happy New Year,
Cathryn Cade
… red-hot romance!

Goodreads, My Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Samhain Author Page,
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Another Jessa note: Ah, this is brilliant! Put the “resolve” part of resolution on somebody else’s head! I do find it’s easier to do when someone else is expecting it of me. Although — confession time — XY just removed all his stuff from my art closet because he said he could never find anything in there. Um, I think that is NOT how I’m supposed to become more organized — by scaring people away! Today I’m posting with Cassiel Knight on how to eliminate procrastination. Even though clearly I have MASTERED procrastination by not cleaning my closet and thus forcing XY to move out of it. Victory!… Uh, I mean… Shame, shame.

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Getting organized? Hmmm…

Note from Jessa: Today I am hosting my friend and fellow author Susan Lute who is obviously a little too much like me in the “GET ORGANIZED? But why?” department. I guess that’s why we’re friends 🙂

art-resolve2013GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Susan Lute
Author of Dragon’s Thief

Susan Lute cropped portraitI’m always intrigued by the New Year’s resolution to “get organized”, mainly because I’m so bad at it. But when I’m trying to be good, sometimes I organize too. Here’s what happens.

I say to myself, “I think I’ll organize my office today.”

Good girl, says the little angelic being sitting on my shoulder.

Really?, snorts the rascally companion pulling the tangled hair on top of my head.

Ignoring that one, I dutifully dig in and get about half way done before I realize how thirsty I am…and hungry…and distracted because all these things have to go into their proper places. Before I know it I’m out of the office, with the promise I’ll be right back, and five minutes later it’s a done deal. All interest in organizing the office has evaporated into thin smoke.

The good news is it usually looks better. And I can live with that.

That’s the thing about getting organized. There are some things that must be organized, like household budgets and how to write a novel. There are other things that…well…pick your battles. What’s important and what’s not? What makes life easier? What doesn’t? Sometimes that’s the best barometer.

What organizational tips work for you? Do you have a favorite? Who knows, maybe the next time I organize the office, with your advice, I’ll stick with it to the end.

Where to find me 🙂 Goodreads, My website, Facebook, Twitter and See Jane Publish. Sign up for my newsletter and have a chance to win a gift card to Amazon or BN. And don’t forget to support your local authors by becoming a “fan” on Goodreads.

Another Jessa note: I have to admit, I’m tempted to go with the “GET ORGANIZED-ER” idea here 😉 Baby steps, right? Today I’m over with Jenna Bayley-Burke offering my suggestions on eating healthier. Where I’m probably going to be about as helpful as Susan was on getting organized! #eatmorechocolate

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet

Resolve 2013: Virgo shames us all

A note from Jessa: Today, author Jamie Brazil wonders why I have so much trouble with organization. I’m tempted to drag her into my office to show her! At least I don’t have a pink flamingo on my desk!

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GET ORGANIZED advice from:
Jamie Brazil
Author of Lost and Found, Virgo Edition

Jamie Brazil

A long time ago, I had my birth date examined by a professional astrologer.  Her computer software revealed that I had nine planets in Virgo, and my true calling in life was hotel management.  Nothing about writing or publishing.  Get thee to a Best Western!  Decades later, my experience in the overnight hospitality sector is staying in hotels… not running them.  (Though the ongoing training of dogs that sniff out bed bugs in hotels fascinates me, Bloodhound fanatic that I am.)

I digress.  The subject at hand is organization. Mine.  Apparently, all the Virgo influence in my chart equals superior organizational skills.

It also translates to being completely anal.

When it comes to putting things back where they belong I can be a little obsessive, but the reality behind that personality quirk (a.k.a. control issues) has a lot more to do with moving 18 times as a child than astrology.  I don’t like not knowing where thing are.  And it pisses me off when stuff gets lost.

Fast forward a couple decades.  I married the love of my life in 2004.  He’s a sentimental pack rat who doesn’t put his toys away, and seems to have hundreds of note-strewn scraps of paper orbiting his person most days.  As much as I’d like to think that my vows to him included the phrase, to love, honor and organize, they didn’t.

I truly do not understand how he can work at a desk that is pure chaos. If I look at it too long I start to twitch. He claims his desk reflects the nature of the Universe and Buddhism, but all I see is a jumble of notes and clutter seeking order.  Still, I don’t touch his desk… much.  I confess, there are times I just can’t help myself.

My resolution for 2013 is to leave my husband’s creative chaos alone. I’ll look the other way.  Organize the garage, or the garden shed. Maybe even get out of the house for a bit… I hear the Best Western down the road is hiring.

Let’s connect on Goodreads and Facebook!

Another Jessa note: “desk reflects the nature of the Universe and Buddhism” Ha-ha! I’m so using this line from now on: “My desk is a study in entropic decay. Deal with it.” Today I’m posting with Linda Mercury on her resolution to live a creative life.

Stops on the “Resolve 2013” tour: January 1-9, 2013

Maggie Jaimeson – Take a Vacation
Jessa Slade – Get Organized
Paty Jager – Volunteerism
Linda Mercury – Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Jenna Bayley-Burke – Eat Healthier
Cassiel Knight – No More Procrastination
Cathryn Cade – Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Su Lute – Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Jamie Brazil – Shrink My Closet