Archive for the ‘Information Management’

Greeting Cards – Always Handy, Always on Time

Mini #151
by Sherriebeth Czepiel

Who doesn’t love getting a beautiful card for a birthday or anniversary, or one congratulating us on a new baby in the family?  Who doesn’t love to know that someone out there is thinking of us during this special time in our lives? Or when we are down, how encouraging is it for a sister-friend-mom to send (or receive from us) a little card with a few words to say “I know this time is hard, but I also know you can get through it and I am here to help you!”?Yet many of us do not do this simple act…why is that?

The simple answer to this simple question is that we just do not have the time to go to the store, buy a card, take it home, find a nice pen, write it out, find the address, find a stamp, and drop it in the mail.  Even regularly-scheduled events, like a child’s birthday or a religious event of great importance, we often do not plan far enough ahead to make sending a greeting card easier, thus relegating it to another ‘I gotta’, ‘I should’, or ‘I need to’ stressor in our lives.

In this Mini, Sherriebeth shares how to make a greeting card station that allows you to send cards easily, efficiently, and on time. She offers multiple systems so you can choose the one that best suits your paper-personality and offers step-by-step instructions for set up.

Understanding and Living with ADD: The Basics

Mini #149

This Mini is the first in a series focusing on ADD in women. I will share how I discovered I had ADD and how I learned to work with it, making ADD a strength instead of a weakness. This Mini shares the criteria used for diagnosing ADD as well as what a diagnosis means. We will review how the ADD brain functions differently than the non-ADD brain and look at the areas of our life that are most affected as well as practical strategies for working with, instead of against, ADD. Future Minis in this series will focus on ADD and Time Management, ADD and Organization, and Explaining ADD to Others. Opens June 9

Transferring Your CAN (and CAN Processing Review)

Mini #148

Transferring Your CAN (and CAN Processing Review)

Many members have been patiently waiting–and now here it is– our Transferring Your CAN Mini. In this Mini I will share step-by-step how I transfer my completed CAN to a new Catch-All Notebook. We will also use this process to help us discover if we need any other sections in our MTM Headquarters to customize our system. Finally, we will brush-up on weekly CAN processing so that you have a CAN Plan customized to your personality. Opens June 1.

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #6 - Tax Time

The Pursuit of Paper Perfection
Paper for Tax Preparation

Created by Sherriebeth (Sb) Czepiel, Linda Erro and Melinda (Minda) Short, Senior Tax Advisor with H&R Block

Mini #146

The focus of this mini-makeover centers upon gathering the necessary paper together to file taxes
for an extension on last year, as well as, developing a system to help you prepare for income tax filing for
the current year. To answer specific tax questions, please search the websites of the IRS (,
your local or State governments, or your preferred tax professional

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #5 - Filing

Mini #143
15 pages

The Pursuit of Paper Perfection Mini series is edited by MTM member, SherrieBeth. It is a compilation of extracted material from Brook’s two online paper courses– Managing Everyday Paper and Paper Piles and Files–put into manageable minis for members.

Filing…the very thought of it can fill one with dread and anxiety.  “Now that I’ve done the sorting, categorizing, trashing, and learned how to process my active paper…where does it all go when I’m done?   What do I do with it NOW??”

The objective of this mini-makeover is to answer these questions for us so that we now have a pile-less, stash-less, efficient paper management system that serves our needs.  We need to be able to find something if we need it.  We need to be able to put something away when we are done with it.  We need to never have a stash of paper, lurking behind the shadows, and mocking our effectiveness, ever again.

We review both short term and long term filing as well as different filing systems. We also create our filing categories to set up our system.

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #4

Mini #140
The Pursuit of Paper Perfection #4
Processing Active Paper

In the fourth mini of our Paper series, we will look at building new habits for
processing your active paper. Active Paper is any “new” paper with which you need
to take action. In this Paper mini-makeover, we will tackle new mail delivery, weekly
maintenance, and your active financial papers.

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #3

Mini #138

In the first two installments of this series, we have unpiled, catalogued, sorted, classified, purged, shredded and recycled…and now we move on to setting out our area for managing the paper of everyday living!  We create a home to manage those ‘incoming’ bills and items needing our responses.  We establish a working station for the paper for everyone in the home.  We get ready to process our paper as these active pages get A Home Of Their Own!

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #2

Mini #135

In Pursuit of Paper Perfection Mini-makeover I, we started the process of eliminating paper piles and stacks from our lives and homes.  The first mini-makeover focused upon our “initial sort”, getting us ready for the “Big Job” at hand…the detailed sorting, categorizing, purging, and elimination process!

When we start going through stacks of idle and backlogged paper, often we begin my making more and more piles. Then something happens and we have to scoop them up and put them away, or we return later and cannot remember what each stack is for.  This often leads to repeating the pattern, and indefinitely, creating new ingenious hiding places.

In order to avoid repeating this ‘paper pattern’, we need to set up a working system for managing paper throughout this series.  The focus of this installment is sorting, categorizing, and purging of the piles so that we can develop and maintain our Perfect Paper Management System.

Pursuit of Paper Perfection #1

Pursuit of Perfect Paper Perfection
Assessing Needs and Finding Recommendations
Mini #133

(Part 1 of an 8-part mini-series)

If saying “My paper situation looks likes an episode of ‘Hoarders’ on TV” describes the current circumstances in your home, you are in the right place.  Welcome to the first installment of The Pursuit of Paper Perfection mini-series.  It includes an introduction to the Perfect Paper management system design and implementation.  We assess our personal requirements, and follow up that assessment into decision making for those changes which our paper management (or lack thereof) NEED in order to be an effective, efficient system.  We cover both new and longstanding paper issues, and discover where our demons live, so that we can rid of them…and paper piles…forever! You’ll complete a comprehensive evaluation, use the Decision Tree tool to help you find the best ways to make progress now, and learn how to set up your Paper Station and begin taking positive action through this Mini.

Vacation Planning Pt 2: Preparation and Packing

Mini #132
Created by Debbie C.

In the first vacation mini, we discussed how to pick a destination and how to make our travel arrangements.  Now that we know where we are going and how we are getting there, it time to deal with the nitty-gritty of vacation planning.  Namely, it is time to make our packing lists, things to do around the house to prepare, taking care of our pets, etc.   As a bonus, we will also talk about easy ways to record memories while on vacation. Includes checklists.

To-Do Overload

Mini #131
** To-Do Overload, a session created by Lyn Witter, was a popular favorite at our 2010 conference and Lyn has been kind enough to put it together for us as a Mini**

I love Brook’s system for planning!  I have completed my monthly, weekly, and nightly planning more often than not since 2004.  However, about twice a year I get this sick feeling in my stomach when I miss something, or I feel totally overwhelmed knowing that the ‘stuff I have to do this week’ can’t be shoved into a month during the current season of life that has swiftly overtaken me.  I find for the most part this happens after a major life event or a long bout of the flu when I just need to get myself back on track, and organize my thoughts.  These are the times when I collect everything, and re-start my planning from scratch…hence, the creation of this To-Do Overload mini-makeover.

By completing this mini-makeover, you are not replacing your planning system; you will simply re-create a solid foundation of lists from which to move forward.  Once finished, you should be able to move smoothly back into your planning system and feel comfortable that you have everything listed, and prioritized in the right place.

Vacation Planning: The Basics

Mini 127 (Opens 9/1/10)
Written by Debbie C. with Brook Noel

So you have made the decision to go on vacation!  Now what??  Some vacations are easier to plan than others.  When you are obligated to go to Grandma’s house, you know what to do; but, that about thimes when you want to do something different?  What do you need think about?  In this mini, we will talk about the following:
1.  Work & family obligations
2.  Budget
3.  Where to go
4.  How to get there
5.  Where to stay once you are there; and
6.  How to find out about things to do in advance
At the end of this mini will be a list of resources to help you with your next vacation.

Investing 101

Mini #123

Bonds, stocks, mutual funds, P/E Ratio–these terms intimidate many from taking advantage of investment opportunities. The recent financial climate has made people even more leery of the stock market. In this Mini we take the mystery out of these money matters and you will learn the basics of investing. You will also explore your investing personality and financial goals. To practice your new knowledge we create a “practice portfolio” where you can make hypothetical investments and track your progress without risking a dime. Whether you have goals to save for education, retirement, a new home, a remodel, or a vacation–this Mini will help you explore avenues to create more financial wealth.

Priority Planning Workshop

Mini #115 - April Featured Mini

One of the ways to maximize your time in the Make Today Matter program, and your time in general, is through a routine of Priority Planning. While it takes a little time, this planning is key to helping us stay on track throughout the month. Done thoroughly, this planning allows us to stay focused in  spite of adversity and to focus on what truly matters.  Priority Planning also reduces stress and helps us manage our time better. The five steps of Priority Planning can be accessed by all MTM Members in Phase II by following the link in the blue “quick links” menu. This Mini is an additional workshop that provides an audio version of each of the five steps, and also provides a location to share and encourage one another with our plans!

5 Session Goal Workshop

Mini #107
Includes 5 audios and workbook

If you missed my Facebook workshop in January, you can now take it as a Mini. This workshop is comprised of 5 essential steps for planning a goal (also valuable for project management.) Each step includes worksheets and audios to guide you through each step.

Life Profiler Mini * Featured Mini

Mini Makeover #105

If you are ready to do an in-depth analysis of your strengths and weaknesses to help you “go beyond the Snapshot” then this is the Mini for you! Brook developed the Life Profiler Mini to help people pinpoint what specific steps they can take to improve life areas of concern. The Profiler includes over 200 questions and can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel format. After answering the questions, you will be able to see how well you score in 17 different life areas as well as learn what MTM solutions and strategies can help you improve! This is a great in-depth review to do once or twice per year.

Get Ready! Get Set! Goal! 10 Tips (Audio)

Mini #104

In this audio Mini, Brook shares 10 tips to help you with goal setting. You’ll learn about the important steps of goal planning, why goals often “get away from us”, and how to set yourself up for success!  Makes a great companion in conjunction with our other goal setting Minis.

Audio Mini: Working with Routines

Mini #102 - Audio Mini 30-45 minutes

One common thread can be found in the hundreds of women Brook has coached– the desire for effective, sustainable, routines to help life go smoothly. In this Audio Mini, Brook reviews the routines covered in the MTM Toolbox and covers tips for refining, honing and maximizing their use to create the life you desire. Topics include: Building balanced routines, the Nightly Reflection, Good Morning, and Priority Planning.

Creating Your Holiday Notebook

Mini #93

A holiday notebook can be a great organizer, celebration enhancer and stress-reducer over the holiday season. Each year you can organize and plan your holiday celebrations in a notebook, creating a quick-reference guide for common holiday tasks, activities and plans such as: sending cards, entertaining, gift ideas/sizes/likes, recipes, favorite stores (best deals), games and entertainment, favorite memories and more.

In this Mini you are provided templates for building your holiday notebook and tips for using each template.

NOTE: If you plan to take the 10 Weeks of Christmas Course (starting October 12) you will receive this information throughout the 10 week course.

Coupon Collecting - Spend Smart

Mini #90
Available 9/3/09

In Mini #85 we completed a Master Spending Diary to help consolidate information and begin taking control of spending. In this Mini we will work with your Master Spending Diary to find the best deals, clip smart, and organize coupons. You will also learn some “coupon collecting secrets”–such as manufactuerer’s coupon lists, printable online coupons, online-swaps and more.

Since this Mini refers to terminology from #85, it is strongly recommended you complete #85 first, or in conjunction, or you will not have the tools to make the most of this Mini.