How to win a Book Award!

Authors all around the world want recognition for all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into writing a book and one way to get recognised is to win an award. So how does an author go about winning a book award. Well I’m in the middle of the process right now with Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy and I am here to tell you that winning an award takes just as much blood sweat and tears as it did writing the book. It’s darn hard work, especially if the award is one based public votes.

Here is how I went about getting votes:

  1. I let people know that the book was nominated by posting it on facebook and emailing my nearest and dearest family and friends
  2. I placed a link on my websites so people could click through and vote
  3. I included easy to follow instructions for voting
  4. I used social media and asked people to LIKE, to SHARE and to COMMENT
  5. I asked that once the vote was made that they let me know their vote number.
  6. I wrote and shared a blog and hoped you would read it!

As a result Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy is running second in its category (MANAGEMENT) and forth overall with around 250 books nominated that is a pretty big deal! We are up against a book backed by a huge university which as access to large databases and lists. If you believe in helping the underdog, share this blog, vote and watch our number climb.

If you are reading this before 17 Feb 2012 there is still time to vote, so click here and cast your vote once every 24 hours and LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT on facebook!

If you include your vote number on facebook, you will be placed in the draw for some surprises when we WIN the Small Business Book Award 2012!

 

Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

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Fan of the Week 3 Feb 2012

Fan of the Week

Interact with us on Facebook to be our Fan of the Week

 

Congratulations Kim Webber!

You are our Paperflowbook fan of the week!

 

As our Fan of the Week,

you have won a free copy of 52 Tips for Paper Flow  e-book!

 

 

To claim your prize simply email MaryAnne at  and you will receive your e-book by return email!

 

How you can get picked as the next fan of the week:

  • Like Us On Facebook and Join In The Fun!
  • Comment on our posts
  • Like a recent wall post
  • Post interesting stuff on our page’s wall
  • Invite friends to become fans too
  • The more you interact with our page, the better chances you’ll have to get picked!

 

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Double Trouble: Working with multiple offices

Portable File Storage

 

Lots of people have to work out of two locations and some need to work out of their car-office. Managing multiple files between places can be tricky. It takes a little imagination and creativity to work out how to best resolve your specific challenges. Here are my 8 top tips for managing paperwork in multiple locations:

  1. Place your recurring actions and your projects in portable files – include an in-tray folder in with your recurring actions
  2. Have a good set of stationery and tools at each location – hole punch, stapler, label maker etc
  3. Keep one diary and have it with you at all times
  4. Create an “office” bag to use for things that need to be carried between office locations
  5. Duplicate your ready reference documents and keep one at each location
  6. Go paperless as much as possible and use folders on your computer or in the cloud to store information you need to access frequently
  7. Keep “leaving the office” checklists at both locations to remind yourself to take files, cables, chargers etc,  to the next location
  8. Review your situation regularly any whenever a frustration pops up, find a creative way to resolve it.

I worked between two offices for 5 years and these tips really worked for me. Let me know your tips and tricks by adding comments to this blog.


Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

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Toss out Tuesday: Diaries be gone!

Old Diaries

A trip down memory lane!

Have you been guilty of keeping old diaries? Now I am not talking about meanful journal-type diaries where deepest thoughts, ideas and feelings are recorded, I’m talking about run of the mill appointment-type diaries filled with boring meetings and dental appointments.

Confession, I have been hoarding my boring diaries from my entire academic career at RMIT – 1989-2001! Yes that’s a lot of diaries and yes 1998′s a long time ago! So since today is Toss out Tuesday, I dragged out the box of diaries and started to TOSS! One by one I glanced through, gleaned out  and glossed over 12 years of my life. It was fascinating! When I work with clients I always warn about engaging with the enemy while they are sorting, the enemy being their documents. But I wasn’t sorting, I was tossing and engage I did! I engaged because I had a plan.

My plan went something like this: Go through each diary and note anything of importance, travel dates and locations, major events or significant people. My rule was when an event was encountered, I would register the event on my master spreadsheet which records the events of my life. When a person I might like to reignite a frendship with came up, I popped their details in my Contacts to Update recurring action folder to do later.

One by one I reminisced through my diary collection and extracted the evidence of my RMIT academic life.

Now all that remains is a few pages of information, I have tossed the books into my recycle bin and I now happily have one less item to deal with in the future! I feel like I have fully closed a chapter of my life without losing the essence of its existence. All together a job well done! I love Toss out Tuesday, it forces me to focus on one category of my paperwork and be ruthless.

Would a Toss out Tuesday session work for you? What would you tackle first? I would love to hear your comments!

Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

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Paint the town RED!

Source: houzz.com via MaryAnne on Pinterest

 

 

Paint the town RED! Well maybe not the whole town! But did you know that adding a touch of red in your office brings with it all the meanings of the colour red? RED is the colour of passion, power, strength and energy? Who wouldn’t want a dash of red in their space?

 

Introduce red through folders, storage boxes, notebooks, decorator items or furnishings. Go on add a touch!

 

Source: kikki-k.com via MaryAnne on Pinterest

RED is even more important today and this whole year because today, 23 January 2012, marks the start of the Chinese New Year – and The Year of the Dragon!

The Dragon is very auspicious and a symbol of power, strength, energy and giving the same powers as the colour red.

Share your use of the colour red in your comments on this blog or join our private group facebook!


Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

 

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Office in a Closet

You don’t need a dedicated room in order to have a functional office.  Lots of homes and apartments don’t afford the luxury of a separate room you can call your office. Don’t despair, get creative! Check out these photos for ideas you can use to create your very own office in a cupboard!

Source: houzz.com via MaryAnne on Pinterest

 

I love the use of the backs of the door in this office in a cupboard. What great use of space! The pigeon holes are great for paper supplies or recurring actions, the tubs are terrific for archives, the roll out shelving can hold a printer and the surface of the roll out shelving can provide much needed space while working with documents. The mirror gives an illusion of space and allows the user to see who’s coming in from behind!

Source: houzz.com via MaryAnne on Pinterest

 

Leave this office in a cavity open or you an install bi-fold or sliding doors to conceal your space!

 

Source: houzz.com via MaryAnne on Pinterest

 

Just close the door once the paperwork is done!

What creative ideas have you come up with in order to create an office in a limited space?

 


Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

 

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You’ve got mail!

email management

Inbox Overflowing?

If you are like most of us your email inbox is filled to overflowing. Emails come in, you answer what you can and the rest just pile up. What about working towards reducing the emails in your life in little power bursts of 8 minutes at a time. It works like this:’

  1. Go to your inbox and write down the number of emails you have sitting there!
  2. Set a timer for 8 minutes
  3. Now go like crazy, deleting, moving to folders and replying until the timer sounds
  4. Write down how many emails are now in your inbox
  5. Subtract this number from what you started with
  6. The resulting number = YOUR PERSONAL BEST
  7. Repeat daily or a few times a day until your emails are under control and aim to beat your personal best every time!

Let’s have a competition with ourselves, and others if you like, to reduce your email inbox to a set maximum limit. What will your limit be? 20, 50, 100? Once you set your limit you need a rule to manage the limit.

So what will your limit and rule be?

My limit is 100 emails in my inbox and my rule is that if my inbox exceeds 100 emails, I do little 8 minute power bursts until it is back to zero!

Please share your limit and tell us the result of your first 8 minute power burst! Put it to the test NOW!

All the best

MaryAnne

Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

 

 

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I had a really good idea yesterday, I just can’t remember what it was!

Ideas Book for Capturing Ideas

Now your great ideas will be captured for later!

Great Idea :) OR Forgotten Idea :( ?

Are you an ideas person? Lots of great ideas keep popping into your head all the time. While having dinner, you come up with some great ideas for your upcoming dinner party. In the middle of a conversation something sparks an idea for gift for a friend. While reading the newspaper you come across a website you want to visit. While watching TV you see an exotic place you want to visit. As you think of these ideas you naturally believe that having had them you will remember them. WRONG. In our busy lives so much information comes in and skims the surface of our brains and much of it is lost forevery.

All you are left with is the nagging memory of knowing that you had a really, really good idea and you feel cheated!

Create an ideas book!

What if there was a way of capturing your ideas? What if you could go back through them at your leisure to think about them, develop them, discard them or simply just revisit them? What if you had your very own ideas book?

An ideas book is where you capture snippits of ideas you think of throughout the day and here is how you create one in 7 easy steps:

  1. Select a dedicated book and label it “My Ideas Book”
  2. Keep the first couple of pages free and call it your “Index”
  3. Number the pages on the bottom right hand side (these will be all the odd pages, you don’t need to number the even pages)
  4. Now the next time you have a great idea simply select the next free right hand side page and place the name of the idea as a heading on the top of the page
  5. Write the name of the idea in your index
  6. Now jot down all your extra ideas as they come to mind now and anytime in the future
  7. When your idea becomes a full blown project, create a project file to house all the information
  • So the ideas for dinner parties would have a heading “Dinner Party Ideas” and some of the things you might jot down are menu ideas, table setting ideas, themes etc
  • Now the gift idea you thought of could spark the page of “Great Gift Ideas” and you can list all the fun things to give family and friends
  • You can create a page called “Websites to Check Out” to hold all those site addresses you encounter throughout the day
  • All the exotic places you want to travel to would generate a “Places I want to Visit” page and you can create a bucket list of dream destinations  and tick them off as you go there

Of course your Ideas Book is not limited to a physical book, you can create folder or use an online website to hold some of your information. You can have both physical and online, the choice is yours! I am just starting to use Pinterest for my online capture of ideas. What do you use? Share your ideas in the comments section of this blog.

Happy idea collecting! Have fun!

MaryAnne

Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

 

 

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Travel paperwork sorted!

Paper Flow Solution

Current Travel Project Folder sitting in a Magazine Box

I’m a frequent traveller, some for business and some for pleasure! What to do with tickets, confirmations, itineraries and other documents is always a bit daunting for anyone who travels. I often see people fumbling in bags looking for information while holding up queues at airports, hotels and train stations.

To keep me organised and sane while travelling, I have created a “Current Travel” folder (Project Folder see Paper Flow p45) which holds everything I need for all upcoming travel. Some documents are permanent and stay in the “Current Travel” folder and accompany me on every trip I take, while other documents are ‘trip specific’, and therefore, temporary. The ‘trip specific’ information is either tossed or filed once the trip is completed.

My folder is a display book and I keep it on my desk in a magazine box until departure. You can see it pictured here. I love having it in full view mainly because I love travel and it serves as a motivator to book another trip or as a reminder that a trip is on the horizon!

I also keep a back-up copy of all documents in the cloud ( I use Dropbox) as well as emailing them to myself as attachments so I can access the information using my phone or internet from anywhere in the world in the event of an emergency.

The permanent documents are:

  • Emergency contact details of next of kin, family members and bank numbers (to cancel credit cards)
  • List of medications and supplements
  • List of all cards carried in purse, wallet or handbag
  • Summary of relevant medical information – like allergies or organ donor information
  • Copy of Passport, Entry Visas, Work Permits, Drivers Licence and other relevant Photo ID like Staff ID or Student ID
  • Packing Checklist

Trip specific documents are:

  • Itinerary showing flights, land travel,travel and health insurance and accommodation details
  • Copies of tickets and confirmations for travel and accommodation
  • Maps that may be required with directions to specific locations
  • Copy of prescriptions for medication and doctors’ letters if necessary
  • Names of business or local contacts for each of the destinations
  • Currency conversion spreadsheet with conversions for countries being visited
  • Packing list identifying expensive items and serial numbers
  • Photos of suitcases taken and contents packed

Why do I take the time to do this?

  • In my recent travel experience a friend’s  luggage was lost at the airport leaving him without access to items packed for 12 days.When the bag was located and returned to him, the contents were wet and moldy from sitting at Heathrow Ariport in the rain. This resulted in an insurance claim where documentation was needed.
  • While travelling in St Petersburg Russia two of our friends were struck by pickpockets.  They lost their wallets containing credit cards which needed to be cancelled.
  • A few years ago my handbag was stolen while on business in Sydney, resulting in around $3,000 loss. When you include purse, money, camera, phone, voice recorder, sunglasses, spectacles, makeup and the cost of the handbag what can appear as a small loss can amount to thousands of dollars!
  • Having a sense of control gives you confidence and frees you up to enjoy the travel instead of worrying about details.

Let me hear your ideas, I love learning different ways of doing things and sharing them.

Join the Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge Facebook group
and share your paperwork questions and successes with others on the same path!

This article was written by MaryAnne Bennie BEd MBus is Australia’s organising guru, founder of in8 home office and life organising and creator of the Paper Flow® and in8®steps systems. She wrote Paper Flow your ultimate guide to making paperwork easy with Brigitte Hinneberg and her new book From Stuffed to Sorted will be released early in 2012.

MaryAnne is an engaging speaker and trainer and can be contacted at maryanne@paperflow.com.au or +61 (0)418 597 297

Paper Flow® is the registered trademark of MaryAnne Bennie and in8® is the registered trademark of in8 Pty Ltd. Copyright© 2012

Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, complete with credits.

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Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge

The Paper Flow 28 Day Challenge starts the day you want to start and goes for 28 days or longer if you really need that extra time! Decide to turn your mess into success, join us on Facebook to share your experience with others on the challenge.

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