Miscellaneous Tips

  • A plastic ketchup bottle filled with raspberry, chocolate or caramel sauce and use it to embellish a dessert plate with zigzags, swirls, or polka dots.
  • Christmas Tree Lights - go from bottom to top and back down again. Easier to remove provides better coverage.
  • Life Savers - place candle inside to create stable base on a cake.
  • Paper Towel Stand - ribbon organizer
  • Reuse old plastic soap bottles as ice blocks. Fill to an inch from top, freeze. As ice melts squirt out of bottle for washing hands, rinsing, etc. Use to keep groceries cool. 
  • Measure dry ingredients over a clean sheet of waxed paper. Spoon onto a measuring cup and level the top with a straight edge (or butter knife), sweeping excess onto the paper. 
    • Once you've measured, pick up the paper and funnel the excess back into the cannister. Save the paper for the next time. If you like, or use it to line a cake pan. 
  • Use a bulletin board in laundry room to hand up useful items i.e. clothing, toys that have been removed, extra buttons, hotel sewing kits, mini scissors. 
  • File Rack - store cookie sheets and.or cutting boards in a file rack.
  • Spring - a heavy gauge spring can act as a horizontal file to keep your papers upright. 
  • Twist tie keep cables organized
  • File folder labels -cord labelers
  • Napkin holder - bill organizer
  • Track your energy levels - each hour and record them from 1 to 10
  • Binder clips - attach two 3/4 inch clips to the bottom of a card or photograph for a stand up exhibit.

Organizing in 5 Steps

1. Maintain daily habits (and the habits of those around you).
2. Identify the messiest, most chaotic areas.
3. Change the environment. People do not change.
4. Consider options (there are endless options).
5. Make it unique. Make it fun. Make it yours.

Organizing Email

I just finished reading Upgrade your Life: The Lifehacker guide to working smarter, faster, better. Wow, I am impressed. There are several great ideas. My favourite are the tips for organizing your email program. A short synopsis can be found on the LifeHacker website.

Basically, you restrict yourself to 4 folders - Inbox, Follow Up, Hold, and Archive. Amazingly simple and amazingly productive.

Newsletter emails

Here's one way to handle the situation: I've noticed that many people who sign up for my own newsletter are using email addresses that look like this: name.of.newsletter@domain.com. Or sometimes name.newsletter@domain.com, where "name" is the person's name. It's usually done with a custom domain and sometimes a webmail service.
At first glance, this seems like a whole lot of trouble, creating a brand new email address for each newsletter. But it's probably a lot simpler than that, and can be very effective in combating spam.
Firstly, you don't have to create a new address. You can just use the email address as an alias or as a forward to another primary 'subscriptions' address that remains private. And when you decide to unsubscribe, technically you don't even have to unsubscribe — you can just delete the address. And if you're curious, you can keep it set up just to see if that particular service you subscribed to ended up using your email address in ways you didn't agree to.