Balancing Work and Family: 100 Resources for Pregnant Career Women

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:10pm by Site Administrator

Congratulations! Now that you’ve found out you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot of exciting planning to do: set up the nursery, notify friends and relatives and start saving your paychecks for all the added expenses your new family will accumulate. Career women, however, have extra responsibilities when it comes to prepping for the new baby. How soon should you tell your boss the good news? Do you qualify for paid maternity leave? What if you’re currently searching for a new job and aren’t sure how your pregnancy will look to potential employers? Read below for all those answers and more in our list of 100 resources for pregnant career women.

Blogs and Websites

During your break time, check out these helpful blogs and websites, which are full of valuable resources for working moms and moms-to-be.

  1. This website has all kinds of resources for pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and women who have recently given birth. If you’ve got a quick question about morning sickness or just want to update your "countdown to baby" calendar, jump onto this site during work for a quick and easy search.
  2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Blog @ Suite101: Read the pregnancy and childbirth blog at Suite101 for resources to help you estimate the cost of your pregnancy, how your professional life will affect your pregnancy and more.
  3. WebMD Health and Baby Center: The Health and Baby Center at has lots of articles, tools and other resources to help busy women celebrate pregnancy.
  4. Black Pregnancy Blog: This blog focuses on pregnancy issues for black women. Read posts about health conditions, managing your life after the baby comes and more.
  5. This blog has lots of "advice to help executive working mothers balance work and family." Browse through existing posts or submit a question of your own.
  6. Work and Maternity Leave: The Work and Maternity Leave resource on is full of posts and advice for pregnant career women.
  7. iVillage Work and Pregnancy: The favorite women’s website iVillage has a special page with articles, resources and links that are all about managing pregnancy in a busy office environment.
  8. Pregnant at Work: The website hosts a Pregnant at Work section to help pregnant professionals figure out maternity leave, discrimination suits and more.
  9. The author of the bestselling book What to Expect When You’re Expecting posts articles and tools on this site to help prepare moms-to-be.
  10. Type-A Mom: Busy women now have a place to go to get advice, support and ideas on how to balance work and family.
  11. RollerCoaster: This website is all about general pregnancy and parenting issues, but frequent posts and message board chats from working moms make it a must-read.
  12. This site is an excellent resource for single pregnant women and single moms. Find out how you can manage a career and a baby, all on your own.

Career Advice and Support

These resources are full of tips and ideas to help you survive the work week when you’re pregnant, from beating morning sickness to figuring out how to break the news.

  1. Working During Pregnancy: Before you make an official decision to continue working or to quit your job because of pregnancy issues, take a look at this post from to help you evaluate your situation.
  2. Sharing News of Your Pregnancy: This post gives tips on when to tell others (including your boss) the good news and what to expect when you do.
  3. Investigating Maternity Leave Options: It’s important to have a solid plan in place when deciding how and when to take advantage of maternity leave. Let this guide help you figure things out.
  4. Quick Food Fixes for Moms-to-Be: Hopefully, your boss will make some allowances for you during pregnancy; however, if you have to show up to work late everyday due to morning sickness, you might get yourself into trouble. Use this list to help you beat morning sickness and get your back on track.
  5. 40 Healthy Snacks for Moms-to-Be: Keep several of these healthy but appealing snacks in your desk to curb overwhelming cravings.
  6. When to Tell the Boss You’re Expecting: Use this post to help you find the right moment to tell your boss that you’re pregnant.
  7. How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work: This post from has more advice for pregnant moms with morning sickness.
  8. Being Pregnant at Work: answers questions like "What should I do if I work around toxic substances?" and "How can I stay comfortable on the job?" to help pregnant women manage their professional careers amidst a changing lifestyle.
  9. Working During Pregnancy: Check out this guide designed to help career women safely and comfortably continue working while pregnant.
  10. Working During Pregnancy: The Proudly Pregnant blog encourages women who can’t take extra time off from work to "look for ways to ease the burden of working" by working only 40 hours a week and taking advantage of breaks.
  11. Planning for Working Mothers: Getting Pregnant and Dealing with Work: Use this resource to help you plan for your pregnancy by negotiating maternity leave, reworking your schedule and being prepared to face discriminatory comments and coworkers.
  12. Pregnancy and Your Job: This post from the Monster Career Advice website walks pregnant women through the process of creating a new work/life balance.

Legal Advice and Discrimination Resources

Make sure you’re aware of your rights as an expectant, working mother.

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act: Writer Alison Doyle discusses the details and eligibility issues for the Family and Medical Leave Act in this post. Find out what benefits your employer provides and whether or not you will be able to take time off during your pregnancy.
  2. Women Filing More Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Nationally: The South Carolina Lawyer Blog explores why more pregnant women have been "filing pregnancy discrimination claims with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" in 2007.
  3. National Advocates for Pregnant Women: This national organization posts articles and information about the legal rights, advocacy events and other important resources that affect pregnant women.
  4. Verizon Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement: Verizon Wireless was ordered to pay over $48 million to female employees who filed discrimination suits against the cell phone company.
  5. Just Found Out You’re Pregnant?: Dawn Rosenberg McKay writes this post for career women who aren’t sure how to discuss their pregnancy at work. Check it out for legal advice and other discrimination issues.
  6. Terminated While on Maternity Leave: One woman seeks advice after being let go while on maternity leave.
  7. How Long Can I Wait to Tell the Boss I’m Pregnant?: CNN Money’s Ask Annie column advises that "the sooner you break the news, the better — especially if your boss can keep a secret."
  8. Maternity Rights: shares information about maternity rights in the UK, answering questions like "what terms and conditions apply during ordinary maternity leave?" and "what rights do I have as a pregnant employee?
  9. Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publicizes information about pregnancy discrimination here.
  10. It’s Hard Being a Pregnant, Working Mom — Even if You’re Elizabeth Vargas: After former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas revealed that she was pregnant, she voluntarily gave up her anchor position and agreed to continue only a co-hosting job after giving birth. This editorial explores the ins and outs of her decision, as well as ABC’s position on pregnant employees.
  11. Pregnancy Discrimination: posts valuable information about "accommodating pregnancy in the workplace," including issues regarding maternity leave, telling your employer about the pregnancy and more.
  12. Dealing With Unfair Treatment at Work While Pregnant: The BabyCenter doles out advice for pregnant women who are discriminated against at work.

Pregnancy and the Job Search

Looking for a new job is tough enough without having to worry about discriminating hiring managers. Use these resources to prepare yourself for the questions, rejections and eventual successes that are sure to come your way.

  1. A Pregnant Pause: Career Pregnant Women at Job Interviews: "Can being visibly pregnant during a job interview hurt my chances of getting hired?" This Q & A from Black Enterprise discusses how pregnant women can prepare themselves for an in-person interview.
  2. Why is Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise?: The Monster Blog publishes this post in an attempt to figure out why pregnant women are still discriminated against in the workplace.
  3. Pregnancy and Your New Job: What do you do if you get pregnant soon after starting a new job? This post explains why some women may not receive paid time off if they find themselves in this situation.
  4. When Will I Start to Show?: If you’re wondering how to plan your pregnancy around your job search — or vice versa — read this article for help predicting when you will start to show.
  5. Advice for Women Trying to Balance a Career and Pregnancy: ABC News publishes this report that helps pregnant women survive the job search and figure out when to tell the boss the big news.
  6. When to Tell Employer That You’re Leaving: Find out what advice this career coach has for a woman who receives a great job offer while she’s on maternity leave from another company.
  7. Pregnancy and Mothers in the Workplace: JobDig posts this Q&A about looking for a job while several months pregnant.
  8. Tips for Job Seeking When a Pregnancy, a Handicap or Other Personal Needs are Part of the Package: The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes this article to help pregnant women and those with disabilities conduct a successful job search.
  9. Job Hunting While Pregnant: Writer Liz Ryan offers advice for pregnant women in their first, second and third trimesters as they try to find employment.
  10. Can Pregnancy Hinder a Job Search: Northeastern Illinois University Coordinator of Career Counseling Dr. David P. Helfand reviews legal options and office culture trends for pregnant women looking for a job.
  11. Interviewing While Pregnant: Find out how to master a face-to-face interview and conquer discrimination even when you’re several months pregnant.
  12. The Pregnant Job-Seeker: What to Say, and When?: This article from the New York Times considers several questions pregnant job-seekers may have as they are about to begin the interviewing process.

Taking Time Off

Read below for resources on maternity leave, figuring out how much time you need or want to take off from work and finding support when it’s time to return to the office.

  1. Will You Work or Stay Home with Baby?: helps pregnant moms make the decision to stay at work or take extra time off after the baby comes.
  2. Pregnancy and Your Career: Taking Maternity Leave: This post helps women prepare for the conversation they’ll have with HR about taking maternity leave. Find out how to research the affects of maternity leave on the rest of your benefits, outline your salary and pay schedule for when you leave and more.
  3. Proposal for Part-Time Work Schedule: If you need advice on pitching a part-time work proposal to your boss during or after pregnancy, check out this post.
  4. Career Breaks: Find out if it’s time for you to take a career break and spend more time with your family with the tips and advice listed here.
  5. Family-Friendly or Freeloader-Friendly?: This article from CNN Money questions how family-friendly companies need to be when making allowances for their employees.
  6. Taking Leave After a Miscarriage: Most pregnant women know about maternity leave, but what about taking time off to grieve after a miscarriage? This article explains the rights of parents who find themselves in this situation.
  7. Should You Go Back?: After taking time off, do you know whether or not you should go back to work? Let this article help you make the best decision for you and your family.
  8. Extending Maternity Leave: When your maternity leave is up, you may or may not be ready to get back to work. This article provides "tactics to stretch out that precious maternity leave with your new baby."
  9. U.S. Stands Apart From Other Nations on Maternity Leave: USA Today explores why the U.S. has such a bad reputation for being chintzy with maternity leave.
  10. Maternity Leave: The Basics: Find out everything you need to know about taking maternity leave from this resource, from dealing with denied requests to details about short-term disability leave.
  11. Returning from Maternity Leave: Tips for Working Mothers: After spending a couple of months at home with your new baby, going back to the office can be jarring. The Mayo Clinic provides this guide to help working mothers make the transition as smoothly as possible.
  12. 7 Tips for Keeping Your Career on Track During a Maternity Leave: If you’re going crazy being away from the office for so long, check out this list of tips that will help you keep close contact with the outside, working world.

Work/Family Balance

Read these posts to find out how other parents have managed to maintain a healthy work/life balance after welcoming a new baby.

  1. Life After Birth: Blending a Career and a Family: Career counselor and author Robin Ryan reveals the challenges of combining a professional career with life with a new baby.
  2. Working Mom Secrets to Happy Evenings: This article is a valuable resource for helping working moms who want to make the most out of their evenings with the kids. Get tips on keeping your energy up, maintaining an after-work schedule and more.
  3. Balancing Work and a New Baby: Time Management for New Parents: Revolution Health offers detailed tips for adjusting your work schedule once the baby comes.
  4. Work/Life Balance: This article from the Washington Post reveals current trends in American office culture and how companies may or may not improve their employees’ work/life balance by making allowances for families with young children.
  5. Negotiating Work/Family Issues: Women concerned with taking extra time off once they give birth should read this article for tips on proving your value at work, setting goals and priorities and more.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Pipe Dream or Possibility?: This blogger takes a look at those professionals who have successfully mastered the art of a work/life balance. Read the post for tips on how you can incorporate their practices into your lifestyle.

Finding Child Care

If you’re unsure how to decide where to keep your kids while you’re at work all day, use these guides to help you determine what form of childcare is best for your family.

  1. How to Choose the Right Childcare for Your Baby: This post from lists several questions parents should consider before deciding where to drop their kids off each day.
  2. Child Care Options: The What to Expect website has lots of great tips for finding an appropriate, cost-effective child care solution for working moms.
  3. Daycare Coping for Working Moms: This article helps new moms go back to work by getting used to the idea of dropping their kids off at daycare.
  4. Child Care Checklist: How to Find the Best Option: It’s never too early to start searching for adequate child care services, especially if the centers you want your baby to attend have wait lists. Take this checklist with you when you start researching day care facilities around town.
  5. Tips for Staying Close to Your Children When You’re Away: If your job takes you out of town or overseas, read this article for tips on coping with separation anxiety.
  6. Day Care: Choosing a Good Center: lists questions that new parents should ask day care centers before dropping their kids off for the day.

Staying at Home

Whether you’ve decided to quit your job or you operate a business from home, check out these resources for tips on balancing your pregnancy with other responsibilities.

  1. The Office Plan for Pregnancy: This post reveals how one woman started her own Virtual Assistant business so that she could stay home during her pregnancy.
  2. Working From Home: Read this testimonial from a mother who managed a home-based career during her pregnancy and continues to work from home while raising a daughter.
  3. Work at Home Ideas for Pregnant Women: If you’d like to start working from home during and after pregnancy but aren’t sure how to make ends meet, check out this article for tips on how to get paid for working from home.
  4. Should I Work or Stay Home?: This article helps moms-to-be make "the decision on where to work after baby."
  5. Confessions of a Pregnant Work-at-Home Mom: This stay-at-home mom gives tips on finding reputable job opportunities that allow her to work from home.
  6. Mother Guilt: This post explores the sense of isolation and guilt that many stay-at-home moms feel after giving birth.
  7. Read this blog for ideas on how to make money from a home-based business.
  8. Help for Pregnant Moms Who Can’t Work and Need Money: provides links and information for moms who need financial and rental assistance during pregnancy.
  9. This website specializes in connecting businesses with stay-at-home moms looking for outsource projects.
  10. Mommy Enterprises: This work-at-home blog offers moms and moms-to-be support and advice for maintaining a work/life balance and finding great job opportunities.
  11. Daycare vs. Being a Stay-at-Home Mom: Check out this chart of the pros and cons of daycare vs. being a stay-at-home mom to discover which balance works best for you.

Medical and Safety Information

Even if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, there are certain safety issues that you should consider when working in the office or out in the field. Check out this list for health information that will keep you and your baby healthy and comfortable during the entire pregnancy.

  1. Night Work Linked to Increased Risk of Late Pregnancy Loss: This post from reports the findings from a study that links miscarriages to a late-night work schedule.
  2. Pregnancy and Work: Dr. Robert Warnock from WebMD writes about the health risks and stereotypes associated with women who decide to work during pregnancy.
  3. Pregnancy and Work Safety: details what you can expect if you’re a pregnant woman who decides to continue working as long as possible before giving birth.
  4. Working During Pregnancy: Stay Healthy and Productive: publishes this article full of tips and ideas to help pregnant career women avoid nausea, stay alert and comfortable and reduce stress.
  5. Health Hazards in the Workplace: details "what you need to know for a healthy pregnancy," including chemical and physical hazards in the workplace.
  6. Working During Pregnancy: The Caremark Health Resources site answers questions that pregnant career women may have, including "Is it okay to work right up until I go into labor?" and "How can I keep comfortable and safeguard my and my baby’s health on the job?"
  7. Working While Pregnant: This guide from lists tips for staying comfortable and healthy during a busy day at work.
  8. Mommy’s Minute — Working While Pregnant: Watch this AOL video to get tips on how to manage a healthy pregnancy while still retaining your professional responsibilities.
  9. Coping with Stress While Pregnant: Managing a work/life balance when you’re pregnant can be difficult. Use this guide from to help you reduce stress and focus on the positive side of pregnancy.


From buying an appropriate pregnancy wardrobe to being prepared for pre-partum depression, these resources will keep you prepared for anything that comes your way.

  1. Seven Tips for Creating a Pregnancy Work Wardrobe on a Budget: Buying an entirely new wardrobe during pregnancy can cost a bundle. Use these tips to make the most out of your shopping trips so that you look and feel good at work.
  2. Pregnancy Over 40: This blog is full of support and advice for women who become pregnant after the age of 40.
  3. How to Work During Pregnancy: Your office and work schedule may need a makeover once you find out you’re pregnant. Follow these tips to help you remain comfortable at the office.
  4. 10 Tips to Working While Pregnant: These tips from include "explore your options," "know your rights" and "review your company’s policy."
  5. Flying While Pregnant: If your job requires you to do a lot of traveling, take a look at this post to find out at which point in your pregnancy you should stop flying.
  6. Pre-Partum Depression: Discover ways to guard yourself against pre-partum depression so that your professional and personal lives don’t have to suffer.
  7. Working Around Your Pregnancy: Tips like "expect good and bad days" and "think comfort and safety" will help career women prepare for pregnancy.
  8. Guidelines for Working During Pregnancy: Use this list of guidelines to make sure you don’t injure yourself or your baby at work.

25 Web-based To-do List Solutions

Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 1:20am by Site Administrator

How can you possibly manage all of your to-do lists when you have Post-It notes cluttering up your computer screen, shopping lists scribbled down on old receipts and a calendar full of parties, errands and other "do not forget" items? To help you minimize your to-do list mayhem, we’ve put together this list of 25 Web-based programs that feature all-in-one project and task management solutions.

  1. iGoogle To-Do List: Now iGoogle users can set up a personalized to-do list with this new and simple application.
  2. Zoho Planner: As a part of the free OS Zoho Suite, Zoho Planner allows users to upload files and images to your to-do lists for optimum personality.
  3. Ta-da Lists: This program boasts that "Ta-da is the web’s easiest to-do list tool." Create lists for work, vacations, household chores and everything in between. Users can check off items as they are completed and share lists with family and friends if they need a little help with responsibilities.
  4. Bla-Bla List: This task management system lets you share your to-do lists with others to encourage project collaboration. You can also e-mail yourself a copy of the list with the help of a simple application.
  5. Remember the Milk: Use your Remember the Milk account in conjunction with MilkSync, Twitter, Google Calendar and with your iPhone. Other features include a map to help you plan out your errands in detail and e-mail update and reminder applications.
  6. Backpack: This tool from 37signals serves as an online to-do list and an online calendar so that you can accurately track all of your duties, events and chores. Backpack also lets users organize photos and set up reminders through e-mail and text messaging.
  7. Tudu Lists: This free Web-based system can be shared and updated with RSS so that your employees or friends can work together on projects, party planning duties and more.
  8. Orchestrate: Orchestrate is a task management solution that lets users set up lots of different lists to keep you organized.
  9. The Online CEO: This program helps individuals and offices become more productive by assisting them with organizing Web-based to-do lists. Features include a timer for time-sensitive projects, a point system that awards efficient workers and more.
  10. ListPool: This basic but attractive to-do list features lists in the following categories: groceries, movies, music, names, special dates, vacations, wish lists and more. Or, you can custom create your own for a more personal look.
  11. Voo2Do: Create "simple, beautiful Web-based to-do lists" with Voo2do by viewing your lists and tasks in different formats, updating and editing tasks with tools and e-mail updates, assigning and publishing tasks for project sharing and more.
  12. Sproutliner: Sproutliner lets users "store data your way," in columns, checkboxes, drop-down lists and other display options. This program also supports realtime editing and an automatic save application so that you don’t have to click submit each time you add an item.
  13. Task Freak!: This online task manager is GTD compliant and allows users to "order tasks by priority and deadline" and "organize by project and context."
  14. Pageflakes: How would you like to "customize the Internet and make it yours?" Pageflakes offers its users the opportunity to do just that by managing games, gossip, food, news, finance and other personal preferences and to-do items.
  15. Toodledo: Toodledo helps users "get organized, stay motivated and be more productive." Use their task management solution to add, edit and check off items from your computer or mobile phone, share items with coworkers and customize your list to find a design that works for you.
  16. Netvibes: Netvibes urges its users to "remix the Web" by inviting individuals to set up their own personal page, complete with weather updates, e-mail connections, news stories and of course, to-do lists.
  17. HipCal: This online calendar and to-do list features calendar sharing options, automatic alerts so that you never forget an appointment or miss a deadline, an address book to manage your contacts and a media center where you can find buddy icons, wallpapers and more.
  18. Google Calendar To-Do List: Download this script to add a more "functional version" of Google’s to-do list that works with the company’s calendar application.
  19. TaskTHIS: This Web 2.0-based to-do list has been "designed to be more interactive than a traditional web application." Have fun creating and designing your own to-do lists by adding notes to each item and sharing lists with others.
  20. Crowd Favorite: The Crowd Favorite company offers this task management software for individuals or businesses. The Task Jr. software is free and is described as "a basic, few-frills task manager."
  21. 30 Boxes: 30 Boxes is primarily an inclusive online calendar, but it also supports a to-do list and several task management solutions like timelines, RSS reminders, sharing capabilities and more.
  22. TODOIST: Manage your to-do lists with this easy-to-use solution. Features include a built-in calendar, Gmail integration, QuickSilver plugin, iGoogle widgets, reminders, mobile access and more.
  23. Joe’s Goals: If you’re having trouble fitting in your exercises, personal writing time or other goals, try out this "free online habit tracker" to manage your goals and more important to-do items. Users can manage lists in a calendar-like format or list their top 10 daily goals in a list.
  24. iPrioritize: Manage your to-do list by moving around items based on their priority. You can also e-mail your lists, view them on your cell phone and update them via RSS.
  25. Workhack: This to-do list solution is based on using a white board to manage tasks. Users can organize their items by using different colors and sizes, just as you would if you were to actually write down the items on a white board with erasable markers.

Using these online tools will help you get a handle on your busy lifestyle, both at work and at home. Instead of trying to remember all of your meetings, shopping lists and errands, unload your brain by uploading your to-do lists onto one of these Web-based programs.

Against the Grain: 50 Unconventional Ways to Increase Productivity

Friday, January 4, 2008 at 1:36am by Site Administrator

With the huge number of programs, books and websites claiming to help you boost your productivity, there really isn’t any dearth of information out there when it comes to finding ways to get more done in a day. Yet for some, these tips simply don’t fit the way they work. While these tips may not work for everyone, for those who have tried just about everything else, there’s no harm in trying a few more things. Here are a few less conventional ways you can help boost your productivity.

  1. Work in sync with your body. Many people think that in order to be productive that they need to work set hours, from 9-5 usually, or that they need to get up at the crack of dawn to get started. Unless you’re a serious lover of mornings, this may not be the best route for you. Work at times you’ll know you’ll be able to get the most things done, when you’re the most alert, happiest, and at your energy peak.
  2. Eat better. Studies have shown that certain foods can actually help you be more productive. So for a boost of energy and just to keep yourself in good health in general fill up on whole grains and fruits like blueberries.
  3. Have layered to-do lists. Most productivity sites advocate making to-do lists, but you can take it to another level by layering them. Have a master project list and within that list several smaller to-do lists so you keep track of the smaller things without losing sight of the big picture.
  4. Take a break. It seems odd that you can aid your productivity by not actually doing anything but so long as your day doesn’t turn into one long break you can actually give yourself a boost by taking a few minutes for yourself every few hours so you don’t get bogged down.
  5. Decorate your office. There is nothing less motivational than working in a plain white room or a dingy gray cubicle. Spice up your work area with organizational products, photos of family, and if you can, even a new coat of paint in a color that makes you happy.
  6. Crank up the tunes. Many people find music distracting when they are working, but for some it provides the mood lift and energy that they need to get more done. Choose your tunes carefully as some will work better than others at getting you in gear.
  7. Listen to motivational tapes. When you’re not working, use a little of your free time when you’re preparing dinner, driving around, or running errands to listen to books or speeches by people who inspire you. They can give you the motivation you need to find your own success and see a little more of where your work fits in with your life.
  8. Go on an information diet. The Internet is full of information and resources, much more than you could ever possibly use. For this reason, it can also be a huge source of distraction. Pare down your daily reading so you have more time to concentrate on what you should be getting done instead of distracting your mind with thoughts of other things.
  9. Take a nap. Feeling sluggish and like you just can’t concentrate on your work? A nap may be just what you need. Most people experience a mid-day slump, so if you’re feeling pooped, don’t try to force yourself to work. Take a cue from the Spanish and give yourself a little siesta.
  10. Have fun. Chances are pretty good that if your find your work to be a horrible drudgery that makes your life a living hell, you aren’t going to be too motivated to do much of anything on the job. Try to make your job as fun as it is possible to make it. Listen to music, make finishing tasks a game, and tell yourself little jokes throughout the day to keep your mood on the light side.
  11. Go slow. Slowing down to get more done may sound completely silly, but it can work. You may be going more slowly, but the slackened pace will help you to concentrate on what you’re doing more fully and keep you from making mistakes. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed out as you’re completing your tasks.
  12. Challenge yourself. If you find your work boring and lack motivation, try making your work a little harder than it needs to be. It will keep it interesting and allow you to improve your skills and learn new things you wouldn’t otherwise.
  13. Decaffeinate. Drinking a cup of coffee (or ten) may be a quick fix to your productivity issues, but in the long run it can actually make you get less done as you get jittery or experience the post-caffeine drop. Avoid using coffee or other caffeinated beverages as a crutch. Instead, try waking up by eating a hearty breakfast.
  14. Procrastinate. Procrastination isn’t always your enemy. It just depends on how you do it. Some kinds of procrastination can actually be helpful. For instance, if you put off one kind of work for another you’re still getting things done, even if they’re not the ones you planned on. Plus, sometimes your mind just needs a break. So long as it’s not a habit, it won’t be your undoing, and can help improve your concentration when you do get back to the job.
  15. Get lovey dovey. Bringing a little romance into your life can be a great way to nudge yourself into productivity mode. Chances are that if you have a sweetie you’ll want to knock out those pesky assignments and projects quicker than ever so you’ll have more time to spend cuddling.
  16. Use minimal programs. Sometimes the most feature laden programs aren’t always the best for those looking to get more done. Fancy animations and add-ons looks neat, but can be very visually distracting. Try using programs like jdarkroom, a basic text editor, that are pared down to the bare essentials to eliminate all those pesky features.
  17. Pick up the phone. Emails sometimes give the illusion of taking less time but depending on what you need to say it can actually be easier, and more time efficient to simply pick up the phone and give your clients or boss a ring. This will prevent numerous emails going back and forth for a simple conversation on the phone.
  18. Randomize. Spice up your task list by doing tasks randomly off the list. This way, you won’t know if you’re getting something big or little or something that you like doing or don’t so you won’t be able to avoid any particular task.
  19. Start out by being terrible. If you’re having some trouble getting started on a big report or even writing an article for your blog, start out by just putting down everything that comes to mind no matter how terrible. Once you get that out, you’ll have nowhere to go but up, and at least you’ll have something to work with.
  20. Cut corners. There are some parts of projects that may just not really be necessary. It may sound more lazy than productive, but if you don’t really need to be doing something you shouldn’t be wasting your time on it. Eliminate things that aren’t as important to concentrate on things that are.
  21. Have a snack. Having a snack can help give you a bit of a boost and keep your blood sugar from getting low and you from getting sluggish. Healthy foods are the best snacks, of course, but if you’re feeling like you need it, let yourself have a bit of chocolate or another treat you really enjoy.
  22. Pet your pet. For those working at home, spending time with a pet can be a big productivity booster, and it will give you and your pet some much needed time together. Stroking the fur of your puppy, kitty, rabbit or other furry friend can lighten your mood and make you feel better when you sit back down to work.
  23. Take a vacation. If you feel you could be headed for total burnout don’t hesitate to take a vacation. If it’s not possible to get much time off, just spend a couple of days at home where you do no work and just let yourself relax and do things you enjoy. When you return you’ll be better able to focus and won’t resent your job for stealing so much of your personal time.
  24. Upgrade. Using old equipment may be saving you money, but it isn’t likely saving you any time. Old computers, printers, and programs that don’t work well can be a serious drain on your time not to mention your patience while you wait for them to load and complete tasks. If it’s at all financially possible, upgrade your systems. It’ll save you some headaches and even some time on the phone with IT professionals.
  25. Lower your standards. Realizing that not everything you do has to be completely and totally perfect can help you stop focusing on the small details and get more of the big tasks done. This doesn’t mean you should churn out shoddy work, just that you should accept that sometimes good enough really is good enough.
  26. Imitate someone else. Know someone that’s a productivity master? If you don’t have the skills yourself, just try imitating someone else. At first it might feel a bit awkward, but eventually you’ll learn to adapt it to your own needs and hopefully it will work for you. If not, pick a new mentor and try again
  27. Hang out at the water cooler. Maybe not literally, but drinking more water can help give your motivation a lift. Being dehydrated can cause you to experience a slump in energy not to mention give you headaches and make you prone to distraction. Best of all, you’ll not only increase your productivity but also make your body happier and healthier at the same time.
  28. Learn to speed read. If you have trouble getting through long reports or information you need to condense, perhaps you could benefit from some classes on speed reading. Sign up for classes or get some quick tips from the Web on how to get through more material more quickly.
  29. Eat some meat (or peanut butter). Studies have shown that proteins like those found in meats and peanuts can help aid in concentration and energy levels. Make sure to include some sort of protein in each of your meals throughout the day to help you out. If nothing else, it will help you have a more balanced diet.
  30. Get comfortable. Sitting in an old lumpy office chair or slouching over a desk that is too low isn’t going to do much to help you concentrate on your work. Invest in comfortable and ergonomic set up, or if you are really in the mood to get comfy, try working from your bed. Just don’t fall asleep!
  31. Do some pushups. A little bit of exercise can go a long way. If you’re feeling the strain of work, take a break to do a few push-ups or jog around the blog. It’ll give you a much-needed boost of energy, wake you up, and help you focus once you get back on task.
  32. Find something funny. Laughter really is the best medicine, even when the sickness is low productivity. Try to find a few things each day that make you laugh. They will improve your mood and in turn improve your job performance.
  33. Go to the beach. If you don’t live by a beach, don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out. All you need to do is to get out in the sun. The sun’s rays help you to produce vitamin D and raise levels of serotonin making you feel happier and ready to get to work.
  34. Interact with others. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is to spend some time talking with coworkers, clients, friends and neighbors. Interacting positively with others plays a big role in overall happiness, and the happier you are, the more willing you will be to face your workload with a good outlook.
  35. Get an ionizer. Most of us feel invigorated when we breathe in cool, ocean air full of negatively charged ions. You can get a similar effect at home by purchasing an ionizer. More negative ions in the air can help with problems like stress, depression, and even irritability– all productivity killers. Even if you aren’t sold on the productivity angle, there can be no argument that improving the air quality of your workspace will have a positive effect.
  36. Adjust your thermostat. Research has shown that room temperature has a big impact on worker productivity. When rooms are too hot, workers become sluggish and underperform. When they are too cold workers slow down, as hands and fingers are often the first parts to feel the chill. Make sure your workspace stays a comfortable temperature year round for optimal productivity.
  37. Light a candle. Studies have shown that aromas can have a big impact on how we’re feeling. Whether you need to reduce stress, increase energy or raise your productivity levels try putting accompanying scents in or around your work environment. If nothing else, your desk will smell good.
  38. Splash your face with water. If you’re feeling a bit sleepy and not quite on your game but don’t have time for a nap, try giving yourself a brisk splash of water on your face. It should wake you up enough to improve your alertness.
  39. Embrace tea time. Think tea and biscuits are only for the Queen? Think again. Having a break as well as some antioxidant-rich green tea can help improve your mood, benefit your health, and make you happier at work.
  40. Don’t multitask. Getting more things done at once is the key to being super productive, right? Well, not really. While some people are good at it, most of us find it incredibly distracting and overwhelming. It’s much better to take your to-do list one thing at a time and get it right the first time around.
  41. Suck it up. Everyone has things to do for their job that aren’t fun or that they just don’t want to get to. One way to get productive is just to quit whining about how you don’t get anything done and just do it already. Give yourself a little tough love the next time you start feeling sorry for yourself and see if it doesn’t help you turn your attitude around.
  42. Get off the computer. Computers are great tools for productivity but they are also great tools for procrastinating in a very bad way. If you need to get things done, try taking a computer break for awhile and do everything you need to do without the help of the Internet.
  43. Outsource. If you’re working at home or if you own your own business, realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can save yourself some stress by outsourcing some of your smaller projects or more menial work to someone else. Try online sites like GetFriday, eLance, Guru and ScriptLance to find some help. You’ll have less stress and more time to concentrate on important tasks.
  44. Take shorter showers. It might sound silly, but if you shave 10 minutes off your shower each day that adds up to over an hour of extra time each week that you could be spending doing something else, even something else that’s fun.
  45. Make work more exciting. Even if you have the dullest job in the world, try giving it a little spice. It will make it more interesting for you, and as a result you’ll be more willing to focus on it and the things to you need to accomplish.
  46. Shop online. While this can easily become more of a productivity leech than a help, used correctly it can save you time. You won’t have to drive to the store, wait in line, or hunt around for what you’re looking for, and you can even have gifts sent to you pre-wrapped, allowing you to use this time to attend to more pressing issues.
  47. Learn to type faster. Make everything from typing emails to writing reports go faster by improving your typing skills. There are many free programs online that you can try to help you speed up your fingers and not have to look at the keys when you type.
  48. Spend less time cooking. There is a way that you can eat better without having to cook every night or every afternoon. Try spending one day a week cooking your meals for the week ahead and freezing them so all you have to do is heat them up when you’re ready to eat. You’ll save time and be less tempted to eat fast food and frozen pizzas.
  49. Try a polyphasic sleep schedule. Just got too much to do that you can’t waste time sleeping a solid eight hours at night? You might want to try out a polyphasic sleep schedule instead. Polyphasic sleep involves sleeping for several short periods throughout the day instead of getting all your sleep in one big chunk. It can take some getting used to, but some productivity gurus have used it effectively to give them more hours to work, relax and get things done in a day.
  50. Do a crossword puzzle. Keep your mind engaged even when you’re not doing work. Do crossword puzzles, sudoku or any other games that are fun but require use of your brain. You’ll gain valuable memory and recall skills that can be a great productivity boost when you’re on the job.

The GTD Resource Motherload: 100+ Links

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:12pm by Site Administrator

The popular "Getting Things Done" principle is a valuable tool for organizing, prioritizing and actively completing all of the tasks and responsibilities that weigh us down each day. Invented by David Allen, this "groundbreaking work-life management system" relies on four methods of clearing the brain of endless to-do lists so that it can focus more effectively on the job at hand. These methods are: "capturing anything and everything that has your attention, defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps, organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way" and "keeping current and "on your game" with appropriately frequent reviews…of your commitments," according to the David Allen website. In order to implement the GTD system in your life, we’re helping you out by listing over 100 links to articles, guides, information about special events and other resources related to "Getting Things Done." Read below to find out more. Resources from David Allen Refer to this list for links connecting you with the official GTD resources, company background information and more from inventor David Allen. 1. The Definition of David Allen’s Getting Things Done: Read this extended definition of the GTD system to understand all of its principles and methods. 2. The David Allen Company: This link will bring you to the homepage for The David Allen Company, the organization that teaches individuals and businesses "a smarter way to work and live." Learn more about the history of the company and GTD, shop for helpful tools and other GTD-related products and find out what other special services the company offers. 3. Productivity and the Bottom Line: The David Allen Company offers businesses special training seminars and coaching sessions to teach the principles of GTD in professional settings. Find out more by visiting this link. 4. Your Life is an Investment: This site shares GTD information "for individuals at work and home." Learn about how you can make simple, personal improvements in your life each day. 5. GTD Connect: This members-only networking group is made up of GTD enthusiasts who want to stay "on track and at peak motivation with daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly features." Receive special access to unique tools, articles and other resources when you sign up. 6. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: Purchase David Allen’s popular book at by visiting this link. 7. Between the Lines: David Allen no longer updates his personal blog, but readers can visit the archives to find helpful tips for organizing and prioritizing. 8. Interview with GTD’s David Allen on Procrastination: Watch this podcast for an interview with David Allen and the 43 Folders team to learn what he has to say about procrastination. 9. Roundup: 17 Interviews with GTD Master, David Allen: Visit this great index of David Allen interviews to get some insight into how you can make GTD work for you. 10. The Oracle of Organization: This Time Magazine article chronicles the history and success of GTD inventor David Allen. 11. Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency: This article from Wired Magazine explores David Allen’s intense popularity and how his "work has become the touchstone of the life-hacking movement." 12. Lecture by David Allen: View this YouTube video for a broadcast of one of David Allen’s lectures. Organization Follow these links for tips on organizing your life the GTD way. 13. Projects and GTD: This forum post from 43 Folders has great ideas for tweaking David Allen’s official principles for small, medium and large time management projects. 14. Minimize Your Inboxes: Lifehacker has several great solutions for minimizing stacks of papers and at-capacity e-mail inboxes. 15. GTD Cheatsheet: The Workflow: According to, the workflow method of GTD is "the hardest one to put into practice." Use this cheatsheet to help you make sense of the workflow so that you can more effectively organize your to-do lists. 16. GTD Desktop Image Keeps Me on Track: Once you’ve mastered the workflow, add a diagram like this one to your desktop for optimum organization. 17. How to Fail at Getting Things Done: This post urges GTD followers not to forget about doing weekly check-ins and reviews, or else their entire GTD system could come crashing down. 18. DIY Planner: This website is "a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas." Read articles on GTD, journaling, time management and more, and reviews and learn about products that help productivity. 19. The 5 Reasons Why the Weekly Review is Difficult: If you’re feeling frustrated about doing your weekly reviews, read this article to help you get back on track. 20. Kinkless: Learn more about organization, GTD software, shortcuts and more great topics that will make your life easier by visiting this website, which promotes "productive creativity." 21. Don’t Manage Time, Manage Yourself: The key to getting things done is knowing how to manage your unique lifestyle. Read this article for tips on how to do just that. 22. Getting Things Done!: This post from the MarkTAW blog outlines the dos and don’ts of productivity and organization as they are related to the GTD philosophy. 23. Getting Things Done with Google Notebook: This link takes readers to a review of the Google Notebook application which helps GTD users stay organized. 24. Getting Things Done in 60 Seconds: Writer Mike Elgan gives readers a quick and easy crash course in mastering the GTD principles in this informative article. At the Office Read below for links to articles and resources that will help you get things done in a professional environment. 25. 10 Tips to Help Keep Your Desk Clean: Tips like sort your mail, schedule filing time and "keep nothing on your desk unless you absolutely need [it] fall neatly into the Getting Things Done philosophy. 26. Getting Things Done on Office Zealot: Check out the Office Zealot website for articles, reviews and other resources about GTD. Recent posts include "How to end a productivity conference unproductively: and "iMac 24, or the world through another prism." 27. How to: Fix Leaks in Your GTD System: How can you possibly manage your task lists, weekly reviews and other GTD tools during a hectic day at work? This guide helps readers make sense of their productivity plan and patch it up when necessary. 28. Getting Back to Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit: If you’re having some trouble staying motivated at work, read this post for tips on staying focused and inspired. 29. Keep Getting Things Done – Slow Down the Queuing!: The staff at FreelanceSwitch urges readers to stop putting off simple tasks "that take up time and cause worry but don’t actually create value down the line." Follow the link for advice on how to eliminate this unnecessary stress and remain productive. 30. Getting Things Done with iGTD: Find out how this simple tool can help "capture pop-up thoughts without disrupting [your] flow" at work. 31. Getting Things Done: This blog promotes various GTD tips, tools and systems to help you get more things done at work each day. 32. My Office: The Art of Getting Things Done: Watch this video of a GTD user’s office space to inspire you to get organized. 33. Actually Getting Things Done with Getting Things Done!: This post from Matt’s Idea Blog chronicles several "surprises and learnings from [his] implementation" of the GTD system, including the discovery of valuable productivity tools. 34. Getting Things Done with Palm Desktop: Bring your GTD system to the office by setting up this tool on your computer. 35. Getting Things Done Using Outlook 2007: If your office e-mail account is set up with Outlook, check out this guide to find out how to use it in accordance with the GTD principles. 36. Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro: Let the Productivity Pro help you "leave the office earlier" by reading her GTD and time management tips here. Getting Things Done at Home These tips will give your day-to-day responsibilities a boost by helping you increase your productivity. 37. Productivity @ Home: This blog is all about "personal productivity and getting things done at home." Blogger Lisa M. Hendey discusses organizing, scheduling, running a household and other GTD-related topics. 38. Are Your Lists Really Complete?: This guest blogger writes about tweaking to-do lists in order to give your GTD system a boost. 39. Use Completed Task Lists as Motivators or Artwork: This article suggests tacking up completed task lists to give you added motivation. 40. 18 Tricks to Instantly Improve Your GTD System: Every individual GTD system can benefit from these 18 tricks, like "create your own shorthand or notational system" and "track down the bottlenecks in your setup." 41. Top 10 Benefits of GTD: Follow this link to discover the many ways GTD can benefit every aspect of your life. 42. 15 Tips to Cope with a Demanding Life: GTD principles like taking charge of your own personal development and simplifying tasks are found in this valuable list of 15 "tips to cope with a demanding life." 43. Getting Things Done in Apple Mail: Rework your personal e-mail account with the tips provided in this handy how-to. 44. Productivity Tips for the Home Office: Tips including "write goals down," turn off your phone and instant messaging service, and maintaining a tidy office will help you be more productive even when you work from home. 45. Getting Things Done With Tracks: The Linux website posts this review of the smart GTD tool Tracks. 46. More Than a Chore: Getting Things Done the Right Way: This article demonstrates how parents can teach their children how to be productive and organized at a young age by implementing GTD principles into daily chores. 47. Challenges for Single Parents: Balancing Nurturing and Getting Things Done: Single parents have a unique set of responsibilities. Find out how to get things done on time so that you have more time for your kids. 48. The Difference Between GTD at Home and at Work: This post outlines why creating separate GTD systems for your professional and home life is important. Prioritizing and Productivity Get your priorities in order with these helpful links so that you can get more done each day. 49. Five Simple Hacks to Get Your Email Inbox to Empty: Be more productive at work and at home by emptying out your inbox. This post has five simple ideas that will do the trick. 50. Dumb Little Man: The Dumb Little Man site publishes all kinds of useful "tips for life." Readers will find lots of articles about GTD and productivity. 51. Are Your Action Steps to Complex? Or Too Simple?: Give your GTD method a review after reading this article, which helps break down action steps. 52. Time Management, Simplified: This post teaches readers "how to be productive with no worries" by simplifying the GTD system so that it works for your life. 53. The GTD Mastery 100: Checklist for Greatness: Grade yourself on your GTD skills and successes to find out just how organized you really are. 54. GTD Palm-Oriented: Discuss your prioritizing and productivity ideas and success stories with other GTD enthusiasts on the GTD Palm-Oriented page at Yahoo! 55. You Can Do Anything, but Not Everything: Fast Company gets together with David Allen for this article, which "offers…unique advice on how to keep up the pace– without wearing yourself down." 56. Don’t Take a Break Unless You Need One: You’ll never get through your task lists if you keep breaking for a snack, a nap or a walk around the block. Read this article for help on determining whether or not you actually need your next break. 57. How to Prioritize: If you’re having a hard time prioritizing all of your daily duties, use this guide to help you make sense of endless to-do lists and responsibilities. 58. How David Allen Mastered Getting Things Done: This article from CNN Money explores how David Allen has managed to transform the way individuals and companies organize, prioritize and of course, get things done. 59. 10 Steps to Better Meetings: Use this guide to plan more productive meetings at work. 60. 6 Types of Email and How to Deal With It: Don’t let your inbox run your life. Learn how to identify different types of e-mails so that you can more efficiently respond to the ones that matter and delete the ones that don’t. GTD Blogs Visit these blogs for more organizational and productivity tips related to the Getting Things Done philosophy. 61. Simple GTD: Organize Your Stuff Online: This blog offers members access to GTD tools and other Web-based resources that increase productivity. 62. Getting Things Done: My experiences with GTD: Visit this blog for a wealth of guides, reviews, products and other GTD-related items. Recent posts include "Results of 1 Year of GTD" and "My Weekly Review Checklist." 63. The Getting Things Done: Check out this blog for advice on implementing GTD principles and methods. Visitors will get tips on software, time management, time tracking, workflow and more. 64. Palm Based GTD: Palm Based GTD shares links and ideas for maximizing GTD principles. 65. Productivity 501: If you want to be more productive, read the posts on this blog, which address everything from cleaning your desk to organizing your e-mails. 66. What’s the Next Action: Totally devoted to David Allen and his GTD principles, this blog discusses the perks and challenges of staying true to the methods, reviews and tools of the productivity system. 67. publishes articles and reviews of the "best GTD tools and productivity software tips." Readers can also catch up on the latest GTD-related news. 68. Ririan Project: This blog is great for checking out posts that help readers create "a brand new life that represents maximum achievement and inner peace" through personal development and task management. 69. Did I Get Things Done?: This blogger tracks his progress in mastering GTD by posting articles that review technology, share tips and provide other resources for upping your productivity. 70. David Seah: This popular blogger and inventor of The Printable CEO productivity series is all about making your life easier with simple hacks and organization tips. 71. Trizoko: Trizoko is "your business journal." Read innovative, informative posts for tips and inspiration on organizing your life. 72. Matt’s Idea Blog: Check out this blog for a professional viewpoint on integrating smart productivity practices into your own life. Tools and Resources Utilize these clever tools to enhance your GTD system. 73. GTD Basic Bundle: This link connects readers to the official GTD toolbox, where you can find software, learning tools, books and other GTD resources that will enhance your productivity. 74. Getting Things Done on a Macintosh: This tutorial explains how Mac users can adapt their operating systems to GTD principles so that they are more user-friendly and productive. 75. Leopard GTD Icons: This 43 Folders user shares productivity-oriented icons for Leopard. 76. Best Gmail Applications, plugins and extensions for GTD and Productivity: Transform your Gmail set up with these GTD hacks, including the GTDInbox and the Sent to Gmail application. 77. Behance Action Series: reviews the Behance Action Series, which pitches a productive creativity for another way to get things done. 78. TaskToy: An Online GTD Tool: This post reviews TaskToy, "a new task management web system" that will make your life much easier. 79. The Getting Things Done Phenomenon: An Update Primer: Follow this link to connect to a list full of great GTD tools, like the GTD Tiddly Wiki and the Nozbe. 80. List of GTD Tools: The Download Squad publishes this collection of links to GTD tools so that everyone can start their own productivity system. 81. Comparison of GTD Software: Use this guide from Wikipedia to learn more about different tools and software that enhance the practice of GTD. 82. TiddlyWiki: This link displays an example of the My Monkey GTD TiddlyWiki tool and provides another link to download it. 83. Productivity Toolbox: 37+ Tools for Taking Action and Getting Things Done: publishes this fantastic list of tools and resources that will help you get things done more quickly. 84. Top 5 GTD Computer Tools: Nozbe, Tracks, Thinking Rock and Stikkit are all on this list of the best computer apps for maximizing GTD. Helpful Guides For more ideas on how to develop your own GTD system, turn to these how-to guides. 85. The Ultimate Getting Things Done Index: Find all kinds of GTD articles and guides with the help of this inclusive index. 86. Getting Started with Getting Things Done: Allow this post from 43 Folders to ease you into the GTD system by sharing helpful tips and ideas. 87. Sylvia’s Getting Things Done (GTD) Resource List: Check out this collection of links to GTD resources if you need support or just want to learn more about the principles. 88. Four Tricks That Save You Time: This article from Fast Company reviews four of David Allen’s "tricks that save you time," including make lists, remember the two-minute rule and always do a weekly review. 89. Managing Your Life with GTD, Online Tools and a File Cabinet: Whip yourself into shape by getting organized the GTD way. This article will show you how to utilize the right tools and software programs to transform your life. 90. Find all kinds of "GTD, productivity lifehacks" posts on this great resource. 91. Getting Things Done on Wikipedia: For a comprehensive tutorial on the GTD history and principles, check out its Wikipedia page. 92. Time Boxing is an Effective Getting Things Done Strategy: This post outlines the ways in which time boxing can help increase productivity by "fixing the time we have available to work on a given task and then doing the best we can within that time frame." 93. 5 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals: Dave Cheong’s useful guide reveals the way to apply GTD principles to organizing and setting personal goals. 94. The Basics of Getting Things Done: GTD newbies can check out this simplified post to better understand the Getting Things Done movement. 95. How to Create a Personal Productivity Scaffold: The blogger Steve Pavlina documents the best way to create a simple set up that will support all of your productivity tools and resources "to redirect your time and energy back onto the “straight” course and away from the crooked one." Miscellaneous Students, academics and environmentalists will find unique GTD solutions here. 96. Zen to Done: Addressing the Shortcomings of GTD: No system is completely fail proof. This post proposes a more Zen-like approach to productivity by keeping your organization system simple. 97. Tips for Environmentally Friendly GTD: Use this list how you can go green with your GTD system but using recycled paper, using both sides of each sheet of paper and more. 98. Getting Things Done in Academia: This blog helps graduate students understand and activate their own GTD systems that complement an academic lifestyle. 99. A Roadmap to Spectacular GTD Failure: This article tells readers what NOT to do if you want to implement a successful GTD system. 100. Getting Things Done for College Students: The Full System: Study Hacks provides this article to help college students stay productive, avoid procrastination and make better grades. 101. Microtasks: Steve Pavlina’s advice for procrastinators rests on the idea of microtasking, based on David Allen’s system for writing down simple action items and next items. 102. Profile of Getting Things Done Author: This BoingBoing article profiles David Allen, going into his background as a "junkie, mental patient, trainer, consultant," and of course, "bestselling author." 103. Getting Things Done with Automater and Spotlight: Check out this post for two more tools that will help your computer-based GTD system.

20 Fail-Proof Ways to Expose Lazy Employees

Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:32pm by Site Administrator

If you have a lazy employee in your office, you could find yourself working overtime to make up for missed deadlines and wondering if you should give your lackluster worker either a little extra motivation or the pink slip. While some employees simply take longer to perform certain tasks and think things through, this list is devoted to exposing those employees who purposefully show up to work late, waste time on the Internet and skip assignments, all in an effort to shave minutes off their work day. If you’re through putting up with it, check out this list of 20 fail-proof ways to expose your lazy employees.

  1. Monitor their arrival and departure times: The easiest way to find out if your employee is deliberately trying to cut out time spent at the office is to monitor the exact times they show up to work in the mornings and duck out each evening. If they are arriving late and leaving significantly early each day, confront them, and ask if they will be willing to work out a new schedule or make up the time they’ve lost.
  2. Cameras: If you’re having trouble tracking the arrival and departure time of your employees, or if you want to see exactly what they’re up to when you leave the room, consider putting a hidden camera somewhere in the office. You’ll have hard evidence of any slacking off, but just remember to be reasonable. No one wants to be known as their office’s Michael Scott.
  3. Spectorsoft: If you have suspicions that your employees are playing on the Internet all day when they should be researching or typing up reports, install one of the spy software products from Spectorsoft onto their computers. These products will let you know who your office’s "worst offenders" are after analyzing which websites, chatrooms and keystrokes are used.
  4. Send in an undercover customer: If you’re worried about how your lazy employee treats your customers, send in a fake client to request information or schedule a meeting. Have the undercover customer report back to you, detailing the employee’s efforts to make he or she feels welcome, give the correct information and adequately promote your company’s image.
  5. Recruiting tests: Sometimes managers can expose a lazy employee during the recruiting process, saving them time and trouble down the road. This article describes how one hiring manager weeds out lazy workers by asking them to fill out two applications: one online before the interview, and another one during the interview. The manager ultimately "finds that people who skip the parts on the second application that they had previously filled out online, will eventually turn out to be lazy once hired."
  6. Monitor lunch hours: Just because you work through lunch each day, don’t expect your employees to consistently do the same; however, if you have one or two employees who make a habit out of strolling back into the office twenty minutes after their hour was up, you have reason to expose their negligence.
  7. Track them with a GPS system: Lazy employees love running work-related errands out of the office because it gives them more control over the way they spend their day. If, however, you suspect them of running non work-related errands, install a GPS tracking system on the company vehicle, which will help you in "catching employees shopping, working out at the gym or otherwise loafing while on the clock."
  8. Schedule meetings early in the day or late in the afternoon: Within reason, schedule a meeting every once in a while at the very beginning of the work day or sometime in the late afternoon. If your employee takes major issue with the scheduling but can’t provide a reason for his tardiness (or absence), you will have successfully exposed their laziness.
  9. Follow through with deadlines: By not enforcing deadlines, you give your employees the signal that it’s okay for them to procrastinate or turn in work late. Strictly follow through with deadlines, and hold employees accountable when they consistently fall behind. Document your efforts to remind them of deadlines, through email or by using the popular Monkey On Your Back tool, so that lazy workers can’t make up excuses.
  10. Demand doctor’s notes: When an employee calls in sick practically every week, start demanding doctor’s notes from workers who have used more than one or two sick days. Just be aware of the fake doctor’s notes that can be bought online to trick managers.
  11. Surf Logger: This "tiny add-on for Internet Explorer" records website history, so that you can track which sites your employees visit when they’re on the clock.
  12. Guardian Software: Guardian Software is an Internet monitoring tool marketed towards parents who want to control what their children do online. Managers can use the same product to effectively expose lazy employees by blocking certain websites, recording e-mails from Yahoo, AOL and other accounts, and even "captures and records keystrokes."
  13. Cyberspy: If your office is on a budget, download Cyberspy to find out what your employees are doing on their computers. Cyberspy even captures whole images of a website or document in case you can’t properly evaluate the content from the file name alone.
  14. Employee Loyalty Acid Test: If your employee isn’t performing his or her duties at your desired level, they could be planning to leave your company for another job. Give your employees this survey to gauge their company and job satisfaction.
  15. Employee loyalty evaluator: If handing out surveys seems too obvious, check out this article to more discreetly evaluate an employee’s loyalty.
  16. Motivate them: This post from Yahoo! Answers discusses the proper ways to motivate a lazy employee in order to gain positive results in the office. Give them a vested interest in the company’s success by talking to them in your free time, limiting harsh criticism and helping understand that their slow pace affects other workers.
  17. Tell your boss: publishes this article, entitled "How to Complain About a Colleague." Readers will find different ways to tell their supervisors about lazy employees without sounding like a tattle tale.
  18. Award productive employees: If you can, set up a merit-based rewards system in your office that grants raises, gift certificates, or other perks to your most productive employees. Lazy workers may be so apathetic that you won’t see any change in their performance, despite the added bonus.
  19. GPS-equip the company phone: While giving your employee a GPS-equipped company car might be way out of your budget, try investing in a company cell phone that comes with GPS. If you suspect your employee of leaving the office early, you might be able to catch them in the act with the GPS system.
  20. Fire them: If you’ve tried to confront your lazy employee but he or she continues to miss work and deadlines, set a precedent in your office by firing them. Let your other employees know that you won’t put up with laziness any longer.

Before spying on your employees, discuss any problems you have with their less than desirable work performance. Laziness could be a reflection of a much bigger issue at home or in the office, and the problem could be solved in a more amicable way. If, however, your employee continues to be lazy at work, use these tips and tools to expose their listless behavior.

Be Your Own Virtual Assistant: 100 Tools to Keep Yourself Accountable and Organized

Friday, December 21, 2007 at 4:57pm by Site Administrator

Having your own personal assistant can be great. With an assistant, you don’t have to handle your filing, mail, errands or all of the other little tasks that eat up your day and keep you from getting to more important projects. Of course, not everyone can afford to have their own personal assistant, real or virtual. But with the right tools, you can make your life easier without outsourcing your work to anyone else. Follow this list of tools and resources to make being your own assistant easy.

To Do

While it would be nice to leave the day-to-day tasks to someone else, managing them yourself doesn’t have to be a headache. Keep track of everything you need to do with these simple tools.

  1. Backpack: Backpack can help even the most unorganized business owners get their tasks in order. Not only can you create to-do lists, but there are also features for notes, calendars and reminders.
  2. Stikkit: Leave yourself virtual sticky notes with Stikkit. Whether you’re planning a meeting, organizing your day, or just trying to remember what to get at the grocery store, leave yourself a memo with this program.
  3. Webnote: Never lose your notes from a meeting again with this useful program. Users can take notes on any computer and save them to the Web for easy access later.
  4. The Online CEO: Organize and prioritize like the business owner that you are with this nifty program. Users can assign point values to tasks, with more points for more important tasks, and get the tally at the end of the day.
  5. Ta-Da List: Ta-Da List will allow you to make to-do lists for yourself or anyone else on your staff, making it easier to manage your own tasks as well as those of others.
  6. Remember the Milk: While you can use Remember the Milk to actually help you remember the milk, it can also be used for managing a variety of other work related tasks as well.
  7. Swift To-Do List: This to-do list program allows you to create hierarchical lists, attach email and web addresses to tasks, send reminders, and even create to-do databases to keep track of your tasks long term.
  8. Todoist: This simple to-do list has a built-in calendar and task ranking system to help you stay on top of your tasks. You can even use the keyboard shortcuts to make your work go faster, no assistant needed.
  9. Voo2Do: Voo2Do makes it easy to manage and use your to-do lists. You can organize tasks by project, track the time you’ve spent on them, and even add new tasks by email.
  10. Toodledo: Improve your productivity with the to-do list system on Toodledo. You can even bring it with you on your mobile phone so you can work on the go.
  11. Orchestrate: Simply register on Orchestrate’s website and start creating easy-to-use to-do lists right away.


Dont’ make balancing your business’ checkbook more of a chore than it needs to be. Keep your finances in order with these great accounting tools.

  1. Wesabe: Keep track of your money with this great online financial tool. Set financial goals or track incoming and outgoing money with ease.
  2. Instacalc: Chances are pretty good that in the course of your bookkeeping you’ll need to do a few calculations. Use this online calendar to make it easy to get figures, make spreadsheets, or even generate graphs you can embed on a webpage.
  3. Dimewise: Maintain a handle on your finances no matter where you are with this online tool which allows you to manage multiple accounts, generate reports, and log all of your purchases.
  4. LessAccounting: Since you’ve got tons of other things to do, use LessAccounting to manage your finances. Great for small businesses, you’ll be able to keep track of expenses and send out invoices.
  5. Saasu: Saasu will help you speed up your accounting tasks with automated payments, purchasing, billing and even payroll. A computer that does work for you is almost as good as a real assistant!
  6. Xero: Online accounting with Xero allows you to track your finances from anywhere and seamlessly integrate your banking statements to make it much less work for you!
  7. Mint: Take managing your finances to another level with Mint. Not only can you track and record your expenses, but Mint will give you recommendations on how to save or make more money.
  8. QuickBooks: One of the most popular accounting programs, QuickBooks is as fully featured as it gets. Get your finances in order, send invoices, create reports and much more.
  9. Freshbooks: Freshbooks promises "painless billing" to help reduce the amount of time you have to spend sending out invoices by making it easy to send out reports and manage invoices.
  10. Vebio: Freelancers and small business owners will find Vebio to be an especially useful accounting tool. It gives users an easy way to invoice clients and track client billing.
  11. Billing Orchard: Send online bills to clients with Billing Orchard. Whether you’re billing by hour, flat fee, or on a recurring basis, this program can help make it easier.
  12. BillMyClients: Make billing hassle free by using BillMyClients. Send out invoices via the post office or your email with just a click of a button.
  13. Cashboard: This free program will help make logging time and getting paid simple and easy so you’ll have more time to dedicate to other tasks. Design attractive invoices and even integrate Cashboard with Basecamp to keep clients in the loop.
  14. Fluttervoice: Looks matter when it comes to representing your business, so make attractive invoices with Fluttervoice.
  15. Invoice Genie: Invoice Genie gives you an easy way to create invoices, track time, schedule meetings, and manage all of your fiances within one program.
  16. Invoices Made Easy: Designed for small, service-based businesses, this program allows users to print, email, track and even get paid right from the office.
  17. Invoice Place: Save time preparing invoices with Invoice Place. You’ll be able to manage invoices on the run, get overseas currency support, and send and receive billing on everything.
  18. Invotrak: Don’t miss out on payments. Use Invotrak to keep your invoices in order. Track, bill, and manage all of your billing information in one easy-to-use program.
  19. SimplyBill: SimplyBill lives up to its name by making billing extremely simple. Create new invoices, track old ones, and do so much more.
  20. The Invoice Machine: Send out PDF invoices with this easy-to-use online program.


These tools will help you keep track of your messages and incoming calls.

  1. FaxZERO: While sending things via email is often easier and faster, sometimes you just need to send a fax. Don’t buy an expensive fax machine for this, just use this online program to send a fax anywhere in the United States or Canada for free.
  2. eBuddy: Keep in touch when you’re out of the office with ebuddy. It allows users to sign on to various instant messenger services from a mobile phone, meaning no important contact with clients will be sacrificed if you need to run some errands on your lunch hour.
  3. Gaboogie: You won’t need an assistant to remind you of your conference calls with Gaboogie. This web-based program will make the calls for you and eliminate the need for long passwords and PIN numbers.
  4. AbbyMe: Send phone messages over the Internet with AbbyMe. It can be a great way to send out meeting reminders ahead of time. Simply type in your message and the phone number you want it sent to and the program will read the message to the recipient, acting like your personal assistant without the paycheck.
  5. K7: FaxZERO lets you send out faxes, but you can receive them without an actual fax machine with K7. K7 will assign you a phone number for faxes which will be directed to your inbox.
  6. GrandCentral: Make managing multiple phone lines easy with GrandCentral. The program gives you one number that rings all your phones, goes to one voicemail box, plus lots of extra features.


Make sorting through your inbox easier with these email tools.

  1. Viapoint: Don’t waste time hunting through your inbox for important emails. Viapoint will help you organize emails by contact, company, project or date range without you having to do a thing.
  2. Thunderbird: If you’re looking to an alternative to Outlook, give Thunderbird a try. It’s free, and allows you to customize your email experience.
  3. Plaxo: This online address book service allows you to automatically update your contacts as you or others change them in Plaxo, Outlook or Thunderbird.
  4. Breeze: Don’t spend hours creating and mailing email campaigns to customers. Just use Breeze to easily send out mailings to hundreds of customers at once.
  5. DropSend: Don’t bog down your servers sending out huge emails. Instead, use the service from DropSend to send files of up to 1GB.
  6. iContact: Make email marketing easy with iContact. Send out email campaigns, and track and organize them easily with this program.
  7. Sproutit Mailroom: Overwhelmed by your website email but can’t afford to hire an assistant? Sproutit Mailroom can help by allowing everyone on your team to manage and respond to the emails.
  8. 9cays: Save time reading through email with the great features on 9cays. Instead of paging through tons of responses to group emails, 9cays allows you to create a webpage with all the messages in one easy to read place.
  9. MailWasher: If your email doesn’t already have a spam filter, MailWasher offers a great free solution that will help make navigating through your email easier.
  10. BlueTie: For the small business owner looking for a hosted email solution, BlueTie can be a great choice. You’ll get email as well as tons of other business boosting features.
  11. Contact Grabber: Make collecting contact information easy with Contact Grabber. Simply highlight an email address and the program will save it for you easily and quickly.
  12. Skemma: Save time by automating communications between your coworkers, clients, vendors and more with Skemma.


Plan your day with as little hassle as possible using these great tools.

  1. Acuity Scheduling: Let clients do the scheduling for you with this online tool. Simply set your availability, types of appointments you accept, and clients will choose the appointment they want.
  2. Calendar Hub: This online calendar can be a great place to keep track of appointments and company goals and you can access it from anywhere.
  3. epointment: Create an online agenda as epointment. You’ll find tools to schedule meetings, keep track of important dates, and even get reminders sent to your phone if you’re not on the Internet.
  4. Schedulebook: Schedulebook will make it easy to schedule meeting rooms, supplies, and appointments depending on your needs.
  5. SmartCal: SmartCal is a great way to keep yourself organized and schedule appointments online. You can also get reminders, organize groups and much more when you sign up.
  6. ScheduleAnywhere: Need to schedule your employees for hours, meetings or conferences? Try out ScheduleAnywhere to make scheduling easy and quick.
  7. EZAgenda: This web-based scheduler is integrated with your email, allowing you to add appointments and share them easily.
  8. MyMRM: Have trouble with scheduling space in your office? Don’t fight over the conference room, try using MyMRM to let everyone know and share scheduled time.
  9. OrgScheduler: If you don’t have a personal assistant or secretary, OrgScheduler can make it easy to share an organization-wide calendar that lets employees know about important meetings, company holidays and more.
  10. Memo to Me: Get a friendly reminder sent to you with the Memo to Me service. Remind yourself or others of meetings, deadlines, projects and anything else you can think of.

Presentations and Meetings

Use these tools to get ready for your next big meeting with clients or investors.

  1. Campfire: If you need to have a quick online meeting, Campfire can be a great tool. Private, password-protected chatrooms can be set up quickly and easily.
  2. GoToMeeting: Web conference with ease using GoToMeeting. You’ll be able to share files, give presentations, and more with a subscription to the service.
  3. Demofuse: Create tours of your website, or a client’s site, and send or embed them in a webpage with Demofuse. It’s a great way to show off your work!
  4. Dimdim: This open source meeting web conferencing tool will make setting up and attending online meetings easy as pie. You’ll also be able to share presentations, applications and even your desktop through the program.
  5. PreZentit: PreZentit will allow you to create wonderful presentations online and share them with clients or anyone you’d like.
  6. Screencast-o-Matic: Make showing clients how to use software or websites a snap with this program. It creates a video recording of your screen and the site hosts it for free.
  7. SlideBurner: Create slideshows of your work or business and share them with clients all over the world.
  8. Spresent: If you’re looking for an alternative to PowerPoint, give Spresent a try. This web-based program is flash based and easy-to-use.
  9. Thumbstacks: Make presentations and share them with coworkers and clients online with Thumbstacks.
  10. Viewbook: Viewbook is a great place to store your presentations, slideshows and portfolios online so they can easily be mailed to others or retrieved later for use.

Information Management

Keep track of important information, files, and anything else with these organizational tools.

  1. Basecamp: Store and share information online with Basecamp. Collaborate with coworkers or just keep your files in a secure place online.
  2. Project Don’t keep your clients in the dark about information on your projects. Keep your status online so you won’t have to field constant calls.
  3. iOrganize: Keep all your important information like contacts, notes, and bookmarks in one place with iOrganize so you won’t be left wishing you could call someone else to find them.
  4. Get your ideas out there with’ online brainstorming tools. Create mind maps, write down ideas, share them with others and more.
  5. Cebase: Cebase is an impressive online database program. A simple point and click interface lets you enter data and quickly share it with anyone you’d like.
  6. DabbleDB:Get tons of great features with this database program. Users can enter data, share it, change views and more.
  7. Domain Log Book: Own multiple domains for your business? Keep track of them and view their page rank with this program.
  8. Fluxiom: Manage your digital media with this online tool. Host your pictures, marketing materials, contracts and more on Fluxiom.
  9. iOutliner: Organize your thoughts, ideas, projects and anything else you can think of into structured outlines with iOutliner.
  10. Lazybase: Would you like to create an online database but want it to be easy? Try out Lazybase. You can upload any kind of information you want by using a secret URL.
  11. Quickbase: This web-based database from Intuit is great for project management, sales management and much more.

Project and Time Management

Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it on tasks you don’t need to. Instead, use these tools to help you make the most of it and keep your projects running smoothly without any outside assistance.

  1. Harvest: Track your time with this simple web-based program. You can even generate reports to let clients know the status of your projects or just keep track of time for your own purposes.
  2. Dot Project: This open-source project management tool can help you get your next project organized and on task.
  3. FunctionFox: If you’re in a creative line of business, give FunctionFox a try for tracking your projects and making sure everything progresses smoothly.
  4. 88 Miles: Keep track of how much time you’re spending on all of your projects for easy billing. 88 Miles lets you easily punch in and out of projects and has an on-screen timer to let you know how much time has elapsed.
  5. ActionThis: ActionThis is a web-based team management program with great centralized project management as well as systems to track client information and individual assignments.
  6. Clocking IT: Track your task progress and time at once with Clocking IT. Features include tagging, search, milestones and integrated wikis.
  7. Emergent Task Timer: This timer from the Printable CEO can help you break tasks down into 15 minute intervals.
  8. PunchyTime: Keep track of the time you spend on every project as you work, rather than after the fact. PunchyTime is a great solution for creative companies working by the hour.
  9. Project Insight: Project Insight is one of the leading online project management systems. It’s intuitive and easy to use and will allow you to collaborate easily with coworkers.
  10. Timepost: This project timer will automatically get all your projects and to-dos from different web project managers, saving you the hassle of having to re-enter things from each program.

Client Relations

You won’t need an assistant to bring up customer contact information with these programs. It will already be at your fingertips from just about anywhere.

  1. DocuSign: Need something signed right away? Dont’ bother sending it over, get a signature online with DocuSign. Get legally binding signatures that allow you to seal the deal quickly, shutting out the competition.
  2. HoneyPitch: Put together proposals, presentations, contracts and estimates with this great CRM tool.
  3. ClientScribe: Keep track of all your client contacts using ClientScribe. You can keep your emails, phone records, faxes and proposals in one place, organized by client.
  4. Entellium: This CRM tool has award-winning design, free support and great features to help you treat your customers like they deserve.
  5. Highrise: Keep in touch with your customers with the online contact management system in Highrise.
  6. Heap: This is a simple CRM system that allows you to instant message, keep track of a calendar, and organize contacts.
  7. Pipeline Deals: Make CRM easy with Pipeline Deals’ simple notebook format that allows you to organize files, emails, notes and documents.
  8. Relenta CRM: Relenta CRM makes keeping track of customer data easy with systems to manage contact info, documents and much more.
  9. Sugar CRM: This CRM program focuses on improving your sales performance and marketing effectiveness.
  10. vtiger: vtiger is a great open-source CRM designed for small businesses. Users will get access to features for automation, customer support, sales, marketing, inventory management and more.

Top 100 Posts for Organizing Your Life

Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 6:57pm by Site Administrator

As a bootstrapper, you no doubt have more than enough responsibilities to worry about in your struggle to launch a successful business, spend time with your family and manage your financial accounts, from fundraising to investing to spending. Organizing each aspect of your life is of course the optimum goal, but who has time to set up a complex organization system? These 100 posts, categorized in no particular order, are written to help you manage and declutter your life, one step at a time. Work From organizing your work space to figuring out your career, these posts will help you manage your professional life. 1. 13 Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder: Straighten out your priorities at work and learn to minimize busy work with the tips outlined in this article. 2. Organize Your Office in Ten Minutes a Day: This post assigns a simple organizing trick to each day of your work week. Declutter on Mondays, take inventory on Tuesdays, consider new organizing strategies on Wednesdays, sort your paperwork on Thursdays, and file on Fridays. 3. Office Organizing Tips: Professional organizer Vicki Norris gives professionals tips like "invest in adequate furniture" and "establish a paper processing area" to better organize their offices. 4. Paper Management Tips: Reduce the amount of paper stacks you have piled around your office with these great ideas. 5. Organize Your Office Supply Cabinet: The supply cabinet is supposed to keep you organized right? Not if you’re constantly stashing random items anywhere they’ll fit. This post will show you how to organize your supply cabinet, down to the tiniest detail. 6. 15 Tips to Make Today the Day You Finish Your To-Do List: This article maintains that "your best weapon against the rising tide of to-do is dedicating a day to destroying that list." Learn how to tackle your massive to-do list in one day with these tips. 7. Organize Your Documents Online: This list of tools shows professionals how to straighten up the office by minimizing paperwork. 8. Organize Your Desk in 8 Steps: Tips like "keep office supplies in one drawer only" and "keep a spiral notebook by the phone" will help you clear off the clutter from your desk. 9. 6 Ideas for Conquering Email Clutter: Business owners can receive upwards of 100 junk emails a day. Learn how to declutter your inbox with these smart tips. 10. Organize Your Office and Improve Your Office Design: This in-depth post offers lots of great ideas for setting up an office that is "both pleasing and functional." 11. Office Organizing Tips: The Time Manager gives tips on reducing interruptions, scheduling meetings and prioritizing tasks in order to promote a more productive, organized day. 12. 10 Tips for Growing Your Business the Organized Way: From developing a business plan to practicing effective marketing strategies, growing a business can be an overwhelming process. Organize your goals and responsibilities with this simple guide. Home Office Many entrepreneurs have the luxury of working from home, but maintaining an organized home office is harder than it sounds. This list will lead you to articles about keeping it all straight. 13. 10 Easy Steps to An Organized Home Office: Use these tips to create a professional but personal home office. 14. Organize Your Home Office: Purge your home office of items that belong in other parts of the house, like laundry and toys. Get more great tips by reading the article. 15. Get Organized! Organizing Your Home Office: This post from Women’s Media discusses how lighting, ample storage space and a private phone line "guard productivity" and keep you organized. 16. 5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office: The iVillage Home and Garden supplies readers with 5 simple ideas for straightening up your home office. 17. Children in the Home Business Environment: Learn how to resist temptations and reduce interruptions when you work at home with your kids. 18. What to Do When Your Desk is a Disaster: This post contains great tips from a professional time management and organization expert. 19. Working at Home and Time Management: Time management is especially important when you work from home. These tips will help you stay productive while maintaining a flexible schedule. 20. Tips to Organize Your Home Office: Learn how to "control how others affect your productivity," organize your desk, set up an effective filing system and more. 21. How to Organize a Home Office: eHow lays out a step-by-step guide for organizing a productive home office. 22. Tips to Organize Your Home Office: This post from the career advisor at is a helpful resource for home-based professionals. 23. Organize Your Home Office and Get More Work Done: Lisa Kanarek shares with readers how organization is directly linked to productivity. Follow her tips for designing an efficient home office. 24. 50 Practical Home Office Feng Shui Tips: Use the principles of feng shui to cultivate a peaceful yet productive work environment in your home. Personal Life Dates, doctor’s appointments, holidays, family time: how can a busy bootstrapper keep track of it all? These posts will show you how. 25. 5 Organizing Tips from the Pros: These quick and easy organization tips will keep your day on track. 26. Plan Well, Travel Well: This post shares tips for reconciling spontaneity with order when planning a vacation. 27. Do You Live in Your Car?: Many of us, from commuters to stay at home moms, feel like we live in our cars. This post gives tips for organizing your car to lighten the load. 28. Tips for Traveling with Children: This post will show you how to prepare for a vacation with the kids. 29. If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy: This post divulges the secret to "squeezing in time to nurture yourself" by better organizing your time and paying better attention to your own needs. 30. Personal Improvement in a Balanced, Simplified Way: Learn how to set goals for yourself with the tips laid out in this post. 31. 6 Keys to Respecting Your Time: Prioritize your daily activities by respecting your time with these 6 keys. 32. Ways to Say No: Simplify your schedule and organize your life by learning when to say no. These 5 ways will help you be more assertive. 33. Time Management Tips for the Busy Dinner and Evening Hours: Evenings are supposed to be a time for us to wind down after a hectic day, but extracurricular activities often mean that our busy schedules continue well past dark. Learn how to get evenings back with the ideas proposed in this article. 34. Morning Madness: Start your day off right by giving your mornings an updated schedule. 35. Organize Your Day With Routines: BellaOnline explains why formulating and maintaining daily routines will help you become better organized. 36. 7 Ways to Catch Your Breath: Sometimes all you need to organize your life is a little perspective. Take a minute to catch your breath before you jump back into your busy life. Family From soccer practices to music recitals to planning for a new baby, the following articles will help you learn how to take a deep breath and organize your family life so that you can appreciate it more fully. 37. Great Ways to Be More Organized — and Have More Time for the People You Love: You may have to dig for it, but finding and defining free time to spend with your friends and family is important. This post shares ways to organize your day so that you’re left with more time with the people you love. 38. Set Up a Monthly Calendar for your Family: This post gives "quick tips to make a monthly calendar succeed" in your household. Include chores, vacations, school holidays and other important items. 39. How I Organize My Kids’ Crafts: Get fantastic storage ideas from this post by Julie Bonner. 40. 4 Family Organizing Tips: Tips like holding family meetings, and giving everyone things to do will make your family more organized. 41. 8 Great Tips to Organize Kids’ Rooms: Smart tips like "take a child’s eye view" and "make it easier to put away, harder to get out" will keep your kids’ rooms from getting overly messy. and organizing by reading the tips listed in this article. 42. Get Your Better Half to Help Out: Convince your husband or wife to pitch in with the cleaning and organizing by reading the tips listed in this article. 43. Organize Your Family Life With Famundo: This post from Lifehacker features the Web-based calendar and to-do list Famundo that is designed to whip your family’s chaotic lifestyle into shape. 44. Organize Your Family with a Family Binder: The blog Zen Habits suggests starting a family binder to organize important documents, emergency phone numbers, weekly menus and more. 45. Plan to Succeed: Teaching Kids the Planner Habit: Train your children to organize their own lives by encouraging them to keep a planner even when they’re young. 46. Revolutionize Your Relationship: Even relationships sometimes need an organizational makeover. This post lists common problems that spouses have and offers ways to fix them. 47. Organize Your Family’s Schedule in No Time: Anyone with kids knows it’s difficult, if not impossible, to sync up everyone’s schedules, but this post teaches readers how you can better organize your family’s day with these great ideas. 48. Tame Morning Madness with a Family Launch Pad: Mornings can be a hectic time when the kids are trying to get to school, you’re off to work, and everyone is trying to remember their schedules for later in the day. This post shows you how to create a family launch pad or headquarters for keeping backpacks, briefcases and to-do lists. Home Learn how to organize every room in the house, from the living room to your kids’ bedrooms. 49. Get STUFF Out of Your House: From books to old clothes, find ways to get items that you no longer use out of the house for good. 50. Organizing the Entrances to Your Home: Hallways and entryways often go unnoticed when you clean your home. This post explains why it’s important to pay special attention to these areas. 51. Power Tools for an Organized Home: This post outlines the necessary tools like Sharpies, binders and sheet protectors that keep your home super organized. 52. Room-by-Room Makeover Organizing: This post gives great tips for organizing the dining room, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room and home office. 53. How to Start Organizing Your Home: Maybe you haven’t started organizing your home because you just don’t know where to begin. This article will help you get inspired by outlining a simple plan for the daunting task. 54. Lighten the Load: Laundry Systems Analysis: This post shows readers how to set up an effective laundry system so that you and your family always have clean clothes. 55. The Ultimate Workshop: Set up an organized, well-stocked workshop in your garage with these necessary tools. 56. Five Easy Tricks for Handling Problem Rooms: If you think your room is too small or the ceiling is too low, try out these tricks that will help you make the most of any space. 57. How to Organize Your Home: This guide from offers simple but effective tips like "everything has a home" and "pick up as you go," which will turn your house into a clean, organized home. 58. 50 Ideas to Organize Your Home: From the bathroom to your kids’ rooms, this post will help you transform your home. 59. Organizing Your House: This post from Mrs. Clean shares secrets for discovering hidden storage spaces in your home. She also encourages readers to reduce clutter by walking through your house with a "stranger’s eye" and evaluating what fits and what doesn’t. 60. Turn Your Bedroom into a Haven: When you’re expecting company, do you clean up by throwing everything into your bedroom? This post maintains that your bedroom should have a "nurturing atmosphere," so consider starting your next organizing project by giving your bedroom the attention it deserves. Finances Get your finances in order with the valuable advice given in these posts. 61. 10 Tips to Organize and Simplify Bill Paying: Helpful tips include "designate two to four days per month to pay your bills" and "condense your credit cards." 62. Are You Really Saving All You Can?: Learn to organize your finances better and prepare for emergencies by checking out these saving tips. 63. Organize and Simplify Your Spending: Organizing your finances starts by taking a realistic look at your spending habits. Read this article to help you revamp your budgeting strategies in order to organize your overall financial situation. 64. 8 Tips for Keeping More of Your Hard Earned Money: This post shows you how to save more money through better organizing tactics like "pay yourself first" and outlining your mortgage and retirement funds. 65. Organize Your Finances for Tax Time: Access tax templates, calculators and more tips for organizing your finances when tax time hits. 66. Organizing Your Personal Finances: This post encourages readers to "break down the organization into steps" and setting up a personalized system that works for you, like stashing all of your receipts in a single basket or using a computer software program for online budgeting. 67. The Cost of Disorganization. Can you Afford It?: Find out how much money you’re losing by not maintaining an organized budget. 68. Organize Your Spending: Erin Huffstetler from teaches readers "how to organize your finances in a way that contributes to your financial success" in her step-by-step guide. 69. 10 Easy Ways to Organize Your Business Finances: This clear, concise article lists the top 10 ways professionals can organize their business finances. Effective tips include: actually read your credit card statements and computerize your checkbook. 70. 5 Ways to Organize Your Finances: Tips like "consolidate your credit cards" and "keep your tax-related stuff" in one place will give your financial situation more clarity. 71. Organize Your Bills: Get a handle on your bill paying each month with these tips from consultant Diana Brock Makes. 72. Organize Your Financial Life: This post from MSN Money gives readers a realistic approach to organizing their finances. Find out "why filing systems fail" and how to create a bill paying regime that works for you. Health and Fitness Many of us have good intentions when it comes to starting a new health and fitness routine; unfortunately, though, intentions won’t help us lose the pounds or stay healthy. If you need some extra inspiration to whip your wellness program into shape, check out these posts. 73. Organizing My Diet: Keep track of what you eat by planning out daily or weekly menus for yourself and "organizing your eating habits." 74. Organize Your Fitness Effort: Debbie Rocker writes for Yahoo! Health, telling readers that "happiness takes effort, and yes, in our day and time, organization, too." Follow her guide to organize your fitness effort by cleaning out your kitchen of unhealthy foods, planning out menus, and weighing yourself only every 2 weeks. 75. A Healthy Option On How to Organize Your Workouts: Workout instructor David C. Brown shares ideas for organizing your fitness routine so that your body gets a healthy, stress-free workout. 76. Organize Your Health: Fitsugar’s post on organizing your health provides a list of tools and planners to keep tabs on your diet and exercise regimens. 77. Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet: Find out which meds to keep and which need to be thrown out with this guide from 78. What to Do About Stress?: This "30-Point Plan for the small and big business person" will help you learn methods of alleviating stress and improving your emotional health. 79. 10 More Tips for Your Wellness Journey: Simple tips like these will inspire you to start and maintain a healthy fitness schedule. 80. ADD and Optimal Self Care: In our hectic world, it can be difficult to find time to relax and focus on the things that really matter. This post gives tips for beating the ADD-like mindset and finding time for yourself. 81. Avoid Common Fitness Pitfalls: This post cautions against 10 exercise pitfalls like eating too little, doing too much too soon and ignoring expert advice. Avoid these nasty little habits in order to develop a long lasting, effective fitness routine. 82. Can You Organize Your Way to Happiness (And Health Too?): This post reveals the positive happiness and health benefits of leading an organized lifestyle. 83. 10 Foods for Better Health: Incorporate these 10 power foods like salmon, nuts and tea into your weekly menu to follow a healthy diet plan. 84. Finding Time to Exercise: Does a busy bootstrapper like you really have time to exercise? Check out these 5 clever fitness tips that will help you find time to be proactive about your health. Miscellaneous From birthday parties to weddings to the holidays, these posts will help you organize every other aspect of your busy life. 85. Don’t Just Get Organized, Stay Organized!: These "7 concepts that stick" will let you lead a more organized life. 86. Cut Your Clutter Calories!: Discover your clutter weaknesses: do you shop at garage sales? Accept freebies? Cut out clutter calories to make room for a more organized life. 87. Wikify Your Life: How to Organize Everything: Use wikis to store and organize all kinds of information, from shopping lists to vacation lists to to-do lists! 88. Color Your Way to Organization: Stacey Agin Murray explains the benefits of color coding your home and office so that you can be better organized. 89. Need More Storage? Think Vertical: Declutter It’s Julie Bonner shows readers how adding vertical storage space is possible in any kitchen, garage, or office. 90. A Checklist for Moving and Relocating: Moving to a new city, state or even country requires a lot of organizational effort. Use this checklist to help you pack and purge. 91. Organize a Birthday Party for Kids: wikiHow gives great tips for organizing a birthday party for kids that will keep the good times rolling. 92. Plan Your Wedding in 13 Simple Steps: Can it really be that easy? shows brides-to be how to minimize stress during the wedding planning process. 93. 3 Simple Pre-Holiday Organizing Tips: This detailed guide offers just a few simple ideas that will help you get through the holidays. Tips like"take inventory before you buy" and "look back, look forward" will prevent you from overspending and running your errands at the last minute. 94. How to Simplify for a Less Stressful, More Joyful Holiday Season!: Follow Ariane Benefit’s "20 tips for easy decorating, gift-giving, card sending and entertaining." 95. Time Management Tips: Organizing Errands: Learn how to plan ahead, take inventory, and car pool to make your trip to the store less frustrating. 96. Organize Your Shopping List: Stop running around the store in all different directions by organizing your shopping list before you go out. 97. How to Organize Cat, Dog and Pet Stuff to Keep Your Home Easy-to-Clean: Pets are a part of the family, but they can cause a lot of mess and disorganization around the house. Check out this post for ideas on how to minimize pet clutter. 98. The Top 3 Excuses We Use to Keep Our Clutter: writer Sarah Aguirre debunks 3 common myths that keep us from organizing our homes. 99. Organizing Your Coupons: This post is great for discount lovers who need to organize their mountain of coupons. 100. 10 Benefits of Being Organized: Saving money, spending more quality time with family, and having more energy and less stress are just a few of the benefits of organizing your life.

How to: Turn Your Desk Into a Productivity Zone

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 1:26am by Site Administrator

If you’re like many busy people, your desk is full of mail, papers that hold forgotten to-do lists, and perhaps a stray coffee cup or two. This sort of environment just isn’t conducive to productivity. Follow these tips to streamline your work area and get things done.

  • Keep it tidy

    First things first. A tidy desk makes it easier for you to stay focused. Otherwise, you’ll feel overwhelmed by the weight of stuff around you. Organize your papers, corral post-it notes into a journal, and get rid of any random junk. You’ll feel refreshed and can clear the path towards better work.

  • Clean up your computer desktop, too

    A clean virtual desktop is just as important as a the one you’re sitting at. Instead of using lots of specialized tools, find a few super tools that can do multiple jobs and stick with them. Clean out the junk by uninstalling programs you don’t use anymore and archiving old files.

  • File

    Have you ever found yourself scrambling to find a piece of paper you just know you have, but can’t seem to place? Make it easy for you to find what you need by putting everything in a specific spot. You’ll save yourself time and frustration, plus it will be easier to stay on track if you don’t have to stop everything to conduct an extensive search.

  • Keep the essentials close at hand

    Your desk should be stocked with nearly everything you need to do your job. Whether it’s a file cabinet, printer, or pencil sharpener, make sure it’s within reach. If you have to get up and cross the room to use something, you’re likely to get distracted and off track.

  • Don’t goof off

    Make your desk a sacred space for work, and you’ll train your brain. Avoid using your desk for personal projects, storage, or other distracting items, or your attention may be swayed. If you keep your desk purely a work zone, it will be easier for you to get into work mode when you sit down.

  • Have good lighting

    Lighting is essential to productivity. It reduces your eye strain and prevents gloominess. To create productive lighting, focus on using natural light and reflection. Get rid of shadows and glare, and be sure to keep up proper maintenance.

  • Practice desk yoga

    Yoga isn’t just good for health and spirituality, it’s helpful for creativity and concentration as well. Take a moment to be active and mindful, and you’ll refresh your brain. Try out a program like Yoga @ Your Desk to learn about yoga you can do without even leaving your chair.

  • Get a smaller desk

    To get productive, get simple. Using a smaller desk means you’ll have less opportunity to let clutter take over. There’s less room for papers and assignments to pile up, so you’ll be forced to deal with items as they come. This can provide you with an incentive to work more efficiently.

  • Decorate with stimulating colors and design

    Some colors are just more productive than others. White rooms create an environment that supports errors, while bright colors like red are stimulating. If you’re overwhelmed by stimulating colors, blue-green walls are universally productive and relaxing.

  • Practice good ergonomics

    The comfort and efficiency of your body can directly influence productivity. Getting out of an awkward posture simply makes it easier to do any given task and concentrate on your work. It’s also been found to reduce errors.

  • Leave your desk

    That’s right, take a break. The most productive desk is one that you’re not chained to all day. Get up, move around, have a snack or a quick chat with a friend, and you’ll be more refreshed and ready to work again.

Work Happy: 25 Ways to Improve Your Mood When People Around You Are Miserable

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 2:02am by Site Administrator

Deadlines are looming, your clients aren’t happy, and there’s a nasty cold going around the office. It seems like everyone around you is in a completely miserable mood, and they have no problem taking it out on everyone else. You don’t have to let the ill temper of your office mates affect you and how you’re feeling, however. After all, going to work in a sour mood and concentrating on the stressful elements of your job can have an adverse affect on your health. So how can you keep the general unhappiness of your work environment from affecting you? Here are 25 things you can try to improve your mood and maybe even the mood of those around you.

  1. Choose to be happy. It might sound overly simplistic, but the easiest way to rise above the cloud of negativity at work is simply to not let it affect you. Other people may have an impact on your mood, but the only one in charge of it is you, so choose to ignore the crankiness and find your own personal happiness.
  2. Make friends. People are generally happier at work when they have a few coworkers that they can count on as genuine friends. Get together for lunch or take a quick coffee break. You’ll be surprised how much talking to a friend can help elevate your mood and make your outlook more positive.
  3. Do things you love. If there are particular elements of your job that you love doing more than others, focus on these for at least a good portion of your day. Or, if you need to, use your lunch break to get away from the office for a massage, shop for a new pair of shoes, or spend it playing games at your desk so that the negativity of work won’t totally weigh you down.
  4. Avoid particularly negative coworkers. Everyone has that one coworker that always seems to be in a bad mood, even when things are good. Whether the people around you are perpetually negative or are just having a bad week, try to avoid interactions with them that could make everyone more unhappy.
  5. Meditate. Sometimes the key to being happier is to simply just spend more time relaxing. Meditation can be a great way to focus your thoughts and shake off all the unhappiness of the grumpy people around you.
  6. Take a walk. Few things can help lift your mood like a little bit of exercise. Whether you walk around the building or around the block, getting up and moving around can help you clear your head and improve how your body feels.
  7. Clean and organize your desk. A messy desk can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed and overburdened, even when you’re not. Set aside a few minutes to clean up your work area in the morning or before you leave at night. You’ll get to feel a sense of accomplishment that you got it done and get to enjoy having a desk that isn’t swimming with papers.
  8. Listen to music. One way to avoid cranky coworkers is to tune them out with music. Put on your headphones and crank up your favorite tunes. You’ll likely get more done, and you won’t have to listen to the grumpy chatter around you.
  9. Personalize your desktop. Working in the same boring gray cube day after day can take its toll. While you don’t have to go overboard, a few personal touches on your desk like photos of friends, family, or pets can make a big difference in your mental outlook plus you’ll have something to motivate you to get through the day.
  10. Eat better. Studies have shown that foods can have a huge impact on not only our physical well-being but our moods as well. Try incorporating foods like milk, chocolate, whole grains, blueberries and fish in your diet, as they have been shown to have a marked effect on anxiety and stress levels.
  11. Smile. Even if your smiles are only met with frowns, smiling can actually have an impact on your mood. If you think about it, it’s really hard to stay angry or upset when you’ve got a smile on your face, so even if you’re faking, it can help improve your day.
  12. Concentrate on working towards a goal. Even if you’re bogged down with loads of work you can still maintain your happy mood by just concentrating on one thing at a time. Set a goal for yourself, say finishing a certain amount of work each day, and concentrate on working towards it.
  13. Make someone’s day. Sometimes the best path to making you feel good is by making those around you feel good. Give a coworker a compliment or bring someone a coffee as a treat. Your kindness could be infectious and improve the mood of the whole office.
  14. Count your blessings. Even if work is a complete nightmare at the moment, it’s unlikely that there isn’t anything in your life that makes you happy or that you enjoy. Try concentrating on these things instead of the negative things at work.
  15. Find the humor in it. A good laugh can do wonders for your mood. Even the worst situations have a lighter side, so try to find it even if your coworkers can’t.
  16. Use aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an age old practice based on the idea that smells can impact your mood. Whether it’s true for you or not it doesn’t hurt to try. Try bringing in potpourri, air fresheners or even some fresh flowers. Any smell that reminds you of home or happy things will work.
  17. Treat yourself. Whether your secret indulgence is a chocolate donut or an extra large order from your local Chinese restaurant, letting yourself indulge a little bit will make work seem less awful and put you in a better mood overall.
  18. Change your lighting. While not everyone has the luxury of an office with a window, if you do, arrange your office so that you can see out or pull the blinds up to let natural light in. If you don’t have a window, try bringing in a softer and more personalized light to offset the glare of the fluorescent lights in your office. Either will help your work area to seem less harsh and much more pleasant to be in.
  19. Shake it off. If people around you truly are miserable, chances are good that at some point they’re going to take it out on you. Learn to simply shake it off and not take things too personally, otherwise your coworkers will quickly bring you down to their level of unhappiness.
  20. Help out coworkers. If it’s possible that your coworkers are unhappy because they are overworked and you happen to have a little extra time on your hands, offer to help out. You’ll foster a sense of teamwork and hopefully make others feel less stressed and upset.
  21. Try to relate. While you shouldn’t let others’ bad moods affect your own, that doesn’t mean you can’t try to empathize with why your coworkers are so cranky in the first place. Try talking to them. Sometimes all people need to feel better is to get what’s bothering them off their chest.
  22. Look your best. Want to improve how you feel about yourself when you go to work? Try spending some extra time getting ready. Wear your favorite clothes or spend a little more time styling your hair. Whatever makes you feel like you look good will undoubtedly improve your outlook on the day.
  23. Get plenty of rest. It’s pretty easy to be cranky and short tempered when you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep, so make sure to set aside a solid block of time where you can sleep uninterrupted and wake up feeling rested.
  24. Take your vitamins. Studies have shown that vitamin D can help boost your mood. Vitamin D boosts your brain’s level of serotonin, your body’s natural feel-good hormone, thereby improving your mental and emotional outlook.
  25. Get out of the office. If nothing else works to boost your mood around your angry and unhappy coworkers, then just try to spend as little time as possible at the office. Leave on your lunch break and try to be more efficient with your work so that you can leave on time at night. If neither of those are possible, sometimes a quick walk outside can be just as helpful.

101 Quick Fixes – Solve All Your Problems in 5 Minutes or Less

Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 1:57am by Site Administrator

It’s your worst day ever: your car breaks down, you got a run in your panty hose, and you start to feel a cold coming on. Don’t worry about running to the doctor or spending a fortune on a replacement for a new car part; instead, check out our list of 101 quick fixes. From exercise tricks to organizational hacks these will help you get your day back on track in no time.

Health and Wellness

Monitor your health and wellness with these 5-minute check-ins.

  1. Motivate yourself: Is your exercise motivation starting to suffer? recommends measuring your progress to motivate yourself to continue exercising and set new goals. Write down your personal expectations as a way to commit yourself.
  2. Tone your arms: Whenever you’ve got a few extra minutes, give your workout a quick fix by doing this fast push up routine.
  3. Take deep breaths: Take a minute to de-stress by relaxing your shoulders and taking several slow, deep breaths. You’ll feel instantly energized and will gain more perspective on your many to-do lists.
  4. Listen to your favorite song: Another way to dispel stress is to take a few minutes to listen to your favorite song. If you’re at home, dance around the room to loosen up and relax.
  5. Fitness Fix: Oops! You weren’t supposed to eat that whole piece of cake at the office birthday party. When you get home, try one of these intense cardio moves to blast extra calories.
  6. Airborne: Many people swear by Airborne tablets when they want to avoid getting a cold. At the first sign of the sniffles, gulp down a glass (no matter how bad it tastes!)
  7. Take a nap: This one might take a little longer than 5 minutes, but even a short cat nap will help your body rejuvenate, especially if you think you’re starting to get sick. Continuing to pull all-nighters will only make your system crash.
  8. Quick Fixes for a Cold: From multiple glasses of orange juice to Zicam, find out what these Yahoo! recommend to help you feel better when you have a cold.
  9. Alka-Seltzer: Whether you’ve got indigestion or a killer hangover, a glass of Alka-Seltzer will soothe your tummy in no time.
  10. Slap cold water on your face: When you’re exhausted, nervous, or just need a little more perspective on life, run to the bathroom and slap some cold water on your face to bring back the more coherent, sensible you.
  11. Meditate: Studies show that meditating for just a few minutes at a time can help to "increase energy and decrease anxiety and stress."
  12. A Quick Fix for Fainting: The next time you feel faint, try "crossing your ankles and clenching your thighs together, or interlocking your fingertips and pulling in opposite directions, [which] makes the fainting feeling go away."

Home and Garden

From cleaning up the lawn to repairing furniture, this list is full of DIY projects that will improve the overall appearance and quality of your home.

  1. Homestyle Cleaning Solutions: These Hints From Heloise homemade cleaning solutions will save you from having to run to the store to buy cleaning supplies to straighten up before company comes.
  2. Patching up the roof: Until you can save up to call the roofers, use this guide to help you install metal flashings for a quick fix.
  3. Reduce Swelling on Doors: To reduce the swelling on old doors, advises homeowners to blow hot air from a hand-held hair dryer directly on the places that are causing the doors to stick. Once you have removed the moisture from those spots, the swelling will go down."
  4. How to Clean a Lampshade: This article reveals a smart tip for getting rid of stains on a lampshade: rub a gummy eraser over the spots.
  5. Heloise Tackles Holiday Stains: From coffee to cranberries, check out these fast fixes for getting rid of unsightly stains.
  6. How to Drill Without Getting Dust in Your Eye: This quick fix was designed with DIY homeowners in mind. If you’re drilling a hole into the ceiling, cut a small hole into an aluminum pan and then hold it up over the hole you’re making in the ceiling.
  7. Brighten up a room: When was the last time you dusted your lampshades or light fixtures? If you’re wondering why your room is looking so gloomy, take a dust cloth and swipe it over your light bulbs for a quick brightening trick.
  8. Ten Quick Landscape Fixes: Clean up your lawn and garden with these temporary solutions to overgrown weeds and more.
  9. Make the most of color: After the painters left, did you break down and change your mind about what color you wanted your walls to be? has an idea for how you can recover immediately: "Scavenge the rest of your house for accessories that will tone down the offending color" like contrasting pillows and accessories.
  10. Make the most of your lighting: If your furniture is impossible dusty, dim the lights a little so your guests won’t see. Make the most of each room’s lighting to hide spots, stains and dust or to show off your cleanest, most attractive areas.

Food and Drink

Check out our list of quick fixes for recipes, drink ideas and solutions to other food-related crises.

  1. Fastest Dinner Recipes: If you’re in a bind about what to cook for dinner, visit this site for GoodHousekeeping’s list of fastest dinner recipes.
  2. Fake a Steamer: If you don’t have a steamer but are halfway through your recipe before you realize you need one, read this guide on how to improvise.
  3. Upgrade your vodka: All of you’ve got is McCormick’s, and you just found out that your boss is coming over. Instead of rushing out to the liquor store, pour your vodka into a Brita. The filtered vodka will be much tastier with those martinis.
  4. How to Avoid Crying When Chopping Onions: Get your eyes to stop watering by cutting out a cone from the bottom of the onion before you start chopping and dicing.
  5. Stop the burn: After eating hot peppers or chiles, your mouth will be on fire. Water won’t help it cool down, so what do you do? Check out this post to find out what works.
  6. Make a fire from a can of Coke and a chocolate bar: If you’re trying to make dinner in the middle of the woods but can’t seem to get a spark going, use this trusty hack from to make a fire.
  7. How to Cure a Hangover: writer Colleen Graham offers several quick tips for curing a hangover, including drinking orange juice, taking Alka-Seltzer, making a Bloody Mary and drinking pickle juice.
  8. Quick and Easy Snacks: If you find yourself starving in between meals, don’t waste time (and calories) rummaging through the vending machine or cabinets for a little of this and a little of that. Visit this website to find the most effective snacks that will satisfy your cravings.
  9. 10 Minute Meals: Can you really make an entire meal in 10 minutes? Follow these recipes to find out how to prepare delicious dishes in a flash.
  10. Soften cookies that have been cooked too long: If your cookies came out crunchier than you wanted, put them into a ziploc bag with a piece of bread. Let them sit overnight, and they’ll be soft and yummy in the morning.


When you’re away from home, simple problems can seem so much wore. Read below for easy tricks to help you get back to your vacation.

  1. Chew gum to stop ears from popping on a plane: Unless you can continue to induce yawning for 10 solid minutes, your best bet to stop your ears from popping during take-off and landing is to chew gum.
  2. Soothe dry skin after a flight: After a long flight, your skin and lips could probably use a little rehydration. For skin, The Daily Obsession blog recommends Evian Water Spray. For lips, crush a capsule of Vitamin E and rub onto your lips.
  3. Franklin Global Translator: If your college French skills suddenly take their leave the moment you land in Paris, use a portable electronic translator like this one to help you on your trip.
  4. Instant Humidity: The 43 Folders wiki knows how to beat super dry hotel rooms: just wet an extra towel and hang it over your headboard to balance out the humidity.
  5. Beauty Tricks for Travel: This article from has several great beauty hacks that will save you from the drying effects of long plane trips.
  6. Fog-Proof Bathroom Mirror: Hotel bathroom mirrors are notorious for fogging up after each shower. This post suggests soaping up the mirror and then buffing it off with a dry towel to keep "the mist from condensing on the mirror."
  7. Book online: If you need to change a flight or just want to plan a very last minute vacation, skip the travel agent and the airport agents and book online. Travelers can find great deals on or

Automotive and Electronic

From car parts to XBoxes, take a look at these tips for temporary solutions to broken down vehicles and electronics.

  1. Quick Fixes for Better Sound: Want to get better sound out of your microphone or sound system without having to pay for new equipment? Check out this article, which gives great tips including cleaning your contacts, enabling high-res mode on plug-ins and more.
  2. Fix a leaky radiator pipe with duct tape: recommends using duct tape for patching up a leaky radiator pipe until you can bring your car into the shop.
  3. Get rid of body rust: has a handy idea for buffing out rust on your vehicle. Dip a piece of steel wool in kerosene and use it to "rub away small rust patches."
  4. Fix a dragging tailpipe with a coat hanger: If your tailpipe is dragging on the road, wrap a metal coat hanger around the pipe, "looping through where the clamp was and twisting it at the ends."
  5. Prevent foggy windows: Use shaving cream to coat your car’s windshield when they start to fog up. You can buff it off with dry paper towels and "repeat whenever the windows begin to collect fog again, or after washing your windows with window cleaner."
  6. Fix-A-Flat: If you can’t remember how to change your flat, or you’d just rather get off the side of the interstate as fast as you can, air up your flat tire with Fix-A-Flat, which "seals and inflates in just minutes," according to the product’s website.
  7. Clean corroded battery terminals: Make your own cleaning solution made up of baking soda and water to clean corroded battery terminals and increase their connectivity.
  8. Fix a dent: Instead of taking your car to the shop every time someone dents your car door in the parking lot, recommends getting the toilet plunger and "placing it over the dent. Pump the plunger to create suction, and pull. The dent should pop out when you pull away the plunger."
  9. XBox 360 Towel Trick: Can you really fix an old XBox 360 with a fluffy towel? This article from says you can, maintaining "that blanketing your 360 with a towel, firing it up for 10 minutes or so, turning it off, and then removing the towel will mysteriously allow your machine to function for a couple hours."
  10. Use aluminum foil to fix your antenna: It’s an old school method that still works. If you’re getting terrible reception on your TV, try wrapping bits of tin foil around the antenna to attract a better signal.
  11. 5 Quick Fix-It Tips for Your iPhone: If you’re having problems with your iPhone, use these quick fix-it tips to unfreeze it, manage the reset options and more.
  12. Going Green: Follow these tips to find a way to go green even when you’re using technology.

Fashion and Beauty

Wardrobe malfunctions can happen at anytime. Arm yourself with these quick fix solutions that will help you look your best, no matter what.

  1. Patch up panty hose: Paint clear nail polish around a run in panty hose to seal up the hole and prevent it from tearing even further.
  2. Dry nail polish faster with cold water: After letting newly-painted nails air dry for two minutes, dunk them into a bowl of ice cold water to let the polish harden.
  3. Zap a pimple overnight: Dab toothpaste on a pimple before you go to sleep to instantly dry it up. It might take two or nights for the pimple to go away completely, but this trick is especially effective if you can catch the pimple in its early stages.
  4. Tame fly-aways with clear mascara: If you’re trying to control a specific hairstyle, or if the weather is too humid for your unruly hair, swipe a small amount of clear mascara over the fly-aways to hold them in place.
  5. Look more awake with white eyeliner: After you’ve finished your makeup, do you still look like you could use a few more hours of sleep? Perk up your eyes by applying white eyeliner to the inner corners of your eyelid. You’ll only need a little bit to make your whole face look brighter.
  6. Fix a pilling sweater: iVillage’s Beauty page has a quick fix for a pilling sweater: "Rub a piece of Velcro along the pilled fabric" to smooth it down.
  7. Fix a Streaky Self Tan: This tip from advises readers to "sweep a cotton ball soaked in 100 percent lemon juice over streaky areas" to blend in a tan.
  8. Clean up make up stains: Remove make up stains from your clothes by gently rubbing baby wipes on the spot.
  9. Improvise when you lose the back of an earring: The blog Beauty Women Advice suggests taking the eraser off a pencil to improvise when you lose the back to your earring.
  10. Preparation H your face: If your face is swollen because you’ve eaten too much salt, you could gulp down several glasses of water (which will only make your tummy bloated for the next few hours). Or, you could "massage massage a pea-size dab of Preparation-H on swollen areas…and wash it off after 15 minutes," according to a December 2001 article in Shape magazine.
  11. Quick Fix for a Locker Room Disaster: This blogger writes about saving face when she realizes the only products she has in her locker room bag are a blow dryer, black eyeliner and Udderly Smooth Udder Cream.
  12. Slim down your face with make up: Forget dieting. This beauty quick fix shows readers how to slim down their faces with a few makeup tricks, like playing up eyes, plumping up lips and highlighting your cheeks with bronzer, blush and highlighters.
  13. Lipstick recipe: You’re in a rush to meet your date on time, and you realize that you’re out of lipstick — or worse, your lipstick just broke off in your rush to crack open the tube. has a recipe for improvising at the last minute: Dab cream or even powder blush onto your lips and then top off with lip gloss or Chapstick to smooth it over.
  14. 3 Quick Fix Makeup Tips: What do you do when you realize you’ve put on way too much makeup? Don’t wash your face and start all over: read this guide to help you fix your face in seconds.

Gift Giving

Have you been procrastinating or did you really not receive the invite until the day of the party? Find last minute gifts with these clever ideas.

  1. The Gift Card: Gift cards from department stores, boutiques, restaurants and cinema houses are great presents that require hardly any thought. Pick one up on the way to the party for a quick fix.
  2. Money: Stuff your extra cash into a card for a gift that will be appreciated by anyone.
  3. Lottery Tickets: Lottery tickets are cheap and fun additions to any card or gift bag. Throw in a few scratch off games, but only if they agree to share the big prizes with you!
  4. Unused bath soaps: Everyone has an extra stash of shower gel and pretty bath soaps under the sink. As long as they’re still in the wrapper and the seal hasn’t been broken, swipe your unused bath soaps and scented lotions for an indulgent gift.
  5. Magazine subscription: This gift idea is the perfect quick fix, because you don’t even have to buy it in time for the party. Just slip one of the order inserts from one of the recipient’s favorite magazines into a card, and tell them their first magazine will arrive in the mail shortly. Don’t forget to order it as soon as you get home.
  6. Baked goods: If you forgot to bring a gift for the host or hostess of the party you’re attending, put some Ready to Bake! Pillsbury cookie dough into the oven. Your host will appreciate the gesture, and besides, who doesn’t love homemade cookies?

Study Reviews

Last minute cram sessions require these quick-fix websites and guides when you need to review for a test fast.

  1. SparkNotes: Touted as "today’s most popular study guides," the SparkNotes review guides are a great way to review for tests, class discussions or essay assignments. If you didn’t read the book, you can find in-depth character analyses, a section that outlines themes and motifs and of course, a plot overview.
  2. PinkMonkey: PinkMonkey also features a vault of study guides for books and college text books.
  3. Study World: Students can find Cliffs Notes, Monarch notes and other useful study guides here for a quick fix when trying to review for class.
  4. Babel Fish: Your Spanish paper is due in 30 minutes, and you’re still having trouble translating the title! Use Babel Fish to help you translate in a flash.
  5. is another website that offers free translation services that are instant and reliable.
  6. CliffsNotes: CliffsNotes claims to be "the fastest way to learn." Get help with study guides in all subjects, not just literature.

Professional Quick Fixes

Sometimes it’s just not your day. Read below to find out how to deal with stressful situations, manage clients and more.

  1. 30 Quick Fixes for Windows XP and Vista: If your office computers run on Windows operating systems, chances are you’ve got a lot of little bugs now and then. Check out this popular article for how to make the most of your Windows computer.
  2. Quick Fixes for Wardrobe Troubles: This article shows professionals how to make the most of their office supplies when you have a wardrobe malfunction.
  3. Sign up for a spam filter: If your inbox is constantly being inundated with junk e-mails, clean it up in a flash by adding a spam filter that will prevent unwanted e-mails from barging in.
  4. Set up an automatic reply message when you’re swamped: If you’re totally swamped at work and don’t have time to answer the phone or respond to e-mails, set up an auto reply message letting clients know that you’ll have to get back to them later that day. Simply ignoring the e-mails won’t work; it will probably just encourage people to start calling you on the phone.
  5. Start labeling: With all that mess on your desk, you’re probably wasting lots of time trying to figure out what everything is and where it goes. Start an impromptu labeling system — even if consists of writing on folders with a Sharpie — to give your lack of organization a quick fix.
  6. Ask for help: This quick fix is actually a smart idea that will pay off in the long run. When you’re overwhelmed, you probably won’t be able to get much done anyway. Consult your supervisor for a fast way to gain a little perspective.
  7. Delegate: If you’re honestly unable to juggle all of your responsibilities one day, hand a few duties over to your employees. Ask the intern to organize your files, or have your secretary make a couple of phone calls for you. Just be sure to say thank you at the end of the day.
  8. Send e-mails instead of using the phone: If you want to check in on clients to make sure they aren’t feeling neglected, send a brief e-mail to ask how they’re doing and if they’d like to schedule a meeting at a later date. Picking up the phone will just open you up to small talk.
  9. Last Minute Marketing Strategies: This article has great ideas for businesses who need to patch up their marketing strategies quickly.
  10. Donate to a charity: Does your company have a reputation for being greedy, unreliable or too expensive? All you need is some good PR. Donate your services or a percentage of your holiday profits to a local charity, and then send a press release to the newspaper to boost your public image.
  11. Request an extension on your taxes: If you file your taxes as an individual, reports that "you can request a six-month extension using Form 4868, the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return." You’ll have to pay your taxes eventually, but this quick fix will save you from having to pay a fine as well.


Make your home clutter free with these instant quick fixes for organizing.

  1. Feng Shui your room: Rearrange your furniture to give your room a bit of a boost. The principles of feng shui hold that moving around items in a room promote the free flow of energy, which in turn gives you more energy and increases your productivity.
  2. Donate items to charity: A fast way to declutter your closet is to throw items you no longer want or need into a box or garbage bag. Toss the bag into your trunk and drop it off at a Goodwill station the next time you drive by.
  3. Throw things away: Don’t go overboard with this tip, or you might regret it later. But a quick fix for emptying a room of its mess is to pick up trash and throw unwanted items that no one else can use in the trash.
  4. 60 Second Organizing Tip: writer Sarah Aguirre reveals easy and super fast ways to clean up the house when you don’t have much time.
  5. Vacuum to make a room smell better: If you don’t have hours to sit around waiting for the new potpourri to work its magic, run the vacuum through a room to freshen it up. You’ll be surprised at how much better it smells.
  6. Load up the dishwasher: Clear off the counter and empty the sink by throwing dirty dishes in the dishwasher for an instant clutter removal trick.
  7. Utilize the utility room: If you have piles of dirty clothes on the floor but no time to do laundry, go ahead and throw a load into the washing machine or even the dryer, but don’t run them until after your guests leave.
  8. Air freshener: Spray air freshener into the fan to improve the smell of an entire room. The fan will help circulate the scent much faster.
  9. Throw everything into the bedroom: As a last resort, move all of the clutter into another room to give the illusion of a neat house. Just remember to close the door!
  10. Hang a picture over cracked paint: If there’s a stain on the wall or the paint is starting to flake off, hang up a picture from another room over the spot to cover up the damage.
  11. Last Minute Holiday Organizing Tips: Check out this list of tips that will help you get organized for the holidays. All it takes is 5 minutes.
  12. Sort your mail: To help you organize your life, set up a simple filing system for your mail. Separate envelopes into piles for bills that need to be paid, letters that need to be responded to, and junk mail that can be thrown away.
  13. Make your bed: An unmade bed can make the whole room look much worse than it actually is. Straighten up the covers, arrange the pillows neatly, and watch your room transform.
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