This is a warning! your cell phone provider will be updating your software!

Have you ever read this alert sent to you by your mobile telephone company and then went into a panic because your smartphone with internet service will then be wiped out to its factory settings? Meaning you would loose all of your pictures, contacts, text messages and more. Oh no! what are you going to do? This has happened to several people we know and what they discovered was that they did not have a good system in place to prevent the panic. Let’s say you dropped your phone in a toilet or something and getting it to work again is no longer an option.

To avoid such feelings of catastrophe one would have to be in the habit of backing up their phone. Depending on your chosen provider you may already be using a routine that you won’t be loosing anything if you have to do a factory reboot. But its better to find out sooner than later. If you don’t know how to determine for yourself how your phone is saving these elements then, Its best to ask your service provider to look into your phone and let you know what and how you are saving things. We suggest to use these following steps.

Top 3 steps to preventing cell phone “memory loss”

1. Treat you cell phone like a real computer. Back it up, or, at least the parts that you want to keep as many times and ways as possible. For example, make sure that when you save a picture, see that it automatically goes to your memory card and not saved to your device. Not only will you want to save the photo to your memory card but you can also upload your pictures to an online photo gallery like Flickr, Google Picassa, Photobucket or simply email the photo to yourself.

2. Find an APP (application) for a universal calendar, most phones give you options. Enter in your tasks and appointments into a google calendar, for instance. These dates can be seen from any computer when you log into your account.  Again, make sure it isn’t being saved to your cell phone device’s calendar.

3. When sending or receiving texts that you find important and want to save immediately, copy the pertinent text into an note taking app. It will be saved there for future access. If the text contains pictures, immediately download and save to your memory card. Later, send it directly to your photobucket.

Once these steps are put in place and go about your daily life of chatting on the phone, taking pictures and texting away your plans you can confidently live your life as usual. You won’t notice anything different until something happens to your cell.  When/if a mishap happens is the only time you would thank yourself for taking the time to set things up. This is what being organized is all about. You can’t control everything in life but you can reduce the stress caused by what life can sometimes throw your way.

We’re getting Cozi with a web-based family calendar.

“There are so many things to do in a day and so many occasions to remember. How does one keep up?”. This is one of the most common complaints we hear. Having a calendar is not the only solution it is how you use it that makes the difference. The paper calendar is a common one I see with people we work with, but, some families are feeling confident and using their smart phones. If you are comfortable using technology and own a smart phone or iPad then you have additional options.

Cozi is a web-based FREE online organizer and mobile app that helps you manage the family schedule, organize shopping lists and to do lists, and capture favorite memories—all in one place. It’s designed for busy families in mind. Cozi is accessible from any computer, mobile phone or tablet. What’s is great about it is that your entire family can see the same calendar and be downloaded to sync with your current calendar. I suggest to give this one a try. Knowing how you spend your time gives you more freedom to enjoy your family instead of stressing over what you have to do next.

Manys ways to get organized

I recently met Elyce Bader and learned about her business as a Pampered Chef consultant. I was very curious to learn more because I love cooking and like to keep my utensils and kitchen tools organized. My favorite product is the mandolin. What a great way to slice those veggies and save time too.  The business aspect is what intrigued me as well.  I know how vital organization is to growing her business and staying on track with all her clients. So, I asked Elyce to give me some idea about how she stays organized in her business. She expressed the following.

“I have a business that requires personal communication and I need to remember facts about each person. How does one do this? Simple, I went to Office Max or Office Depot (I can’t remember) and purchased a few binders and rewriteable tabs. I wrote the names of the months on each tab and placed notebook paper in each tab. Each sheet of paper has a clients name and contact information written on it, along with where I have met them and other pieces of information. After I call or email each person I write a note and move the paper to the back of the month or the next month depending on the conversation. The binder is not to heavy so I can take it with me any where and have access to to my information when my memory lets me down :-) ” . Elyce Bader www.eemaskitchen.com

I meet with many small business owners and one thing that I notice is that each person has their own way to stay organized. I only help them to create new habits if they feel they need help in that area. Otherwise, as the ol’ saying goes…If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I only will introduce new organizing techniques and solutions if there is a problem with the system they have. For Elyce, she really likes her system and is comfortable with how she can manage it. You go girl!

MOP’s Networking Collaborative

Mercury Organizing Professionals has partnered with LSVDesign for the past two years to bring you local business to business networking events. This month, Neighborhood Networking is collaborating with BTSocial & Sound Bar Group for our March event!

Join us after work at Y Bar to meet and mingle with fellow businesses and sample appetizers from popular neighborhood restaurants.

Complimentary Absolut Wild Tea drinks from 6–8 pm. Stay for the raffle prizes—and more surprises!

The Featured Organization will be The UNICEF Tap Project.

Register in advance for $15 ($20 at the door).
Online ticket sales end at 3 pm. If you choose to pay at the door, please RSVP.
(cash/check accepted at the door)

Thursday, March 10, 2011
6–10 pm
Y Bar
224 W. Ontario
Chicago, IL

Close to the Brown Line Chicago stop. Metered street parking is available. Valet service $12

Forward this invite to friends and colleagues. Bring lots of business cards.

We hope to see you there!

Do you whistle while you work?

Here is a fun song that describes the clutter dilemma. A friendly neighborhood networking pal of mine named Mitch Pravatiner brought it to my attention. While listening to the local WFMT he heard a tune that strikes a chord in my line of work.  He knew that as an organizer, I would appreciate it. He was right.  

Confessions of a Clutterholic; by Lois Morton

I laughed and enjoyed the little ditty very much. So if you are singing this tune, be sure to let us know and we can rewrite that tune to sing goodbye to all your clutter.

Mercury Organizing Professionals

Featured organizer- An 8th grader’s tips for the new school year

School Supplies 3

Iliana Elias, a student at Inter-American Magnet School is going into the eighth grade ready and organized! How does she prepare for such an exciting and exhausting grade? She’s here to share a couple useful tips to get you prepared for the new school year. Below are common places for school supplies and materials. These tips will teach your student how to keep their school supplies in place and manageable!

1. The Locker
Place things conveniently in order by schedule, by color, biggest to smallest
Locker organizers can be found at any office supply store, Target® or The container store®. Theses provide more space and also make it easy to take things in and out of your locker.
Magnetic clips are fun locker accessories that can hold important papers and assignments.
2. The Book bag
The “stuff” that is placed inside your book bag should only be “stuff” that will be useful that very day for assignments/projects/homework, etc. Excessive material can make your bag heavy when it doesn’t need to be. Everyone has their own style however, by keeping your things in order of priority makes it easy to find what you need.

3. At home
It’s important to know ahead of time what you’ll be working on so you can be sure you have the materials needed. Having a shelf sorted by baskets or bins for just school supplies and materials will make searching and getting things done a lot faster. I always like to have a little box containing the tools that are necessary for completing my assignment.

According to Iliana, she states “It’s important to me to be organized for the school year because I get things done a lot quicker, leaving me time to do other things like hanging with my friends.”