Organize your Brain - Remembering what was on your shopping list

Do you ever find yourself making a list of just a "few things" you need to pick up at the store, but when you get to the store you've forgotten to bring the list?

Here's a simple trick to help you remember.
When your list is complete, review the list and count the number of items that are on the list.

When you get to the store, if you've forgotten your list, you'll find that if you look into your basket, and count the items, it will be easy to remember what you're missing, if anything.
Conversly, for some reason, it's simple for your brain to identify things that weren't on your list.  So when you're counting the items, your brain, will say, "that wasn't on the list."
I don't know why it works, but it does.  (I'm not claiming any scientific research, just personal experience.)

Try it the next time you go shopping
  1. Make a list, count the items on the list, put the list in your handbag, or pocket. 
  2. Try shopping by the numbers. 
  3. Just before you get in the checkout line, count the items in your basket, if you've got the right number pull out your list and verify that you've got the right items. 
 I use this trick for 10 items or less, but now that I'm blogging about it, I may try to "up the ante."
Give it a try and let me know how you do.  Maybe we'll ge a little "memory challenge" going!


Don't leave your embellishments out!

I'm always amazed when I talk with ScrapRack customers at a show or convention and as they look through our sample ScrapRack they say  - "I never thought I could put my embellishments in my ScrapRack."
   If you have a SR or you're considering a SR purchase I hope you'll get the most out of your SR by using it for "EVERYTHING!" and that includes embellishments.  Even things like Glitter can be included.  Simply put these tiny things, eyelets, brads, beads, glitter, charms, etc.... in small ziplock type bags.
Glitter, eyelets, buttons.....

Once you've filled the ziplock bags, you can just slip the bag into a pocket page in the correct section of your ScrapRack, whether it's Rainbow, Theme, Holiday, or Alpha-numeric.  The next time you Craft, you'll be far more likely to use more of what you've got because it's at your finger tips.



Snowball of Success - The Discipline of Getting it All Done.

I got an email today from a gal that was finding it difficult to acutally put new things away as she brought them home.  It seemed easier to her to just put them in a drawer and worry about them later. For those of you who have joined me for seminars or webinars, or just chatted with me at a show or convention, I'm sure you've heard me say - "It's got to be Easy."  Easy is important, but so is feeling somehow rewarded for a task you've accomplished that you weren't excited to do.  Here's my response to the email:

Hi M -
 The discipline of actually putting things away immediately is the hardest part for many people.  You need to make it easy on yourself to put the things away.  I wouldn't suggest having empty pages in each section because they may never get filled up.  I would suggest using a designated space for empty pages, maybe one of your drawers.  Each time you bring home something new, you can go directly to that drawer, grab an empty page, put your supplies into it, pull the correct Spinder off the base unit, put the page in where it belongs, and replace the Spinder. 
  It will also help if you can find some "joy" or reward in following through with the step of actually putting things away.  I know this sounds silly, but sometimes doing something as minor as writing down on your "to-do" list that you are going to "put _____ number of items in your ScrapRack", then doing it, then getting to cross it off your list, can be really rewarding and motivating.  You could even just commit to an amount of time, write on your to-do list - "Spend 10 minutes putting Scrapbook Supplies in my ScrapRack."  There's something very satisfying about crossing things off, getting that feeling of accomplishment.  We often "judge" what is on our list, and only include major things or things we perceive as being "important", but putting a few truly "do-able" tasks on the list and then crossing them off generally motivates us to take on the more challenging tasks as well.
 I hope this helps.  Let me know how it works out.

My kids sometimes make fun of what is on my list, simple things like, "read the paper", listen to a "particular radio show," - They'll ask, "Was it really necessary to write that down?"  Well, at the end of the day if I have a list of 10 things and they are all crossed off I feel GREAT!  I feel good about 5 things, but the more I cross off, the better I feel, and...The More I GET DONE!!  It's a snowball of success.  Don't be afraid to count the little stuff, it all adds up.  If you think "picking up your kids from school" shouldn't be on your list, try not doing it one day and you'll find out how truly important that "mundane and simple" task is!!!  :-)


Creating an online journal using Word

One of the challenges with journaling in our scrapbooks is having access to the information.  You can create a simple online journal using a standard word processing program like Word.  Follow these easy steps and you'll be journaling in no time.
  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. Save it As Journal on your Desktop.
  3. Start each entry with the date - consistency is key and details can be helpful, ie, instead of using just the numeric date, you may want to add a little more info: 12-16-2011, Friday, First day of Christmas Break...This of course isn't necessary for everyday, but if you think you may want to search by a particular piece of information it's good to include it in the dateline/title.
  4. Whether you prefer to write whole sentences, or bullet points doesn't matter.
  5. I always add the newest entries to the top of the first page. That way I don't have to scroll to the end to make an entry. 
  6. If you use a SmartPhone, set up the document on your desktop to sync with the same document on your smart phone. That way if you want to note something while you're away from your computer the two documents will stay consistent.
  7. Finally, when you download pictures onto your computer, you can put a note right into the journal or even cut and paste the file path into the journal. When you're ready to scrap, it will be easy to find the images that go with the journal entry.

Wow. That was easy!  Now, when you need to access journaling notes you can open your Journal, click on the "Find" icon (small binoculars), put in a date or keyword, and your computer will take your right where you need to go!  It's so simple.