For anyone who knows me and been to our house, the title of this subject would have them chuckling. I live my life in chaos. My workroom has dozens of incomplete projects, my floor covered with paper stacks, and it is usually panic time when company is over and I have to clear space and present a parlor in order.
However, I am on a mission to clear the clutter from my life, as well as prepare to move one day in the future to a smaller house, which means consolidate and remove. Here is the journal of my journey into an organized life. It will take a while because I have so many interests and so much stuff. I also have less time the older I get, so I am getting cracking at it NOW. Read more <here>.
Although I love my computer (Apple, yum yum), I am a computer intermediate illiterate. I still like columnar pads and handwritten notes, and PowerPoint and spreadsheets are foreign to me.
My accountant asked me to learn QuickBooks to organize our finances. I have begun the journey – and entered into the domain of QuickBooks for Macs. Scary. Very scary. Looks something like Greek in cartoon font. However, even though most reviewers bash the Mac version of QuickBooks, it is pretty powerful stuff for organizing one’s finances. Tara Decker over at Diane Sandlin’s office is setting up my accounts and classes, and I go home and do the homework of inputting credit card, checking, and all that good stuff. I love it!!! Already I can see the light and with the push of a keyboard key, I can get reports and a finger on the pulse instead of guessing at the estimate. [update: My personal, business, portfolio accounts are ALL easily accessible now, thanks to Tara and QuickBooks. I have little “QB” with checks on all the statements from credit cards and checking accounts that can now be filed away and later destroyed. With a touch of my finger, I can pull up profit and loss reports by property or class or business for whatever quarter, month, or year I desire. It is bliss. Taxes will be a breeze from now on.]
Barry of Wilco was generous enough to share how he tracks his assets, liabilities, and projections using simple flow charts on his wall, and post it notes that can be changed very easily as the numbers change. How brilliant is that! For people like Uncle and I who are visually oriented, a chart in front of us will give us the picture of the day in a format that we can understand. I’ll see if I can do a video soon and post it here at a later date. One tip he showed me was his folder of business cards. Barry puts all the business cards he collects from fellow investors, wannabe investors, rehabbers, financial people, etc. in those clear plastic pages with sleeves. That way he just flips through pages instead of stacks of cards. Thanks for the tip Barry!
One of the key ingredients to be organized is to have your goals in a system that push you to achieve what it is you need to do to get where you want to be. Than Merrill of Flip This House did a great video on how he organizes his weekly goals. See it <here.>
If any of you trade stocks and options, have a daily journal. The reason I say this is because that is what I was told by an instructor. Prior to doing a daily journal, I used to just gather the confirmation notices and sort of file them away. It was clueless and so one day I started a daily stock journal. Now I use a composition book – one of my favorite note taking tools, and put the date, then start listing the stocks and options of stocks that I am watching, holding, or buying/selling. If I want to know what the price of the stock or option was last week, I just flip back a few pages. To keep track of what I currently have, I put the acquisition date, stock or option, price acquired on a little post it note. These little post it notes are attached to an index card that “moves” along as each day progresses. When the stock or option is sold, it comes off the index card marker. So far, this is working out for me pretty good. Now if I can just figure out how to only pick the winners, I’ll be one happy aunty.
I subscribe to Raymond Aaron’s program. He recently had a daily minute (I get these every day) about wasting time by doing things that really don’t get me anywhere. Instead, do 3 big things a day. Avoid overwhelm and decide what 3 things you should focus on.
One day soon, I will be organized. I have used the excused of being disorganized for far too long. Uncle will be super happy when I reach the point of non-clutter. So will I, but this is a process in process right now. All the things that I thought were treasures are now considered excess, and I will use eBay and Amazon.com to sell things, and Craigslist.org to give away or sell the big stuff that I don’t want to ship. My beads, supplies, and art things will go on Artfire to be sold.
Will update as I get better at it.