Kanex Charging Organizer Review

Review of the Kanex Sydnee Charging Organizer

by Amy Trauntvein

Cords, cords, cords!  If your home is anything like mine, it seems that everywhere I look, there are charging cords all over my house.  iPads, iPods, iPhone, cell phones.  Everyone thinks they need their own charging cord and “place” to charge their devices.  Kanex has come up with a great solution for all your portable electronics that use a USB cord.  The Sydnee (retail: $149) at http://www.kanexlive.com/sydnee

Charging Organizer
Charging Organizer

I instantly liked the idea of having one place for everything that needed charging.  I also like the fact that you can charge up to 4 devices at one time, but that’s about as far as my knowledge goes so I employed my computer savvy husband in trying it out and testing it further.  Here are his coments on the Sydnee Charging Organizer…

– sleek factor, fits on a small corner of the desk

– four charge ports and built in cable management

– came with three short cords already, so I still have the flexibility of keeping my other charger cords for travel and in other uses like hooked up to my desktop without having to go take them back from the charger base.

– white – goes with anything

– ability to add a cell phone charge cord for micro usb on the 4th port (remember, it came with three short cords for four ports)

– I like that I can have my ipad in landscape display mode while it is charging, so I can still use it at my desk, viewing videos, surfing, etc.

– plenty of room to put the chargable items.

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer

Charging Organizer
Todd’s suggestions on improvements for the next version?

– cable management clips on both sides of the holder

– slim wall cord where it plugs into the outlet (flat style).  The cord stands out from the wall plug a good 3 inches so if you’re wanting to use a wall outlet behind a desk or other piece of furniture, it might be difficult to get that furniture closer to the wall because of the plug.

Charging Organizer

I would definitely recommend the Sydnee especially if you have many items in your home that need recharging!  This product would be good in a central location for the whole family to use to keep their devices charged.  It will hold up to 4 iPads and will easily handle 4 smaller devices.

I was compensated with the Kanex Sydnee Organizer, was not paid for this review, and my pictures and opinions are my own.  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Be Sure To Pre Order Your Spiderman Movie Now! #SpidermanWMT #cbias

The Spiderman Movie Is Coming Out Soon!

I had heard that I could pre-order the Spiderman movie and also get a free Vudu copy of it… all before it came out to everyone else! The kids would love it! So I went on a search today at our local Walmart.

I set out early this morning to pick it up and surprise the kids. They would get a kick out of watching the trailers and knowing that they’d get to see the Vudu version on the 30th of October, followed by the DVD around November 9th.  It was a beautiful autumn morning this morning!

autumn day

I had my travel mug of hot coffee in hand and I was heading to Walmart to pick up some milk and the pre-order Spiderman movie.


I had seen the display when I was in AR last month, so I knew what I was looking for.. or so I thought.  I got to the first Walmart and after looking all over, I asked an employee who informed me they no longer had it in their store.


I found the display shelf where it should have been. I guess it was too popular and they sold out of it. Of course this made me want it even more!! Funny how that works isn’t it? lol


Oh, I did stop to look for the new version of the Chris Mann Christmas CD. Chris was on The Voice, and is a friend I’ve met through our blogging conferences. It’s been so fun to watch him on TV and see how well he is doing. It was the only copy of his CD in the store too.

chris mann

So off I went to another Walmart that was across town from this one.


I arrived at this store without any issues. It was still early, so there were no crowds. I went to the back of the store and started looking for the display.


I was seeing many other DVD’s..



I did spot the Spiderman section in the toys… and so I decided to walk over there and get some “Spidey Inspiration”. Where would Spidey look?


I went back and decided to ask for help finding it.  He went right over to the shelf near the counter and grabbed a copy.  Can you spot it on the rack? Look hard… even though the light is reflecting off of it. It’s in the top left corner. There were about 4 copies of it left. Yay… I found it! Mission accomplished! No big displays, signs, or any other labels that stuck out and made it easy to find. But I found it.. all by myself. Ok, so not really, I only found it because I asked for it.  It was $24.96.


Here it is… in my hot little hand! They didn’t have the movie set with the mask, but I was happy to get the pre-order copy.


Now I had to get some “pre-movie candy”, don’t you know!? Just being able to give the kids a movie snack while we looked at the trailers, would increase their excitement, until we got the vudu copy.


Ok.. I’m ready to go.



I did see these darling Brutus the Buckeye loofas from Mascotwear on the way out. I had to pick up one for my Ohio State Buckeye nut son!


Once I got home, I was anxious to see how this pre-order of the DVD worked.

spidermanIt say  right on the package . Buy – Redeem – Watch


So I opened it up and this is what I found.  There was a cardboard “DVD” shaped instruction sheet. It had the redemption code on it.


I got on the computer and went to VUDU.com/theamazingspiderman and it walked me through the steps.  I first entered the redemption code and hit “submit”


I clicked on the left side where it said to sign up for the free version.

sign up

I signed up for an account.

Then it switched over to this Ultraviolet page. It’s a place that allows you to store your digital movie collection. I also did the free version.

After a couple more screens, it came to a payment information page. It ask for your billing address and then your mailing address (so they know where to ship your DVD).

Because there was nothing to pay I picked the option to skip the credit card info. Just go to the gray box on the bottom right. They have this, so that if you order additional movies in the future, they’ll have your info.  You do not need to put any credit card information in to retrieve your vudu copy or your DVD. So no worries there.

I finally got to this page. I went to “Go to Movie”


I was able to watch the trailer clips today.


Just watching a few trailers .. really gets you even more psyched for the real thing!


The triplets were so excited when they got home from school. Elise wasn’t here for this picture.. but the boys were more than happy to let me take a picture! Of course they wanted to watch the whole movie today. They were really excited when I told them we could watch it on vudu on the 30th.. and that would be before their friends got to see it! And of course the pre-movie candy sure didn’t hurt! lol

You can look for the pre-order copy of the Spiderman movie in your Walmart store. (I would suggest calling your store to be sure they have it, before driving there). You can also order it right from the Walmart.com site.

You can also follow along on twitter if you follow the #SpidermanWMT hashtag and also the @SpidermanMovie Twitter handle


I am an employee of  Collective Bias®. This product has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment #CBias  All opinions stated are true and my own.



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Are There Communication Barriers In Social Media?

Communication Barriers Can Be An Issue

This post was originally posted on the Collective Bias Blog on September 26, 2012

The same avenues that increase our communication between people can also be the ones that can create a communication barrier to “true” communication. The message we are trying to convey, may not be the same message that is received.

communication barriers

We are becoming a “social” world. Social in the sense that we are communicating with people we would have never been able to communicate with prior to the internet, texting, Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc.   What an awesome powerful tool we have to use! I personally love being able to communicate with friends from High School, extended family, my boys that live out of state and many other friends. That is one half of the equation for me. The other half is the business side of social communication.  Being able to actually “talk” and communicate with CEO’s of major communies, other bloggers, that I never would have met and being able to live in Ohio and work out of an office in Bentonville, AR, have been absolute dreams for me!

Along with the new lines of communication that we have adapted to over the last several years, comes the problem that can occur while utilizing this form of communication.. which is – lack of communication with our communication.

What? That doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?  We communicate more, and yet… we are communicating less? While communicating via written word, such as email, twitter or Facebook; it is really easy for your words to be miscommunicated.

I think we have all experienced it.  You are in a great mood, reply to someone’s email while you are laughing and send a little joke. The person who receives the email is having a terrible day. They read your joke, but don’t see it as a joke. They get offended, and the problems ensue.

I think we often forget that our voices aren’t being heard, our smiles aren’t being seen, our body language is hidden.  We have learned some ways to get our messages across.  Capitalizing all the words, generally mean that you are angry. Using “lol” (laugh out loud), smiley faces :) and other happy expressions are ways we try to show we are happy, we are conveying a joke or humor.

We have become lazy when it comes to using the phone, or meeting in person for lunch or a chat.  For those of us who are working online most of the day, it can almost seem like a stumbling block to call someone. We have become so used to sending an email, or a tweets or Facebook message to them to communicate. It is “Safe” communication.  We are “protected” from hearing a tone we may not want to hear, or having to say words that might become difficult or strained.  We have become “used” to our new form of communication and it’s comfortable.  We all like comfortable.

But, we have to remember that the real relationship is built in person, or on the phone. Really being able to communicate.  I don’t think I would have been working for Collective Bias if I hadn’t stepped out and gone to Blogging conferences and met those who started and run it in person. It is the real life connection that is going to ultimately “connect” you.

I saw this Facebook post via Zipporah Sandler and had to share. It is so true.

” To the people who seem to be filling my inbox. If you want to get offered opps, trips, reviews and paid work with brands – put in the WORK and foster relationships with these brands and reps. If you do, you’ll find yourself working with the brands, and more importantly PEOPLE that you love.
BTW, the contact list in my cell phone and skype look like a who’s who of PR and in-house marketing people, and I don’t only call when I WANT something, but also to just to say hi, let’s go to lunch, or what’s doing in your life?” ~Zippy Sandler

What I think is the most important thing here is that she says she calls the PR  & Marketing people.  She calls just to say hi, or to have lunch! It’s obvious why she is getting so many offers from the Brands, is it not?


The Social Fabric Community Weighs in

I asked them the following three questions:

1) What are some common mistakes people make when communicating online?

2) What are some ways that you feel these mis-communications can be prevented?

3) What are some tips for better communication?


Common Mistakes

One thing that most all of those who commented from the Social Fabric community agreed on, was that spelling errors and poor grammar were the biggest mistakes people made when communicating via the written word online.

Utilizing spell check and proof reading are simple ways these errors can be prevented.


Tips for how mis-communications can be prevents & better communication from our Social Fabric Members:

Read aloud what you’ve written, even if it’s just to yourself. ~ Monique Burkes @ArmsofaSister

If I’m trying to make a joke but it doesn’t come across as such, I’ll either put LOL or a smiley face or something to let them know I wasn’t being serious. ~Carolyn West @TemysMom 

They need a sarcasm font.   A “lol” helps diffuse a sarcastic statement. Christine @MammaCupcake

Read what you typed out loud to check for tone and clarity before publishing your comment, post, or FB update. Also use smilies to emphasize your tone. ~ Karen  @_Karen

Forgetting that sarcasm and humor do not always translate online. We often forget how much tone and body language conveys to the listener. Oh, and beware of inside jokes in a public forum. Those can go all shades of wrong. ~Andrea @notimeMom

Written communication is so tough because it is all about the attitude of the person writing it and the attitude of the person reading it. I will often use “haha” or “:)” to lighten the mood. I also might think about what I’m going to write before I write it. ~Janet  @JanetGoingCrazy

I also think writing in anger is a big mistake. It’s better to cool off and respond rationally than in the heat of the moment. Written communication needs to be very clear and concise. ~Melissa @MsMissy62

You know, I’d really just be happy these days if people would remember to run spell check, or pay attention to that little red line that crops up under words when you’re typing on FB and in forums. As well as remember some basic 7th grade grammar rules – their, there, they’re; lose, loose; affect, effect; etc. ~ Amanda @HouseHoldSix

I agree with Christine- a sarcasm font would be great. ~Samantha @HaveSippy

If you have information you know is sensitive or may be interpreted the wrong way, pick up the phone or have a face-to-face conversation. ~Sarah East9thStreet

I think tone is also a huge issue. You may think something sounds cute or funny, but it may come across as rude to someone else. It helps to read through what you’ve written with skeptical eyes before publishing. ~Jennifer @TheSimplePen


Communication via the written word is wonderful! It has opened our worlds to meeting and talking to people we otherwise would never have been able to make.  But everything wonderful has pitfalls. We need to be vigilant and try to prevent those pitfalls, and remember that written communication should not be our only means of communication.  It should be in addition to speaking in real life. That is where the real connection continues to be made and nurtured.




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5 SEO tips

SEO tips

Does the term SEO make you crazy? You hear one thing at one conference or from one source and something completely different from someone else. I have been to many conferences and I’ve heard a LOT of contradictions.

It always seem totally over whelming to me to think about going through my zillion of blog post and changing things.  I am far from an expert, so there may be things you disagree with on this post.  Feel free to let me know, I’m always learning.

I did want to share a few tips I’ve learned from an SEO plugin (I guess) on my wordpress site.  I have been trying to understand the whole “No Follow” bit and I’m not totally there, but realize I have to go back through all my posts and make my links no follow links.  (ewwww.. )

But as I’ve been going through (only about 65 posts so far) and making these adjustments, I’ve noticed that my Alexa score has been decreasing again.  It has been gradually going up the last couple months and the only thing I’ve changed in the last few days are these SEO tips I’m going to share.

When I go into my dashboard of my WP site and click on “All Posts”, I get a list of all my blogs.  They now either have a Gray, red, yellow or green dot after them.   This post has a red dot.  One of the things I had been messing up was that awhile back I was told to use all of my “Tags” as Keywords. I’ve been copying and pasting my entire list of tags to the keyword spot forever.  I now know that it wants just one keyword.



1) Keyword

  • Use in the title of your post
  • Use in the first paragraph of your blog post
  • Use it several times throughout the post
  • Use it in at least some of your descriptions/alt tags on your images.
  • If you adjust your title of your posts, then make sure you also adjust your url (permalink)
You can see the WordPress SEO by Yoast that is now on my blog.  Under the Focus keyword it will be red (if you haven’t done it right) or green if you have adjusted correctly.




2) Meta Description

I’ve never added a meta description before because I know that it will pick up your first sentence and use it.  But the SEO seems to like it, so I’ve been adding one now.  (I don’t know if it really is necessary or not)

seo tips


3) No Follow Links

Make out going links “no follow” links.  I wish I could tell you all the “ins and outs” of this, but I can’t.  Here is a post that Jerra from Collective Bias did on No Follow links that may help.

Add    rel=”nofollow”  right before the word “Target” in the outgoing link.   Here is an example:   The above link that I just added for “No Follow Links is this (although I didn’t finish the link out, because I didn’t want to make it a no follow since this is your example. lol

<a title=”No Follow Links” href=”http://blog.collectivebias.com/2012/05/14/i-follow-you-follow-no-follow/” target=”_blank”>…..

I am going to put the  rel=”nofollow”  right after the  ” and before the word target … so it will look like this:

<a title=”No Follow Links” href=”http://blog.collectivebias.com/2012/05/14/i-follow-you-follow-no-follow/”rel=”nofollow”  target=”_blank”>…..


4) Length of your Blog Post

Your post need to be over the 300 word count.  This post is already 561 on the word count, so I’m fine.

word count

5) Outbound Links

Try to have at least one outbound link. I have one in this post and you can see that listed in the line items this guide gives you.   Here is what I’m being told about this blog post.


Once you have finished your post, you should have a green dot by it… like this post.

blog post


I know there is a ton more things that you can do for SEO, but I wanted to give you just a few to help with your blog post.

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Organizing and DIY Link Party – Week 15

Organizing and DIY Ideas

Life always holds unexpected issues, problems and surprises for us, doesn’t it?  Organizing and DIY isn’t always on our brains. The plans that we make don’t always happen. I had planned to finish painting my bedroom this weekend.  I’ve done the white headboard and one wall, but I still have to do the brown walls.  I’ll still need to refinish the chest at the end of our bed (white) and find a quilt and decorative pillows for our bed – but I was going to be that much closer to having the project finished this weekend.

I’m frustrated that I wasn’t able to get it completed, but things come up or happen.

So how do you handle it?  Yes, I was frustrated, but also realized the painting wasn’t going to happen. I’ll just have to re-plan, what else is there to do, right?

So often things like that are such a small piece of life. They seem huge at the time, but in reality, when you stack them up to everything happening, you wonder why we get upset at all when things don’t go as we would like them too.

  • I’ll get the bedroom finished before long, it’s all good.

Organize and DIY
I wanted to share with your some cool links of people who linked up last week.


Sarah from Alderberry Hill shares her front entryway makeover.  I love how she has that space and used it in such an awesome way for the shelf with baskets. I think often if people put anything there it might be a small table with a vase or something like that, which would serve no useful purpose. This utilizes the space in a great way for hats and gloves and looks awesome.


Organizing and DIY

Margo has some great, simple ideas on how to organize your silverware, TV remotes (isn’t it crazy how many we have?) and pens & pencils. You can see them on her blog Joyful Homemaking

organizing and DIY


I love good tutorials. Emily shares one on her blog Naptime Creations to show us, step by step how to make a cool menu of your blog posts. She uses her for her recipes. I think it looks really cool.

Organizing and DIY


Link up to my Linky Party! I’d love to see your Easter, organizing or DIY projects!

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (url code under button tab )
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
6) By linking up to my post, I might use your pic (with link and credit to you) next week in my post!


Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until April 22, 2012 at 11:59pm


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The Kindle

Get free Ebooks From Your Library For Your Kindle!

Did you have any idea that you could get books for your Kindle at the library? I didn’t…. well, until last night.


I got Dave a Kindle Fire a few weeks ago.  I didn’t know anything about the Kindle Fire other than I had been seeing all these people talking about it.  I just figured it was the same as the regular Kindle and didn’t know what all the hype was about. I had no idea you could get onto the internet and get your email, play games, read books etc.

Kim from CraftyMamaof4 told me how much she loved the Kindle Fire after she got them for two of her kids.  I went to Best Buy a day or two later to look at one for Dave.  He doesn’t do much with Social Media, but he loves playing Angry Birds if he has a few minutes here or there and he does like to read (on vacations), and likes to use the internet to look things up. I wasn’t sure what he would think of it, he didn’t ask for it and was totally shocked when I brought it home to him.  He loves it!

I told him that throughout the year he comes home maybe once a month with flowers for me… just because, so why couldn’t I get him something… just because? This was his “flowers” for the year.

I’m really impressed with the Kindle Fire. It responds fast, picture is really clear, colors are good,  it is a nice size. I have an ipad 2 and love it, but had I not been given my ipad 2 this Christmas, I would probably buy myself one of these.  There is no camera on it, and it accesses Amazon apps rather than the Apple apps, it doesn’t have the memory the ipad does.. but it is a great alternative at a great price.

We went out with some friends last night and got talking about the Kindle Fire because our friend had one also and she told us that you could get free ebooks from The Columbus (Ohio) Library.   They are still building theirs lists and don’t have everything yet, but it is growing. They also encourage you to let them know what books you would like to have for your Kindle and they will try and get it.

Great way to save money and save storage space from having regular books all over.   It is also a really good way to encourage reading for kids. Reading a regular book doesn’t seem nearly so fun as reading one from a Kindle. (just sayin’).  I have to admit that I would love to be able to get the triplets each one of these.

I just wanted to share with all of you. I will admit that Dave hasn’t actually gone through the process and has not downloaded any ebooks yet himself. We just got on it this am and he hasn’t had time, but I know it works because my friend, who told us about it,  uses it all the time.  I have not been sponsored or asked by anyone to write this post and I paid full price for the Kindle Fire. The picture and thoughts are totally my own (as they always are)


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Twitter Party Tutorial

 Want to Join a Twitter Party? Not Sure How?

I’ve designed this twitter party tutorial to help those of you who want to join in, but not sure how to do it.

Twitter parties can be really crazy and fast.  I think mine will be a good one to start with.  It won’t be as big as some of the others.  But I did want to give a little help for those of you who are new.  I have my tutorial and there are a couple links for other tutorials that might be of great help too.

There are many different avenues you can use to follow a twitter party. I am going to show you my favorite.  I use Tweetgrid.com

The reason being is that I can see several screens going on at once.

Step 1:  Go to Tweetgrid.com and look at your options.

twitter partyThe 1×1 and 1×2 are the number of columns across and down.  I like the 1×4.  Single columns – 4 across.. It is lower on the page and I have it highlighted.  But see what you are comfortable with.

There are helpful links at the top of the Tweetgrid page that can help you too.  Here is the 1×4 tweetgrid set up.  See… just 1 column down and 4 across.

twitter party tutorialYou can delete the info in the “tweet” area at the top.  Then fill in #MonopolyStreet (or what ever your hashtag for your twitter party is – if you are looking at this for another twitter party) This way you don’t have to keep adding the hashtag for every tweet and that saves a lot of time.

Filling out the column headers

Column #1 – Delete the current info in that header (I think it is like @twitter) Put in your hashtag #MonopolyStreets   and hit “Search”   This will now show you every tweet that is being tweeted that has the #MonopolyStreet hashtag in it…so you can follow our party.

2nd column – You can add @OrganizerSandy in there.  You will be able to follow my tweets and it will also show you ppl who are tweeting me.

3rd column – Add @EAPlay there.  That is the Brand following for EA Games/Hasbro who will be joining us tonight.

4th column – This is where you will put your own twitter name @(and your name).  This way you can see if someone is talking directly to you.

After you have this filled out you have to log in (or you can log in before filling this out too) Look right above the columns and underneath where you tweet your message from.  You will see user … look over to “log in”.  Click that.

twitter party tutorialHit “allow” and it will take you back to your tweetgrid page. You name will then be in the “user” space. You are ready to go.

I will be tweeting out several questions.  They will be labeled Q1, Q2 etc…  This is discussion.  This is not going to be a race to answer the question type of twitter party.  So relax….

I’d love it if you would RT the questions too.

I will be picking winners 2 at a time.  I will use Random.org to pick the winners.  It will be off the rsvp list.  I will check to make sure that person is actually attending the party. So even if you are overwhelmed…be sure to do some tweeting so that I know you are here.

You won’t be able to read every tweet – things move fast.  Just do your best, follow what you can and look for the questions to answer.

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Twitter Tips

Eleven Important Twitter Tips

Twitter is something that some people love and use all the time, or something that people just don’t get.  I didn’t get it at first either. But soon realized the reach and potential it could give me.  

Working recently with Ted Rubin for cbSocially I have learned a lot of things that I didn’t know from Ted.  I did know that you need to engage and talk on Twitter and I strive to always be positive.  I do not like to use twitter to grip. There might be a time and a place it is appropriate, I’m not saying that – but I do not like to engage in “fighting” on twitter. Not cool.

Engaging with others is key!
Twitter is a two way street… it isn’t a one way street meant for you to just shout your message out and not pay attention to anyone else is writing.No         one wants someone shouting at them all the time. If you only tweet out YOUR stuff, that is what you are doing.  Talk to them. Respond!

Be Positive!
Be encouraging, inspiring and up beat.  Who wants to hear someone complain all the time?

Use Their Name 
Look for the person’s name in their profile. Use it when thanking them. Thanks Sandy for the RT!  It is much more personal.

Keep Your Tweets Shorter than 140!
If your tweets are less than 122 characters, it is easy to RT them. If the other person has to take the time to shorten a tweet, chances are
they won’t take the time to RT the message.

Don’t ever begin your tweet with the @ sign! 
If you do, then it doesn’t go into the main stream. It only goes into the stream of the person you are addressing.  Use a word or RT, or if nothing
else use a period before the @ sign. For instance  .@OrganizerSandy

Respond to Every Tweet Directed To You.  
Thank them for their RT’s.  Say Your Welcome if they are thanking you for following them. In real life you would respond, if someone
was speaking to you… So respond! (If the tweet is inappropriate I do not respond. If nasty I will unfollow or block that person)

 Do Not Use the RT Button on Twitter!
It will not show up in Your stream. Copy & paste if you are on Twitter. This way you get the added benefit of your tweet being seen again by your followers. More traffic, means higher klout scores. On Tweetdeck, HOotsuite or Seesmic make sure it is set “Old Style RT”
You want every tweet to help in your stats.

Using a Hashtag 
If you have a group that you follow that uses a # then be sure to use it. We are using the #cbias  for our community. Why? Because it is a way
to easily identify the tweets our community members tweet.  RT’ing each other is simple and builds relationships. Being able to find your
friends tweets is simple and will increase your chances of engagement.

Don’t Over Use Hashtags    
When someone sees a tweet with 3 or 4 hashtags in it, it is only a turn off. Limit hashtags to one or two at most.

Follow Back 
Follow back those that follow you.  I don’t follow the spammers, porn, foul mouthed or languages I don’t understand ; but I try to follow everyone
else. Your tweet goes into their stream and is seen by their followers.  Why wouldn’t you want to follow back as many people as you could? Plus
if someone is trying to grow their handles (like I’ve been doing with the cbSocially handles) then they will unfollow those who do not follow
them back.

DM & Validation services
I have become really frustrated with DM’s.  I rarely use that feature anymore and don’t even check it often.  It has become just full of spam and auto DM’s.  Auto DM’s are where people have read somewhere that it is a good idea to send out an automatic message to anyone that follows them.  They have also been told.. better yet link up your blog or your FB page because then everyone will follow you there too. In my personal opinion I think that is terrible advice.  I will not click on any link that is DM’d to me unless I actually know and trust the person. There is too much spam.  It has totally taken over my direct message box to the point I don’t use it anymore. Sad.   As for the validation services, they are a pain. I do not take the time to go in and click a link and put in a code in order to follow you.  Really? What are you really validating…. that you are a person and not spammer? To me it is almost another piece of spam. Again… fail in my personal opinion.  

If you are starting a new twitter handle, a good way to get conversation going is to thank your followers.  Use their name, make a comment about something on their twitter page or blog link.

The most important thing to remember  is to talk to others on twitter… don’t shout out your one way message. Put your message out there, but respond, be a real person. If no one actually talked to anyone on twitter and only put their “commercial” out there.. would you use it?  Would you watch TV is there were no shows, just commercials? I don’t think so.

I’m @OrganizerSandy on twitter. Would love to have you follow.


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How To Organize Photos

How Do You Organize Your Digital Pictures?

Digitally Organizing Photos

Just as in real life, digitally we need to be organized.  You may wonder why, since there isn’t any physical clutter associated with our computer or laptop.  But we can still have “clutter” on our computers.  Photographs can be a big culprit.  Do you load your pictures onto your computer and forget them?  Can you find them when you need them, or do you just have to scan, scan, scan until you see it?   There are some simple ways to make browsing and sharing your photos easy.

5 Ways to Organize Your Photos Digitally

Step 1: Up Load

Load your pictures onto your computer.  There are many applications you can use  on your computer (ie: iphoto, picasa, photoshop)  but pick one and try to stick to it.  Do not use several different ones on your computer and have your pictures in several different locations.

Step 2: Sort

Just as in real life, we need to “sort” our things, and in this case pictures.  You do not need to keep ALL the pictures you take.  With digital cameras we tend to take a lot more pictures than we used to.  It is alright to delete a picture!  If you have 15 pictures of the same subject. Pick the best one, or maybe 2 and delete the rest.  Remember, these pictures can be copied, shared and saved – so you can break away from the “running out of syndrome”.  You don’t ever have to run out of copies of a digital picture.   Keep your best ones and delete the blurry ones, or ones where you cut off the top of someone’s head.

Step 3: Label

Label your pictures.  Try to do this as soon as you upload them onto your computer.  You have the best memory of the event soon after it happens. Add dates, people’s names, events and thoughts.

Here are some other labeling methods

Face recognition: You can label a photo via faces with some computers. (this is from iphoto on Mac)  If there are people in the photo you label a square that is around their face with their name. Your computer photo software then remembers this face and recognizes it in subsequent photos so labeling becomes easier.  The person who views the photo later can place their cursor over the picture and the persons name appears.  Here is a picture of what a Face folder may look like in your computer.

iphoto uses Faces to label.

Step 4: Separate

Separating your photos into folders enables you to find them quick and easily.  If you just have all your pictures loaded but not separated in any way, you can be searching forever for a particular photo.

Here is an example of folders from a PC.  But I have all the folders labeled and dated for fast and easy referencing.

PC folder method

This is iphotos folder method.  I used to have a PC and loved how I organized it.

I like having the picture on the front of the folder along with labeling below. As you use the scroll bar to scroll down the pictures you also get the letter of the category you are on. I have mine in alphabetical order.  But it can be more difficult to access these pictures when you are wanting to use a picture for a blog post or to put on Facebook. The text labeling do not show up on that screen.

You can separate your photos into broad events:

Holidays, sports, Vacations

Or you can separate them into more specific events (this is my preferred method)

Christmas 2009, Thanksgiving 2008, Youth Football 2006, San Antonio Vacation 2010

You can separate your folders by dates, events, alphabetically or by place.  That is up to you. But which ever method you chose, be sure you can find your pictures fast and easy.

Step 5: Share and Store

Sharing your photos is what taking pictures is all about. There are so many avenues to sharing with social media today; Facebook, Flicker, Kodak Gallery, E-mail, being able to find your pictures easily  makes sharing them a breeze.

The m-series Kodak cameras even have a Share feature on them. You can mark how you want your photos shared, (Facebook, Kodak Gallery, email) and when you connect your camera to your computer they are automatically sent.

Store – Back up those photos! Be sure to not store your photos on your camera, get them off your camera and onto your computer to use them. But be sure to back them up with flashdrives, external hard drives or an off-site back up company so that you do not have to worry if your computer crashes or is stolen.

Digitally organizing your photos is not hard.  It does take a little extra time when you initially load your pictures onto your computer. But that time will be made up ten-fold when you want to find a picture later.  As with any organizing project, maintenance is required. (But well worth it!)

I originally  wrote this post for Kodak last year.

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Link Party Tutorial

How to Link Up to a Linky Party

I know most of you know this, but for those of you who are new to blogging, or new to link parties, I wanted to share a tutorial on how to link up. I’m not techie and I’m always looking for help from others on how to do things.. so hopefully this will help you.

They have several different names but one thing in common. They bring bloggers together.

But what they are is a way to link your post to a “link party” to gain more exposure for your blog post. It also gets more readers to the blog you are linking up on.. a win – win.

A blog hop is a little different. You can copy the code if you want to have the blog hop on your blog too and you can have the same lists. But be sure to read the rules of the blogger who starts it (we aren’t going over that today)

It is great if you are looking for a specific topic… say “organizing” for example. Or crafts, DIY, cooking, etc.

Step #1

Go to the bottom of the blog post (most likely under other thumbnails that have already linked up and look for the “You are next…..Click up Here to enterClick on that…

link party tutorial

Step #2

Find the url of the specific blog post you want to use. Click on your blog post (don’t just put your blogs url… there should be more after the normal url… so that you know you are on the specific blog post. Otherwise when someone several weeks later clicks on the link party expecting to find your post on organizing a craft room… they don’t get your main blog page showing how to organize a garage.. and then they have to hunt for the craft room post on your blog. (plus many linky party owners will delete your entry if you don’t have it linked to a specific post)

The top arrow shows you were to find your url.

linky party tutorial

Step #3

Now click on the “enter the linky party” from Step #1 and a page like the one below will come up.

linky party tutorial

1) In #1 the first box it says “link it to” – Just put the url of your specific blog post. You can copy and past that link.

2) Caption or Title – What is your blog post titled or what do you want the readers to see under your picture

3) Your email- that is simple

4) You can either check “From File” and this will take you to your computer info where you can pick a picture. Or you can pick “From Web” . This will take you to pictures from your specific blog post and blog. This is the one I usually pick as there is much less searching to do for a picture.

Here is an example of “From Web” from the post I had above. These pictures are from that page, they include buttons from my sidebar etc.. but also specific pics from that post.

link party tutorialI don’t know why there area all those empty spaces inbetween the pics (and yours may look different)

I think pic a picture… I will pick the laundry baskets that the arrow is pointing to.

5) Once you pick your picture it takes you to a screen that looks like this. You can move the box to show what part of the picture you want. then just click “OK” at the bottom of the picture.

linky party tutorialYou are almost finished! You can now go back to the bottom of that link party and see your thumbnail link added.

My Mission link party is actually going to have the same link list through out that Mission (office, kitchen etc). You will be able to link up several times for each post. See my Mission party agenda here for more explanation on that.

Last step – Be Courteous!

This next Step is to be Courteous if you are linking your post – you need to read the bloggers rules, but almost all of them will ask you to add their button or a text link back to their blog. Many will also ask you to follow them etc…

I use Word Press, not blogger…. so my screens may look different from yours. But this will give you a basic idea.

Stay on the blog that you just linked up to. Look for that bloggers button for their link party. Look on their sidebar, and if you can’t find it there – most likely they have a tab across the top of their blog, or maybe on their sidebar that says, “Button” or Pick up my button.. etc..

link party tutorial

Copy that code for the button and now go back to your blog. If I go into my blog post.. You can where I have added other buttons that I have linked up to. But I am in “visual” mode. You have to be in html to add the button (in wordpress)

link party tutorial

So just click on the “html” tab and it will put you into the html code of the blog Scroll down to the bottom of the post (or where ever in the post you are adding the button or link) and add it in.

I highlighted where the beginning of where I link my buttons to.

link party tutorial

So have fun….and link up. Free free to link to this tutorial on your blog, but please don’t copy and use it as your own on your blog. Thanks!

I’d love to know if this helped you at all.

I’m linking this post to:

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I’m in Woman’s World Magazine

My ideas were published in a National Magazine! Hoot!!

Womans world October issue

I was asked by a reporter from Woman’s World Magazine, Gabrielle Lichteman – for some ideas on how to organize a kitchen using some inexpensive options. I offered her several ideas and she published 2 of them.  I think it is cool to see “Organize with Sandy.com” in print on a magazine page!!  hee hee

womans world magazine

You can see them a little better in this cropped version of the article.

Organize with SandyYou can read them in the number 4 and Number 5 options.  She did get a bit confused on the Number 5 option.  I suggested a rack on the back of the pantry door, but it is a rack that is wire so that you can put cans etc in it.  I use a clear shoe organizer on the back of other doors for things like hats, gloves, small toys… but I didn’t suggest that for a pantry.

Here is the blog post I did on organizing your pantry for less. It has both of the ideas I am sharing here in the article.  Using the un-used space I like to do using wire hanging baskets (off of the shelf) and using floor space and tall cupboard space.

pantry door organizerI’m not upset at all that things got a little confused, but this is what I was telling her about.  But over a phone it could have easily gotten mixed up.  so I understand.   If you did use a clear shoe organizer you could put packets of Kool-aide, small packets like onion soup mix, cake decorating sprinkles and supplies, even spices that are used frequently. So I suppose you could use that, but I hadn’t thought of it before. lol

But isn’t it cool that I have my ideas in a National Magazine?  I don’t know about you but I’m thrilled with that!  What is even neater is that when I was at the Toyota Tour in Evansville, IN last week – I had one of the other bloggers when she was introduced to me say, “Hey, you were in Woman’s World weren’t you? I just read that the other day!”.  Hee hee… so someone actually read it and related it to me.

This was the October 4, 2010 edition of Woman’s World Magazine, page 35.

I have also been recently featured on the Cleveland Moms Like Me blog page as their “Meet the Blogger” for this month.  Cool huh?

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Kodak Pulse Digital Frame Review

Congrats to B.Ringer who won with #275 Random.org pick

Organize and View those Pictures that You love Daily!

Kodak Pulse Picture FrameThe Kodak Pulse Digital Frame is another way you can organize your pictures!   Does that make sense to you?   Yes…it should.  Why?  Because, I am always saying to take pictures of “things” and then get rid of those things. Right?  Like your children’s art work from school… those greeting cards from loved ones….those stuffed animals you had since you were a child..but now smelled moldy…. etc. etc…etc…

If you are going to take pictures of them, then wouldn’t it be a great thing to enjoy them? Of course it would.  With this Kodak Picture Frame you can do that.

This is the 7″ Kodak Pulse Digital Frame that I reviewed.   It uses your wireless internet (so you do need wireless internet to use this).  It holds hundreds of pictures (because mine loaded 800 pictures to begin with..I did erase most of those).  The other neat thing about this picture frame is that it coordinates with the Kodak Easy Share Camera.  I just did a review and giveaway on the Easy Share Camera and Pulse frame on my Chat with Sandy blog.  You can take pictures with your Easy Share Camera and then set them to go to your Pulse Frame …. from a distance!

So let’s put this into perspective.  You give this picture frame to the Grandparents who live in California. They can’t make it for most of the holidays because you live in Ohio.  Christmas morning they wish they could be there…but they can’t.  You take oodles of pictures with your Easy Share Kodak Camera…. program the pictures to go to the frame (at Grandparents). Then after the craziness of the morning, you plug your camera into your computer and the pictures will automatically travel to their frame. So that same day they get to see all the pictures on their frame from your Christmas morning!  How Cool is that?


Go to Kodak Pulse and tell me 2 facts about this camera that you find on the site link.  **Be sure to come back here and leave me your answer in your comment. Your e-mail has to either in your comment or on your profile.


**Each of these HAS to have a separate comment to win. The winner is picked using Random.org. It just goes the number of comments….not by what you say.

1) Subscribe to my Organize with Sandy blog This is for 5 chances to win! (use 5 separate comments)

2) Subscribe to my Chat with Sandy blog This is for 5 chances to win! (use 5 separate comments)

3) Subscribe to my Explore Ohio with Sandy blog.  Come back here for 5 separate chances to win.

3) Follow me on Twitter. Leave me your twitter id in your comment

4) Subscribe to my YouTube channel

5) Tweet this out up to 3 times a day. (one comment for each tweet) Pls leave your link

6) I can’t ask you to “like” me on Facebook, but I can ask you to leave a comment for an entry.  3 chances for each comment on any of my FB  pages:

Organize with Sandy

OrganizerSandy (Organizing Fan page)

Explore Ohio with Sandy

See lots of way to enter!!

This contest will run until 11:59pm est on Tuesday Nov. 2,  2010 *THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED*

Any comment that comes in after the above time will be deleted. This is open to US mailing addresses only. One person per mailing  address only.  Winner will be chosen by Random.org

You will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail if you are picked as the winner, or else I will go on to the next winning number.

See my other Giveaways Going on Now

MiracleBody Jeans – Ends Oct. 14, 2010

Avery Customized Binder  – Ends Oct. 18, 2010

Avery Basket of Goodies – Ends Oct. 21, 2010

I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Grilling Set – Ends Oct. 27, 2010

Disclosure: I was given this Kodak Pulse Frame to review and keep. The pictures and video are my own. The thoughts are my own….and I like it!

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June 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Photography, Tech & Media

Having Fun With My Camera

I am trying to work on my photography skills.  Kim from Crafty Mama of 4 inspired me when she was here.  Heck…we had to stop the car near my home so she could get that unobstructed sunset view. LOL

I dusted off my Canon D20 (now outdated….but great when I got it about 4 yrs ago) and got it working.  Now I am trying to figure out how to take pictures in modes other than automatic.  But that is easier said than done. I had taken a photography class several years back…but have always had trouble figuring out what settings to use….unless I have lots of time to set and play with it.  But how do you know when you want that “fast shot” or that animal is going to move and you just want to “snap” it?

Dave and I went driving around near his farm since it was rainy…and I got a few pictures.  My guess is that most of these are in automatic. I took bunches and tried all kinds of settings…but it seemed the automatic always had better settings than I did. ugghhh…..but I’ll keep trying.  I’ve been reading some of the tuitorials on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. She also inspires me to try and go beyond the automatic settings. Wow…her stuff is awe inspiring.

I’ve been trying to look at things differently. Trying to see things through a lens and what might make a neat picture….instead of the “expected” picture.

Countryside pictures

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My Interview with Peter Walsh! (part 1)

Interviewing the King of Organizers!!

I was thrilled to be able to interview Peter Walsh today via web cam.  He could not see me (thank goodness because I was sitting with my sweatshirt on and no makeup!) but I was on the phone.

I was asked by Office Max if I wanted this opportunity. Heck yes!!

Peter is coming out with a new line (they are soooo cool) of organizers for the office called the you.organize series and we are lucky enough to get a preview here.  I am glad….I was sure hoping he would.  My favorite is the wall modular system! I love the look of it and it is so functional.

I asked him about filing though. That seems to be my biggest challenge when I work with clients. I wanted to see what his thoughts were. Also on the programs where you log all the information into your computer and each file folder gets a number. Then you put in a key word and it shows you where your file is.  They work great and I have used a version or one with one client. But….I do not like that you can’t open the file drawer and find your file without logging onto your computer first.  *The client I had use this system, I still labeled the front of his files with the file name & the number.

Enjoy my interview (as nervous as I was…) with Peter Walsh. Plus the fact that I could see him in the video but was talking to him on the phone. Well when we were  making this…his voice didn’t match his mouth! I felt like I was watching a foreign film. LOL  So I had to keep looking away from the screen because it was throwing me off. (You know as I get older it doesn’t take as much to throw me off! ) Thank goodness on the final video he talks just fine!

Thank you SO Much Office Max and Peter for this opportunity!

You can follow Peter’s Facebook Page to get answers to even more of your questions.

Tomorrow I am going to share some tips that are from Peter.

Disclosure:  I was not paid for this interview with money or products. I also did not have to pay them to have this interview.  My reward? I got to interview Peter Walsh!!!  yippee & squeels!

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Photography Makes A Big Difference For Bloggers

My Camera

My Camera


I got this camera several years ago. By todays digital standards it is outdated.  I was loving taking pictures and wanted to make a business of it. I took a photography lighting class and guess what….got scared off.  I thought I could never do all that this guy was doing and that my pictures would never be what they needed to be to make a business.  What if I messed up someone’s wedding with my pictures?

I still enjoyed taking my own pictures, but then the camera got to the point it was so heavy to lug around.  I got busy with my organizing business…and it was much easier to take a small point and shoot camera into a clients home for pictures.  Then having it with me in my purse was great! Loved it..and still do.

But…I am getting the bug again to take some “good” pictures.

My friend Kim from Crafty Mama of 4 (it’s her birthday today by the way) has really gotten into taking pictures.  She was here for the weekend when we went to the Blogpaws conference.  We were driving home and she made me asked me to stop so she could take a picture of a sunset in the country.  It made me remember how I used to be.  Looking at everything through the lens of a camera.  Wanting to take pictures of everything and looking at the lighting on objects rather than the objects themselves.

So while she was here I went and got this camera out. I charged the battery, but then got an error message.  I took it into a Cord camera store and the guy looked at the Compact Flash card and said, “Yes…I thought that was the problem, you have a bent prong down in the camera, that will be $225 to fix.”

“What?  $225 just to straighten that tiny metal prong way down in there?  Couldn’t I just take a toothpick and straighten it myself?”  With that statement he picked up the camera and took out the battery. He said that if someone would decide to try and do that and the battery was in…if 2 of the prongs touched each other it would short out the camera.

I took my camera and left…pretty bummed. Not sure if I should spend the money and have my camera back….still wondering if I would decide the same thing that it was just too bulky to really use very much.

But….guess what…I took a toothpick.. ..and of course my big magnified light (with reading glasses it was still hard to see) and bent the prong back. Before I started it did look like it was touching the prong next to it.  So I might be to late…it might already be shorted out since the battery had been in it while it was like that.

He told me that when it was fixed I would have to buy a new CF card because if I used the same one it would mess up the prongs again since those holes were now messed up.  I went to Walmart last night and picked one up…..brought it home….put it in very carefully and it fit. Now to see if it works.

It did!!  Yeah….my camera seems fine.  I’m excited. So for the cost of the CF card ($24.99) I had my camera back.

Now I just have to learn to use this flash that I bought. I got it right after the lighting class (cause I thought I would need it since they all had them) and never figured out how to use it.  So I need to either learn to use it or sell it.

Canon Flash Attachment

Canon Flash Attachment

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Oprah Radio Show

SXSW – Pepsi Refresh Contest. I was on Oprah Radio!

Derrick Ashong from the Oprah Radio Show

Derrick Ashong from the Oprah Radio Show

You can cast your votes on Twitter by using the hashtag #RefreshCQ every 2 hours until 11:59 pm on Monday night.
Melissa and I have gotten up and spoke up on the flash panel. Then we were interviewed by Derrick Ashong from the Oprah Radio network. Then CNN.com came to do a quick interview (only the campaign managers) so @consumerqueen (Melissa told about my idea….Oh thank goodness….she is good!)

Disclosure: Pepsi is not sponsoring me for this event.

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I have to admit that over the last couple of weeks I have come to hate my computer.  I think that is because I love it so much!  I know..doesn’t make much sense does it?

I so love working on my blog, twittering and writing articles …and when I am not able to do it, or do it in the fashion I am used to…then I get upset.

My computer has been ill. Yes…it went to the computer hospital for 8 days and I finally got it back Tuesday. It was my understanding that they were going to reload all the saved data they took off for me.  Well…it wasn’t done and what I heard on the phone (and of course it only made sense) was that they couldn’t do anything without my computer and if I wanted to bring it back in they would take care of it.  NO!! I told them….you have had it for 8 days and I need it.

Ok….so for the last 2 1/2 days all I have done is try to reload everything. I have picture folders and files everywhere….I can’t open my Palm Pilot information. I can’t open some other important information.  I am having trouble (started yesterday) with my right click on my computer. I didn’t realize how much I copy and paste and use spell check…until I couldn’t do it.  But sometimes it works?  What is up with that? Oh…and it blue screened 15 minutes before my MomTv show last night. Thank goodness my husband was there to calm me down and get it going again.

I am going to take it back to them today and let them reload it all properly (I did pay for it so to go somewhere else wouldn’t make sense either).

I was going to have another guest post by Stephanie today on Toy Organizing..but guess what..I can’t load her pictures.  Go figure.

I apologize for the lack of post in the last week…and my gripping (if you follow me on twitter)…but I love doing this so much and when my baby (computer) isn’t working right…I hate that I can’t do it.

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New Word Press Blog!

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Photography, Tech & Media


I have done it…I have actually gone to Word Press!!   yippee….Hooray!!

I am still learning things….but think it is going to be great.  I am “convert”.

I do not have the followers widget on WordPress, so if you were a follower of mine on blogger,  I would love for you to  sign up to  subscribe by e-mail (form) or feed (orange RSS button in top row). Thanks!!

Thanks so Michael at Uncorrupted Hosting and Revka from Berries and Cream Blog Designs. She spent 2 1/2 hours today going over WordPress with me! Is that fantastic or what?  She was on Dimdim and was able to show me the screen and what she was doing. It was so helpful.  Then together they got me through a mess in transferring all these posts over and fixing mess ups.

Technorati this is for you – ev5z8fr7wk

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Email Inbox – Does it Stress You Out?

Our E-mail can be as scary if not scarier than all the papers coming into our houses. We get junk mail, we get offers, we get pictures and letters, then more junk mail.
But sorting through it can be difficult.
I have to admit (as I did on my momtv show last night) that I am not an expert in this form of organizing. I think that might be because I am not techie at all and I am sure there are easier ways to do things on here that I am just not aware of.
Last night I had a great group of people who were teaching me a lot about different things that can help. You can see it if you go to this link on Mom TV
I have tried to still use the basic methods of sorting paper.
1) File
2) Action
3) Trash

To file you need files. So you need to make folders to put things in. I have learned to use the filter option for my inbox. So that things that I don’t necessarily have to read that day, newsletters etc. go directly into that folder. Then I try to look at it everyday and sort through it, but it is ok if I don’t get to it until 2 or even 3 days later. But then I clean it out as I go.

Several people have several e-mail addresses to sort their mail. I have 3 e-mails but it isn’t to sort my mail it is to keep business and personal separate. The 3rd is an old one that I have surveys and a couple point saving things I signed up for in.

I also may be the geek here in that I print out my important information. I have a notebook that I keep for my blogging and it just keeps my head clear of what I have to get done. I think this is because I am still old school at heart and I don’t have my head completely wrapped around keeping everything in my computer folders. I hope to get to a point where I do not feel I need my notebook to feel like I have everything in control.
Thanks to my viewers last night in teaching me some new things!

Here are a couple other posts that might interest you about E-mail Inbox organizing:
Guest blogger Beth from Plus Size Mommy

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I Guest Posted On Ellie Merritt’s Blog

I Did a Guest Post On Ellie Merritt’s Blog from NBC 4

Ellie and I are tight.
LOL No, not really – but she did post a 2nd guest blog from me.  It is called Spring Cleaning – Get Organized Tips, so I am thrilled.
She has her own News show on NBC channel 4 here in Columbus. It is called First at 4 with Ellie Merritt. She does the normal news stories for the day, but what is really nice is that she has a little more focus on woman and mom’s. On Mondays she rotates having on Marcy from Stretching a Buck and Tara from Deal Seeking Mom (local mom bloggers) to give tips on saving money, coupons and free deals. She realizes the value and how much the bloggers can teach, so she features us often.
Check out her blog called, Elaborating with Ellie and you can check out my post, but you can also look at the other information she has and learn a little more about her. (She is really nice)

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