Blog Spreadsheet Now Available at Etsy

Recently I mentioned my love of all things Excel and creating spread sheets for just about everything.

I have just added my blog spread sheet to my Etsy store, available for purchase and immediate download.

The best thing about this spread sheet is it’s simple. There are lots of blog tracker options out there but some are pretty complicated. That’s the last thing you want when like me you are a little bit of a newbie to this blogging thing… or maybe you’ve been blogging a while but spread sheets are not your strength. Either way, simple is a winner solution to getting yourself organised.

The Excel file allows you to track the following data:
Monthly blog stats
Monthly earnings through advertising and affiliate programs
Monthly and yearly totals
Affiliate links
Sponsored post earnings and pending

All in one easy place, with formulas to automatically calculate amounts for you and send them all to the Totals page so you aren’t copying and pasting the info yourself. All this for just $3.

Here’s hoping it helps you create a more SIMPLIFIED life! Head on over to Etsy to get it now.

{DIY} Whiteboard Calendar & Planner

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When life gets extra busy, sometimes the best solution is a really BIG reminder!

With university kicking off for me once more next week, after 8 years of being uni-free, I know getting organised is a must. Like not just a little bit organised like I may have been back in my teens as a first time uni student, as I was a pretty lazy student, but as in really organised. To the second almost at times, since I will now be juggling part time work and motherhood alongside my studies.

I decided I needed a really huge calendar that is re-useable and on my wall. With that in mind, this quick half hour project was born. Sure you can buy pre-printed whiteboard calendars, but about 3-5 times the price. I don’t want to spend $80+ for something I can create.

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All you need is:

  • Whiteboard – as big as you want, to suit your needs
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler

With my uni semesters being approximately 4 months each, I wanted something relatively big although decided the size I got would suit 3 decent sized monthly sections. That’s okay as I can erase and re-write every 3 months to fit the next phase in. That’s the beauty of a whiteboard.

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Start with wipe off whiteboard marker

Decide on how you want to lay out your calendar. I would suggest marking up in whiteboard marker initially, to make sure you are happy with your design. Use a ruler to measure out your lines and sections.

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Rule up where you want your lines

Once you are happy with your design, draw up your lines in a permanent marker. Be mindful that drawing directly over existing whiteboard marker will stop your lines from being permanent. Whiteboard marker erases permanent marker. Good tip to know if you make a mistake. So after you’ve done your initial design, maybe just use dots to mark everything up.

Once your permanent lines are up, use a whiteboard eraser or a cloth to wipe off any existing whiteboard marker.

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Permanent marker

Everything else you can do in whiteboard marker so you can erase and change the dates, months and entries to suit your needs.

Initially I had a 7 day calendar drawn up but decided I really only needed 5 day weeks since uni assessments are never due on weekends. Instead I created a dates to remember section down the side of each month where the other 2 days would be. Up to you what works best for your needs.

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Then just add in your important dates

And there you have it… a massive calendar organiser you can use all year round and year after year!

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All set up on the wall of my messy office

I am slowly on my way towards an organised and simplified life.

How To Organise Your Entire Life In Documents

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For as long as I can remember I have been addicted to digital organising.

I am a little bit of a perfectionist at times, so while my physical world may be in shambles occasionally, my PC is pretty well organised. I have folders for everything and sub folders to make things even clearer. Everything from photographs, business documents, DIY and study/work materials all have their homes.

For every major event in my life I also create a spread sheet to track and plan everything. This started with my wedding many years ago and has resulted in mostly everything since also having a spread sheet of its own.

If I’m planning an event, I have a guest list, to do list, gift registry, shopping list, expenditures and other useful information all there in one place, tab by tab in Microsoft Excel. Right now I’m working on a university placement tracker, recording the contact I’ve made with various schools. I am also planning a spread sheet for my best friend’s baby shower I’m organising. Yep… I am addicted!

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Tracking income for my small business is done entirely via an Excel Spread sheet. Invoice details, expenditures, profit, advertising, pre-orders. One stop place for everything.

The greatest benefit for business and finance related spread sheets is the ability to create formulas to calculate totals for costs or stock automatically. You can even have all this data transferring to one main page, giving you a snap shot of all you need to know in one place.

My professional workplace is managed much the same. I have just created a super dooper staff planner, complete with drop down boxes everywhere and a full year of leave, training, and program scheduling to ensure an organised and productive workplace.

The best thing is you don’t even have to be a computer genius to take advantage of spread sheet organising. Basic computer skills are all that’s needed to create basic documents. Of course advanced skills are an advantage, but I can guarantee you will learn quickly and soon surprise yourself with what you can do!

To make your life easier though, I am in the process of creating a whole lot of excel spread sheet templates for various functions that will be available in my Etsy shop soon… for cheap. This means all you really need to do is personalise to suit your needs or simply input your data and away you go.

Stay tuned as they will be ready soon and are guaranteed to help you plan your wedding, party, event, blog & home expenses.

Do you use spread sheets to make your life easier?

{DIY} Scrap Buster Cards & Other Useful Ways To Use Your Scraps

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I’ve mentioned before that I have a wee bit of a hoarding problem. In fact, I’ve confessed this quite openly just recently. My hoarding extends to many things. Some useful… some far from it.

One of the items to do hoard is scraps of scrapbooking paper. I have an Ikea expedit cube full of scraps and offcuts from the scrapbooking pages and cards I have made over the past several years. Yet I’ve probably opened this cube maybe 2-3 times to actually find supplies, as compared to the hundred times I’ve opened it to hoard another scrap or 5.

Enough! It was time to act on the scraps. And here is the perfect solution – HANDMADE CARDS

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Cards only require small pieces of patterned paper and I’ve always considered it such a waste to throw reasonable sized pieces out so putting 2 and 2 together, my hoarding does have use.

It also makes me feel better about the more than $1 spent on each piece of paper on average over the years and often not using the whole sheet. So it’s a thrifty method as well.

Materials:

  • Blank cards or cardstock
  • Scissors/cutting tools
  • Adhesive
  • Embellishments
  • Paper scraps

Here are some of my most recent scrap buster cards:

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You can make cards with a special occasion in mind, future events or generic themed cards you can use for last minute occasions. I like to keep a variety of all occasion cards on hand in case I haven’t the time to create one. Saves buying an over priced store brought card.

You can find a stack of inspiration on Pinterest for cards if you are stuck. It’s always my go to place for inspiration for anything.

And here are a few other stash buster tips:

Make a card or two out of scraps immediately after finishing a scrapbook layout – this means they don’t end up in the scrap box and you’ve just created a couple of projects in just a few minutes more.

Use them for kids craft – let your kids have fun with your scraps by giving them paper, a glue stick and scissors (depending on age) and let them make you a masterpiece. Keeps them entertained for hours which is an extra bonus.

Donate them – local schools, parents with kids, local craft groups. Ask around. You never know who might jump at the chance to make something wonderful out of your unwanted scraps.

Don’t limit yourself to just cards – sometimes scraps are all you need to finish off the next project you are working on, whether it be a scrapbook layout, Christmas tags, or an off the page mixed media project, remember to check the scrap box. Saves cutting up another piece of paper sometimes.

Looking for more ways to declutter in your home? Here’s some.

 

35 Ways To DECLUTTER Your Home That Actually Work

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1. Write a list of areas that need decluttering. Cross them off once they are done.

2. At least every 3 to 6 months, throw out anything out of date from you pantry, medicine chest, cosmetics etc.

3. Get the whole family involved. More hands make for a quicker job & reward everyone with a plan of something fun once you’re all finished.

4. Set chores for the whole family. Even toddlers can start to learn the benefits of simple tasks such as picking up toys each day.

5. Have a home control station where you keep unpaid bills, keys & urgent items. This minimises losing important things in your mess.

6. Meal planning saves on food waste.

7. Seek out creative storage options. Pinterest is full of ideas.

8. Clean out your closest at least every 12 months and throw out/give away anything you haven’t worn that past year.

9. Throw away broken things. Chances are you won’t get around to fixing it so it’s easier to just get rid of it (unless you’re really handy)

10. Sort your Christmas decorations and anything you haven’t used for a couple of years or have replaced with something better can go.

11. Don’t use your garage as a dumping ground for items with no home. Get rid of the excess.

12. Downsize or eliminate your junk drawer.

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13. Cull kids toys and clothes. Charities will appreciate them.

14. For every new towel, bedding item or kitchen appliance your purchase, get rid of the old one it replaces.

15. Make use of boxes before your throw them out and fill them with unwanted items. See post.

16. Places like Ikea have so many organisation solutions. Figure out what you need and find a box, container, hanger etc to suit.

17. Do you really need 5 pairs of red heels? Green hats? Grey scarves? Downsize.

18. Resist buying things on impulse that you don’t need. Sales are great, but save your cash.

19. Each night before bed put 5 things away where they are meant to go. It minimises cleaning time later.

20. Create routines and helpful habits, such as putting away laundry the same day it is done or throwing out the recycling once per day.

21. Instead of buying new DVDs, CDs etc, consider electronic versions such as iTunes or hire them if you’re unlikely to rewatch frequently.

22. Birthday or Christmas coming up. If you are replacing certain items such as toys, clothes etc for loved ones, consider getting rid of existing ones to make room.

23. Under bed storage is under-utilised. Vacuum seal bags, under bed containers. Use these spaces to store things such as winter clothes, photographs (providing it is dry and sealed), shoes, seasonal decorations.

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25. Photo albums are great but take up a lot of space. Think before you print and consider digital photo books as a space saving alternative.

26. Don’t entertain often? You probably don’t need a 20 piece dinner set. Downsize and buy disposable as you need it.

27. Soft toys are massive space wasters and most kids outgrow them quickly. Keep a few favourites and give away the rest.

28. Keep things of the same type all in one place. Avoid not being able to find a pen because there are 100 in the house but scattered everywhere for example. Saves you time when everything has it’s place.

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29. Set small goals to achieve by a certain deadline. Small = less daunting.

30. Avoid keeping things just because. Items such as fabric and paper scraps that you will never use… that camera case that doesn’t fit your current camera but might fit one in the future. Nah… it’s taking up space.

31. Create a file system of your important documents and go through them regularly to get rid of anything you’ve kept for the minimum required time.

32. Have bills and statements sent electronically if possible. It reduces paper waste and you can still access them when you want to.

33. Store small suitcases inside larger ones if you can. Or smaller bags inside suitcases. These things take up so much room.

34. Have a garage sale, join eBay, or some online selling groups. Your unwanted stuff could earn you a nice little nest egg.

35. Don’t forget to clean out your emails on a regular basis and other electronic files. Even these can get cluttered and waste your valuable time.

Declutter Your House – One Box At A Time

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As I was vacuuming my house at 8PM last night (Who vacuums that late on a Friday night, anyway?), I started to think about the journey ahead of me.  It’s no secret that I lead a busy life. I have too many hobbies and am always adding new commitments to my already full schedule.

We all know an organised home makes for a more organised life. It is in my favour to tackle this now.

But time is running out before life takes an even busier turn… and I’m LAZY! (Not lazy… I’m a procrastinator…) So how will I find time to clean and declutter my house? Let me tell you how:

 

THE DECLUTTER YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE ONE BOX AT A TIME METHOD

As a hoarder I have a collection of most everything I do and don’t need. That included an abundance of cardboard boxes, left over from parcels, bulk nappies or whatever large item purchases recently. It is one of the habits that drives my husband craziest! So I decided to put my box collection to use.

Chances are like me, you likely have some areas of your home that could use a clean up. Old paperwork that needs sorting, random rubbish that hasn’t made its way to the bin or clothes that are passed their used by date. Broken toys. Out of date cosmetics. There are plenty of areas that could use a cull.

Here’s how it works in 4 easy steps:

1. Grab an empty box that’s destined for the garbage. In the absence of a box, plastic shopping bags work too.

2. Pick your area that needs a declutter and start sorting, throwing all your unwanted items in the box.

3. Keep going til you fill the box.

4. Throw the box out with the rubbish and feel proud… you just decluttered an area of your home in just a few minutes.

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You might even be lucky enough to have a helper this cute!

Do this every time you have a box floating around your home until you have every corner, garage, outdoors, indoors, etc completely decluttered. And even then, the home collects random ‘crap’ over time so once your entire house has had the overhaul, you can do this every month or two after that to maintain an organised abode.

As an extra step, you may want to keep a second box of things you want to donate, sell or giveaway while you work too. Not everything deserves the fate of the garbage truck.

Pretty easy, huh? Even for us procrastinating, lazy, cleaning hating ladies & lads…

And for more inspiration – 35 ways to declutter your life that actually work

NOW GET TO WORK!

7 Tips to Clean Up Your Pinterest

My plans to get organised and start my simplify my life challenge has taken a bit longer than anticipated to get going. A combination of a back injury plus a very busy period with events, projects and all that other time consuming stuff.

So I’m starting off with an easy one. It may not be something you’ve considered but if you happen to have been on Pinterest for a while like I have, over time your boards get a little messy. You may find you’ve repined something multiple times (although this happens less often now… thank you Pinterest), or you’ve got 3 boards of the same sort of thing for example. It gets messy.

A disorganised Pinterest also means it takes you longer to find that Pin you desperately need right this second for that recipe you want to try or project you want to make. That’s time better spent doing the creating… not searching aimlessly.

So here is how to get your Pinterest in top shape:

1. Get rid of double up boards

This may mean editing each pin one by one to move them all into the same board, but it’s worth it in the long run. For example, do you really need a home design and a home organisation board, or is one simply called ‘home’ just as good? Probably.

2. Use simple board names

Simple names make everything… well, simple. They are also easier to search for by other pinners so it makes everyone’s life a little easier. One or two words can usually sum up most boards.

3. Put Boards in Order

I was getting frustrated by the fact that my boards were in the order of when I created them rather than alphabetically. Sounds a little OCD, but alphabetical is so much easier to find the board you want when you have a lot of boards. Organise yours to suit your preference.

4. Have a clean out

Every so often if time permits, go through and delete any pins you know are definitely not relevant to you or no longer needed. Sometimes we all get a little pin-happy so it’s nice to have a spring clean and purge those unwanted pins.

5. Use keywords

When you Pin a new item, use a few key words to describe it. Makes it easier for everyone in future, including you, when searching for a particular something.

6. Create Sub-Categories for Large Boards

You have 8000 recipes pinned and can never find the one you want. Time to split that board into sub-categories. Start each with the same heading, but add a sub heading, such as Recipes – Dessert, Recipes – Mains etc. That way you may only have 3000 pinned recipes on one board instead.

7. Remove Faulty Pins

You know the ones… you click the Pin and it takes you to nothing but the image, or a website that no longer exists. If it is a content based Pin, it’s pretty much useless to you so unless you’re really attached, ditch the duds and focus on finding proper content.

You can check out my Pinterest boards here.