OLJ Q&A (March 2014)

It’s been a long time since my last OLJ Q&A ( target=”_blank”>July 2013) where I answer some of your organization-related questions and I thought it was time for an update!  As usual, I picked five questions from Facebook and five from Twitter, which I answer in the following video:

As for upcoming plans for OLJ, as I mention in the video, I was planning on taking the rest of March off of OLJ to get started on some of my spring organization overhauls.  Since we’ve been talking planners for the last month or so, I have received some requests to share my planning process in more detail.  I am wondering if there is real interest in this topic.  If so, I would be happy to post about it next week.  I don’t mean to overdo the planner videos, though, so if there isn’t sufficient interest, I will just skip it.  Additionally, I’ve been asked to share more about my journaling, including what kinds I keep and why I have separate ones.  I realize this is not strictly an organization topic, although journaling does help keep me organized and in tune with my physical and emotional health.  I’m just sending out some feelers here to see if there is any interest in these two topics.  If not, no hard feelings on my part, of course, and I will return in a few weeks with some new organization projects to share!  I appreciate your input 🙂



45 thoughts on “OLJ Q&A (March 2014)”

  1. Great video! Thanks for your input 🙂
    Would you consider doing Q&A videos for the rest of the month?
    I think time management and tackling to-do’s doesn’t come naturally to many of us – I personally would greatly benefits from both videos (planning break-down and journaling).

  2. Planner videos YES! Lol. I have been really enjoying all the “planner addicts” you shared and I am getting ready to order some adorable accessories from some of those talented ladies. What a fun, inspiring and motivating community!! I love the way new ideas can breathe some fresh air into your routines, even if you don’t change much. I am one of the people that is pretty happy with anything though, lol.

    Thanks Jen!

  3. Thank you for this video! I would love to see more videos about your time management system…especially how you create your daily to-do lists….this would be SUPER, SUPER helpful! Thank you!


  4. I would love to see how you organize your closet and dresser drawers! I think there is always something new and improved to learn. Thanks for sharing….

  5. Well, I am up to 22 planners (mostly Filofax) so I ALWAYS want to see more planner videos! The Journaling one sounds interesting too. But what I am really looking forward to is your update on your new desk setup.

  6. Hi Jen!

    You were talking about email, maybe I can help!

    You say you’ve got 1) many different emails 2) want to be able to maintain an inbox zero (i.e. cleaning it out daily) and 3) would like to have certain things go to the right places automatically.

    Now I’m not sure if you use gmail for most of your emails, but it’s really easy to set up there. I’ve got many many emails, but they do go to my own main email. Within there, I can reply or “send as” any of my other email address so the person I reply to can’t tell the difference.

    Further more, I’ve switched back from the Mail app to gmail in the browser because it has shortcuts. This may seem like a silly thing, but boy does it help me! I can archive mail I’ve read instantly and it moves on to the next message. I’ve also got my screen split, so I’ve got email on one side, and the selected message on the other. That, together with the shortcuts, allow me to move through my email so so quickly.

    Lastly, you can have plenty of labels, and you could also direct messages from certain domains or people (or anything really) into these labels. For instance, you could have a Sigma label and have all your sigma related mail go straight there. (used this example, because I assume you get Sigma related email ^_^).

    Either way – feel free to drop me a message if you’d like more specific help. I’m an app developer and spend too much time on the computer, so I know how it feels to have to organise all the digital mess. Good luck!

  7. Hi Jen, as usual I enjoyed your post. I would definitely like you to do the post about your journals. I have three, that are soooo disorganized, and I have often wondered what you do on your Sunday organizing hugs elaine. UK

  8. Awesome organizational Q&A! Your videos always inspire me! Thank you for everything that you share 🙂

    I especially liked your mail tips as I have a hard time not having mail (especially catalogues) create piles in the kitchen! I need to do as you do and look at them that day and then get rid of them.
    Yes, please do a mail/paperwork video! This would be so helpful to me!!

    I look forward especially to your spring cleaning series and also your closet overhaul and kitchen organization videos 🙂

    Please do a video on your journals – I’d love to see that!

    Sounds like lots of helpful series and videos coming up on OLJ! Can’t wait!!

  9. I’m not sure if they’ve expanded beyond iPhone and Gmail but you should checkout the Mailbox app. It helps organize your inbox and bring it down to zero! Also, I’d love to hear more about your journaling!

  10. Hi Jen, I’m probably the only one who doesn’t like the whole planner thing. So many people doing it everywhere.. So I will just pass on those and watch you do other things.. Please don’t let me stop you…

    1. That’s alright, you are entitled to your opinion. I’ve received such a positive response to the whole thing that I am going to post those two videos I mentioned. The beauty of YouTube, of course, is that you can pick and choose what you’d like to watch. 🙂

  11. An affirmative YES to sharing with us your journaling process. I too have various journals but lack consistency in writing in them so if you have a system established that would be interesting to hear about. I am looking forward to the sharing of your new spring organization projects as those are the exact areas that I am constantly re-tweaking!

    Do you and Don ever take “road trips”? Do you have an videos you’ve already posted on tips to make car travel more graceful, enjoyable and bearable. My husband and I frequently take a 7 hour car trip to visit my in-laws. I have a system in which I make a little office for myself in the back seat while my husband drives. We also pack our own healthy snacks but you always have such clever ideas and inspiration for how to live and travel life well. Thank you!!

    1. We drive down to St. Louis a few times a year to visit with my brother and his family. Sometimes I drive and sometimes Don drives. I can’t read or write in the car because I get motion sickness – I am always envious of those who can!

  12. Hi Jen. I’d love to see more about your planning and journalling, I’d find that really interesting. In terms of keeping a balanced checkbook – do you keep a written record in your checkbook or do you use an Excel spreadsheet? Thank you in advance and have a lovely restful weekend away 🙂

  13. Jen, I vote for both your planning process and journaling as topics for future videos. I agree – they are both integral to feeling “put together”. Thank you for sharing with us. I always learn something new and/or am inspired by your posts and blogs. Have a sunshiny, sweet weekend trip! : )

  14. Just curious….what do you do with Don’s mail? Part of the reason I have a mail pile problem is because my husband lets his pile up on the counter!

    1. I manage all of the incoming mail, including all bills and important docs. If there’s something I need Don to see, I ask him to look at it at dinner and he will either take it to his office if it needs his attention or tell me what to do with it if it’s something I can deal with.

  15. Great video, I would like to see more on the planners, Filofax. I really want to know more. I have watched a lot of your Filofax/kikki k videos. With your card making what do you do with scraps that are just too big to throw away but too small to file. Out of sight is out of mind..

    1. I keep all of my Valentine’s Day scraps in a big ziptop bag in my Valentine Craft bin so I always know what I have and can use them whenever I’m making valentines.

  16. Would love to see another planner video from you! Just about most of the other planner videos I watch on YouTube refer back to you on how they got an idea to add something to their planner organization

    1. Really? I love that! It is my hope to inspire others with my videos. I think it’s wonderful that others feel inspired to make planner videos, too 🙂

  17. Just wanted to jump in and cast another vote for more videos about your planning process. While I used to be very organized with my spatial world, I’ve struggled since college with organizing my time, so am always looking to learn from others. Thank you for the inspiration and positivity you bring to the internet.

  18. Dear Jenn,

    If you haven’t already, I think you should watch Blue Jasmine. I realize that I don’t know you. You could have your own money outside of Don’s, but no one should be 100% financially dependent on anyone else. It just kinda comes across like you are. I’ve seen it too many times before. Blue Jasmine is such a good cautionary tale for any woman married to someone with money.

    1. I do actually have my own *nest egg* that’s completely my own money set aside *just in case* – I, too, think financial independence is very important.

  19. Hello! I was introduced to you about two weeks ago from my sister and I’ve been watching all you videos. I have always wanted to be more organized but I just feel it’s too overwhelming for me. I have always had a cheap planner for my classes but I rarely ever take it out or use it. When I watched your Eric Condren video I was in shock, then I saw the Filofax one and I just couldn’t believe all the pretty pages and how organized they all were. I started following people on Instagram and cleaned the dust off my planner and started decorating it. It was the first thing I felt I could do to help me get more organized in general. Please do some videos on your planners!! I would just love them. Also which planner has been your favorite so far? I am having a hard time deciding on which one to get, the kikki k or Eric Condren or a Filofax. Thank you so much!

  20. Pelades gare more about your planning process in details. I love your videos about how you organize everything, how clear and simple it seems. I want to be as organized as you.

  21. I’d love to see a video of your planning sessions. I just bought an Erin Condren calendar based on your recommendation and I love the look of it. But, as I was setting it up, I was frustrated by adding things like “9:00a Plumber” onto both the monthly calendar and the daily calendar. I can just see myself forgetting to add something to one of them and having the entire planner system short circuit because of that. I think I’ll change to the way Kristina explained it in your joint video and only use the monthly spread for large things like trips.

    Just as an aside, here’s something you might find amusing. My husband and I have struggled for years with having a calendar he will look at. I was constantly getting comments like, “Did I know about dinner on Thursday with our friends?” Of course, I had told him, but he just didn’t LOOK at the calendar, so he forgot. I hung our calendar over the desk in the kitchen. He didn’t look at it. I hung the calendar in a more visible place in the kitchen and he didn’t look at it, but did comment he didn’t like the way it looked hanging in that spot. I finally hit on something that works. I now hang the calendar in the bathroom! NOT where you might imagine, but I was seriously considering it. We have a small wall just as you walk into our master bathroom from our master bedroom. Because we both pass that wall about 20 times a day, there’s absolutely no longer an excuse for him not seeing the calendar…and it works! After 20 years, my husband finally looks at the calendar! : )

  22. I ALWAYS love watching your planner and journalling videos — in fact, I think they are the only videos of yours I consistently watch every time. They really inspire me with different ways to work planning in journalling into my own life, even though our lives are very different.

  23. I always love to learn other people’s process for planning things. I usually pick up a tip or two. I hope you decide to do the topic. I

    Thanks for sharing !!!

  24. I would love to see a video on both. Thanks to your discussion around journaling I started a gratitude journal that I use each day and I have seen a change in the way I view things. I have a few health issues (don’t we all!) and this practice has helped me find the happy in my day and remove anxiety and worry while my body heals. I’m not perfect but that is what practice is for!! Thank you for sharing even small things because you touch the lives of others each time.

  25. Hi Jen~ I love your planning and organizing videos! They have inspired me to stay organized and on top of things, so more planning organizing videos would be great 🙂 Thanks for sharing with everyone!

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