Hey You, Whatcha Readin?

So I have SIX books on the go at the moment. SIX. I haven’t had the time nor the patience to read in so long with two small goblins who constantly fill my days with utter chaos {when I’m not “relaxing” at my place of paid part-time employment- yes, it’s more relaxing working sometimes!}

Here are my current literary companions:

  1. Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose- A Channeled Guide To Why You Are Here {Sonia Choquette)
  2. The Simple Things- Creating an organized home, a happy family and a life worth living {Antonia Kidman and Sally Collings}
  3. Possession {J R Ward}
  4. Auschwitz- A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account { Dr. Miklos Nyiszli}
  5. Healing After Loss- Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief { Martha Whitmore Hickman}
  6. In the Land of the Long White Cloud {Sarah Lark}

As you can see, I like a wide variety of topics to keep me busy and my mind active.

What are you reading at the moment? Any recommendations I just can’t go past?

Lauren @LittleRed

2014 Decluttered

March 1st 2014 is my Declutter Deadline.

My Declutter checklist surmounts to:

- I want to WANT to stay at home and feel relaxed and happy doing so

- I want to spend more time blogging, on Project Life and my photography and of course, more time with my precious children

- I want an area of my (too small) house dedicated to me (so I can write in peace without a blonde goblin attached)

- I need to organise my bedroom first

- I always get sidetracked when decluttering

- I want to be clutter free by March 1st 2014

- The most disorganized cupboard in my house is a tie between my end of the wardrobe and my plastics cupboard

- Something that I don’t need anymore but I’m having trouble parting with is my ginormous book case

A New Year doesn’t mean new beginnings.  Every minute can be a new beginning.

Before I get back to work, I’m getting decluttered.

Follow the 52 week Declutter Challenge on Instagram and upload your declutter-ationary pics!

#declutter52

Now I’m asking for your help….

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{Image courtesy of babble.com}

What are your best tips for organizing and planning around your home and business?

How do you sort clutter? How do you store your precious memories?

What do you do to ensure your important documents are stored safely but easily accessible?

How do you maximise space in your home and office? {or home office if you’re lucky enough to have one}

I’m asking for your ideas, please share through a comment below or post to my Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/LRWSolutions

 

Lauren @LittleRed

Preparing for 2014- My {Trimmed} Wish List

How will you start the New Year with fresh eyes, organized and in the highest of business spirits?

2014’s motto is “Routine and Clean” for me. I’ll be sorting our {small but homely} house from ceiling to floor. I’ll be making myself a small home office in the corner of my new bedroom, where I can write until the cows come home.

I’m going to keep my filing in check from the beginning! {have learned the hard way in 2013}.

I’m going to stick to my monthly schedules.

I’m going to read daily.

I’m not going to buy any more stationary supplies from the Boxing Day Sales! {I love stationary as much as I do hot dinners, in fact I’d go without dinner for something from Kikki K}

My newsletter will be out fortnightly. It’s been tricky getting it up and running with sickly kids in the house on top of client work, but it WILL happen in January!

I want to blog more, I’ve really missed it. Doing a lot of client work means less time to write just for me. So I’m pledging to myself to get back into my blogging groove. It’s where I belong {hearts}

Other than tonnes of happiness and health for my family {and a great year, one without heartache; this year was a year of extreme happiness through the birth of my daughter and then extreme sadness, with the death of my Mother}, to have my head screwed on correctly and to make good choices is all I ask for.

 

What are you asking of 2014?

Lauren @LittleRed

10 Google Apps Tried and Tested- a Little Red Review (Part Two)

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(Image courtesy of digitaltrends.com)

So here we are- finishing off my review of the latest Google Apps I’ve checked out and applied to my own business planning.

With five left to review, first up is Trello, an ideal App for project managers who love “work in progress” boards and lists.

Trello- An App which prides itself on bringing business teams together, Trello is a tool for the not-so-organized. You can arrange story boards and lists specific to projects and under headings such as “Needs Work”, “Approved” etc. To me, the App is easy to navigate and simple to use. Not only can you use Trello for business projects, but I’ve also recommend the App to two friends who need a wedding and public fundraiser planning tool! It’s an App you can use daily in your personal and business lives. Issues? Switching between boards can get a little tricky (try the App here and see for yourself). I’d suggest this App to: project managers, event planners, Busy Parents, any small business owner!

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4/5

Read Later Fast- One of my favourite Google Apps to date. I’m always flicking through papers online and hard copies of article that I really should push from the “read this week” pile to the “MUST READ TONIGHT!” pile. Read Later Fast (watch a Fan Review here) is another perfect organizational tool for small business owners and students and is designed to de-clutter your bookmark folders in your browsers. I have so many bookmark folders, I may as well start again from scratch because it’s like a big black hole where my articles and great must-reads go to die. The App can be synced with diigo.com, an innovative App (with its own website) that provides sticky notes and highlighting of your documents. Read Later Fast and Diigo allow you create a RLF (Read Later Fast, if you didn’t guess) bookmark on your browser and then you save your documents to this bookmark, which is purposefully connected to the App. Great for Android and iPad, as well as the iPhone (better with 4S and 5) in an offline mode, this tool is convenient for those who read online A LOT. Issues? There is little info available on how to use Read Later Fast on a Mac, the App’s Help pages need their own help (very weak in the support department if you get stuck or lose links), it’s not great to use on multiple computers (i.e. the one account on multiple computers), some of my articles have been saved as the URL and then have gone missing. Big Sad Face here. I’d suggest this App to- students, small business owners (especially those in marketing, medical services, writing, SEO specialists)

    • Little Red’s Rating: 3/5

Task Timer- As the name suggests, this App is a timer for every task you need to complete within a given time. Suitable for time-orientated tasks, I have used the App for quoting and invoicing purposes, for thesis writing and for typing and transcription tasks. Very simple to use and Task Timer lets you pause and delete tasks with the press of a button. Issues? I’d say it needs work to use in medium-sized businesses and corporations. The creator/developer needs to add so many more features for it to be a stand-out above the other timer Apps available, such as Cloud Timer, which has more features than Task Timer, yet performs more poorly in Google’s Fan Ratings. I’d suggest this App to- any small business owner who charges by the hour (writers, accountants, bookkeepers, business developers), students

    • Little Red’s Rating: 3.5/5

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(image courtesy of learning-mind.com)

Cognifit- Now for some fun and a smidge of humiliation if you think you are a gun in the Brain Games department. This App provides personal Training sessions for your brain. Apparently all sections in the App are scientifically tested. You start with an initial assessment, then head straight into training from there. Worst thing I ever did was open this App for the first time at midnight one night and wonder why my coordination and spatial recognition skills were slightly zombified and helter skelter. But it’s great fun and a cool way to chill and sneakily compete against friends and family. Not sure if this is a good thing for those fiercely competitive families out there, some rifts may be widened! You can create an account with a valid email or via Facebook/Twitter. The website is easy to access and is a breath of fresh air in the design department, especially when all you’ve done all day is read RSS feeds. Issues? So you think you’re smarter than a fifth grader? Take a deep breath before attempting some of these challenges late at night. You probably should add Google Connect to use this App, makes it far quicker to load. It’s addictive! I’d suggest this App to- anyone who enjoys a romp into tricky mind testing, anyone who loves to combine game play with brain training

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4.5/5

And last, but not least…..

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(Image courtesy of verydemotivational.com)

Dictanote- For use with Chrome, this rich text editor and speech recognition App has been described as “MS Word Junior”. It’s an in-browser tool which can help you create paragraphs through connecting with the Voice Chrome extension. Simple! Issues? I still am a fan of Dragon Naturally Speaking so am finding it hard to jump on board this little-known App. The last few times I used it, it stopped recording unexpectedly a couple of times. I’d suggest this App to- university lecturers, postgraduate students, writers

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4/5

So there you have it! Little Red’s Google Apps, sitting there waiting for you to try. What Google Apps do you treasure? Which ones deserve a thumbs up and which ones could you do without?