ponderings…

I love to write. It’s therapy. It’s relaxing.

My problem with writing lately hasn’t been lack of ideas or topics. My problem is answering the question “where do I write this?”

I had my own personal blog for years. Then I started a new blog with Randy, with the purpose of sharing our story. But I still wanted a place to hang my own hat  – where I could easily reflect on whatever: a book, a recipe, a goofy story from my childhood.

The issue is that my life is all of those things: the kids, my story with Randy and all of the other silly/sad/mindless/philosophical things I like to write about.

I think of a great post about the kids, but it seems to fit better on Living The Life Fantastic. I write a post on Let the Internet Help make Your Thanksgiving Dinner and put it on Modern Media Mom. Oh, and let’s not forget the Archer Creative blog.

So what do I write here?

I know that it’s in my head. I have plenty of mindless things to write about.

So how do I combine this? Can I combine that? Should I?

Life keeps on keepin’ on…

I’m still struggling with what to write on here. So much of what is on my mind is personal, and while I’ve always shared that, there are others whose feelings I must be respectful of…

But I would like to ask that y’all continue to hold me and the children in your prayers. I’m still looking for a job and because I’m still looking for a job, that is another reason I have to be conscientious of what I write.

I’ll be back to writing on here soon enough.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Using Google's "Knol"

lightbulb1

Is there a topic that you are an expert in? Something that you’ve learned about, studied and now would like to share that knowledge with others? Maybe you want to learn more about a topic.

I’ve pointed out GuideSpot as an online learning spot. It’s a great site for sharing what you know. But did you know that Google also has a similar platform?

“Knol” (Google’s made up term for “a unit of knowledge”) has been around since 2007, and came out of beta in 2008.

creat_a_knol screenshot

Knol makes it easy for you to write and share your knowledge with the world.

  • Ease of use
    All you need is an account, a name and a desire to write and we’ll take care of the rest.
  • Control
    You specify the level of collaboration you want with the community. Your knol, your voice.
  • Community
    You can connect with other experts in your area of interest to share and grow knowledge.
  • Visibility
    We value and promote authorship. Great content will be visible on popular search engines.
  • Growth
    Sharing your knowledge with the world is rewarding for everyone.

Watch this video for tips on creating a Knol:

Some Knols to get you started:

Lightbulb Image courtesy of Jacci Howard Bear http://desktoppub.about.com/

So I’ve been MIA

I’ll keep this brief because otherwise it might be another 3 months until I write again… (I can’t believe that I haven’t written on here for so long.)

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. But I’ve been writing on a private blog of my own, sorting through things (Isn’t that why I always end up writing?) I just haven’t known how or what to write about what is going on with me.

Briefly: I’ve been in MD, at my parent’s, with the children, since the beginning of July. I’m looking for work. My husband and I are separated. He has since moved up here, so the children are spending every other week with one of us.

I won’t be writing much more about it on here, unless it is something that I can write about in a way that is respectful to Sean and the children. Obviously, it’s a personal matter, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to talk about it, so if you are wanting to ask, feel free to email me.

Hopefully, now that I’ve tossed that out here I won’t feel the need to avoid writing on here. I just haven’t know how to deal with it in a public way. The easy way out would have been to just continue writing on here and pretending that nothing was wrong. But that isn’t how I work.

Organize Your Home Office Work Space

home desk

One of the issues that I deal with daily is keeping myself organized. I admit that this is a big struggle for me. If I don’t stay on top of it, I quickly fall into a mess of clutter. Working from home makes it tempting to turn your work area into a dumping spot, especially if it is in an out-in-the-open area. For example, my desk is in the dining room and you pass it on the way to the kitchen. It is easy for me set things down on it when I am picking up and moving from room to room. Before long, I can’t find my work items buried beneath the folded laundry and piles of magazines.

When you work from home, you are in charge of keeping yourself organized and motivated. Don’t fall victim to the idea that because you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck you can keep your area as messy as you want.

So how do you get your home office/work area organized?

First and foremost, de-clutter the spot. You can’t be well organized if you are having to sort through your kids homework and permission slips or old to-do lists. Step back from your work spot and take a good look at it. Often, we get so used to the unnecessary stuff being there that we don’t even realize it is there anymore. So look at it with a critical eye. Open your drawers. Bring the trash can over and start pitching anything that doesn’t need to be kept. And if it isn’t work related, put it somewhere else. Not only do those things cut into your work space, they serve as potential distractions when you sit down to work.

Once you have your space de-cluttered and cleared off, place your notepad in an open spot for writing out your to-do list. Even if you use your smartphone as your organizer and calendar, a notepad is indispensible for quickly writing down anything that comes to mind. If you are working and remember you need to add cream of tartar to the grocery list, write it down right then on that pad and move on with your work. Potential distraction diverted.

Purchase a couple of brightly colored file folders and use those to place important papers in. This will at least create a barrier between them and anything else you set on top of them, allowing you to still quickly locate what you are working on.

Continuing on with the file folders: as much as I love technology, I still find that the best way for me to stay organized is to print out paper copies of anything that I need to be working on. I am a tactile person, so holding the paper and writing directly on it helps me to internalize what I am doing and need to do. That is not to say that I don’t use my online calendar and reminder program to assist me, but having a paper copy also allows me to step away from my computer and still be able to keep my finger on what I am working on.

At the end of the day, straighten your desk. Don’t leave it a mess. When you sit down and face it the next morning, chances are you won’t remember whether those random papers are important or not. Don’t waste valuable time sorting and trying to recall something that wouldn’t have even been an issue had you just put it away the night before.

All of these suggestions are important, regardless of the size of your workspace. Having a large office space doesn’t mean you don’t have to be so stringent. It just means that you can create even more clutter.

There are plenty of ways to organize yourself. What works for you, may not work for the next person, so it is important to consider your work habits and styles as you get yourself set up. Keep these basics in mind and continue from there.

photo source: Stillframe

Sound off: How do you keep your home office space tidy and organized?

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