All Articles Tagged "organization"
The backseat of my car is an Elephant Graveyard made of very expensive, very beautiful shoes. In the recessed space directly behind the driver’s seat you will find the discarded remains of shoes of every stripe – heels, flats, peep toes and tennis – and it’s getting kind of ridiculous. Every time I change from work shoes to riding boots, or from my Tom’s to club shoes, the pair that I had on first gets chucked behind me in the car. If I have to take them into the office with me they usually get wrapped up in a Target bag. My friends know what a mess I am, especially when it comes to shoes so most of the time they roll their eyes at me. Sometimes they ask though, “Why don’t you just put them where they belong?”
Because, ain’t nobody got time fuh that!
Most days I carry two or three bags (purse, lunch, laptop bag) to the office. Usually I’m scrambling to get out of the house in the morning, so everything is tossed into my ‘bags’ as I jet out the door to keep from missing a morning meeting. Needless to say a lot of times I feel like a bag lady, word to Badu. So when I was asked to check the ShoeAlong, a fancy footwear carrier that slips over your purse, my first thought was ‘yeah right.’ For one thing, I’m the type of girl who’d rather throw shoes into one of those huge plastic Sterilite bins than install a California Closet. For another, I’m super hard on my stuff.
I was low-key high-key impressed with the ShoeAlong. It’s made of neoprene (the fabric used for lunch bags and water bottle covers), so it was incredibly lightweight but sturdy. The one I got was black, with a pretty lavender lining on the inside. This is important because I love pastels, but I am also messy and having a black outside means it won’t get dirty quickly. I slipped some of my ‘lightly broken in’ busted down work flats to give it a whirl. Luckily it was big enough to fit my shoes, and there were cool little snaps that kept each shoe in its own compartment that kept them from jostling around.
So here’s how it works: there is a band that slips the ShoeAlong over your purse handle. So easy and quick. It’s pretty sleek too, and the neoprene fabric helped shoe smells inside the bag, instead of wafting out into the open. It was nice to have an actual space to put my shoes and I didn’t get the sideways glances that usually accompanied my grocery bag shoe carriers. And after using it for a few days, the pile of shoes behind my driver’s seat slowly began to deplete because I was actually taking my shoes inside instead of letting the chill in my car. Definitely an improvement.
So what do you think? Would you give the ShoeAlong a shot?
As we slowly crawl toward spring, you can turn to technology to help you get in shape, get organized, clean the house, and more. Half of all African-American cell phone owners have downloaded a mobile phone app, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and as far back as November 2011, mobile app usage surpassed mobile browser usage. So here are nine apps and websites that can help you do a bit of self-improvement this spring.
During a time when many might doubt the motivation and engagement of young people in philanthropy, Kezia M. Williams of Washington D.C. based non-profit organization Capital Cause is putting that stereotype to the test. As a part of the upward and well-mobilized millennial generation herself, Williams is changing the landscape of how young adults give back, meeting them where they are through popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
Williams’ commitment and dedication to summoning a whole generation of future philanthropists to use their resources as a way to give back is revamping the landscape and stereotypes of service to the community. Williams and her team at Capital Cause are making philanthropy young and popular again for a whole new generation looking to find a fresh way to change the world.
Madame Noire: Capital Cause will be hosting their premier event, The Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch, in Washington D.C. June 30th. How did the event do last year, and what is your overall goal for the brunch this year, themed after poverty to raise awareness and money for the national and global issue?
Kezia M. Williams: Capital Cause is elated to be able to host the 2nd Annual Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch this year. Last year’s event attracted 250 young philanthropists, trailblazers and changemakers who were interested in connecting with senior level leaders in their industry over brunch. Guests at the 2011 brunch included industry representatives from Booz | Allen | Hamilton, the White House, Politico, and the Washingtonian to name a few. Attendees at the brunch selected two nonprofits doing work to reduce the educational disparity gap as beneficiaries of two grants. This year we plan to follow the same format; however we will increase the giving component and award three grants instead of two.
Annually, we ask our Young Philanthropist members to choose the cause that Capital Cause will donate its gifts of time and money to for the duration of the fiscal year. Last year, our members choose education and collectively worked to award five grants and donate 400 hours to local nonprofits. This fiscal year, in under six months, our Young Philanthropists members have donated $25,000, awarded five grants and contributed 3300 service hours to help end poverty, hunger and homelessness in the Nation’s Capital.
MN: What misconceptions have you received from others by working with millennials (for example, they are lazy, not motivated, do not care about the community, etc.), and how do you combat that as an organization?
KW: Capital Cause has witnessed our members deconstruct the myth that young people don’t care about philanthropy or giving back. They have proven this by demonstrating the power of small gifts by coordinating low-dollar, high-grossing giving campaigns, deconstructing the myth that only large donations and large donors count. They have demanded that Capital Cause plan more service events that show high and measurable impact in communities, deconstructing the myth that young people want less and give less time. Though we’ve only supported the DC Metropolitan Area, we believe their desires are representative of a larger millennial group that has been misrepresented and ill-defined when it comes to philanthropy. Young people aren’t disinterested in service; they are disinterested in participating in outdated service-based activities that don’t consider millennial interests.
I’m not picky. When I told my real estate agents what I wanted in my new apartment, nothing was too specific. City? I didn’t care, as long as I could get to work. Space? Small to large, I only needed enough room for two people. View? Brick wall or park, it didn’t matter. However, there was one preference I had when it came to anything my significant other and I viewed. It had to have some sort of space for my creativity.
I didn’t care where it was: A quiet alcove in the kitchen, a larger than life extra closet in the hallway and/or an extra bedroom; I had to have somewhere for me. For as long as I can remember, I had to have my own personal creative space. As a small child, my parents had an extra walk-in closet in their bedroom that would become my drawing office. During my pre-teen years, my father created a mini-studio where I’d live out my femcee stage. In college, I had a special isolated space in my dorm or apartment where I could craft to my heart’s desire. Now, I’ve moved into a space with an extra bedroom that is now my current writing office.
Every woman should have her own creative nook. However, you’ll need more than just your crafting materials:
1) You’ll need inspiration. I’ve got Brianna McCarthy, Frida Kahlo artwork and profiles of Junot Diaz and Langston Hughes. These people and images spark my writing every time I look at them. What motivates you? Adorn your space with it in frames, statues or whatever material reflects your stimulations.
2) Music, music, music. Whether it’s an iPod dock, CD player or old-school boom box; you’ll need something that will give you a surround sound of your favorite tunes.
3) Timepiece(s). An outdated piece that will inspire your development. Have something in your space that symbolizes the innovation and progression of your trade. I have an old and rusty blue typewriter in the corner of my space. A friend of mine, a comic book artist, has her grandfather’s sketchbook on her desk. When you look at it, let it remind you that many people made strides across tribulations so you could create freely.
4) Shelves and boxes. If you’re the extremely organized individual, grab some interesting shelving from the container store, label, and categorize your things. If you’re the avid reader, align your books in a way that’s easy to find them: by color, topic or Dewey decimal.
5) Clean slate. After every work session, try to put things back into their place. Going back to your workspace should be a freeing experience. Your nook should be free from clutter and madness; two things we have to deal with incessantly on the outside.
6) Silence. Unless you’re playing music, try and minimize distractions. Keep the TV off, the cellphone away and alert everyone that you live with; that you need your space and time alone.
7) Your tools. Plan to slowly purchase things that will make your office life easier. It’s annoying to have to jump from place to place to complete your tasks. Artists, collect the paintbrushes that will make your Picasso priceless. Businesswomen, buy electronic devices that will make your work easier. Don’t make a mad dash to Kinkos to print the presentation that you have to present in a few hours. Writers, keep your tools in this one space. It’s the most annoying thing to have to grab things you need to refer to/use, from all over the house.
8) A comfortable chair. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Sitting in something intolerable for several hours could lead to stress, painful back spasms and the avoidance of your office. Invest, invest, invest.
9) Peace of mind. Make sure you leave your issues somewhere else, before you enter your sacred space. Bring only the things you’ll need for crafting. Most importantly, bring your solitude.
Do you have to have your own sacred space to create? How did you design it?
“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
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Cindy McField-Asamoah views herself as a minimalist. “I don’t carry a lot of makeup or other items in my purse. I have an iPad 2 that I sometimes carry, and a BlackBerry Torch that I carry everywhere.” The 37-year-old married New York real estate broker switches up her purses according to her outfits, but they’re all hobo style—large crescent-shaped handbags with a long strap. “I need a large handbag because I often travel with my son [2-year-old Kaleb].
I am carrying things for both of us.” A vice president with the Corcoran Group in Brooklyn, New York, she keeps her wallet or clutch organized. “It doesn’t have sections, but my money is grouped together in one area, my credit and debit cards are in another, and my receipts are all in another.”
Why should it matter what’s in McField-Asamoah’s handbag? Robin A. Young, a certified financial planner, says a “purse check” is one way women can do a quick financial assessment. Financial behavior often reflects how you feel about yourself, says Young, president of Women Behaving Wealthy in New York. Money is personal and emotional—and what you carry around every day says a lot about your relationship with it.
For more words about your money, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
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(Entrepreneur) — 1. Use your drafts folder — a lot. Here’s an inbox triage system I’ve used every day for more than a decade. Go to your inbox, and open the oldest email there. If you have emails from before today, just start with today’s batch.) While you’re reviewing that individual email ask yourself: “Trash? File? Reply? Forward?” If it’s for trashing or filing, do it now. If you need to act on it, start a draft by clicking the button to either reply or forward. Then, choose to “Save as draft.” Then move that email out of your inbox. (The draft is waiting for you, over in the drafts folder, remember?) You can file it, trash it or print it, just don’t leave it in the inbox.
(Inc.) — When Michael Salvatore joined Bowery Lane Bicycles as chief officer of nearly everything, he set out to streamline their processes. The start-up based in New York was formed in 2008 as a locally born, locally supported, and locally sustainable business. Founders Patrick Benard and Sean Naughton make a point of working with local vendors. As they state on their website, “ninety-nine percent of bikes sold in the U.S. are not made in America. We are a part of the 1%.” Salvatore quickly noticed that everyone was using their personal email addresses so his first step was to create aGoogle Apps account and @bowerylanebicycles.com email addresses for the employees. They organize their calendars (and sync them on various devices) usingGoogle Calendars, and all of their manuals, marketing materials, and more are Google Docs accessible to their freelancers and vendors, regardless of location. Why Google? Because at their core, Google is a company that set out to organize the World Wide Web via search.
Today is a special day. It’s the beginning of the year—a clean slate that is completely unblemished by last year’s mistakes and mishaps. Even if you’re not the type to make resolutions, you can’t help, but feel like things are brand new on the first day of the year.
What will you do with this day of firsts? Let’s start 2011 on the right foot, Mesdames!
Here are a few suggestions to help you set the tone for the rest of the year!
“Wonder Woman Files” is a weekly career column on Madame Noire. Stay tuned for more topics, comment or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions!
Watching the season premier of Hoarders last night, we cringed as rats and reptiles crawled from some off the most atrocious spaces. And while we are certainly more hygienic than the folks on the A&E hit show, many of us are back from the long weekend and drowning already. Here are some tips for every Madame seeking to clear the mental clutter and get back to work! Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
(Washington Post) — Millions of people log onto social media Web sites daily, prompting such varied organizations as Gaithersburg-based MedImmune, the American Red Cross and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to follow. But simply creating an account on Facebook or Twitter rarely equates to being plugged in. Area consultants said many organizations spend ample time and resources on social media without seeing much return. Here are 10 common mistakes that they see businesses, nonprofits and government agencies make.