The CMT/Motorola Productivity Guide for Working Parents Series: Part 1 Home office organization
We are so excited that Cool Mom Tech is partnering with Motorola this month to bring you this series that provides tips to help make the lives easier of busy working parents.
One of the things we really like about Motorola as a company is how much they genuinely care about busy parents, and how they're making our lives a whole lot simpler with products like the Motorola Elite Sliver Bluetooth Headset. It's not only practical, it's so stylish that it was introduced on the runways of LA's fashion week this past fall. (Swanky!)
As busy working moms ourselves, we hope this month-long series will help you find ways to be more productive while keeping your chic. After all, we parents are not new to multi-tasking, ahem. So we're starting out with home office
organizational tips, for those of us who often turn our (sometimes
cramped) living space into our (sometimes very cramped) work space.
[Get great tips and see how you can enter to win our fabulous Working Mom's Lifesaver basket valued at more than $750, after the jump!]
1. Create separation between work and home This is the
hardest thing of all, but so important if you're going to maintain any
level of organization. You may have a separate office, or maybe just a
desk in a bedroom. Either way, if you're going to be working at home
while kids are around, clear the space of everything that doesn't
belong. No using your desk chair as a clothes valet, or the desk as
When you can just shut the door to an office, it's
much easier to keep other parts of your house (and life) from seeping
into your space. But even if you can only spare a small part of your
bedroom, make it known to everyone that this is your area; whether with
artwork on that part of the wall, a bookshelf to section it off, or a
big sign that says MOM'S OFFICE.
2. Messy desk, messy mind At least that's how we see it. Make
sure you have all the filing cabinets, inbox/outbox trays, and
bookshelves you need to keep organized and stay organized. Nothing
creates more stress for us than seeing a desk overflowing with papers
Clear your desk of everything but the essentials.
Use simple trays marked "urgent" or "when I can get to it." Also use an
accordion file or box for items you don't need immediate and regular
access to, then tuck it away in a closet. And wrangle those cords with a cord tamer or a pretty surge protector.
3. Make your desk a place you want to be. A photo of
your kids, a favorite bit of art or an inspiring quote at your work
space can be incredibly inspiring. We also believe in investing in
pretty folders and desk accessories--even a cool docking station for
your smartphone and/or tablet. Then you can rely on your Bluetooth
headset for calls, while keeping your smartphone available (and charged)
as a music player, address book, or uh Angry Birds console on your
4. Find a simple to-do list system that works for you. As
much as we like paper to-do lists, when your desk is covered in them,
you'll spend more time trying to find what you need than actually
tackling tasks. We love the free website Teuxdeux,
which is about as basic and intuitive as it gets. You can also make use
of the apps on your mobile phone, especially if they sync with your
desktop. Of course some parents prefer a big dry erase calendar over the
desk, or an old skool desktop planner and a pen. Whatever it is, make
it work for you. But the less space it takes up, the better! 5. Pare down the office equipment. In
this day and age, there's no reason to fill up your workspace with
bulky equipment. Printers have come so long from the days that they took
up half your desk; look for a sleek one with wireless printing
capabilities that can sit on a bookshelf, or somewhere a little more out
of the way. You also don't need a home fax machine any more, with
services like hellofax.com.
6. Go paper free! Consider investing in a hand-held scanner
for receipts and other essential documents. When your data is stored on
your devices, you'll be surprised how much closet and desk space that can
free up. That means bills too; see if you can switch all your bank,
credit card, and other monthly statements to a paperless option.
7. You need a Bluetooth headset! How many times
have you wished for a third hand? Well we can't give you that, but a
great Bluetooth headset can keep the two that you've got, free.
Everyone we know who has taken the Bluetooth headset plunge has
told us that it's totally changed their lives. And the thing that's so
cool about the Motorola Elite Sliver
is that it has an extended roam range of up to 300 feet. This means that you can take your style across your home or office - without having to take your phone. The accompanying carry case also acts as a charger and re-charges the headset when you're on the go, for up to 15 hours of talk time.
EXTRA-COOL: WIN IT! We're
so excited to give away a Working Mom's Life Saver gift basket to one
lucky CMT reader! In it, you'll get two (whoo!) Motorola Elite Sliver
headsets and more to help keep you going--like a beautiful leather
laptop satchel, "Inspire" aromatherapy drops, an eco bamboo calculator,
a pound of coffee plus a stylish on-the-go mug, a desk planner, and
(whoo again!) a $200 gift card to Bliss towards whatever creams
or lotions or pampering you deserve.
TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post offering your own working parent's productivity tip, AND tell us why you need a Motorola Elite Sliver. Psst...check the website for more about the headset.
be able to enter on each post of this series, with each comment
counting as an entry. Only one entry per post per person, please. At the
end of the month, we'll draw one lucky winner at random. See our official contest rules for details. US readers only please, must be 18+, void where prohibited by law. Deadline to enter is 3/30/12.
Congratulations to Jennifer S! She won the Motorola's Working Mom's Life Saver gift basket.