Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cool Jewelry Stands for Necklaces, Bracelets and Earrings

steel jewelry stands for necklaces

I've written about so many jewelry organizers, but sometimes I still find something new — such as this steel moose necklace hanger from DesignByThem, available in four colors. Update on August 8, 2019: I'm no longer finding this product on the company's website.

bamboo jewelry stand for necklaces

Another interesting option for necklaces is this jewelry stand from GioGio Design, made from bamboo.

bamboo jewelry stand for earrings

GioGio Design also makes this two-tiered jewelry stand for earrings.

3-tier bracelet stand

And finally, let's consider bracelets. The Woodshop's Daughter has one- and two-tier bracelet stands, but will also make custom orders that are larger. You can also get an add-on peg to hold rings.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kitchen Utensil Holders from Talented Artisans

stoneware utensil holder

Many of us find that the easiest way to organize our frequently-used kitchen utensils is in some sort of utensil pot — so let’s give thanks to the artisans who give us so many lovely storage options. And let’s start with vitrifiedstudio, which made this stoneware utensil holder.

stoneware utensil holder - aqua color
Photo used with permission from Back Bay Pottery

This delightful aqua-colored stoneware piece comes from Back Bay Pottery; it’s designed to hold 15 or more utensils.

ceramic utensil jar

This utensil jar comes from Tom Butcher Ceramics in Scotland as part of his Loch Long Stoneware range.

terra-cotta utensil jar

Henry Watson’s Potteries has a terra-cotta utensil jar.

ceramic utensil holder - stoneware

Made from wheel-thrown stoneware clay, this utensil holder comes from Willow Tree Pottery.

pottery utensil holder

Too many neutral colors for your taste? Take a look at the utensil holders from Prarie Fire Pottery.

stone utensil holder

And after all these pottery pieces, let’s end with something different: this utensil holder from Okanagan Stoneworks, which looks especially stunning with the red and white utensils.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are You Using Your Email Inbox as a To-Do List?

Image entitled Breath while reading your email!, by Marie-Chantale Turgeon; found on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Current status: Using my Inbox as a to-do list. — Greg Lipper

My email inbox is basically a todo list of stuff I don’t want to do. — Tim Van Damme, via a number of other people

Lots of people will say you should never use your inbox as a to-do list, for lots of good reasons.

1. Email subject lines often aren’t a good indicator of what the to-dos are. As Gina Trapani wrote:
For example, you receive an email from a friend and the subject line is “hi.” The two of you go back and forth a dozen times, then decide to make plans for dinner, and suddenly it's up to you to make reservations at Rosarita's House of Tacos on July 14th at 7PM. Stick that into your “TO-DO” folder, and you've got a task that reads: “Re: re: re: re: re: re: hi.” That doesn’t tell you much, does it?
2. Emails are not nicely sorted into individual tasks, as Leo Babauta explained:
There might be multiple actions in each email. What if an email contains 10 to-do items? You can’t delete or archive the email when you’ve done one or two of the actions. It’ll remain in your inbox until all 10 are done, as if nothing has been done. Also, you might forget that there are multiple actions in an email and file or delete it when you’ve done one of the actions.
3. Not all tasks come to you via email, so you’re likely to wind up with two to-do lists: one in email and one somewhere else. And managing two lists can be problematic.

4. Using one tool for two purposes can make it harder to do either one well. As Jill Duffy wrote:
Trying to tweak your inbox to function like a to-do list results in a very poor to-do list. Guess what? It also creates a very poor inbox, so now you [have] two inefficiencies! If you try to manipulate your inbox to double as your to-do list, it leaves you flipping between operations.
5. As Rachel Andrew wrote, emails sitting in your inbox “feel like they are constantly nagging you to act on them, whatever their priority.”

6. And to quote Leo Babauta once more:
An email inbox contains distractions. ... If you’re looking at your to-dos in email, you’re in very big danger of new emails coming in and distracting you. ... I’d prefer a simple to-do list that allows you to shut off email while you’re trying to get important work done.

And while this all makes sense, some people find that using their email as their to-do list works just fine for them.

David Pogue, who was The News York Times’ technology columnist before moving to Yahoo, is one of those. In a column titled “Pogue’s Productivity Secrets Revealed,” he wrote:
I’m not a believer in the “empty your Inbox every day” philosophy; in fact, my Inbox is my To Do list, which works great. When I’ve dealt with something, I delete or file it. When I haven’t, its presence in that list reminds me that it needs doing.
As someone wrote in response to a Harvard Business Review article titled “Stop Using Your Inbox as a To-Do List”:
“Stop Using Something Which Works Perfectly Fine For Millions Of People”
As with so many organizing issues, it’s often useful to read the advice and understand the recommendations — but then figure out what works for you.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Labeling with Pictures, Not Just Words

labels on baskets, using pictures and words

What comes to mid when you think of labeling? If you hadn’t just looked at the photo above, you’d probably think of text-only labels, perhaps on a file folder or on a storage bin in the garage. But there are all sorts of ways to label things so you can easily find them again — and know where to put them away.

The photo above is from the storage area at Colors of the Coast — Ellen Joseph’s gallery and gift shop in Half Moon Bay. My friend Ellen sells giclee reproductions of her paintings, as well as items such as mugs and mouse pads printed with her various paintings. So she quite reasonably made her labels with images of those paintings, so it’s easy to tell which basket holds which items.

clothing-shaped labels on a dresser drawer

The same idea can be applied to labeling the drawers where children’s clothes go. These labels come from Crafterhours. [via Parenthacks and Cool Mom Picks] You can get a similar product from StikEez.

stickers to label kitchen cabinets with words and pictures

And while these kitchen cabinet stickers from Hyundae Sheet, currently available from Amazon.com, may not have the exact categories you would choose, I still like the idea.

Related Posts:
Why You Really Might Want a Label Maker
Be Your Own Professional Organizer, Part 3: Label
One Person’s Organized Space: CDs and Labels