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Get Organized Archives - Exploring Patterns

Reading with a Plan

There is a great article on the XMind blog about how to create and execute a reading plan for a year.  I believe this article provides a structure that can help one get through some good books, make some notes and focus on what is important.

To learn more, check out the article.

Mind maps, a power tool to help you see the big picture with all the details.



Getting Organized for 2014

As we move into 2014, here are five suggestions that you may find helpful to make your plans a reality.

Suggestion 1 – Learn How to use Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook has a wealth of tools to make planning and managing activities easy. The key is to learn the software. You can check out some great tutorials on YouTube or take a class from a training. The key is to learn the software. Learn how to:

  1. Create tasks
  2. Assign tasks to others and track the report backs
  3. Create a daily list of ToDo
  4. Keep up with key projects in one place
  5. Build a Weekly Calendar that works
  6. Build a quarterly report card on how your goals are working

Having a good tool to help organize your work can be the first step to a great year.

Suggestion 2 – Be Honest with Yourself

Take time to be honest with yourself. Sit down with some paper and a pen and explore the following questions:

  1. What do you really like doing?
  2. What must you do?
  3. What are doing that could be done by others or not done at all?

Getting a clear image of what you need to do – and what not to do – can create a focus and clarity when building plans for the future.

Suggestion 3 – Write Exciting Goals

When you write out your goals for the next year, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How exciting is that goal?
  2. If the goal is accomplished, how proud will you be with the results?
  3. Will the completed goal make a difference in your life? In the lives of others?
  4. How will you be different as a result of the goal?

A boring goal is just that, boring! Focus on something really important and exciting. We only live once, make it count!

Suggestion 4 – Take One Day at a Time

With a plan in hand, try to take one day at a time. Remember the following three principles:

  1. Get something done every day – it keeps you in touch with the goal
  2. A small accomplishment each day adds up
  3. Keep notes on how things are progressing

Incorporating your plan into your daily activities can make the plan a reality.

Suggestion 5 – Find a Good Friend

Avoid going it alone. Find a friend: someone who will listen to your goals and your progress. Set up a regular time when you can share your plan and your progress. When you get together, consider the following topics as part of the conversation:

  1. What were the goals?
  2. What were the accomplishments?
  3. What were the challenges?
  4. What were the new insights about yourself?
  5. What will help you as you continue to work on the goals?

Having a friend who will listen, be honest with you and keep you moving in the right direction is a valuable part of keeping your plan alive.


All the best as you move forward in 2014!








Testing Microsoft Office 2013

One of my ongoing learning adventures is test software.

I have been testing Office 2013 for Windows on a Windows 8 Pro machine. The installation of the suite went well and I have been using the application as part of my daily work for just under two months. The Suite, coupled with SkyDrive, allow me to work on my documents from any machine. I continue to work with documents using my Desk Top, Lap Top and my RIM Playbook. Overall, it has and continues to be a very positive experience.

To learn more about the Office 2013 Suite, visit

I think you will like the new Office 2013 a pleasant surprise.