Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Just a Few of My Favorite Tools...

With NBC airing a live production of The Sound of Music on December 5th, I can't get that song "A Few of My Favorite Things" out of my head. Therefore, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite apps. As I often repeat, there is no one-size-fits-all for organizing so there are many alternatives that might better suit YOUR unique needs; I preface this post with the caveat that these are just the apps (and one website!) that I currently can't live without, all for Android & iOS alike. Here are a few of my favorite tech tools:

1. Evernote - Online research, articles to review, ideas for upcoming workshops, client notes, checklists and much, much more... There's just too much for my little brain to remember, which is why Evernote's ability to help me "remember everything" is vital. My information syncs real-time between all my devices, and I can quickly locate what I need when I need it. Amazing tool!

2. Dropbox - Whether it's a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation or PDF image, when I'm traversing the state, it's important to be able to quickly and easily access what files are needed; plus, many files are too large to email while many recipients are frightful to open unexpected attachments. Dropbox solves both issues: I can store files in the cloud to share between devices and easily share with others.

3. EasilyDo - This "smart assistant" helps me get things done, like joining a conference call with one tap, sending birthday wishes, keeping my travel documents handy and automatically updating changes to my contacts. Yes, Siri is a great option for iOS while Google Now helps Android users, but EasilyDo gives me another boost.

4. Square Register - I'm often meeting clients in your own offices or out at a public location, making it imperative to have a tool for collecting credit card payments while out-and-about. Square is easy to use and reasonably priced.

5. DocuSign - In my effort to limit paper, DocuSign has become more and more a part of my day-to-day workflow, allowing clients to sign off on agreements remotely and me to keep those signed documents in an electronic form, whether in Evernote or Dropbox.

6. Dolphin Browser - This free, mobile web browser is customizable, allows for voice and gesture controls, offers extremely fast results and includes the ability to save / share content to Evernote, Facebook and Twitter.

7. AroundMe - With all my traversing across North Carolina, this app helps me quickly locate the closest coffee shop, gas station, movie theatre, parking deck, restaurant, supermarket or bank, allows me to search for specific businesses in the vicinity and shows the local weather report for wherever I might be located.

8. Skype - Meeting virtually with clients nationwide requires a tool for face-to-face connections without having to travel any further than the screen of my tech tool. Quick, easy and free = an awesome combo!

9. WRAL's Sports Fan - As a fan of the David Glenn Radio Show broadcast noon - 3pm statewide, I like to catch what portions I can between appointments or while working on my Mac. Sometimes, I'm not in a position to listen to it on the radio, but this app makes it possible to catch the broadcast from wherever I'm working.

10. PaperKarma - Want to cut down on the mail coming into your home or business? No need to go through the hassle of Catalog Choice... Just scan your address from the mailer into PaperKarma and block future mailings.

11. Doodle - Committee meetings, client sessions with corporate teams, planning appointments with those supporting my business efforts... There are countless times I need to schedule face-to-face commitments with groups of people. With, folks vote for which suggested option works best, and we schedule the meeting for whatever date / time works best for most.

12. MusicID - As someone who enjoys many different kinds of music, I'm often hearing a tune I like and wondering about the title / artist. When in doubt, I open MusicID, click "Identify Song" and hold the phone near my speakers. Very quickly, all my questions about the song are answered, and I can hop to iTunes to buy it.

Which are your favorite apps? And which are the apps without which you just couldn't survive?!? Please comment below and share this post with those you think would enjoy these helpful tools.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Making a Difference in Memory of Dad for Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Last month marked the 4th year that my father has not been here to celebrate his birthday… Now, don't get me wrong; Dad was never a fan of making a big fuss in regards to birthdays, but he did like to recognize that day each year. It's an injustice that Dad's life got cut short, and I do not want anyone else to face that same kind of loss. You see, the statistics regarding lung cancer are very troubling…

- Lung cancer is the #1 cancer-killer of American women and men, taking more lives than colorectal, breast, pancreatic, kidney and lymphoma cancers COMBINED.

- Only 16% of lung cancer patients survive 5 or more years after diagnosis, compared with 89% of breast cancer patients and 99% of prostate cancer patients.

- Lung cancer takes the lives of almost twice as many women when compared to breast cancer and three times as many men when compared to pancreatic cancer.

- Of those diagnosed with lung cancer, 15-20% have never smoked while 50% are former smokers, many of whom quit smoking decades before diagnosis… Only 30-35% of lung cancer patients were current smokers when they were diagnosed.

- 1 in every 3 Americans has been touched by lung cancer, either with his / her own diagnosis or by losing a loved one to this horrible disease.

- North Carolina ranks 9th out of all states for deaths attributed to lung cancer… 8,559 North Carolinians are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year; however, together, there's always something we can do to make a difference.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and, in an effort to change the aforementioned statistics, there are many events planned to increase awareness and raise much-needed research funds. Last weekend was the Lung Cancer Initiative Run, Walk and Rally in Greensboro, NC, for which I was the event chairperson. Each year, this fun and exciting event gives all of us the opportunity to increase awareness about lung cancer, build a kinship with lung cancer survivors, friends and family members that have all been affected by this disease, and, very importantly, raise much-needed funds for lung cancer research, education & access to treatment.

I am very excited to report that this year's Lung Cancer Initiative Run, Walk and Rally had over 720 participants who have raised over $109,000 thus far, although fundraising continues through Tuesday, December 31st. Together, we truly are making a difference. There is power in numbers, and the involvement of each individual who attended or donated towards this cause is very important. On behalf of myself and everyone that worked to plan this year's Lung Cancer Initiative Run, Walk and Rally, I send out a HUGE thank you... The Lung Cancer Initiative Run, Walk and Rally of Greensboro has the most wonderful planning team, filled with non-paid volunteers who work tirelessly all year long to create an event that is both enjoyable and successfully supports our mission to "decrease deaths and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, awareness, education and access programs across North Carolina"… This event is truly a labor of love for everyone involved. And, with the support of our planning team volunteers, event day volunteers from UNCG, motivated donors and event participants, we can save lives and will absolutely continue to make a difference!

If you, too, want to help with #FightLungCancer2013, feel free to make a tax-deductible donation at or learn more at, reviewing the "lung cancer facts", "lung cancer screening info" and "resources" under "lung cancer info" from the page's header. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer so it's vital to know the symptoms, be aware of what's happening with your body and seek assistance if you feel like something is out of whack. Early detection makes treatment so much more effective!

Before reading this blog post, if someone had asked you about which cancer took the lives of more women than any other, would you have guessed lung cancer? Likewise, before reading this blog post, would you have guessed that lung cancer takes the lives of more men than any other cancer? There is so much power in knowledge so please pass this information along.