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

Friday, October 10, 2014

6 Powerful Takeaways from Carley Knobloch

Carley and I at Evernote Conference
One of the highlights from my trip to the Evernote conference was attending Carley Knobloch’s presentation, “Secrets of a Sometimes-Organized Working Parent”. I do not have children; however, many of the same techniques that help working parents to balance parenthood with a full-time job are applicable for balancing the many different hats that I wear and can be transferred to my clients in one-on-one consultation sessions. Plus, Carley Knobloch’s ability to convey her digital expertise in an engaging manner is just amazing. I first learned about Carley back in 2011 when her Digitwirl YouTube channel was growing attention and folks were learning how her weekly web show could make tech work for anyone. Following her path to The Today Show and beyond via her email list, I have found that Carley is a relatable individual who truly cares about helping others, which was obvious in her concurrent session that I attended.

Evernote is an excellent tool for helping anyone get more done while maintaining sanity and peace of mind, tips for which were exuding from Carley’s presentation. Here are a few of the takeaways I gathered:

“Accumulate nothing. Keep everything.” - As Carley explained, physical items pose a burden for where they will be kept and how they can be accessed whenever needed. Alternatively, when you photograph your physical items or scan your paper, uploading it all to Evernote, you alter the situation. As all you need can be accessed from anywhere at any moment via the Evernote app on any of your devices, you retain control of where you do business and when you focus on friends, family, hobbies or volunteering. In other words, you are in control of of your world instead of your world controlling you.

“Achieve work / life efficiency, not balance.” - For years, I’ve emphasized that work / life balance isn’t applicable to everyone; instead, I believe in work / life integration, but I really do like the terminology Carley introduced of work / life efficiency. As Carley explained, it’s the in-between moments that allow for getting your best work accomplished. These days, individuals are called upon to access important information and complete business transactions at any time and from any location. With Evernote, people can have any and all contacts, content and context needed from wherever at whatever time.

“Run your home like a workplace.” - In living life and working with my clients, I have found that our brains are made for thinking, not remembering, and tools like Evernote make it possible for me to remember all that I must, which is just as important for a household or non-profit committee as it is for one’s company, whether it’s repairs, cleaning supplies, insurance details, maintenance completed, paint colors, the plumber's phone number or more. As Carley reminded those in her concurrent session, systems and procedures are necessary for making any entity a well-oiled machine; further, having what information is needed at your fingertips is invaluable. Evernote is hugely helpful for sharing process documents, chore documents, key contact lists, health insurance filing rules and more so you can continue to move forward while the world swirls around you.

“Keep everyone at ease when the CEO is extracted.” - As Carley explained, “time waits for no traveling parent” so it’s important to empower those left to keep the household running with whatever answers will be needed, documenting what must happen when while you are gone and how to keep things rolling during your physical absence. Well, the same philosophy applies to any scenario where the leader will be stepping away, and Evernote is an excellent tool for sharing what answers others need. Just like you as the traveler should get an itinerary that includes travel details, confirmation numbers and appointment locations, Evernote empowers you to leave an itinerary for those staying behind, including things like what’s for dinner or who needs to be where at what time.

“Evernote is the new scrapbook.” - How many photos, keepsakes and memorabilia items do you have stored in a box in your garage or in a notebook on a shelf in your closet? As Carley explained, keeping those physical items in a manner that makes their content non-accessible is really quite nonsensical. Most of us don’t have a need for the physical item itself, but we want to enjoy its content, which is how Evernote becomes helpful. By uploading a photo or a scan of the keepsake, we can access and enjoy that content from anywhere at any time, maybe even in Evernote’s presentation mode. Further, when uploading her kids’ artwork, Carley has them add an audio explanation, which will prove especially valuable as the family looks back on their projects down the road or as a pick-me-up for Carley’s bad days.

Above all else, though, my greatest takeaway might’ve been “breathe a little and laugh a lot”, where Carley reminded all of us to “give yourself permission to make mistakes, keep chipping away at it and test things to see what works”. Life is an adventure, and living is about the process of experiencing that adventure. None of us has all the answers, and, with how rapidly technology is evolving, it can be quite the task to simply keep up with all the options available. As I tell my clients frequently, most tech tools have a free option or a trial offer, and it’s important to test them out before committing; however, the testing things out philosophy applies to so much more than just technology, and I think it’s important to never stop trying options to see what’s available to best meet your needs.

Which of Carley’s best practices resonates most with you? Are there any which are new to you that you plan to implement? 
I’d love to hear your success stories so please share below!

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