Category Archives: - Get Organised

How to use Evernote to get you and your Business finally Organised

I’ve had Evernote on my PC and on my phone for quite a while.  I’ve been using it here and there  - mainly to take text notes when I’m out and about for projects, blog ideas etc.

How to use Evernote

But I have recently been looking at all the other things that you can do on Evernote and now I realise that it is just the most useful app I possess, bar none.  Here are some of the things i have done with my Evernote set up just recently. Continue reading

Motivating Mum Conference: 14th May Bishops Stortford – Win a Free Ticket

I am delighted to announce that the first Motivating Mum Conference will take place on Wednesday 14th May, between 10am and 2pm at the Great Hadham Golf Club, near Bishop’s Stortford.

A dedicated information and networking day for women in business and those who are starting up or thinking about it: 

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  • Speakers on topics including: social media, free marketing resources and practical techniques to maximise your time
  • Dedicated times for informal networking during morning refreshments and a light buffet lunch
  • An information and product area to browse
  • A conference guide and information pack to take awayacheivment41

Click here to visit the Conference website for more details and to book.

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The Motivating Mum Conference 2014 speakers

  1. Keynote speech from Saira Hamilton, MasterChef 2013 semi-finalist and owner of her companysmall aubergine
  2. Practical tips on how to develop a social media strategy from Debbie O’Connor, Master Franchisee for Motivating Mum UK
  3. A brief overview on support for local businesses from Liza Armstrong, My Incubator Ware Business Advisor
  4. Free marketing resources for small business from Dawn Southgate,  Head of Knowledge, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  5. Practical techniques to maximise your time across business and personal life from Sanchia AronbergAronberg Trainingsuccessquote19

Thank you to the sponsors and supporters of this event:

Prontaprint
My Incubator
Shine Salon Ware
Liberty Wills and Trusts Ltd

Don’t miss out!  Click here to visit the Conference website. 

If you live anywhere near Bishops Stortford (or if you have friends that are interested in business that do) – then please let them know about this event – we would love to see you there.  In order to maximise the publicity for this event, I am offering one free ticket to a lucky reader who promotes the event for us – please enter via the Rafflecopter below.

If you are the winner of the competition below and you don’t need a ticket (because you have already bought yours or because you cannot go to the event personally) then there is the option of a £40 Amazon voucher instead.  So please go ahead and book your ticket and then tell the rest of the world about it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get your Business Idea off the Ground with the Fast Start Up Course

The Fast Start Up Course is a new video course which will give you everything you need to launch your home business successfully. Sign up using my link, and get some extra freebies from Motivating Mum and Mum’s the Boss (see below)…

The Fast Start Up Course and Community

Continue reading

Things That Make Me Happy

Days are very busy with little free time so it is vitally important to look after yourself. It is all too easy to be so busy that by the end of the day you are totally run off your feet and exhausted. You collapse into bed, unable to relax and rest properly, and before you know it it is morning and off you go again. In the long term this is very unhealthy both physically and mentally.

It can be difficult to get enough sleep and feel well rested with young children. This can be very challenging when you work.

I try to simplify where I can.

I stick to basic and simple styles of clothes that I know suit me and then accessorise. This can work well as I juggle meetings with dog walking and the school pick up. Not only do accessories change the look of an outfit, but I feel the attention to detail give the impression of someone who cares, has confidence and able to work to a high standard – important when you are self employed!

Accessories do not need to be complicated:

  • Bold patterns, try picking out one colour and choose minimum accessories.
  • Black works well with bright colours; white and off white works with gold or silver. Oranges, yellows and browns tone well.
  • Bracelets or rings and not both. Watches can make a nice statement, The Watch Hut  have something to suit everyone, from fashion to more classic styles.

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  • Larger earrings work well with hair up.
  • Scarves are great but can be tricky, the internet has great ideas on how to wear them.
  • A stunning pair of heels can transform a simple pair of jeans or a bargain basement dress.

Make sure your careful but simple wardrobe planning isn’t wasted, ensure shoes are clean and polished, clothes are freshly laundered, hair is clean and styled, and painted nails can disguise a multitude of sins!

Balancing family and work can be feel overwhelming, but simple changes in your routine can improve your well being. I make sure I find a little me-time for things that make me happy.

  • Yoga, improves my posture, strength and flexibility.
  • Dog walking, fresh air and exercise and even better to meet up with friends for a catch up and gossip!

When I worked full time, before children, I would go to regular exercise classes and the gym; now I do a little yoga each morning before anyone is up. Once a week I meet up with friends and we walk our dogs, a great work out, relaxing and free.

I work better and have more confidence if I take a little time out. Even when there really isn’t the time, I achieve more when I have spent a little time doing something I enjoy. A little me-time may seem indulgent but it is my long term investment in me!

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February is the Month for Creativity

Can you believe that the first month of 2014 is already over?  It is all going so fast as usual.

I hope that you have made some progress towards your goals for 2014.  I don’t know about you but I like to sit down at the beginning of each month and refocus myself for the month ahead.

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And so we come to the second of the new themed months on Mum’s the Boss and Motivating Mum. In January we were looking at Goals and Resolutions, but this month the theme is Creativity.

Some of you may be looking at the screen and thinking – what on earth does Creativity have to do with mums in business?  We want to learn all about Social media, online marketing and the like.  Well those topics will come in future months.

I have three main reasons for dedicating a month to Creativity:

  1. So many home businesses that mums set up have to do with taking a creative hobby and truning it into a business. I’m thinking of photographers, florists, cupcake bakers, artists and web designers, jewellery makers….  I’m going to be showcasing some of those creative businesses in order to perhaps give some of you some ideas for hobbies that you can turn into businesses.
  2. Even the most basic and humdrum of home businesses can be improved with Creativity.  Whether you redesign your website, add some creative writing to your blog, use more photography or video on what you do, or just find innovative ways to advertise and sell yourself – creativity is needed to carve out your individual niche.
  3. The final reason has to do with that elusive work-life balance that we are all seeking to attain.  i would thoroughly recommend that you take up some creative hobby outside of your working and family life in order to have something that is just for you.  Many of you will know that I sing in my spare time, but I know that many of you knit or bake or do crafts.  We have half term coming up in the month of February so why not do a crafty project or two with your children.

So there you have it – a month to explore the therm of Creativity.  I would love to see how you choose to get creative, either in your business or with your children or just by yourself.  Please stop by the facebook page and leave a comment, or else comment here and leave links to stuff that you are doing this month.

February can still be a cold and dismal month – spring is coming but not yet here.  Next month we will be getting out and about and discussing Networking, but for the moment, wrap up warm and do something fun at home.

Why should you write out your your Goals and Resolutions?

So here we are just over half way through January, and half way through my monthly focus on goals and New Year’s Resolutions.  How are your resolutions going?  Have you managed to keep them all intact or are you slipping with some of them?

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This is the time of the year when most resolutions and goals fail. So why is this and what can you do about it? Continue reading

New Year Plans

January and the New Year, we had a great break at Christmas and with so much else happening my brain had a real break from work. Now feeling fresh and ready for the New Year ahead. I have had chance to look back, evaluate and move forward with knowledge and experience.

A few years ago I was unhappy trying to fit my job around my children, we decided that I needed a new approach to work. A slightly radical approach, but start again, working from home and using the internet to create work. With very little experience and less knowledge, but a firm belief in producing good quality and reliable work.

Luckily I was able to work with a friend with the same ideas, we have different strengths and weaknesses, but the same work idea. We have had to learn as we go, sometimes spent many a long hour working out how to make something work online. Now we can work with much more efficiency, though we are still learning.

Working from home has been quite a learning curve. A big advantage is that it is very easy to work at any time of day or night and a big disadvantage is that it is very easy to work at any time of day or night! I have to work hard to organise my time to maximise my work time, this is not something that comes naturally to me.

We are so lucky to have so much time and energy saving technology available to us. From a Smartphone it is possible to control nearly every aspect of your life, from your bank account, to shopping and now you can control your heating and hot water even if you are not at home. I find it really useful to be able to control so many aspects of home life anywhere at any time!

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The main reason I work from home is to be there for our children and one of the biggest challenges I have is separating work from home. Work is there all the time. I have found for me it works so much better to divide my time into blocks, so when the children come home from school we have time to read and do homework without me checking emails!

This year I will be organising my time better and with the extra time I save I am aiming to enjoy quality time. This is really important for me to establish some time out from working, I think we all work better with some proper time off, but much more difficult to achieve working from home.

Image courtesy of free digital photos

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Make it Happen in 2014 – and Win an iPad Air

Following on from my monthly topic of Goals and Resolutions comes this great opportunity from Lloyds Bank.  They would like you to visit their facebook page and make a pledge  of your goals for 2014.  One lucky Motivating Mum reader who pledges on the site and fills in the Rafflecopter below, will win an iPad air, and you also stand a chance of featuring in the Lloyds Bank advertising (and of course of achieving your goal!) Continue reading

Goal Setting for Children

While many adults set goals and New Year’s Resolutions not many children attempt to do this. Why not help your children set goals or resolutions for the coming year?

goal setting for children

There is no reason why your child cannot set a goal and this is a great habit for them to get into. Their goal could be something as simple as reading one book each month or learning how to print their name by their 4th birthday. Other goals could be to learn how to tie their shoes or even to help mum in the kitchen at dinner time.

Getting your children into the habit of setting goals and reaching them will help them in all areas of their lives. They will learn it is possible to set a goal and reach it and that this process can actually be a fun one. Achieving a goal they have set themselves can be very exciting and motivational for children of all ages, especially if there is a reward involved….

You could always make your child’s goal relate to yours in some way or other.  By doing this, everyone in the family can be working on similar things. For example you may want to exercise more so why not involve your kids too? Help them decide what type of exercise or sport they would like to participate in. Family sports include things like skating, cycling, walking and running. Or you could all sign up for a self defence class.

Once your child has decided on their new goal help them write it down and create a date for it to be achieved. Try not to make the decision for them, give them ideas and suggestions but let them make the final choice.

Even very young children can set a goal for themselves, whether it is just cleaning their room or learning to get dressed without any help. Be available to give them help when it is needed, but allow them to try and figure out how to reach their own goals.

You should encourage your children to set a goal that can be achieved in a relatively short time frame. Getting them to learn how to tie up their own shoelaces by spring would be a good example. Goal dates could be based around the changing of the seasons, based on their birthday or for the start of your annual family holiday.

Children have a much shorter attention span than adults, so it is important that you are there to give them regular encouragement and support as needed. It may not be necessary for them to work on their goal every single day – maybe putting some time aside at the weekend is sufficient.

Older children can have larger goals, possibly ones where they have to save money in order to get something they have dreamed of owning. Or you may offer to pay half if they save up the other half. This teaches children that they have to work to get things in life. Plus they will value their new item more if they had to spend some of their own cash for it!

Once your child reaches their goal let them know how proud you are of them. Share their success with other family members too. Then encourage them to set a new goal. Goals can be set around personal achievements, the desire for a new toy or wanting to join a new sports team or take up a new hobby.

If their goal is a little harder for them to achieve, help them write out a plan of smaller steps so that they can actually reach their goals. Remember to help them learn to enjoy their journey by making it fun.

Do you set goals with your children?  Please let us know what goals your children are working towards by leaving a comment below.

Image by stockimages http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Goals and Resolutions: Declutter your House with Self Storage

by Alex Bradnum

Are you at the end of your tether with clutter?

declutter your house

If you’ve taken to hiding things away in cupboards and under beds rather than having a proper clear out, then maybe the New Year is a good time to make a resolution to declutter your home properly!

Dealing with clutter can be a little disorientating and it can be hard to work out where to start, but it really doesn’t need to be that stressful. Just make sure you are organised beforehand, and you’ll have a clutter-free home in no time at all. Continue reading