Q+A for October 27th


Q: I am just inquiring about your Library of Memories (LOM) class.

I missed out last time you were offering the class.  Do you run this through Big Picture Scrapbooking website?  I really want to take your class the next time you have it.  Please let me know when and where to watch for registration.

A: I’m so happy you are interested in Library of Memories. Yes, I teach this course at Big Picture Scrapbooking (BPS). This year, registration will open on December 10th and class will begin on Thursday, February 4th. I’m very excited about the ways *we* will be refreshing the content and improving the communication this year. There will be LOTS to do in the pre-classroom, so signing up early is a very smart thing to do. If you are registered at BPS you will receive email notifications of upcoming classes.

Hopefully I’ll see you in class!


Q: Where is this awesome kitchen-timer from?

A: Oh dear — I’m so sorry I didn’t post an image source link in this post. This timer is available at Simply Smart Living (it’s only $8.95)

I used this image in the context of a post about multi-tasking. I love reading comments that you leave and I often click-through to read your blogs. Rebecca blogged about my multi-tasking post on her blog and posed questions of her own. I’m going to respond here, but I also want to hear more ideas from you.

Q: Multiple projects, many hats — I can so relate. The question I have is how does everyone keep organized??

I used to keep a notebook – now I can’t because my kids then take it when I leave it some place and color pretty pictures for me.  I used to have a palm – then it died.  I try to use my computer and Remember the Milk for “to-do” tracking – but don’t always remember to get on it every day to check off completed tasks or don’t have the computer by me when I need to track something.  How do you do it?

Maybe it is just part of my makeup that I’m really good sitting down and making a list but I easily get overwhelmed trying to keep the list up to date, or because of the number of hats I wear I am overwhelmed at the sheer amount to be done.

I hope you don’t mind me asking my BIG question….

A: The first thing you should know is this is a very BIG question. The second thing you need to know is you do NOT need to read my very long answer, unless you are really interested in the topic of how you stay organized and track various projects in various stages of progression? How do you keep up with multiple children, an exciting, but demanding job and LOTS of curiosity about the world and passion for experiencing new things? If you’ve taken Library of Memories then you may remember two of my mantras:

1. You will never be 100% organized.

2. You can only scrapbook (insert any worthwhile pursuit here) in the way you are organized.

At first these two statements might seem in opposition to one another — there are not. You must start with #1 and accept the fact that organization is a fluid process that must continually be reinvented, revisited and refreshed. I do NOT believe that anyone has one system of organization that handles every aspect of their life, nor do I believe that you can adopt one system and reach a state of perfection. The important thing is to NOT give up. If you expect organization before implementation then you will never have the material you need to truly ‘test’ the strength and resiliency of an approach. In other words you can’t organize something that you haven’t started or aren’t fully engaged in.

I once bought a parenting book, based solely on the title: I was a really good mom before I had kids.

You could apply this same humor to any hobby or line of work. Luckily our anticipations and hopeful expectations far exceed our realities and continue to push us to move forward and get better.
If we don’t beat ourselves up for falling short.

I currently have two smallish notebooks that I keep physical lists in.

1. One is my ongoing “BPS” list.
I re-write this list almost every week, when Kayce and I talk on Monday afternoons.This list is at least partially prioritized with HOT items listed first. As much as I can, I work through this list from top to bottom during the week. Sometimes, I skip down the list to find an item that can be done quickly — just so I can have that sense of “Ahh …”

2. The other notebook is my “Stacy” list.
This notebook is for anything and everything else. I only re-write this list when I get sick of staring at it. The last time I rewrote it was on the 29th of September. This list is not prioritized at all. It is a brain dump of stuff I want and need to do. There is a complete mish mash of to-dos — anything from “paint plant stand” and “order gurgle pot for D. Demars” to “adapt project 365 for This Moment” and “print family history emails from Gary”  — If I think of something I want or need to do, I add it to the bottom of the list. When I have time and energy, I look for something that feels good and I start. The first time I record a to-do it is very general, like “organize/decorate the entertainment center” — I started this a week ago Saturday, by moving the games downstairs from the playroom and organizing them in the entertainment center. Once I’ve started I generally think of more specific tasks and add several more to-dos to the bottom of this list. I’ve recently added, “organize books and videos in drawers” and “move storage albums to glass cupboard”  — for me it takes starting to really “see” what has to be done. Hope that makes sense.

I also use Evernote and Things on my computer and iPhone to help me capture and track ideas and tasks.
Both of these programs/applications take time and practice — together they are a pretty effective capture + track.

For example, when I agreed to develop the presentation I am giving tomorrow at the Youth Leader Summit — I started a new project using my Things iPhone application. Everytime I thought of story or image or idea — I would add it to my project list. If I found a website or blog entry that I wanted to return to — I captured it in Evernote and tagged it. I finally started building my presentation last Friday. I had to set my timer for 60 minutes and shut down everything else, so I could focus. Once I had a few slides built … I simply started down the project list and gathered images and information to populate the presentation. I added my last few slides this morning and now I need to move things around a bit and review. Otherwise I am good to go.

I think it is super important to let your priorities concerning tasks shift and it’s important to be able to cross things off your list without accomplishing them.

I quite often add an item to one of my lists, carry it over for months at a time and then ultimately decide that I don’t really want to do that anymore (I can always put it back on my list later.) You might write something down, put a big fat “A-1″ next to it and then proceed to ignore it. If you’re like me, there are days that you simply ignore all lists altogether — it’s OK! Yes, there are things we have to do at work and at home — but the more you come to understand and embrace your authentic priorities, the more you will be able to ‘let go’ and move in the direction of what you really want to do.

My final thought:

There is no perfect organizational plan, but if you are willing to keep trying and refining, you will find methods that work to keep you mostly on track most of the time!

And the last Q for today …

image source.

Q: I have been enjoying your new blog, but what do you mean by subscribing to all three blogs? I can’t find anywhere to sign up.

A: Great question. I have had a few emails wondering what happened to my blog, and even more emails asking how to subscribe to stacyjulian.com via a blog reader, like Google Reader or Bloglines.

I’m a visual person, so perhaps a picture will help you too!

stacyjulian.com is home to three blogs, circled in the image above. From the homepage you can click on the turqoise “sprinkles” button on the main menu bar. The sprinkles page is actually a blog that I update weekly, on Mondays. You can also click on two tabs above the main menu bar. The yellow “I love color” tab takes you to another blog that I update weekly, on Fridays with color inspiration. My main blog is linked to the big green tab that says “my blog” — this is what you are reading now and I update this blog multiple times a week.

If you are accustomed to reading your favorite blogs via a reader service (see links above) then you’ll want to subscribe to all three blogs, ie:




If you don’t use a blog reader, then you can simply bookmark stacyjulian.com and use the three tabs!

wow. that was long!



  1. Google Reader is a great way to keep track of blog reading too.

  2. Hey StacyJ – Gatlinburg [TN] – the land of sugar and carbs – we’ve been many times throughout the years and never knew – but truly noticed this craziness now that my sweetie has been diagnosed with diabetes… we enjoyed the mountain color and fun fly fishing!

  3. I’m a big believer that no one can really teach someone to be organized. They can offer pointers, tips, ideas. But the only organization technique that truly works, is the one we create and can follow ourselves. Mine, is still a work in progress.

  4. I like long and detailed!!! More interesting than this borrrring class I am sitting in rt now… *shhh*

    • Hey *M* ,

      I owe you a nice long email — thank YOU for always being willing to share your ideas and opinions with me — I value them so much!


  5. Joanie Baloney says:

    I’m happy to hear that LOM will be offered again in 2010. I really contemplated taking it this past year, but I didn’t feel that I would have the time needed to dedicate to the class. I’m going to take a swing at it this time.

  6. I like to think in metaphors and the big pow moment for me and organising was when I decided that juggling was not the best metaphor – here is what I wrote in Me:the Abridged Version (fantastic Cathy Z class at BPS).

    is often used as a metaphor for multi-tasking but I think plate-spinning is better. With juggling you touch each item briefly before throwing it up again and the whole impression is of only just being in control. With plate spinning you spend time on each plate at the start and then work on any that are faltering to keep them going. An added bonus is that with plate spinning you can have someone help with the ongoing work but this can’t happen in juggling.

    • Helena,

      I LOVE this metaphor — and I’m so happy for you that you created a Me album with Cathy. What a wonderful accomplishment!

  7. love the plate spinning idea – and i agree we can’t TEACH someone to organize, but we can show them the benefits of it and help them find their own way – my husband and i often marvel at how far he has come with organization [and he's the one who brings it up since I'm hyper-organized.] So fun to see him grow in this way!

    Right now – as in this weekend – i’ve been struck with the idea of culling my digital photos down to apx 40 per event / photo shoot [like many of us - i take sooooooooooo many!] for my save forever disks / hard-drives. I’ve always been a ‘keep it simple’ girl and I know in my heart that if I can cull down to the 40 – 50 [see how I'm increasing the number already] best photos of the day then my decisions about how to use them will be so much quicker and easier… what do y’all think?


  1. [...] I know I should be calm about this but Stacy Julian actually answered my comment on her blog and linked to my blog!  I saw Stacy from afar at CKU Stamford 2005 but have never really gotten to [...]

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