Use Lists to Cut Out Clutter

Andrew Mellen Headshot Tighter

I love meeting people who are just as organized as I am and getting the chance to learn something new from them. I went to the BlogHer conference in Chicago last weekend (more about the productivity tips and tricks on outsourcing that I learned there to come soon!) and met Andrew Mellen, bestselling author of Unstuff Your Life. Needless to say, he’s an expert at staying organized and keeping it together! So I thought he’d be the perfect “list producer” to feature:

Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

A: I don’t. I call myself a practical list producer.

Q: What do you make lists about?

A: Things I need to do that need to get out of my head, onto a page, then onto my calendar.

These are typically:


Home Projects

Work Projects

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List for Surviving a Conference

Wow — I’m tired! BlogHer12 was a great conference but I’m pooped and I didn’t even have to travel very far. I went from my apartment in the East Village to Midtown — basically the commute I do everyday to get to work.

But participating in a conference is exhausting — both mentally and physically.

Of course, I have a list to make it a bit easier the next time you are attending a conference too:

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: I started really planning out my itinerary for BlogHer12 about two months beforehand. The agenda had been posted and I read through it a few times to see what sessions I would benefit from most. I chatted with other bloggers who had been to other BlogHer conferences for their take on sessions, parties and networking so I could optimize my time. I wrote out a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish while there.

2. Bring a Sharpie: I got this advice from Tanya Toledano who writes It is brilliant. Bring a super-fine point Sharpie with you so you can make notes on business cards as you get them.  Write notes on the card as soon as you get it like: “blond hair, glasses, lives in Arizona, possible guest blogger.” This is a huge help.

3. Use Evernote: What an incredible tool. I used this the entire weekend for taking notes. You can include audio, photos and PDFs along with your notes and access them from any device. It makes note taking and life so much easier. I also kept my entire itinerary saved here so I could get to it anywhere.

4. Make a Follow-Up List: While I was at the conference I had my iPad with me and as I met people or got an idea from a session — I added to my follow-up list. So now, this week I know exactly who I have to get back in touch with and what we need to talk about. The more time you let this linger — the less likely you are to make effective relationships and partnerships. Having a call to action list makes it much more possible.

5. Don’t Over Schedule: I totally bit off more than I could chew with this conference. I RSVP’ed for a lot of extra gatherings and parties that I just never made it to. Frankly I was too exhausted! Make sure that you schedule in time to recoup and relax — trust me, you’ll need it!

6. Bring Snacks:   I brought almonds, fruit bars and clementines. It’s always a good idea because you just never know when you’ll get hungry and be stuck in a meeting or session with your stomach growling!


Tech Goddess Makes Lists Work For Her

As far as self-professed nerds go — Carley Knobloch is the coolest.  I would call her a tech goddess in fact.  I’ve talked about her site former because I really think it’s great.  It’s a site dedicated to technology, apps, websites and products to make your life easier. Carley is also a featured speaker at BlogHer12.

She produces high-quality video and tips that are informative, quirky and cute.  I’ve shared a few here for you to check out and will continue to do that. Digitwirl is how I learned about, which I used to make my “Lists & Libations” Meetup flyer.

Carley isn’t only a tech nerd…er goddess..she’s also a list maker!  So she’s this month’s featured list producer: Read more

Vote For Me If My Blog Makes You Smile!

I’ve entered a blogging contest and I’d love your help getting some votes.  It’s for the 2012 BlogLux Smile Awards and it’s part of the festivities surrounding this year’s BlogHer12 conference in New York City in August.  Voting runs from July 11 – 22 and you can vote once a day.  Please do!  There’s also a lot of other fabulous blogs on this list – so poke around and see what else you find too.

What’s BlogHer?

Haven’t heard of BlogHer?  I hadn’t until a few months ago either.  It’s a big conference for female bloggers to come together and learn, share and party.

Follow the Action

If you’re on twitter you can follow some of the madness by typing in the hashtag #BlogHer12. This year there are two keynote speakers — Martha Stewart (a list maker btw) and Katie Couric.  I love Martha because every organization geek wishes she was like her!  And of course Katie has been an amazing role model for me in my “other” profession as a TV news producer.  Can’t wait!

(Disclaimer: I apologize in advance to anyone who isn’t interested in BlogHer12 — I promise not to post too often about it!  I realize it’s like watching paint dry if you’re not into it :))