Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keep Your Frequent Flier Miles Organized with MilePort

I travel quite a bit - 10 trips in 2008 alone - and I like to rack up as many frequent flier miles as I can. While each airline and rewards program has its own website for keeping track of how many points you have, if you have more than a few affinity programs it can be tough staying on top of the total picture of all your mileage balances. In the past few years, it's become increasingly important to keep a close eye on your miles, as many airlines have instituted ever-shortening expiration dates for miles unless there is activity on the account.

Managing the task of centralizing all your frequent flier and rewards program information is one of my favorite little programs, MilePort, which is produced for free by FrequentFlier.com and DeskPort Technologies. Essentially, MilePort is like Quicken for your Mileage programs - you enter your account information into its database, and it retrieves all your information at once so you can easily review your balances. It is able to retrieve information about most programs (over 100), so chances are you'll find your airline's program in there.

MilePort is a great program that does one thing and does it well. Get it at http://mileport.com/index.html

Of course, redeeming those frequent flier and reward program points is a post for another day...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

4 Ways to Spend Less Time Processing Paper

Being a Certified Professional Organizer, I actually enjoy working with paper – I know, I’m strange! Even so, I don’t want to spend too much time on it; like you, I have many other tasks on my to-do list. One of my big goals for 2009 is to reduce the amount of paper that I have to process. Here are a few ways to do it:

Don’t print emails. Really, what are you going to do with that email you just printed out? Save it, maybe? Well, it’s already on your computer or on a server, so it’s already saved. If you’re worried about losing it or it being deleted, create a backup archive on your computer or an external disk. Better yet, use an online backup service like Mozy and you won’t have to worry about backups, they’ll happen automatically. If you’re printing out an email to use as a reference for an upcoming trip or event, start a small file for the trip, and when it’s over, shred or recycle the whole thing.

Don’t print web pages. Many of us print web pages for later reference, but even with the best of intentions, we may never review these documents. By printing these out, we’ve used ink and paper, spent time waiting for the page to print, and now have a new piece of paper on our desk that we need to deal with – a document that we may never even use, or may be outdated by the time we get back to it! Instead of printing, try creating folders in your web browser by topic, and bookmark pages that you’d like to revisit at some future point. If you’re worried that the page may no longer be there later, try a web page capture tool like the free Evernote Web Clipper, which lets you capture and save entire web pages for review later – without printing them out.

Don’t print your faxes. And I mean don’t print the one you’re sending OR the one you’re receiving. “But Josh,” you say, “I need to print it out in order to send it, right?” In most cases, no. If you have a printer/scanner/fax multifunction device, or a fax/modem built into your computer, you can usually “print” directly to the fax function (check your owner’s manual). Doing this bypasses the actual printer and sends your document straight to the fax function, without ever using any paper. Additionally, it takes less time since the fax doesn’t have to scan your document, and the quality is better on the recipient’s end. As far as receiving faxes, try using an internet-based service like eFax where you can view incoming faxes on your computer before you decide whether it’s worth printing.

Scan paper documents. Once you’re done working with a document or a file, studies show that once it’s in a file drawer, it’s VERY unlikely that you’re going to use it again. If that’s the case for your documents, instead of filing, you might want to scan them instead. Tools like NeatDesk can scan up to 50 pages via an automatic document feeder, and can convert those documents into searchable PDFs. What I like about this is that so many of us are used to doing searches online, that it feels really natural to search for our own documents – but this can only be done once they’re on our computer in some way, either as an entire document or as an index. I personally think scanning and automatic conversion to PDF is the easiest method.

- Joshua Zerkel


Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer and home office organizing expert, helps busy people save time, space and money by getting organized at home and at work. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit www.customlivingsolutions.com or call 415-830-6345.

© 2009 Joshua Zerkel and Custom Living Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Teleseminar With Joshua Zerkel of Custom Living Solutions

Clear Your Clutter, Increase Your Revenue: The 5 Essential Systems Every Small Business Needs To Gain More Freedom and More Income
in Less than 30 Days

January 22, 2008, 5:00 PM PST

Lost that contract your client gave you, misplaced that important email for ‘immediate’ review in your overflowing inbox, forgotten meetings and spent days where not one thing is crossed off your ‘to do’ list… you need to an organized work space, but the thought is overwhelming and you don’t know where to even start. Learn the essential small business organizing systems that will gain you more time and money!!!



Like most small businesses, you got work and you got started. You didn’t spend a lot of time setting-up your ideal environment. Now the piles are piling up. A usable and effective work setting systematically eases tracking the details and lets you focus on critical business at hand. Joshua Zerkel is going to present the essentials to achieve maximum productiveness and effectiveness in your small business!

If you feel your lack of organization is preventing you from working to your potential, this free teleseminar is for you!

Join SOHO organizing specialist, Joshua Zerkel on January 22, 2008, 5:00 PM PST for a unique teleseminar that will help you identify the right systems to de-clutter your office and optimize your money-making business efforts.

In this Teleseminar you will:

• Identity the right personal workspace and understand what’s necessary to create it
• Learn how to establish effective file management systems—both paper and electronic—that work for you
• Discover time management tools and tricks to better organize and prioritize your day
• Understand the pitfalls of procrastination and multi-tasking and learn how to successfully avoid them

To sign up now, go to


Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer ®, is a SOHO organizing expert who specializes in helping clients maximize their creativity and productivity in their small and home offices. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit www.customlivingsolutions.com/tips or call 415-830-6345.

Change your business in a big way! Sign up today to reserve your spot in this information-rich teleseminar and learn how you can leverage these organizing systems maximize your results. Remember there is no cost to participate! Participation is limited to 200 lines.

Sign up now at: