Tip of the Week from Claire Keeling | Sort It Out, Inc.® Wednesday, Apr 1 2009 





clairebiopictureNew readers, who don’t know Claire yet, here is the scoop: Claire Keeling is a local creative, who specializes in organization. Her St. Louis-based company, Sort it Out, has a nice list of clients.


Visit her Web site > Sort it Out < to see who’s on the list and read the client testimonials. 


Now, dig this: She’s sending weekly tips to St. Louis Design Community Connections readers for free to help reduce our stress. All of us are probably pretty high-stress people, anyway, but throw in the uncertainty of the workplace, poor cash flow, business slow-downs, furloughs, lay-offs, pay reductions, colleagues here today/gone tomorrow, and we’re beyond stressed: We’re freaking out, man!


Claire is here to help us reduce our stress by giving us tips on staying organized. If you’re doing a job search, it’s important. If you’re just overloaded at work, because of staff cuts, it’s important. Okay: When is it not important?!?


So, show Claire some love and appreciation.  Send her an e-mail and thank her for taking the time to do this for us. Let her know if you’ve used one of her tips and how it helped you.


Claire Keeling <claire@sortitoutconsulting.com>


This week Claire writes:


Employees are overwhelmed by their lack of organizational skills, growing piles of paperwork and e-mail overload. Sort It Out is a consulting company that can help. We team up with businesses to educate, motivate, and challenge employees to take a risk by stepping out of old, inefficient ways of working and to move forward—towards more efficient and productive ways.


Claire writes,


Paper comes at us all the time through many forms, mail, bills, e-mail, kids school work, etc. Many people struggle with where to put it all. Utilizing the extra time that you might have on your hands during a job search to deal with your reference papers at home, is a great idea. The biggest step is to implement a system for organizing your reference documents, like the FreedomFiler (www.freedomfiler.com).


The FreedomFiler tells you what and how long to keep documents. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase, around $45, and only needs to be set up one time. The only supplies you would need are a two or four drawer file cabinet, and around 100 hanging files. The average time it takes to put it together is around four hours, which usually includes going through all of your piles and documents and figuring out what stays and goes.


Editor’s note: This sounds good to me. Anyone who has ever seen my office may think this tip was put together just for me!


Spotlight on Claire Keeling | Sort It Out, Inc.® Thursday, Mar 12 2009 


Right now many of us are looking for work, going back to school and other intensive activities that require a great deal of commitment and organization. I have some good news if you’re looking for some practical help with all that. Consultant Claire Keeling is going to share some of her Sort It Out Tips on this blog. 

Claire Keeling, if you don’t know that name, is an expert on getting organized and developing productive habits to clairebiopicture1help us move ahead on career and personal goals. If you don’t know her name, you probably really need these tips!

Here are the first of Claire’s Sort It Out Tips that she has put together for us (and you can find information about her company and more Tips at this > LINK < to her Website.)


3 Sort It Out Tips on Managing Your Time During a Job Search


If you are one of the many people who have lost their jobs during this economic downturn, you may find yourself with more time on your hands than you’re used to. It’s easy to find yourself at the end of the day wondering where the day went.


Here are 3 tips to managing your time during your job search.


Tip # 1: Make a plan. It sounds pie in the sky, but we tend to waste time when we don’t have directions, so taking the time to sit down and decide the 5 W’s is crucial. Which companies are you targeting today, tomorrow, this week? Who do you need to reach out to for networking events? What do you need to do to get ready for interviews, networking, etc? When will you network, market yourself, research information? Where do you need to look for resources, websites, etc? How will you break down the items on your task list?


Tip # 2: Make a list of your time wasters. We all have unconscious activities that we find ourselves doing when we don’t know what else to do. Having more time on your hands may mean more time to waste on things like Facebook, You Tube, etc. The action of making a list will bring these items to your consciousness and make you aware of your own habits. Allow time for these things during the day, but recognize that you won’t get much accomplished if you waste your day doing these activities.


Tip # 3: Develop a system. The information received during the job process can be very detailed and have many threads to emails and notes from specific prospects. Taking the time to develop a system to keep this information organized is vital. How are you keeping track of notes you take during phone calls, in person meetings, emails, etc? Having a lot of loose notes in piles will only lend to your growing frustration and encourage feelings of overwhelm. Think about the job search as a part-time job and organize yourself accordingly. The key to success in this area is having one system for capturing all of your information and maintaining consistency with that system.


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** The BackStory **

I met Claire at Sqwires Restaurant last year, when we were guest presenters at a Best Practices Roundtable hosted by the local chapter of Society Marketing Professional Services (SMPS.)

Claire’s presentation was on organization. According to her Website, she founded her business, Sort It Out, Inc. in 2004 in response to a growing demand for organization and efficiency expertise in the corporate world.

“Some people are born with an ability to maintain order and categorize and prioritize their tasks. It is my goal to fill a gap in people’s professional tool kit and provide training and coaching to support people as they learn how to maximize how they use their time, energy, and money”, quotes Keeling.

She is certified in both the Clear & SIMPLE and FreedomFiler systems. Her community efforts include involvement in the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and the American Club Association. Claire has been featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journal. She has been interviewed on the three St. Louis morning television news shows, Channel 2, 4 and 5, as well as KMOX radio and appears monthly on Great Day St. Louis.