Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
The Secret World of the NAPO Conference 2009: An Intro
For those of you who follow multiple professional organizers, either in the blogosphere or in social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you're probably aware that most of us snuck off to Orlando last week to learn about the latest and greatest in the organizing industry at the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
While one pal got a kick out of teasing that NAPO was a conference focused on napping, he wasn't entirely wrong. After all, getting organized helps you sleep better at night, without the stress of tangible (or temporal) clutter. Plus, nobody dreams a more delighted dream than a professional organizer whose day has been filled with talks of filing and decluttering and time management (oh my!)...
We attended productivity classes with names like Detox Your Inbox: Overcoming Email Overload presented by the amazing Lauren Halagarda of Organize B.I.T.S. & Bites, An "Apple" Today Keeps Disorganization Away, a Mac productivity class taught by clever D.C.-based professional organizer Scott Roewer of Solutions by Scott, and Time Management in the Age of Speed, a fascinating philosophical and strategic look at hurry sickness and managing the pace of life, delivered by Canadian time guru, Harold Taylor.
Residential organizers sat in rapt attention, learning Residential Organizing: Tips, Tricks and Tools from veteran Sue DeRoos, while Casey Moore talked about Quantifying Progress in the Office Client. Other classes covered how to provide motivation and stem client backsliding, exploring feng shui and step-by-step solutions for home relocations, investigating green organizing solutions and serving senior citizens, the chronically disorganized, clients with disparate processing and learning styles. (Of course, we were also learning how to run our businesses more efficiently, including how to communicate with all of you via social networking, blogs, podcasts and traditional media.)
We said goodbye to our outgoing president of the past two years, the indefatigable Standolyn Robertson, and a hearty hello to our incoming head honchette, Laura Leist. There was eating, drinking, sunning by the pool and a ridiculous amount of Twittering done by all. There's even a rumor that Geralin Thomas led (and Twittered) an evening poolside exploration of the motivational aspects of RickRolling, including my own virtual mention of the Muppets' own Beaker getting into the act.
In other words, it's a small world, after all, and for a few days last week, NAPO conference attendees were organizing it, and learning how to help you organize it more effectively, more effortlessly, and more enjoyably. And for those of you who imagined that most professional organizers were more like this:
(Grant Wood's American Gothic)
the truth is that we're more like this:
(NAPOGothicGirls Nanette Duffey, Paper Doll Julie Bestry, Debbie Jordan Kravitz at the Rubbermaid booth)
Of course, learning (and eating and sunbathing and RickRolling) were not the only happenings at the NAPO conference. We all had the distinct pleasure of getting our excited little eyes and hands on the neatest and newest products and services in the organizing industry.
Some were new residential products from established players, like Rubbermaid's Premiere line of food storage containers with the Easy Find Lids (about which, Paper Doll will have a surprise for readers in the near future) and Ziploc's new Flexible Totes for those who desire some see-through squishiness for their storage needs.
Others options were new products from new companies, like Clip It Up from Simply Renee. Modeled on the idea of the clothing racks in department stores, it lets you enclose small things (like scrapbooking doodads, recipe cards, hair ribbons, decorative items, outfit accessories, Barbie clothes...) in miniature hanging bags. The bags can be labeled, the items "paged through" as one might do with apparel, and different styles/versions are being developed for work and play. (I can definitely imagine interior designers using the "swinging wall arm" for fabric samples and home-schoolers using the system to organized flashcards.) Of course, there were also new services on display this year, like the adorably named and market-expanding College Hunks for Hauling Junk.
Of course, to a Paper Doll, there is nothing more exciting than finding new solutions for handling family, home office and business paperwork. Thus, in the coming weeks, I am looking forward to sharing with you the best and most interesting of the products that allow you to organize your papers and/or avoid them altogether using technology.
From Pixily to Neat to ScanDigital, from Smead's Organomics to Esselte's Pendaflex line, from Collectify's digital inventories to Xamance's Xambox, a document scanning whirligig (whose marketing provocatively states "Thou Shalt Not Sort Thy Papers!") to Peter Walsh's see-through In Place System for Office Max, to ListPlanIt's 400+ planning pages, innovation is spreading organizing solutions far and wide, and Paper Doll hopes you'll join in to review and chat.
Over the next few weeks, I hope to share my take on some of the most intriguing new products and services, and I'll be linking to what other bloggers have to say. If you're a professional organizer blogger who attended this year's NAPO conference and want to share what you thought with Paper Doll readers, please send a comment, a tweet or a signal by carrier pigeon (if you reject technology), and I'll be sure to point readers to you.
Until then, please know that the professional organizing community continues to commit to you, the consumer, to learn and grow, to challenge ourselves so that we might better serve you. And if that means having to go to places like Orlando, Florida...well, we're willing to make that sacrifice. We're never gonna give you up, and we're never gonna let you down.
posted on: 5/5/2009 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.
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