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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Paper Doll's 2012 Holiday Gift List: A Compendium of Organized Delights

The Paper Doll 2011 Holiday Gift List was so popular, I wanted to continue the tradition. Of course, I'm still strongly in favor of the experiential gifts of education, entertainment, pampering, adventure, practicality and year-long presents -- all items that require no dry-cleaning or dusting. And I still love the standout organizing-themed gift ideas on last year's list, especially the Grit-It!, The Tote Buddy and The Card Cubby. But today's list includes a combination of the practical and whimsical to both delight and organize your loved ones (and yourself).

1) The Snapshot Takers. The only area of our lives in which we seem to be approaching a paperless world is photography. People are so busy snapping shots and posting them to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, that few photos seem to get printed these days. But what about those family photos dating back the eras of poodle skirts or leisure suits?

NAPO-Georgia Associate Members Jennifer "Jiffy" Page of Pixorium and Cathi Nelson of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers recently delivered a presentation on photo organizing strategies, and shared a little secret with attendees: the Flip-Pal Color Mobile Scanner!

This compact, lightweight mobile scanner is perfect if you've got piles of photos and a desire to scan them yourself rather than ship them off to a time-saving photo-scanning service. It's battery-powered, stores scans on an SD card and requires no computer -- just view each scan on the LCD screen.

With one push of a button, scan photos of all sizes for high quality 300 and 600 dpi resolution images. For photos larger than 4" x 6", the Flip-Pal's EasyStitch software lets you scan sections of photos and seamlessly "stitch" the images together. Best, if you have framed photos, you can use Flip-Pal's patented flip-and-scan technology to scan photos in place -- even on the wall. Remove the lid, flip the scanner upside down, and center it over the photo using the see-through window. Cool...and so easy!

2) The Readers In the Dark. Do you read at night but hesitate to wake your significant other with the light? Do you read on nighttime flights or need to follow along on handouts during presentations in dark classrooms or seminar rooms? Sure, an e-reader is fine for when you're reading electronic content, but for those who prefer traditional books or who have to read documents in dark locations, those itty-bitty, teeny-tiny book lights tend to shed light unevenly and lean at precarious angles.

Enter the LightWedge® book lights. Instead of shedding ambient light, this battery-powered LED reading light illuminates the whole page (and little else), creating a clear but diffuse panel of light on the printed page.

There are three versions -- the Original LightWedge® (for under $25), the LightWedge® Paperback book light (under $25), and the LightWedge® Rechargeable 2.0 (for about $32) -- available in ten colors, including both opaque and translucent Black, Ocean, Petal, Seaglass and Chocolate. The original measures 6 3/4" by 9 1/4" and weighs only 8 1/2 ounces (with four AAA batteries installed). The paperback version measures 5 1/4" x 7 1/4" and weighs only 6 1/2 ounces (with four AAA batteries installed). Batteries aren't included. The rechargeable version measures 6 1/2" x 8 8/9" and weighs almost eight ounces. The included NiMH battery can be recharged by plugging the included USB-to-micro-USB charging cable into your computer.

So, instead of cluttering up the nightstand with piles of books you'll never get to read because your honey harrumphs about the bright light at bedtime (or instead of complaining that your sweetie clutters the bedroom or keeps you from sleeping), don't let a wedge come between you. Let the LightWedge® bring you closer together.

3) The Hybrid Lovers. A few months ago, we talked about the niftiness of the Evernote Smart Notebook By Moleskine, which combines the on-the-fly creativity of the classically-inspired and colorful Moleskine notebooks with the how-did-I-ever-live-without-it utility of the Evernote suite of productivity tools. Write (or draw) it here; capture it forever, digitally, there. Your high-tech poet and your low-tech doodler will both love you for the efficiency it brings their way.

Start by selecting the format: a 240-page Large (5" x 8 1/4") notebook for $29.95 or the 195-page Pocket (3 1/2" x 5 1/2") notebook for $24.95. Both come with black hardcovers, green elastic bands and four sheets of Smart Stickers (tucked into the back pocket). Then choose your paper style: gridded like graph paper or dotted ruled paper.

Since each Evernote Smart Notebook purchase includes a complimentary three-month subscription to Evernote Premium, this is a gift that will keep on giving.

4) The Self-Improvers. Do you have someone on your gift list who really wants to stay upbeat or make a big, positive life change? Snap It Habit Changers from The Habitude know that if you want to organize change in the ways you think and live your life, you need to change the small habits.

Snap It Habit Changers are bracelets, but not any old baubles. Y'know the old trick of putting a rubber band around your wrist, and when you want to smoke or start dreaming about the lover-who-done-you-wrong, you snap the band? Snap It Habit Changers go that one better. As the site says, "No more negative self-talk. No more ballyboohoo. If you don't tame your thoughts and actions, they will for sure tame you (eww)."

Bargain priced at $5, these rubbery bracelets have their essential messages printed on the inside, so only you (or your giftee) need know the positive, life-affirming message being reinforced when you snap it. I have to admit, as a professional organizer, I'm pretty partial to the Finish What You Start version.

5) The Kidlets.

For sprightly novice readers who are starting to realize they want to display their books like the big kids, there's Dasher!

This is just one flat-packed, reinforced fiberboard charmer from the adorable children's furniture and toy line in the Tsuchinoco Kids collection. Unfortunately, the prices are in Yen and at ¥14,500 (or about $175), a bit pricey. For a less expensive (if nonetheless international) option, check out the enchanting Karton Barnyard Method Ram, Ewe and Lamb collections we've reviewed in this past.

No tools or hardware are needed for assembly, and Karton's designs and can be varnished or painted with water-based polyurethane finishes or paints to better match your home décor.

For the tiny squabbling artistes in your family who can't help tussling over whose crayons are whose, 2012 Entrepreneur.com Indie Merchant winner Cio Prints has the solution -- Custom Character Crayons! From Pretty Princess and Knight of Honor to (girl and boy) Superheroes, Prima Ballerina to Moon Martian, Mr. Roboto to kitty, puppy and T-Rex options, you're not just creating a crayon box, but a character toy and new best buddy.

The crayons and their boxes can be customized in three ways:
  • The Wrappers -- Pick up to three colors (for the child's name and stripe, the background and for any symbols) among 22 delightfully-named color options.
  • The Box -- Truly personalize the character selection by picking hair color, eye color, clothing colors and skin tone, to make the character reflect your child (or his or her imaginary pal).
  • The Name -- Put the child's actual name, nickname or "secret identity" to make it unique.

No more fights over crayons? Sounds like a gift for Mom and Dad!

For the tiniest tots who tend to scribble on every bit of paper, from vital documents to their older siblings' homework, there are the Scribblers.

The crowdsourcing inventors at Quirky have created a write-on/wipe-off 3D toy for toddlers. This modular kit is bathed in a dry-erase coating, so kids can color and design their toys to their own preferences. The interchangeable pieces can be arranged into three different vehicles (car, plane or boat), and the four little people double as dry-erase markers.

It's not paper -- think of it as pre-paper for the pre-school set. Unfortunately, it's also pre-available, as the fine folks at Quirky are still crowdsourcing the best way to present this to the marketplace.

6) The Desk Set. Workdays in a cubical can be draining. Brighten up your worker-bee's space with some fun, fanciful tools.

The Cork Globe from Pat Kim proves that flat is so last decade. If you want to give the world to your favorite office-dweller, consider this handmade, 10" solid cork sphere atop a powder-coated aluminum base.

But only get this if you really do think the world of someone, because at $270, this is no mere stocking stuffer!

For practical style at a more delicious price, check out Office Candy's colorful document envelopes -- they're leather!

And finally, for anyone who knows and loves a web guru, check out UI Stencils' Browser Dry-Erase Board. This 9" x 12" twenty-pixel grid browser template bridges the gap between brainstorming and web design with a page organizing tool that can be revised with the swipe of a dry-eraser. It's $26.95 and no batteries or chargers are necessary!

Happy organized shopping!

posted on: 12/11/2012 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by Janet Barclay | Organized Assistant on 12/11/2012 11:51:09 AM:

I have added the LightWedge® book light to my "Pretty Please" Pinterest board in the hopes that someone will see it and buy me one. Sometimes I wake up in the night but don't want to turn on a light to read and disturb the human and dog I share a room with.

by Pauline Wiles on 12/12/2012 12:04:45 AM:

Ooh, a leather document envelope for me, please. Those are super-pretty.

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 12/12/2012 12:19:35 AM:

Aren't they nifty? And I know someone who deserves the browser board. And Janet, the LightWedge is on my wish list, too.

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

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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