Melinda Massie – Professional Organizer, Entrepreneur, and Writer

Melinda owns Organizing with a Side of Fabulous and blogs all things organizing and food at www.fabulousorganization.wordpress.com. She’s recently published her first e-book: “Fabulous Foothold to Organization: a guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start.”

You can connect with her on Twitter (@melindamassie), Facebook (FabulousOrganization), and Coach. me (Melinda Massie). These are her good things.

Good things to read.

“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown. This book simply, clearly, and brilliantly lays out why we all need to slow down to speed up. Our culture applauds “busy” but what are you really doing? When you outline your priorities, let go of the merely good to allow space for the great, and keep single-minded focus on what is most important you’ll not only get more done, you’ll do it FAR better. Basically – stop half-assing everything and do your most important things fabulously instead.

“Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things” by Randy O. Frost & Gail Steketee. If hoarding has touched your life in any way and you want to try to gain some understanding into a complex disease, you HAVE to read this book. As far as mental illnesses go, hoarding is still very new. They didn’t start studying it until 1993 and it was listed as its own mental illness instead of a form of OCD just the other year. This book is an in-depth look into many studies conducted and outlines the different ways that hoarders acquire their things, the myriad of reasons why they aren’t able to let go, and the feelings behind why they do what they do. When you see how many variables come along with this disease, it’s easy to see why a “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t work in treating hoarding.

Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton. I look at this almost daily and the Facebook page is one of my very favorite. A few years back the photographer decided to photograph the people of New York City. What started out as just photos evolved into more storytelling. Sometimes beautiful, inspirational, heartbreaking, or funny and always compelling. Whenever I need a break or a creative boost, I open up to any random page in this book.

Good things to watch.

Mad Men. Words truly can’t express how much I love this show. Everything is so beautifully thought out and executed from the cool mid-century modern style of décor and costuming to the writing, acting, and direction. Plus, it’s set in the world of advertising which is what my degree is in. But most importantly, it explores human nature and the question of can we really change. It’s the kind of show that’s a slow burn…you won’t see too many immediate pay-offs but if you stick around, everything comes to a satisfying end. For example, in one episode we see that a character has a poster on his wall and the man in it has an eye patch. An episode or two later a character is shot in the face and spends the rest of the show wearing an eye patch. It’s these teeny details that making watching so delicious. Also, the beauty of it having so many tiny details is that if you’re really detail oriented like myself, you’ll always find something new with each viewing. I shamelessly binge watch this show regularly, and yes I’m heartbroken that the ride is over.

Midnight in Paris. For starters, this movie is gorgeously shot in Paris so it’s hard for it to not be at least beautiful to watch. It explores the notion of believing that a prior era to the one we live in was a better time to live or “golden age thinking.” I don’t want to spoil anything by giving away too much so I’ll just say this: the plot takes quite a bit of suspension of disbelief but if I’m in Paris at midnight and a car full of champagne-fueled revelers appears to sweep me away to party with Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds and many more talented artists of that time, I’m getting in the car.

The Thin Man. I absolutely adore classic movies and this one is my very favorite. It was released in 1934 and based on a book by the same name. This comedic murder mystery was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and kicked off 5 sequel movies. William Powell and Myrna Loy play main characters Nick and Nora Charles. He’s a retired detective and she’s a wealthy heiress. Cocktails flow like water and witty banter abounds. The scenes between these two positively sparkle. All while successfully solving a murder.

Good things to use.

Unroll.me. This website has given me my email back. This website figures out which emails in your inbox are subscriptions. You then have the option to keep it in your inbox, unsubscribe, or add it to “The RollUp.” The RollUp is an email that you’ll receive once a day that contains all of your subscription emails in one spot. For the first week I used this, I was so confused why I wasn’t inundated with as many emails as I used to be. That’s because they were all in the RollUp.

Songza. Songza is an app and website for streaming music. What I love most about it is their concierge function. It will guide you through music to listen to for anything from cleaning house and cooking brunch to getting ready for a party and even breaking up. I sometimes like to look at it at different parts of the day just to see what it suggests. It will also make suggestions based on the weather in your location so on rainy and snowy days it’s given me special playlists. The options span all genres, time periods, and nationalities. So whether you need a little Bossa Nova for breakfast, 60s French Pop, or the top songs today, you’re covered.

TickTick and Trello. I’m absolutely cheating for my third choice and giving you two because I use these in tandem. They’re both great to-do list/project management apps. I use Trello for projects I need a more visual handle since it’s set up a little more like post-its on a wall – i.e.: creating other products like worksheets, a workshop, and/or an online course all based on my most recent book. Then I use TickTick more as my daily to-do list. It has repeating tasks so it’s super easy to create a checklist of the things you want to do on a daily basis and then check them off each day. You can also set priority of high, medium, low, or none, and order tasks by due date, name, or priority level. Both of these apps has so many more features so definitely play around with them and see if they’ll work to help you be more productive.

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