30 Day Challenges | Carisa Hendrix | Award Winning Magician, Circus Stunt Girl & Fire Eater | Calgary & Edmonton

30 Day Challenges

Tossing Business Cards, Notes, & Manuals – Minimalism

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Articles for Performers, Gismos & Gadgets, Inspiration, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment


When it comes to notes, instruction manuals, business cards and really anything else with a potentially useful bit of information, I had the worst sorting habits for years. I refused to get rid of any scrap of potentially useful information for fear I would be at a loss without it. However, since I did such a terrible job of organizing any of it when the time came to find something I would end up digging through boxes, not finding the stupid thing and making a giant mess.

When I had a meeting at the bank last month and could not find a single file they requested, I realized that something had to be done and with the help of Evernote I managed to digitize absolutly everything into a searchable database of secure files I can access anywhere in just 3 days.

Evernote is a program that uses image capturing, audio recording, tags, and notebooks to digitize, store and organize your information in a way that makes it searchable as hell.

Business Card Capturing

One of Evernote’s best features is business card capturing, which is perfect for helping you remember the people you meet at events of conventions. The business card camera capturing feature takes the clearest possible image of the card, reads the data and adds it in the appropriate fields then finds that person’s Linked in profile and saves everything into a contact note.

This feature alone is worth the price of admission, which can be as little as free depending on which features you need.

Notes & Document Capture

No scanner? No problem. Scannable is a sister app created by Evernote’s that captures paper documents quickly and sharply and creates high-quality scans you can sort, save and share with the touch of a button. Alternativly you can also scan documents into the Evernote app directly, but there are a few extra features with Scannable that are worth considering, including a crop feature.

Manuals

Once in a while a product actually comes with an electronic copy of the manual, yay! You can file any of these immediately in your Evernote storage. I created a Notebook just for the manuals, then tagged each with a “type” (#tools, #appliances, etc.) to make them easier to find when I need them.

If you don’t have a digital copy of the manual, it’s time to go on the hunt. We can start by visiting the manufacturer’s website since most companies have a cache of docs going back years; as long as you have a model number for the product—usually printed right on it—it is typically easy to find. If that fails you can search manual collections online. ManualsLib is my preferred hub for product manuals, I am always surprised how few people have heard of them since they are likely the largest online database of product manuals.

When you’ve got all your documents digitized and sorted you can go ahead and recycle the original paper copies saving space in your office and your mind.

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Tossing my Bills & Recipts – Minimalism

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Articles for Performers, Blogs & Vlogs, Gismos & Gadgets, Inspiration, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

After tossing all my membership and loyalty cards, the next thing to downsize was the pile of business receipts and bills that had been accumulating for years. Every little write-off since I started the company years ago, I was overwhelmed.

In just 3 days, I use 3 killer tools to climb out of the pile of paper and into a clutter free office. (Note: please recycle the paper you declutter)

Automated Book Keeping

Gone are the days of paper bookkeeping, although I loved my paper accounting ledgers I am now a complete Mint convert. Mint is a free online bookkeeping system that automatically pulls transactions from all your accounts in real time. The super clean and easy to use interface allows you to sort and categorize purchases, build budgets, search past transactions and even creates little charts that help you to visualize your spending habits. You can add cash spending transactions manually and the program even starts to learn how to automatically sort your purchases over time.

Easy Receipt Management

Of course with all your bookkeeping migrating online, what do you do with those pesky receipts? Expensify is by far the best app for keeping track of your recipes! Their “SmartScan” system reads your receipt and uses OCR technology to automatically scan for details that allow it to sort and categorize them in an instant.

Paying Bills Online – Go Paperless

The last major change was to make sure all my bills were available online and were no longer being mailed to the house. Phone, internet, power and gas, they can all be paid online which would avoid the extra filing and the extra paper waste. Some companies want you to switch to paperless billing so badly they even charge a small fee, so check your statement to make sure you’re not getting dinged for paper bills you didn’t want in the first place.

Staying on Top of Paper Clutter

The best part of this deliberate purge and move towards digital solutions is that with Mint tracking my bookkeeping, Expensify sorting my receipts and no new paper bills coming in, keeping on top of the office paper clutter is remarkably easy.

If you want more tips and tricks about minimalisum, travel, life hacks and more, join the “Tips & Tricks” mailing list. No spam, no ads and I’ll never sell your info, just good clean fun.

Subscribe to our mailing list

If you want more tips and tricks about minimalisum, travel, life hacks and more, join the “Tips & Tricks” mailing list. No spam, no ads and I’ll never sell your info.



Geek Bleep Episode 1 – What to Expect

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Blogs & Vlogs Leave a comment

In this video I talk about this year’s project. To explore my nerdy side for 1 year and vlog about it. Yay!!!!

I’ll be doing videos every week about the adventure so please subscribe 🙂

MAKE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE!
http://www.youtube.com/CarisaHendrix


One Drawer Fashion, The 333 Challenge

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges Leave a comment

image of my meticulously organized Single drawer of clothing

The Challenge

Originally proposed by Courtney Carver of the Be More With Less book and blog, the 333 challenge is an effort to live for 3 months with only 33 items in your wardrobe, including jewellery, shoes and other accessories.

With the 100 items challenge having already whittled down my clothing collection substantially, reducing it even further is a significant challenge. A tangential issue is that I’m not actually doing all that well at keeping my possessions to 100 items, at the moment I’m sitting at around 110 since indulging in a retail therapy experiment for my “30 days to find my zen” challenge.

The Rules

  1. When: October 1 – December 31
  2. What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  3. What’s not included: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – socks, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing
    How: over the next two months, outline your 33 items, by the 1st of October, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
  4. What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe you can live, work, and play in for three months. If you purchase items for project 333, stick with the one in, two out, approach. Consider the essentials and stick to 33.

In July, I began the initial part of the 333 challenge by sorting through clothing and considering something I rarely had before, fashion. Actually making the 333 list exposed my deep fashion naivety when it occurred to me that I didn’t know the names for the types of clothing I owned, such as the shrug, the knit top or finding out that it’s a button down top not a button up. I still have a few weeks to finalize my list of the wearable items that will get me through work, play, and travel for three months, but this is my preliminary list:

My 333 List

Shirts

  1. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top
  2. Shirt – Tank Top
  3. Shirt – Long Sleeve Knit Top
  4. Shirt – Red T-shirt
  5. Shirt – Yellow T-shirt
  6. Shirt – Patterned T-shirt
  7. Shirt – Star Trek T-shirt
  8. Shirt – White Buttoned Down Top

Pants

  1. Pants – Jeans
  2. Pants – Red
  3. Pants – Black & Red
  4. Pants – Black

Skirts

  1. Skirt – Long / Black
  2. Skirt – Short / Red Striped
  3. Skirt – Short / Grey

Dresses

  1. Dress – Sun
  2. Dress – LBD

Shoes

  1. Shoes – Flats
  2. Shoes – Walking
  3. Shoes – Heeled Boots

Coats & Sweaters

  1. Long Coat
  2. Long Grey Sweater

Accessories

  1. Sun Glasses
  2. Hat – Fedora
  3. Belt – Black
  4. Hip Sack – Blue
  5. Shell – White Lace
  6. Shrug – Black Ballet
  7. Vest – Leather
  8. Jewelry – Earrings
  9. Jewelry – Necklace

The challenge officially starts October 1st and I’m excited to use the limitations of the 333 challenge to spark my fashion creativity and passion.

Wish me luck 🙂


Spring Clean Like a Minimalist – The 100 Thing Challenge

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in 30 Day Challenges, Minimalism & Zero Waste 2 Comments

Spring cleaning is trending on Twitter which means the nice weather is just around the corner. I have a deep love for the spring scrub and purge ritual that stems from childhood. Working together as a family to de-clutter and downsize, wash and scrub is a cherished memory. Opening all the windows and doors to get the staleness of winter out and bring in the smell of spring always gave me the satisfying feeling of a fresh start.

People just need to reboot now and again and have a chance to feel free and clear of all that built up mental and physical junk. In high school and college, the semester breaks cut your educational career into manageable chunks and I think we can use spring cleaning as a way to break our lives up in the same way. Every year around this time I make a big deal of getting everything under control; laundry, home repairs, the closets, the fridge, everything.

This year I thought, why not shake things up, why not do something a little more interesting, fun, and introspective? Why not narrow my personal things down to 100 items and get rid of the rest?

The idea first came to me from the Zen Habits article on the 100 items challenge, which sparked my interest and sent me on a wild Google search for others who had challenged themselves to this practice in radical minimalism. Low and behold, Dave Bruno, the originator of the idea, had written a book on the topic. In the spirit of minimalism, I bought the Kindle version and started to read.

I love the idea of the 100 Thing Challenge and want to try it out for myself, so I will. As of the end of this month, I will own no more that 100 items. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be narrowing my worldly possessions down to the bare essentials. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing yourself I recommend you check out Dave Bruno’s wonderful book The 100 Thing Challenge

How I plan to explore this challenge:

  • Read Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge book
  • Find & read other books and resources about the human relationship with stuff, consumerism, minimalism, and hoarding
  • Go through my things and reduce to 100 items
  • Check up on my 100 items periodically to see how I’m doing
  • Explore the effects on my life and my happiness

Resources for this article:
Dave’s original post that inspired his later book
The Times‘ Article About the 100 Thing Challenge
The Zen Habits‘ blog article


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