Monday, March 09, 2009

AlphaSmart Neo

Recently, a client of mine proudly showed off a new device she had purchased that is helping her with her writing tasks. It's called the AlphaSmart Neo keyboard. It's basically a portable digital typewriter. When you are ready to download your text into a word processing program, you just plug it into your computer where you can do your formal editing and formatting. Or you can print directly from the Neo to your printer.

Apparently it is quite popular in the schools for teaching kids keyboarding and writing, and has a "cult" following among journalists and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novelists. (The AlphaSmart makers have donated loaner Neos to NaNoWriMo organization.)

At first thought, one would think, "Well, why not just buy a laptop?"

Well, on second thought, there a number of reasons why this little device is so much better than a laptop...

1. It's a whole lot cheaper than a laptop. Around or under $200. Way less on e-bay. Drop it and break it and you are not out next month's rent or mortgage payment. (And many users remark at how durable it is.)

2. It's distraction-free. I think this is one of its biggest plusses. No internet connection. No other programs. No checking e-mail. No games. If you have writing to do, that's all you can do. Many of my clients have ADHD and anything can distract them from a task at hand. If you've taken your little AlphaSmart Neo onto the back deck to get the next chapter of your book written, chances are good you'll do that. (Unless there happen to be a lot of pretty butterflies flitting around!)

3. It will last for 700 hours on 3 AA batteries! Whoo-doggies that's exciting to me! I'm lucky to get 4 hours on my brand-new rechargeable laptop battery before having to plug in again. I can't go cross-country on one charge. But with a little Neo in your bag, no excuses for not writing the whole way OVER to the other coast AND back! (Even if you're on a car-trip!)

4. Gets your thoughts down easily and quickly without having to retype in your handwritten notes. Plug in, hit a key and your text is in the mothership.

5. It's quite light at just two pounds. Even a Macbook Air is three pounds. So think two cans of beans. Or peas. Or pineapple slices--whatever your favorite canned food is!

One word of warning, though. AlphaSmart also sells the "Dana" model which has Palm OS app capability and internet. As one blog commenter said "any on-ramp to the web is a gateway to sloth."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Current Monthly Offer


If you are Irish or know
someone who is...

You qualify for the March Special!

Purchase 5 hours &
get the 6th for free!
(for new and returning clients)

Good for in-home or in-office sessions as well
as phone coaching or "Virtual Organizing"

Workshops and talks

Workshops and talks available to
clients, organizers, clubs or organizations
  • "Adult ADD: How a Walk in the Woods Can Help You Focus"
  • "Nature AND Nurture: It all A.D.D.'s Up" (co-presented with Kim Anker-Paddon, CPO-CD)
  • "Present Yourself Professionally: Transforming Your Image without Spending a Fortune"
  • "The Head, Heart and Soul of Organizing"
  • "Oh Look, a Butterfly! Staying on Top of Work When Working From Home Isn't Working"
  • "How to Keep All the Pots on the Stove from Boiling Over without Losing Your Cool"
  • "Recognizing the Hoarding Client"
  • "Using the NSGCD Clutter-Hoarding Scale"
Scheduled Workshops and Talks
 Thursday March 31, 2011
 "Is this hoarding and what can I do about it?" Presentation for the public through the Russian River Empowerment Center in Guerneville, CA.

Tuesday May 15, 2011
"Motivational Interviewing for the Professional Organizer" Presentation to members of the NBOC a the Spring Educational Seminar, Sonoma County, CA.

Date TBA, 2011
"Recognizing Hoarding Disorder"for West County Services

Some of my previous presentation experience:
  • Teleclasses for the NSGCD (2009, 2010)
  • Retreat/conference sessions for the NBOC (2006, 2008)
  • Conference sessions at NAPO-SFBA annual conference (2006, 2007)
  • Talks for local organizations and clubs
  • National Park Service (Numerous walks, talks, campfire programs in Yosemite and Point Reyes on natural and cultural history topics. Those were my park ranger days!)

Certification, Education and Experience

Professional Memberships 
  • National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)
    • Golden Circle Member
  • National Association of Professional Organizers-San Francisco Bay Area (NAPO-SFBA)
  • National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD)
  • North Bay Organizers and Coaches (NBOC)
    • Membership Coordinator
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

Certification, Education and Experience
  • Level V Master Trainer in CD and Organization (NSGCD, 8/10)
    • "The purpose of the Master Trainer certificate is to acknowledge leadership, publication, training, coaching service and commitment to the field of study and exploration of Chronic Disorganization and organization. This is the NSGCD certificate and certification program highest level of achievement."
  •  Level IV Training Program Coach (NSGCD, 10/09)
    • "The objective and purpose of the NSGCD Training Program Coach, level IV, is to develop an organizer's skills and knowledge in the area of training, coaching, motivating, and communications."
  • CPO-CD® (NSGCD, 9/07)

    • I am the only Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization in California north of San Francisco.
    • 18-month mentored and peer reviewed certification program
  • Specialist Certificates (NSGCD)
    • Chronic Disorganization
      • 25 hours of study and General Exam
    • Attention Deficit Disorder

      • 65 hours of study ADD Exam
  • Certificates of Study (NSGCD)

    • Chronic Disorganization
    • Basic ADD Issues with the CD Client
    • CD Client Administration
    • Understanding the Needs of the Elderly CD Client
    • Basic Physical Conditions Affecting the CD Client
    • Learning Styles and Modalities
    • Basic Hoarding Issues with the CD Client
    • Understanding the Needs of the Student CD Client
    • Basic Mental Health Conditions and Challenges Affecting the CD Client
    • Life Transitions
  • Coach Approach for Organizers Graduate (2006)
  • Completed one-year Organizer Coach program (2009)
  • Environmental Education, 12 years (Naturalist and National Park Ranger at Point Reyes National Seashore and Yosemite. Field Seminars Director, Point Reyes National Seashore Association)
  • Free-lance photojournalist 
  • B.S. Journalism, University of Kansas (1983)