Category Archives: time savers

8 SMART Ways to Start the New Year

8  SMART Ways to Start the New Year

new years resolution

1. Order your new year planner. I love the planner pad. It’s more than an appointment book. It helps me PLAN. Order yours at I prefer the personal size, spiral bound and the reusable zippered case. Don’t forget to order the convenient monthly tabs. I have an inexpensive video to show you my own SMARTcuts for using my planner pad. Order here.

2. As you put away your holiday decorations, eliminate any that are past their prime or go unused (yet again).  Shop the sales for “fresh” things for next year.

3. Plan a few short sessions to clear out paperwork. Need some guidance? My PEACE of PAPER system is available for a limited time. Order here. I’ll show you how to manage the incoming daily paper and take action quickly and easily. I’ve also revised this edition to include the Vital Documents information.

4. Start some new traditions. We have a special (yet simple) breakfast on holidays. We use our clear glass plates over birthday cards, wrapping paper, seasonal fabric, photos or drawings to make festive tableware.

5. Clear out closets to make room for holiday gifts. This is a great time to pass along those items that are useful, but not to you!

6. If you aren’t already using my Receipt File suggestion, get a coupon organizer file or envelopes for all all your primary shopping spots. This saves a lot of time all year long!

7. Participate in activities  intentionally this year, not from guilt. Learn to gracefully say, “no” to things that cause you stress. Doing less will probably mean you enjoy this year more.

8. Create your New Year’s Rhythm. What will you include more of and less of? Start that rhythm now!


Selecting a Digital Tablet

SMARTcut Solutions - does device size matter?Recently Debbye and I had a chance to travel to San Diego and Los Angeles for a week for business. As I sat in meetings, wandered the airport, and tried not to get too claustrophobic while sitting in coach class, I studied the wide variety of electronic devices people were using. There were Apple fans in abundance (hey, it *was* California), Android users, Surface Pro users and more. Sizes varied just as much from flip sized phones to the 12.2 Samsung I was toting.

 Occasionally I overheard shots fired in the great Apple versus anyone else war and had to laugh. Electronic devices are chosen on a wide range of criteria and it was a hoot to listen to people justify their choices. Here is how I decide on what electronic device to purchase.

  •  Do I have any cost limitations?
  • What applications will I be using the most and will it have to do double duty as a phone?
  • Do I have to have a constant Internet connection or can I get by with limited Wi-Fi?
  • What data do I need to share with my desktop computer(s)?
  • Do I need the latest bells and whistles or can I get by with an older model?
  • Will I be running videos?
  • Will I be taking pictures, recording videos, or using it as an audio recorder?
  • Does it have to be limited by size?

Each of these criteria can lead you down a path that limits your choices. I start with cost because that effectively sets the boundaries on what I can seriously look at. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to dream about what to get and it can help you identify what functions you have to have, but cost is the number one discriminator.

Of course size does matter. If you travel a lot, convenience may bump size to the top of this list. Disability can also require you to choose a larger than normal device. In my case, I like to take notes at meetings and events and the 12.2 inch format is like taking notes in a three ring binder.

So what factor is number one on your list when choosing a tablet or electronic device?

Escape Overwhelm Radio


We are excited to announce our new internet radio show, SMARTcut Radio which airs on the Rock Star Network on Wednesday mornings at 11 am ET, 10 am CT, 9 am MT, 8 am PT. All shows are archived and available on iTunes pod casts.

Find our shows at

SMARTcut Radio

From business to the bedroom, SMARTcut® Radio,  featuring Michael and Debbye Cannon, will deliver solutions to Winning the WAR on Overwhelm.

Feelings of overwhelm can come from uncontrolled mindset. Michael creatively mentors SMARTcut® listeners with his toolbox to get (and keep) your thinking from “stinking.” Before you know it, you’ll be achieving your dreams day in and day out.
Are you frustrated trying to find and maintain “balance” at home or in business? Debbye’s expertise will show you how to establish an ideal rhythm so you can create prosperity and serenity each and (almost) every day.
Tap into her unique brilliance for creating a “house of order.” Her signature system will show you how to “CLEAR, CREATE and CONTINUE” maintaining your home and business environment. It’s not about perfection, but about making progress!

Oh, and if that isn’t enough reason to listen in…. Michael is inviting a variety of guest experts to help you Win the WAR on Overwhelm!
Debbye is the author of PEACE of PAPER®, Organizing Without Agonizing®, Wardrobe Wisdom, and numerous audio and video recordings. She has had a wide range of experience ranging from Girl Scout Leader/Trainer to Army Wife to Radio Personality. She is the mother of two children and the grandmother of three, all of whom bring her great joy. Debbye has traveled extensively in Europe and the United States.
Michael is a retired Army veteran and served for 21 years in positions all over the world in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has been a university professor, published author, web developer and speechwriter for the commander of the largest organization in the Department of Defense. He’s a fount of historical knowledge and a lover of inane trivia! His greatest joy has been to have been married to his lovely wife and high school sweetheart for over 39 years.

Father’s Day Special


Bronze warrior

“Warrior Born: living as a man in today’s world.”

Michael W. Cannon

We have a problem in our society today in that we have lost contact with what it means to be a man. More important, men have lost touch with how they can live successfully in the world in a man’s role. If we are accessing the Warrior side of man appropriately, we will be energetic, decisive, courageous, enduring, persevering, and loyal to some greater good beyond our own personal gain.

In this training you’ll learn the answers to the following questions:

What’s changed over the past century and how has it affected the role(s) of men today?

What roles is a man expected to play and how are they unique to this gender?

Why is the role of Warrior so important and why are men reluctant to play it in today’s world?

What does Imagineering have to do with being a man?

What components make up the nature of a man?

How should we as men channel anger and why do men handle anger differently than women?

Why should leaving a legacy be important to men?

When we are accessing the Warrior side of man appropriately, we will be energetic, decisive, courageous, enduring, persevering, and loyal to some greater good beyond our own personal gain.


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Mileage and Expense Tracking

Beautiful girl enjoying her new carIf you aren’t keeping track of your business miles to deduct as business expenses, you are missing the boat!

In the US, beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven.
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The problem is that it’s a hassle to keep track of it in a verifiable form the IRS will accept.

Hand holding smartphone on white background. Generic mobile smarLast year, one of my clients connected me to this app that is a sanity saver! It tracks your mileage with bullet proof documentation. To top it off I can even take snap shots of my related expense receipts and it will keep tabs on each type of category. So it’s a great book keeping service with a low cost monthly fee. It was so simple last year to print off (or save digital copies) of my expenses for my tax return.

If you are not great at keeping up with this vital information, delegate it to an office assistant, teen or BFF that is detail oriented. I just pop the receipts that I didn’t take time to photo on the spot into a folder of my ACTION File discussed in my paperwork training (updated product available next week).  It’s even possible to save screen captures of on line purchases and have them added into this app. Truly a “one stop” place to keep track of business expenses (or personal ones for that matter!). The categories can be customized so they are ready to pop the totals right into your tax return! Love this!

I can even offer it to you at the rate I got, just $9.97 a month. Just be sure to use my affiliate link and we’ll both get a free month.

Appointment Scheduling

Young woman working with pc and speaking on the phoneMany of my clients make appointments to coach, present products and services or network with other business people. This can be a  time bandit! You call. Get Voice Mail. They return the call….get your voice mail. “When works for you? No, I can’t do that one.” And the process drags on.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to have an efficient way to schedule appointments by giving the other person YOUR calendar of available times to choose from? Here’s a great way to “get it done!”  If you only need to schedule 5 appointments a month, it’s FREE! For unlimited use it’s just $49 a year (with a month of free trial!).

Click here to learn more!

15 Minute Dinners

meals front cover

Nobody wants to spend the summer slaving over a hot stove! Summer is a perfect time to implement simple suppers. Salads, cookouts and garden feasts are the order of the season. Since it’s summer and you want to relax, here’s a SMARTcut(R). You can create simple meal plans using “your meals. simplified.”

This guide will serve you throughout the summer and beyond with tips to save time in the kitchen while you serve your family quality meals….all in 15 minutes or less! By popular demand I collected my own family’s favorite fast recipes in the SMARTcut Recipe Collection. Oh, and don’t forget that summer is a perfect time to start (or continue) teaching your kids to cook.
By having easy meals planned ahead you will have even more time to spend at the pool with the kids.

Now that’s what I call a VACATION!

Weekly Plan Sheet

TIMEpuzzle3Creating an ideal weekly plan can help you have what I call “life rhythm”. Periodically I design my “IDEAL WEEKLY RHYTHM”. I realize that there will be changes, but deciding what is the most efficient use of my time helps me to get more done. It is like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. I map out what activities will fit together best. I color code my plan to see that I have appropriate amounts of time allocated to my various activities.

I created a SHORT video to give you a clear picture of how to use the Rhythm Plan! I would be happy to send you a copy of the worksheet and the video – free – please just fill in the information below! I’d love to hear about your success!

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get
the Weekly Plan Sheets NOW!

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WEEKLY RHYTHM PLAN color code suggestions:
BLUE for spiritual time meditation or planning time.
GREEN for income producing time (sales appointments, or service calls).
PINK for business preparation/admin time. This might include placing orders, filing, book keeping, or phone calls. ORANGE for personal time. This could be exercise, reading, education.
YELLOW– Family time, sweetheart time, etc.
PURPLE -Networking, recruiting, contacting prospects, working with team or employees.