Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jamie's Conference Call

I tuned in to Jamie Novak's conference call last evening and I know that at least one other in our group was listening as well. If you weren't listening, I will give you a brief summary of the way it was conducted, which I think is a good way for us to consider for our group meetings.

Jamie started by having people share their successes, no matter how small or how large. She was great to give very positive feedback and praise to the person who had achieved the success and still give encouragement to those who may not have completed their goal. Unfortunately, the mechanics of the conference call, where more than one speaker would cut out all other conversation, did not allow the entire group to add their kudos, but we were all applauding in spirit. I think that is an important part of why we will meet, to share our progress and give our support. The next segment of the meeting was the part where Jamie encouraged people to share their ideas on a particular topic with her providing additional information and advice. The topic that Jamie wanted to focus on last night was emotional attachment to the things that we have in our lives that contribute to the clutter. She had some good advice: to determine exactly what we collect and why it is important to us and then decide how much of these items are necessary and how best we can store them and use them or how to donate or discard them. She stated that a good goal to strive for was to reduce everything by at least half! She also encouraged us to really consider if these things are really necessary and to consider that if we can give them to a good cause or someone that may give these items a new life, that we would have a good feeling about moving them out of our lives! There were some great suggestions, particularly about magazines and newspapers, clutter that many of us accumulate. One person who loves to read the newspaper has purchased a Kindle (an electronic wireless reading device that is sold by on which she subscribes to her favorite newspapers and magazines. This saves her from having to deal with the paper and recycling that a hard copy subscription brings. Another caller brings the magazines she believes are of interest to her doctor's waiting room and leaves them for other's enjoyment. We all know that this would be a great benefit for us all as a replacement for the often old and tired magazines that are usually found in waiting rooms. My advice is to remember to remove your name and address from the magazine before you leave it somewhere. I would also like to add that the library carries a subscription to many good magazines and has a copy of each of the local papers to read for free - no recycling necessary. We also have magazine article databases that can be used to find specific information that is published in magazines, so that you don't need to keep a hard copy of an article about how to fix things that aren't yet broken; you can use the library to find all of the information you will ever need if and when you should need it! And the databases are available on our website 24/7 and you will never have to dig for hours to find that article you remembered seeing! Check out the databases on

The final segment of the call was a Q&A period, which Jamie is qualified to run since she has the knowledge and resources to answer most people's questions. If we have this segment, the answers will have to come from our collective knowledge or we will have to leave the meeting with an assignment to find the answer for our next meeting or to share on our blog!

I hope we can use this advice from last night's mini-class to make our group as useful as possible.

If you were also listening in, let me know what you may have gotten from the phone call.

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