{Gussy Biz Series – organizing :: part 1}

Welcome to my mini-series on organizational and business tips!

Don’t run away, yet — this is for all you bloggers and handmade shop owners and day job workers and mothers and wives wondering, How do I make this work?! Gussy is here to help by sharing a few tips that help me. I’ll spread my thoughts across three blog posts and I invite you to leave a comment.

Here’s how I’ll break them down:

  • Part 1: organizational tips
  • Part 2: business tips, posted Tuesday {4/20}
  • Part 3: Q&A session answering your questions, posted Thursday {4/22}

A big thanks to everyone who emailed me for Part 3. Ya’ll sent me some serious emails. Yeow :]

Before I get started…
Last Thursday I blogged on {Etsy vs. Big Cartel :: the business of handmade}. If you have any interest in setting up a handmade shop and want to know the deets on these two sites, I encourage you to read the post and the comments left. There is a lot of positive and helpful energy there!

By now it’s probably plain as day that I work two full-time jobs. By day I work at an Ad agency, by night and weekend I work on Gussy. I share this information to inspire you to take on the challenge of having a handmade shop. It’s OK if you have other responsibilities — we all need to have a creative outlet, whether it be reading, crafting, gardening or talking ;] And if you are lucky to have more than one creative outlet, well… then high-five for you!

Let’s get organized!

Here are some things I do:


  • schedule set time each day to organize, read, and respond
  • if I can’t reply that day I send a quick note stating when I can
  • Gmail is my hero! This email host allows me to filter emails to keep things organized. Filtering emails puts your messages in a designated folder instead of your inbox
  • things I filter: blog comments, messages from my Gussy store, Facebook updates. Some emails, like the ones from Facebook, are content sitting pretty {aka: unread}. Others, like messages from my Gussy store, require an immediate reply. By filtering my emails I can appropriately spend my scheduled time
  • all emails that require an action stay in my inbox. Everything else is archived


  • create an online calendar of blog events. Things like special posts {like this one!}, giveaways, features, and notes to contact ________ are written down. Some events are even highlighted {to draw extra attention}. Anything to help you be a better blogger should be written on your calendar
  • carry a little notebook to write down post ideas as you think of them
  • accurately tag posts so you can find them later to reference another post, and to help others find what they are looking for on your blog
  • schedule posts in advance!!! Example: most of the time I write my Featured Artist posts in advance. Blogger allows you to change the post date here:

    and WordPress allows you to here:


Google Docs

Google Documents are AMAZING! You can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and more! And, the best part is these documents are connected to your Gmail account, giving you access to them whenever you’re signed in to your Gmail account.

Things I like to keep track of with the help of Google Docs:

  • blog post ideas
  • sassy handmade shops
  • sponsor information
  • Gussy blog and shop goals
  • Featured Artist information
  • blogs I advertise on
  • Gussy giveaways and/or product reviews

I told you Gussy was a list-maker!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: making lists allows me to temporarily forget what I need to do so I can focus on what I am doing.
Other bits to help you stay organized:

    • Every day I fill out Simple Mom’s Daily Docket {download here.} It’s another great way to break down what you need to accomplish each day. When you fill it out with a pencil, you allow yourself a little breathing space to re-arrange things. And if you can’t finish everything before the end of day, simply transfer the listed items to tomorrow’s sheet

  • Speaking of Simple Mom, you need to subscribe to her blog
  • Organize your workspace by things arranging things you use all the time, once-in-a-while, and rarely. Not everything needs to be within an arm’s reach.
  • When you are done working, clean up! {This makings “going to work” so much easier!}
  • If you have a business, be sure to save ALL receipts and organize them by month & year. You’ll be so thankful come tax season :]


That’s it for organization!

I’ve got LOTS more to write, but I’m ready to flip to organizing your business and other nifty biz tips. Come back tomorrow for {Gussy Biz Series – business tips :: part 2}.

I’d love to hear your thoughts — leave a comment! :]

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  1. 2


    Thanks for the daily docket sheet – that’s a good one. I am forever making lists in the notepad on my iPhone – I love that thing. It also has an option to email your notes/lists to yourself or someone else. I’m also a big fan of using the calendar in my iPhone.

  2. 5


    Thanks for a great and thorough post! I always love hearing how other owners of handmade businesses organize themselves and run things. It’s those little “a-ha” tips that can sometimes make all the difference.

  3. 11


    Such great advice! I used to write stuff on any piece of paper I could find! My husband kept telling me to get a notebook & keep it next to my laptop. Check. Now I need to divide up said notebook further! Only then will I be able to go back & find what I need. =) We made the switch to Macs this past wkend. Super excited! So w/MobileMe, the calendar, my new desk, my new made over blog & more time w/the summer to sew… I know I can work on my etsy shop. Thx for the inspiration.


  1. […] A new favorite.  She’s a midwestern girl: from Michigan to Minnesota.  I haven’t met Gussy/Maggie Whitley, but I’m now a faithful reader.  She wrote a fabulous post about organizing her business + I’m dying to read part II + part III!  Her signature ruffles are fabulous + her helpful attitude is contagious.  Looking for some LIFE organization tips?  [Seriously people, these are great tips for anyone!]  Go here. […]

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