SLT048: To Do Lists In Four Easy Steps, & an Interview with Erik Fisher

Let’s face reality…we all have To Do lists.  And while they seem to be never ending at times, To Do Lists can be a good thing. It kinda means we’re still alive! If you don’t have any in your life, then you’re probably dead! So, knowing that we’ll always have To Dos, maybe we should have a plan for how to keep track of them and get them done! 

To do list


So what’s the best To Do list? Well, the best To Do lists are the ones that works for you! Whether you prefer an analog or digital solution…anywhere on the spectrum of tying a string around your finger, pencil and paper, or the latest To Do app…figure out the tool or tools that work best for you and stick with it/them. Continue reading…

SLT040: How To Organize Your Photos

Be honest. If you’re like us you probably have thousands of photos, digital or print photos that are totally disorganized! You have the best intentions, but you probably have no idea how to organize your photos. Welcome to our world!

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Cathi Nelson, Founder and President of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) to help answer one of the most asked questions here on Simple Life Together: “How do I organize my photos?”

how to organize your photos

The interview was fantastic! Cathi offered up a wealth of information on how to organize your photos, both your physical and digital photos. We highly, highly recommend listening to the interview!  Before you do, here is little more information about Cathi and some of the questions we asked her on the show: Continue reading…


SLT034: Let’s Talk Money, & An Interview with Bonnie Dewkett

Let’s Talk Money, & An Interview with Bonnie Dewkett, The Joyful Organizer

Whether we like it or not, many things in life boil down to relationships.  We all have a relationships with money and we all have relationships with the “stuff” in our lives. Again, just like many other things in life, our relationships can be positive or negative experiences. But often it just depends on how we frame them.

Seth Godin on Money

So, let’s take a look at our relationship with money and our relationship with “stuff”. To help us look at money, we’re going to discuss a recent article by Seth Godin, one of our favorite bloggers. To help us look at the things we surround ourselves with in life, we’ll talk to Bonnie Dewkett, Certified Professional Organizer from The Joy of Organizing podcast. Read more…


SLT033: A Simple Life Together Update, and What’s the Value of Simple?…an Interview with Joel Zaslofsky

An SLT Update, & the Value of Simple w/Joel Zaslofsky

Well, we’re a little over 6 months into this “whole blog/podcast thing” and we figured it was time for an update. Actually, we’re probably way overdue for an update! There are some things upcoming that you may be interested in and we’ll also be taking a little bit of a break as we head into our summertime family working vacation.

Value of Simple

But the highlight of this week’s episode is an interview with a good friend of ours, and fellow simplicity aficionado, Joel Zaslofsky of the Value of Simplicity blog and the amazing Smart and Simple Matters podcast!


Simple Life Together Update:    

We wanted to let you know some things that are going on with us and the show:

Photo organization: We’ve talked about this in the past and it’s probably one of the most requested topics we get. We’re still researching and asking the pro’s for some tips, so you can look forward to that in the next couple of months.

Dan will be doing an Evernote tutorial, too, at some point. He’s been waiting for the dust to settle and now is ready to start working on it.  If you have any special requests regarding Evernote, drop Dan a note at

Finally, we’ll be on the road a bit for the next month or so…we’ll be in Portland for Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit for the 3rd year in a row and then we have some mixed business & fun time with family throughout July and early August. We typically release shows every Thursday but for July we’ll have shows on the 4th and 18th and then pick back up in August!

Interview with Joel Zaslofsky of the Value of Simple

We had an amazing interview with Joel Zaslofsky…creator of the awesome Smart and Simple Matters podcast and the Value of Simple blog. He’s incredibly open about his journey from a six-figure corporate job to carving out a niche online, while shaping his simple lifestyle. He offers tons of tips and free resources on his website to help you “liberate your time, money and talent.” 

Wwere thrilled to be his guests on Episode 15 of the Smart and Simple Matters show back in January and we’ve been dying to have Joel on our show. Well, we finally made that happen and it was fantastic!  You don’t want to miss this interview!  Here are some of the questions and things we talked about:

– So Joel, who are you and how do you make people’s lives simpler?

– So, you talk about your “Personal Renaissance.” Can you describe what that is, what it’s been like for you, and how it has led to a simpler/more focused life?

– Can you tell us a little about the backstory of “liberate your time, money and talent” as it relates to you, your clients and your people who follow your work?

– Tell us about your love for spreadsheets and some ways you use them to simplify your life.

– How would you define curating, what do you curate personally, and how do you think others could benefit from curating?

– Batman has his Batcave, the Super Friends had the Hall of Justice, and you have the Refuge of Simplicity! Can you share what goes on there?

– Can you give us any tips about “keeping it simple” with a family?

– For a lot of people, the whole “investment thing” is complicated. You address simplifying that in your online course “Start Investing with $100.” Can you share a little about that?

– So Joel, what have we left out that is “must know” info for our listeners? What have you got going on these days?

Thing Segment

Dan’s Thing: Our upcoming trip to WDS

Vanessa’s Thing: Passing her BCPO Exam and all the support she got from friends, family, colleagues….and even YOU…our listeners!!!

Links from our Interview with Joel:


Smart and Simple Matters:

Value of Simple Stuff:

Start Investing with $100

Social Media Profiles:

iTunes-black-48If you haven’t already, please be sure to go to iTunes to subscribe to the show. Don’t forget to leave us a rating & review! Thanks!

SLT 025: “Someday” Isn’t On The Calendar & An Interview With Kerry Reifel


“Someday” Isn’t On The Calendar & An Interview With Kerry Reifel of The Simple Year

Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show!  Thanks!

Dan and Vanessa’s Topic: “Someday” Isn’t On The Calendar

As we traditionally do when we have a guest interview on the show, the two of us will do a joint topic.  We’ve hit our 25th episode, and so we thought we’d reflect back on where we started and throw some ideas out to our listeners about where we might be headed with Simple Life Together.  Here are the things we reflected on and discussed:

  • Made the decision to simplify our lives and for us that meant somewhere between consumerism and minimalism...not exactly sure how to define it other than “simple”, but now we know it’s not consumerism, not minimalism, not raising our own chickens and sewing our own clothes. Nothing wrong with that…just we’re not at that level!
  • We looked for a community but couldn’t find one!
  • Dan wanted to start a podcast for years and said he’d do it “someday.” Well, no matter how many times he looked on the calendar, he never found “someday” there.
  • We decided that maybe the community we were looking for was looking for us, too. So, Dan floated the idea to Vanessa for a sanity check and she was all for it…and Simple Life Together was born.
  • Dan brought some tech simplicity and military techniques to the mix while Van brought the organizer background to the mix.
  • We’ve been amazed at the number of people who felt just like we did and joined us!

Not that episode 25 is some magical number, but we’re having some pretty strong feelings about the show and the future of the show. We think a lot of people listen to the show and take some positive steps in their lives…not because of anything we say or do, but just because they know they’re not alone in the fight. We’re thinking of some logical next steps and we really need some help and advice from all of you on where we go from here:

  • Considering a community site for more interaction, videos, tutorials, forums to share experiences, arranged by topic, etc.
  • We’re also considering doing products for the community, too. Dan has already been asked numerous times to do a video screencast to go along with his Evernote Simplified Parts 1 & 2.
  • It will be an investment on our part if we do it. If there is enough interest in the community, Dan may stop doing client work or seriously draw down on it to support the community
  • In the end, it’s not about what we want, it’s about what you want! If you just want the podcast and that’s it, that’s fine, but if there is an interest on a full community then we’re considering that too.
  • Dan create a survey that we ask you to please take 1 minute to click some boxes so we can gauge the level of interest.
  • No commitment on your part or our part…yet…but we wanted to ask you what you’d like to see.

So, please go to to take a 1 minute survey to share your thoughts with us.  We won’t make any decisions about the community’s future without your input. Heck you ARE the community!  So please, share your thoughts with us. It’s just 4 Questions, 4 clicks and and one block to share anything else that’s on your mind.  We really need your help on this one! Thanks so much and we look forward to your input, thoughts and ideas as we go forward with!

Guest Interview: Kerry Reifel Of The Simple Year

We were so lucky to have Kerry Reifel here on the show! Kerry is a middle class, working mother of two young girls and wife to an active duty military officer.  One year ago on April 24th 2012, just as her husband took off on a 6 month long deployment overseas, Kerry set out on her own exciting adventure of not buying anything new for one year.

Although her family had the means to buy the things they needed and wanted, she realized much of it they really didn’t need. So in an effort to cut down on the waste (environmentally and financially speaking), she set out to do one thing….live simply.  And so she decided to chronicle her journey, adventures, and challenges on her Blog: The Simple Year.

We first heard about Kerry through Joshua Becker’s Blog Becoming Minimalist and were immediately drawn to her incredibly funny and inspiring story. Kerry’s story resonated so strongly with us and we KNEW it would be a perfect fit for Simple Life Together listeners!

We highly recommend clicking on the “play” button above to hear this fantastic interview! Here is a look at some of the questions we asked:


  • Who are you and how are you making lives simpler?
  • What was the impetus for starting your blog the Simple Year?
  • Can you explain your rules for yourself for this challenge? Were there any special considerations for your family…kids and even hubby who was deployed?
  • What was the most surprising thing or realization you discovered about yourself during this challenge?
  • What about your kids?  How did they adapt?
  • Can you share one of your most challenging experiences or close calls you had during this challenge?
  • How has this challenge affected the way you live? Any new habits or life-style changes that you’ll keep?
  • So you’ve reach the end of your one year adventure…can you sum up your feelings on the consumer society we live in and will your experiences guide you in your future now that you’ve met your goal?
  • So what’s the next step for your blog?

We also discovered that Kerry is “handing off” her blog to an aspiring blogger who would like to chronicle a year-long challenge themselves.  She has built up a healthy following of readers and would love to give someone the opportunity to share their experience too.  For more information please check out her Handoff Page on The Simple Year.

Thing Segment

  • Dan’s Thing: Google Docs and how useful, functional and sharable this program is!


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The Simple Year

The Simple Year Handoff page

Storyline Blog

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