Nice Things Nice People Said About JOYS Filing System & Notebook

Kind Words and Crappy Grammar in a Quest for Joy

A few years back I received an email from an individual who had some very hurtful and harsh things to say about everything I was doing. She did not hold back pointing out the countless errors I had made in my first ebook Blueprint : JOYS and in my website postings among other things. Going on to say that I should seek other work or hire an editor and web master full time. It hurt. But, I read it and responded as gracefully and as grammatically correct as I could. Then I tossed the email in the trash. Hoping that action would help banish the insecurities the email reinforced.

Yes, my spelling and grammar is less than scholarly. I tend to talk in run on sentences. Words challenge me. I transpose letters and numbers. These things have been true for me all my life. Getting through complicated text has always been difficult. That’s likely why I always look for ways to simplify information. All that said, I am determined to get my ideas out.

That email crosses my mind more than I would like to admit. Most often on the challenging book writing days or during the conversations I have with my guy when he becomes frustrated with my adventures in entrepreneurship. My guy often questions the choice I have made to continue to follow my JOYS. He didn’t always feel that way. It’s just now he believes I should be taking full advantage of my skills and strengths as a graphic designer.

Don’t get me wrong. I like design work. A lot. I have been doing it for 20 plus years and it has always been enjoyable. But design work has rarely brought me to the feeling I felt today—a feeling of being understood, appreciated and truly helpful, a joyful feeling.

You may know that Danielle LaPorte is a great source of grounding for me. Currently I am struggling through her Desire Map. I say struggle because I have discovered I have a problem putting specific labels on my feelings. Ironic for a girl who understands that labels simplify. Labels bring clarity.  However, putting a label on a feelings is not so simple. It’s hard to articulate how I feel outside of the basic comfortable, happy, and grateful. 

But today, I feel joy.

I wanted to retrace my steps, to find the joy source and identify everything that contributed to it. And, it all began with an email.

I received an email requesting a bit more information about my JOYS home filing system and home notebook. Without going into compete details—the jist of the question was "For getting started, would you recommend the filing system first or the home notebook? I have both now in my "own system," but neither seems to be complete or very helpful."

I receive this question often. Nine times out of ten my response suggests starting with Filing JOYS and I always attempt to address all concerns noted the email. The replies generally include simple words and likely simpleminded grammar, but they are always personal and to the point. I really did not expect a response to my reply, as none was necessary. But a response I got and joy I felt!

Wow! Thanks so much for getting back to me. (My husband wanted to see the movie MAN OF STEEL, and when I got home and checked my email there was your reply!!) I was so excited, I had to share it with someone--which happened to be my husband. I told him that when I asked for your advice about your products, you even recommended one of your less expensive items!! I am eager to take the plunge, and I've read so many positive comments about your products.

One thing I did want to say to you concerns the negative comments you have apparently received about your writing/grammar. For nine years I was a high school English teacher. After that I stayed home for seven years with my children, then taught pre-school, and now I am an assistant at an elementary school. I often put my ideas, thoughts, and feelings on paper and find that when I'm passionate about a topic, my mind will outrace my hand. Sometimes, when I go back and read what I've written, I have to chuckle. There are usually quite a few indicators of how deeply I was affected by what I was writing. Here's the thing: (as I used to tell my high school students and even my elementary-aged writers) writing/grammatical errors are easily fixed, it's the information imparted that's most important. It seems to me that you have a wealth of knowledge to share that can transform peoples' lives, and THAT FACT ALONE should take precedence. That being said--I am going to order the filing system, and I would love to read your chapter, typos and all!!

Barbara M

I asked the author if she minded if I shared her note. I wanted to share it because I think we can often overlook the power of our words. The example I began with outlined words that focused on the idea of perfection and it diminished joy. Barbara’s response is an example of how embracing imperfection and being compassionate provides a sense of purpose to our work or the work of others. Make no mistake about it, we all seek a sense of purpose—even the people who seem to have it. A sense of purpose brings joy.

I am certain there are countless errors throughout my site, with fresh ones added with this post. But thanks to kind words it’s much easier to focus on the purpose and not the perfection of it all. It’s much easier to feel the joy. For that, I am grateful.

Now go and spread a little  joy.

Renee Deming : Studio Bold

When my oldest son was born we lost track of some savings bonds that were given to him as a gift. I immediately began to rethink my paperwork organization and I came across JOYS. I LOVE it! It appeals to my designer-self because it's pretty, simple, and ever-so functional. The cheery colors and lovely icons make opening up the file drawer a welcoming experience. As a MOMtrepreneur with two young kids and a busy husband, I love that the system allows me to file things in steps; the every day filing, the when-I-can-get-to-it filing and the year-end filing. There's a place for everything and it's very clear what needs to be kept and for how long, and what needs to be tossed. I've recommended JOYS to several family and friends because I truly feel it's a great system that I'll continue to use.

joys home filing system peep

Life with Peace : A journey towards a life of peace.

Because I’m generally so organized otherwise (and had tried countless “systems” to keep papers under control) I assumed that this was some mental miswiring that I wasn’t going to overcome. Then I found a system that seriously worked.  It’s going on a few years, but I am still using and recommending the JOYS filing system.  In fact, I’m now evaluating their tickler system for my husband.  The point is: it’s a matter of finding what works for you.

heatherdeg on forum

I'm normally super-organized when it comes to filing the papers, but seriously--I never get them INTO the files.

I broke down and I have no clue why, but I bought a filing "system". Well, it must've been fate because it came with a booklet that set me up so I actually manage to keep my piles GONE. It's JOYS and it's cheap (the filing system--not the binders). You actually do have to go through the steps, but it will tame the paper (and for me, the catalog and magazine) beast of the home. Organized as I was, I was fascinated by how they sorted things... it just made crazy sense: vital stuff, reference stuff, everyday stuff and information stuff. (yeah--there's a difference between reference and information). They even tell you what kind of container to put the stuff in and where in your home you should have it (not "in your bedroom" but a description of the type of place and container, and you decide where that place is in your home)

Geralin Thomas : Metropolitan Organizing

Congratulations on creating the Mercedes Benz of family organizing systems! The JOYS products are upscale, comprehensive, and family-oriented. Organizing connoisseurs will appreciate the quality of materials and aesthetic appeal while families will appreciate the thoughtful, detailed instructions. As a professional organizer, the household notebook is a valuable resource in bringing order to the homes of my organizing aficionado-type clients who request only the finest products.

Geralin Thomas Metropolitan Organizing

Sarah Aguirre : Housekeeping

While many household notebooks offer only a hope of organization, this notebook is for real. It gives users the perfect blend of prewritten instructions and customizable forms.

Sarah Aguirre household notebook home organization time management

Neat Freak Professional Organizing

I’m a bit miffed that this product exists, because I had dreams of designing something just like it, but they beat me to it and I have to admit, it’s really well done. The JOYS binder system helps you organize your entire life, including everyday stuff, wealth, wellness, home and hobbies. The graphics are attractive, it’s customizable to work for you, and it truly is a product that can simplify your life. A perfect solution for busy families.

Cool tools Home filing system

Rachael : Black Eiffel is one of the prettiest systems I've seen. It includes lots of tabs: everyday, wealth, wellness, home, and interests. It is not for the faint of heart - hard core organizing here.

Black-Eiffel Lifestyle Design


This is the most stylish and comprehensive organizational system that I think I’ve ever seen...

Paper Crave Creating Paper Cravings

Kelly Love Johnson

I've just started getting into my JOYS - it was one of my new year's resolutions and I'm loving it so far! I feel like the categories are organized the same way my brain works.

Dolly Mama

This is so logical and is much better than what I was doing even when I was filing.

Dollly Mama Organizing Papers


In my quest for clutter-free living, I bought all of the JOYS products after reading about them in HOW magazine. I have not been disappointed. The filing system is really fantastic. It is beautifully designed, and you can really customize it to work however you need it to work for you.

Anne Kerns : AnneLikesRed

Just Organize Your Stuff is a complete, integrated system for organizing your papers and your life. I spend so much time and negative mental energy thinking about organizing, that when I found out about this product I felt like I had to have it.

I bought 3 life binders for gifts for Christmas, and got one for myself, too. My goal in 2006 is to get myself organized, and this system is the way to start. It's very well designed, with meaningful information and a clear hierarchy. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd get that supplement, too. Imagine one clear place to have everything a babysitter needs to know, so they could access it without thinking. This system is great, and thanks to it, I also ordered certified copies of my birth certificate which I was chagrined to realize I didn't have. I'm not done implementing it yet, that takes some time and commitment on my part, but I'm on my way...

Anne Likes Red Organizing Information by design

Timothy G, Georgia

I just received my JOYS binder today and am quite impressed - excellent work!

I have a difficult time organizing things in analog these days - my life has been digitized. For now though, I am planning to purchase this as a "love drawer" for my wife. I handle all of this stuff for the family right now, but if something were to happen to me, she would have an incredibly difficult time putting the pieces together especially since everything is digital. I will fill all of this out and give it to her so that if something were to happen to me, she would have all of the important data in one place. Thanks for the prompt reply.

organize papers with your love box

Jessica : Balancing Everything

Tackling the mountains of disorganized paperwork for a busy home and three home businesses is no small feat.  It's taken me three days just to get this far, but I'm impressed with the tools...I get the expensive statements, I do, I'm sure I'll get a lot here too.  But I personally don't have any qualms about paying a fair price for something well done that truly helps.

Jessica balanced paperwork

Google Analytics Alternative