In my house there is always dates that I need to remembered for different activities, school letters that need to be looked at and filed, shopping lists to be created, bills to be paid, paperwork / activities to organise for the school PTA (I co chair the girls school PTA) that needs to be done and rota’s to be created and filed for my church. Thats without my notes from researching new ways we can adapt to live a sustainable environmentally friendly lifestyle, making lists of posts for Mommy Emu, notes for Mommy Emu courses and note taking / planning talks on living a more sustainable lifestyle. I think thats it but I probably forgotten something! Any way this is a massive amount of notes and lists that need to be created and filed just to keep my life running smoothly and stress free.
Last year I found three things that have help me with all these lists and notes that are so easy to use, and allow me to simplify my life.
My diary – I have tried lots of online diaries that talk to all my electronic gadgets but I never got on with any of them for lots and lots of reasons that there are too many to mention here. I think I am just a paper and pen girl at the end of the day! My diary lives on my desk (which is in our living room) when I am home and gets slipped into my bag just before I leave the house so I am never too far away from it. The thing I like about my diary is my creative side can pop out every time I have to add a activity, plan, quick note to myself or a quote I have found I like. I suppose you could say I treat my diary as a journal for everyday day life as I am adding more and more colour to all the information I need that day. Without my diary I would be completely lost to who is doing what and what needs to be done.
Evernote – I fell in love with Evernote around a year ago and now I really don’t know what I would do without it. If you don’t know what evernote is, its a online / app software which acts like 100 notepads, scrap bits of paper, photograph book all in one place. You basically create notebooks for different things that are important to stay organised. For Example I use the camera on evernote to take photos of all the school letters (the camera has a A4 function which is fantastic for this) and then I store all these letters in the notebook named school letters. I have another notebook called household food, where I make my weekly shopping list (the program also has a list making function), plan all the meals for the week and have a list of everything in my freezer that I can tick off as I use and add to when I put something new in our freezer. (This makes shopping list making so much easier) I have another note book of all things Mommy Emu and one full of the school PTA stuff. The other great thing about evernote is, there is a app for my phone, tablet and I can access it on my laptop. So if I am early to pick the girls up from school I plan the next weeks meals on my smartphone offline or write a blog post (which is what I am doing right now) and then when I have internet access my meal plan / blog post is automatically updated to all the other devices I use it on. I could go on and on about how great evernote is to keep my life simple, save paper and keep me organised but I would probably bore you to death. One thing I must add is evernote has lots of functions from dictation (if you dont want to type), camera, internet clipping feature so you can save your favourite web pages and it also allows you to share any of your content from your notebooks with your friends through email or social media. If you would like to learn more Mashable have a great post on the beginners guide to evernote and a good post on 6 creative ways you can use evernote.
Fridge Weekly Planner – I love my fridge planner because I can quickly look at it in the morning to see what everyone is meant to be doing that day, while I make my morning coffee and make breakfast for everyone. This planner from Organised Mum is magnetic and comes with a white board pen and 30 magnets with both words and pictures to help pre-reading children read what activities are happening each day. The planner is designed to help 6 people remember what they are doing for one whole week, which is ideal for a my family of five and on the last section I just add important things I have to remember that week. So every sunday evening you will find me in the kitchen with my diary in one hand and whiteboard pen in another hand, updating our board for the following week.
What are you favourite ways to keep you organised to insure you live a simple stress free life?