Image at Babble
Just like most things in life, great organization requires great tools. Planners, binders, calendars, notebooks, and apps are just a few tools that will help you as you work to organize your life. During this month of organization, I’ve found some great tools, and brushed some dust off of old ones to help me get things a bit more organized around here. Here are a few of my current favorites…
Image at I Heart Organizing
1. Printable Downloads from Jen’s Etsy Shop. Jen from I Heart Organizing put together a great Household Binder Project last March. It was just what I needed to get my household schedules in order. Some of the things I like about it:
*Easy to order and download. I ordered mine and had it downloaded, on a jump drive, and at my local print store in less than 24 hours.
*Customized. It is fun to open my binder and find pages like “the Cartwright family home maintenance checklist” or “the Cartwright family important information.
*Reusable. Once you print your pages, they easily slip into a clear page protector that can be written on with a dry erase marker. That way you can use the same page over and over without having to make multiple copies. I actually chose to use wet erase markers on mine because the dry erase marker smudged too easily.
*Accessible to everyone. Unlike my phone, which has similar information on it, my household binder is accessible to everyone in the family. My girls can check schedules, phone numbers and menus whenever they need to.
*Jen is currently redesigning her printables, but will have her new ones available soon. She is going to include an household binder kit as well, so be sure to check her Etsy shop.
2. Electronic Organizers
I am a very visual and tactile person, so I generally prefer organizational tools that I can see and touch. However, there are a few programs and apps that I use all of the time.
*Evernote. Evernote is a program that allows you to clip and file information from the internet. Before I discovered Pinterest, this was my go-to for organizing on-line information. Now that I have discovered Pinterest, Evernote is my go-to for organizing text-only information. There is also an app for the Ipad and the phone.
*Pinterest…how did we survive without it! Pinterest is another program that you can use to “pin” and file internet information. Unlike Evernote though, Pinterest is image driven, so it is a great resource for visual junkies like me. Both Evernote and Pinterest record the original link so that you can find additional information about your text or image. For example, I often pin food images on Pinterest, but not the recipe. When I am ready to cook, I simply click on the link that is associated with the image, and the recipe is there and ready for me to use. Simple, beautiful…and addictive. There is also a Pinterest app for the Ipad, but it needs some work.
*Remember the Milk. This program is for managing your “to do” list. It works great on the computer, Ipad, and phone and you can set up your account to automatically synch to all of your electronic devices. I like to enter my tasks on the Ipad, and then refer to them throughout the day on my phone. It keeps me on track during the day and reminds me of upcoming tasks.
*Calendar Pad. This is my app-of-choice for calendars. I can schedule things years in advance, and add whatever I need to each day. If I have an appointment, I can also input the location and any details I need to remember. There is also an alarm that gives me a 10-minute reminder when I have an upcoming event…it has saved me on several occasions.
Image at Oh Happy Day
3. Labels. This is the organizational step that I often skip, and sometimes it can make or break how well the project works. I have an electronic label maker, but the labels just aren’t very cute. Silly maybe, but I’m more likely to make and use the labels if they are visually appealing. The new Martha Stewart line at Staples is a great example of how something functional can be beautiful as well. I’ve also set aside some time to make my own labels, using laminated paint chips and a wet erase marker.
So, there you have it…my current favorite organizational tools. Do you have a particular tool that you can’t live without?