Friday, March 17, 2017

Google Keep + Research for the win!

I love Google Keep! It is one of those versatile resources that is useful in many, many situations.  It will allow you to take photos, make lists, record oral responses and manipulate that info.

I use Google Keep for a very personal reason.  I travel to multiple school districts on a weekly basis and have a concern that I will accidentally wear the same outfit to the same district time after time. Yup!  It is a real concern!
That may not seem very important - but it bothers me. I needed a way to keep track so, I started taking a picture of myself each morning as I get ready for work and send that to Google Keep.  Now I can make sure that I don't keep showing up in a district looking like I only own one outfit!

That's only one use.

My daughter was home from Virginia for the weekend. She is a grad student in Professional Counseling and is just getting ready to begin her BIG research project.  We were talking about the process - wading through  sources and note taking and research and and and.

As we talked -  the wonderful and amazing Google Keep popped into my mind!
This versatile tool has just been made more amazing with the integration into Google Docs!
It has the potential to turn research on its head!

So how would this work??

1.  Throughout the research process use Google Keep for your notes - add any additional info

2.  Add tags to help organize notes for later use

3.  Open and name a Google Doc

4. Tools  - Google Keep  - see all your notes

5. Search for tags

6.  Drag the notes you need into the doc

Here is a little video of that process.

I think this streamlined note taking tool is a real game changer!  
And I must say I earned major mom points for sharing this with my grad student daughter! 

Totally Google Keep for the win!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Cleaning your Digital Presence

I have this habit of signing up for just about any service online that comes through my email.
And then I promptly forget.
So - it is time to spring clean my Digital Presence.

First stop Google goodness

2. Click on Signing in to Google
3. Manage apps

Here you see a list of all the websites and apps that you have used Google to sign in with.  You can go through each of the sites and remove the ones you no longer use.

Yeah - first digital closet is cleaned!

Email subscriptions

1.  Log in to your email (gmail)
2.  By the email address you will see the words "unsubscribe" 
3.  You have a second option to make a final decision to unsubscribe to the company or blog.
4. It usually takes a few days or weeks to be removed from an email list. So be patient.

Speaking of Email 

If you are using gmail take some time to organize your email inbox.

A few of my tips
1. Use the label feature to organize emails still in your inbox
2. One of my favorite labels is ToDo.  Notice I add a one. then it appears at the top of my label list.
3.  Add a calendar item once a month to zero out your inbox. It feels so liberating to know that you have organized your life in one small place!

4. Consider using different email sections in your gmail with a priority inbox. Here is a little video I made to demo the process

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A New Year and A New Plan

I am a planner.

Not necessarily a doer - but a planner.
I like to organize and prepare and plan and then too often I lose steam and that is the end of it.

Because of that I am always on the path for the perfect organizational system.

Last year I discovered Bullet Journaling and fell head over heels in love!  I lurked on blogs about bullet journaling like this beautiful one by Boho Berry, and followed instagram accounts of gorgeous bullet journals like TinyRayofSunShine. I even joined a facebook group called Bullet Journal Junkies.

I spent so much time looking and admiring and dreaming that I didn't spend much time writing in my own Bujo.   And that is clearly a problem!

So - it's time to begin 2017 with a new plan! :)

But first, a couple of things I learned through my exploration this past year.

  1.  I need an analog To Do list! I am the most productive when I have a place to jot down reminders and to do items throughout the day and throughout my life. There are some specific requirements for that list...
    • needs enough space to write
    • needs to have dates attached to items
    • needs to be analog - because I like to check things off
    • needs a place to plan ahead
  2. I need a place to keep lists -
    • Christmas lists
    • TV suggestions
    • books to read
    • tools to share with teachers
  3. I am a little concerned about privacy with my Bujo. I am a traveling consultant. I am in many different schools and offices and I am quite forgetful.  I didn't want my personal world to be left behind somewhere in my professional world
  4. I do not want to use two different list tools.  I considered carrying two bujos and that just didn't seem practical.  I love the idea of an all in one tool.  I know that could mean Drive and for many techie people that works well. But I have a hankering for some things analog!
With all that in mind here is my new plan

I have decided to go to two tools.  I know I didn't think I wanted that - but they serve two different purposes.  

First - I am using my new Rocketbook Wave notebook for my to do list.  I am using the Standard size, about the size of a small planner.  The genius of this notebook is I can make it digital - there are small icons across the bottom of each page.  Using a smartphone app you can connect an image with a destination - email, drive, one note  - so that snapping a picture of the image sends it to that digital spot.  The other amazing thing about this notebook is it can be erased.  By using special pens (and BTW they are very nice weight and writing) you can microwave the notebook when full and the ink will be 'erased.'  

I am using a two page spread for my week - on the left is a list of the days and my calendar for the week. I know I am rewriting that. But, I find that it helps me remember what I need to do.

On the right is my to do list complete with small boxes for me to cross things off. I can carry my to do list on to the next page if necessary

I have combined my personal and professional life on both the calendar and my to do list. 

I am loving this notebook. It is small enough for me to take anywhere - in a bookbag or a purse.  And lays flat so I can easily keep it beside me as I work.

Second - my new Bullet Journal.  Because I am only using this for lists - I decided on a Moleskin notebook that I found at Target.  It's not as fancy as the Leuchtturm I used last year.  But I am a sucker for the polka dots!  I added the date and my name in permanent marker.

After having a place to jot down gift suggestions, books to read and quotes last year - I really couldn't give that up.  

So this book will live in a book bag in my car.  Because I am a bit of nomad - I keep a traveling office in my car.  I have found that there are books I often need, but not on a daily basis. These ride around in my car in this jazzy Target bag. That is where my Bujo will also live.

Stay tuned to see how this system works for me!  
I'd love to hear what works for you!!