Monday, January 19, 2009

Household Organization

American Housewife Marjorie McWeeney Cleaning House and Watching Her Children by Nina Leen
American Housewife

Some of my key organization tools are my notebooks and my small calendar that I carry in my purse. January always seems like a great time for re-evaluating so I've been thinking about how these tools are working for me. There's no point in continuing to use a tool that is no longer the best fit for my life.

I've realized that I don't use the calendar in my notebook at all, I only use the one in my purse. I write things in it while I'm out. For example, when the kids were at the dentist last week, I made appointments for the 2 who need cavities filled, and for the next round of cleanings. I immediately wrote them in my calendar. I do the same when I'm at a PTA meeting or at church. I just pull out my calendar and write everything down immediately. That way I don't have to keep up with those little cards from the dentist, the PTA newsletter and the church bulletin.

I still use my menu notebook when planning my week's menu and making my shopping list and I store important receipts and tax documents in my household notebook. I was using the budget section every month until I started using mint.com for that. I love that mint can track our spending trends and give us averages of our utilities, grocery spending, gas spending, you name it.

Now that I have my duct-taped, been to Iraq and back laptop courtesy of Greg, :) I am finding it so much easier to do things online, so I have been looking at online organizers. I have played around with several. I have looked at Rememberthemilk.com, Cozi, and Springpad. They each have some really neat features. I think my favorite so far is Springpad because it is very customizable and is basically an online notebook. I also love that I can have it email me reminders of certain events or tasks. It also has a place for my weekly meal plan, favorite recipes (no more printing recipes from various websites, I can just put them on my Springpad), diary, shopping lists, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I'm on the computer a lot (maybe too much? don't answer that!), so it's easy to open up my Springpad and enter information from my calendar, enter a recipe or plan a menu. It even has a pantry inventory to help with planning menus.

I don't plan on giving up my old notebooks and I'll continue to carry a calendar in my purse, but I think the majority of my planning, budgeting and organizing will now be done digitally.

Have you made the leap to digital organizing? Why or why not?

By the way, I was not asked to review any of these online organizers. This is just meant to be helpful information for you.

14 comments:

Jennifer said...

I am a note book mom as well. I just like having all of the info handy even while I'm out or the computer isn't accessible. I enjoyed the link to you your notebook resources and intend to go pillage for anything that will be useful in mine :)

hsmomma5 said...

I use MS Outlook to keep myself on track. Since I am at the computer most of the day, I love the pop up reminders and tast list. Also, I can print out the pages of my electronic calendar and pop them in my personal notebook that I carry with me. I just found pearbudget.com for budgeting a couple of weeks ago and I think I am going to like it.

Nessa said...

I have not made the leap form notebook to the digital form. You've got me intrigued now, so I am going to check out some different digital options. I too am on the computer a lot, so maybe it's time to switch.

Farrah said...

I use my Outlook for the calendar and task list. I use my blackberry for appointments that I sync up to the outlook. I also have MarmeeDear's Yearbook that I have for lists and such.

Marisa Le'rin Salas said...

I am starting to become a calendar mom as well. Everything from appointments down to who was sick has been posted there...but I love your ideas about your organization!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I have a calendar on the side of my fridge for important meetings, events, and appointments. The day to day stuff (meals, to-do, etc.) gets written down on one of those weekly calendars on the front of the fridge door--more room for details on a day-to-day one. I love the idea of going digital, but I seem to remember things more when it's in my own handwriting, and I'm not sure I'd remember or be able to choose from all of those cool websites!!

Barb J. said...

I use the Google calendar. Since you are on Blogspot you obviously have a google account. That means you can set up as many google calendars as you want. I have a family one, a birthday one, a menu one... and they're free!

Kathy Butryn said...

Wow, glad I read this today...I wasn't aware of some of the on-line tools you mentioned...fun to look at them. Have to admit though...still a notebook kind of gal! Great post!

Crystal said...

Not sure if my comment got through...I'm giving you the Lemonade Award. Stop by my blog to pick it up. :-)

Mother Hood said...

Thanks for the online tips! I'm always on the hunt for things to help me become more organized.

Angie said...

My hubby is trying to drag me... kicking and screaming... into the world of digital organization.

Heather said...

I love your retro pictures! This one really cracked me up, the baby lying on the couch. If only...
Heather

50s Housewife said...

Heather, none of mine ever stayed still like the baby in the picture either. Not for long anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

Keep working ,great job!