|Name: Erin Doland
Profession: Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer.com,
Book pre-order: Unclutter Your Life in One Week: A 7-day plan to organize your home, your office, and your life — available November 3
Get organizing advice from Erin every Tuesday and Thursday at the Real Simple magazine website
Part of Evernote’s Summer to Unclutter Series
To get from my bedroom to my kitchen, I used to have to walk along a maze of clutter through my apartment. I kept everything I deemed sentimental because I was afraid that if I got rid of it there wouldn’t be any proof I had experienced something and I would forget about it. One day, my husband sat me down and asked me to change the way we lived. He didn’t want to be surrounded by the past; he wanted room for our future. Over the course of the next six months, I conducted research and organized and got rid of literally thousands of pounds of stuff.
The process was life-changing. It is out of this transformation that I started writing for Unclutterer.com and ultimately became its editor-in-chief.
5 Ways to Use Evernote to Organize Your Busy Family Life
Life with children is hectic, and staying organized can help keep things from getting out of control. Armed with a computer, smart phone, and Evernote’s family of products, you can keep your cool instead of stressing out. The following five tips can help you to maintain some sanity in your busy family life:
1. Remember where you parked
Whether at the mall, an amusement park, or a concert with your kids, the last thing you want to do is delay getting home because you can’t find your car in the enormous parking garage or lot. When you first park, snap a picture of identifying information near your space and save it to Evernote. If you’re in a rental, also add a picture of the license plate of the car you’re driving. Once you’re back, either delete the pictures or add notes about the quality of the spot if it’s somewhere you might want to park again. “Great place for quickly getting onto the highway ramp after a packed concert at Wolf Trap Amphitheater.”
2. Food on the go
Using Evernote’s Web Clipper, I bookmark our favorite restaurants’ menus. When we’re pressed for time or grabbing takeout with friends, I have all of our go-to places in one quick, easily accessible location. Plus, with Evernote’s robust search engine, I can quickly compare prices for our favorite dishes.
3. Keep track of names and faces
Have you ever received a phone call from Dylan’s mom and then wondered for hours afterward whom you were talking to? Take photographs of your kid’s friends with their parents, send the snapshots into Evernote, then label them with the names of everyone in the photo. Finally, organize the pictures by activity (Braeden Soccer, Molly Ballet, Jackson First Grade). It’s nice to do a fast pass of mom and dad names before heading to the next event. Also, if there is a phone number list, you can scan it into Evernote and have everything together. (You might also add information about food allergies–no one wants to accidentally send a kid to the emergency room at your son’s next birthday party.)
4. Shopping lists based on recipes
I’ll keep copies of my favorite recipes in Evernote. Then, on my grocery list, I’ll just write “Grandma’s Pork Roast” or “Sesame Brussels Sprouts.” Once I’m at the store, I pull up Evernote on my phone and check out the specifics of the recipe. If I’ve found that I like one brand of an ingredient better than another, I’ll even snap a picture of the packaging and store it with the recipe for future reference. This also comes in handy if my husband is doing the shopping and I want to quickly send him the images and recipes.
5. Birthday and holiday shopping simplicity
Maybe Molly wants the latest toy for her birthday, but she wants the one that blinks and goes “whirrrrp!” instead of laughs and says “blurrrrb!” Snap a quick picture of it into Evernote to make sure you’re going to buy the one she wants. Create a notebook of many possibilities and have it on hand when grandma and grandpa ask for gift ideas. You can also save the Amazon.com page to the same notebook to make buying even easier when the time comes to do your shopping.
How do you use Evernote in your busy family life? I’d love to hear about your tips in the comments.
Evernote’s Summer to Unclutter
Check out our previous post in this series:
- 5 Ways Evernote Maximizes Your Organizing Potential — Guest post by Lorie Marrero
- Using Evernote to Solve Everyday Organizational Challenges — Guest post by Deb Lee
Erin Rooney Doland is Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer.com, a website providing daily articles on home and office organizing. Her book Unclutter Your Life in One Week will be available November 3, 2009, by Simon Spotlight Entertainment (a division of Simon and Schuster).