Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's so clear now

I have a TON of topics I'm anxious to blog about, which is crazy.  That never happens.  So I've started keeping a list.  Incidentally, I need to switch to a consistent note-taking application, preferably electronic and cloud-based.  Right now I'm just creating "draft" emails in GMail so it's ridiculously messy and unsatisfying. 

It's a trick I learned from my friend N, who I worked with ages ago - she'd email herself to-do lists each day, and since we live in our email at work, it was a good place for the lists to be front and center.  But it becomes unwieldy.

I love Microsoft OneNote.  Love, love, love.  But I use 3 different computers regularly, *and* my (now Android) smartphone.  And I didn't know how that would work with OneNote since the notebooks were usually saved locally.  But in OneNote 2010 there's a really easy, built-in way to sync with Windows Live SkyDrive, so you can access your notebooks anywhere.  That's EXACTLY what I need.  Except that I haven't made time to sit down and set up a personal notebook.

Things I want in that notebook: 
  • A place to stash URLs to projects or crafty resources with some notes.  I could keep chucking them in my Favorites/Bookmarks etc but I can't make notes there to remind myself of why I saved it, or what I want to do with it.
  • My daily, weekly and monthly task lists.  I need to get a little more structured about chores, especially the maintenance stuff like doctor checkups, swapping disposable contacts, giving the dogs their flea protection, downloading/processing photos from cameras, etc etc.  I may chuck these all into a Google Calendar specifically for that purpose since it might be better to actually schedule time/days for these things.

  • Vacation notes.  We have SO MUCH to do before our Ireland trip.  I also want to make a short list of the things we want to see there so we can plan our day trips.  I'd also like a compact place to keep things like the address and phone number of our house rental, our local cell numbers, flight info, etc.

  • Personal projects and to-dos that aren't urgent.  Potential blog posts.  Unfinished craft projects that I'd like to get done eventually.  Expiration dates for unused Groupons (also need to put them on the calendar).

  • Ideas for activities to do with T.  I have a ton of books with age-appropriate home activities for learning and fun.  We never do them because I rarely remember to plan ahead.  Maybe a sort of "lesson plan" for more fun things to do at home once a week or so.

  • A living Mondo Beyondo list that I can refer to often and update.  There are things I can check off the list I posted on the blog, and new things begging to be added.

  • Some way to store passwords and links to the accounts I use regularly.  This one freaks me out so I need to figure out the right solution for it that's secure but also can be accessed from anywhere.

  • Meal planning.  A list of what we should *always* have in our fridge/pantry.  A stash of easy, standard meal ideas. Why this is so hard, I don't know.  But I haven't yet gotten it together and I swear THIS will be the year.

This is on my to-do list for the weekend of Jan 20-22.  Why then, you ask?  Because I am taking my Mama Weekend Away.  It's one of the items on my Mondo Beyondo list.  The magic just keeps happening.  I finally *asked* TJ for the time, and he agreed, and I've actually scheduled it.  Before Mondo Beyondo, it was an amorphous "someday maybe" idea.  Now it's happening.  Next week.    Me, a fancy hotel room, big plushy bed, no alarm clock, free wifi, and a spa.  Heaven!

borrowed from

It's a little retreat to get my thoughts together and plan the upcoming year.  I obviously have the big things laid out already but I need some time and space to really get down to business and plan and organize the details. 

So.  If you had a weekend like that, how would you spend it?  If you were putting together a notebook for yourself, what would you include?  What am I missing?


  1. I have to admit, I'm envious. =) That's a really awesome idea. The last time I got away from my girls was a girls weekend with my sisters, and that was a couple of years ago. I've been thinking that I need to do it again, but I'll have to think about how to make it possible. And I don't think I'd want a weekend alone--I'd rather get to see people that I haven't seen in a while, by myself so I don't have to worry about what my kids are up to all the time. DC and Seattle are probably at the top of my list for that.

  2. I have tried for YEARS to go all technical with my lists and stuff like what you wrote. And I ALWAYS go back to a little 5X7 spiral notebook I carry everywhere with me.

    I use OneNote a lot. LOVE it. But agree that it's hard when you have 3 computers. Too bad OneNote isn't built for the cloud.

    Keep me posted with what you find. The techy girl in me would love to give away my spiral notebook.

  3. @Di - yes, come to Seattle :) I think this is the first time I'll be away from T overnight.

    @Jenn - I hear you, but now OneNote syncs with Windows Live SkyDrive pretty seamlessly. I think I can also replace the purse notebook with my phone. So I can either take notes to transfer to OneNote later, or buy a connector to use OneNote on my phone.


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