Three Quick Tips

When I left you last, I was suffering from cabin fever due to my middle one’s illness.  Her illness led to an ear infection, which led to a ruptured eardrum.  Ouch, right?  The day she started to feel better is the day that I got sick and was down for the count.  Needless to say, our home has not been running on all cylinders.  My brain is only now starting to turn the gears.  As a result, this week’s post is a quick one about some tips I’ve found useful.

1.  SET AN ALARM – I have an alarm on my phone to wake me up, take medicine/vitamins, pick-up the kids from school, a separate alarm to remind me of early release day, and an alarm to remind me of the one morning that my eldest attends Chorus.  These alarms have saved me from panic mode and help keep me on track.  It makes for a smoother transition from one activity to the next.

2.  MAKE A LIST – Better yet, get these two free apps to organize your lists for you: Out of Milk and Task List.  These two gems are the only reason any task was completed upon emerging from my painful fog.

Out of Milk is where I keep my four shopping lists.  I have one for Costco, Groceries, Trader Joe’s, and a Target/Wal-Mart combo.  This makes my shopping trips more efficient, helps with the budgeting process, and makes sure no item gets forgotten.  Just add the item as soon as you think of it.  If you’re like me, you’ll forget it if you don’t write it/type it somewhere.  Another plus of this app is that it shows all the local grocer deals.

I already shared my love for Task List in my previous post Six Ways to Get Motivated, so I won’t bore you with details again.  However, I was reminded this past week how valuable this app is.  My lists were made during my countless hours on the couch and then carried out the moment I started to feel well enough to be up and about.  My day yesterday was immensely productive thanks to my husband and my plan of attack already being laid out before me.

If you want to get really crazy, combine tip one with tip two.  Task List allows you to set reminder alarms for items that need to get done by a particular time.  These apps keep me organized and keep me moving.

3.  ORGANIZE DIGITAL PHOTOS BY DATE – This one is a random tip, but it has been so valuable over the years.  I saw my friend’s digital pictures sorted on her computer one time and I nearly died at how perfectly organized she had them.  She has always been the epitome of an organized person.  She has packing lists for moving a home that will make your brain implode.  Thankfully, the digital picture organizing she does is much simpler.

You start with your basic Pictures folder under Libraries on your computer.  Then create a folder for the year you’re in or the year the pictures were taken.  Inside the year folder, create 12 sub-folders, one for each month. I label these Jan-13, Feb-13, Mar-13, and so on.  Within your monthly sub-folders, name unique folders based on your personal activities.  For instance, in my Dec-12 folder (indicating December of 2012), I have folders named Sledding, Christmas Decorations (this is where I kept pictures of my family decorating the tree), Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Each of my month sub-folders include two catch-all sub-folders.  One is called Hangin’ Out and the other is called Out and About.  These are the folders for the onesie twosie shots I snap while my kids are either happily playing at the park or snuggling up on the couch.  I don’t want to have 100 folders set aside for each snapshot I take of life nor do I want to omit sub-folders completely as it just makes finding the right picture over-whelming.

This might not seem like an earth-shattering tip, but it’s amazing how much it has helped me over the years.  For instance, I was easily able to grab the three pictures below showing each of my children at approximately 1 year and 3 months old by doing a quick chronological search of my digital pictures.  How fun to see the comparison so quickly!


So, there you have it!  Three tips to make your life a little easier.  The whole point of this blog is to help each of us begin moving forward.  Hopefully these tips will make the arduous task of beginning more efficient.

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