Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Evernote and whatever else comes up

First thing in the morning, coffee's perking.  I really want a cup of coffee.

So I've been trying to get things around the house a bit more organized.  And I've very recently broken one of my personal rules of the internet: never buying apps.  I had that rule mostly because with my exposure to the open source world, I always had it stuck in my head that there would always be an easy free work around.  Or that if I could better understand the technology, I could just build my own.  Also I never wanted to buy apps because... well... they're too easy to buy.  There's a lot of choice and sometimes even with demo versions, its easy to get excited about an app, buy it, and then find another app that had that additional bell or whistle that you were looking for.  So you gotta buy ANOTHER app.  And that's too easy.  You get nickel and dimed to death too since apps are relatively cheap.

The only exception I made to this rule in the past was buying Bubble School for Arthur.  But that's because Bubble School was so intuitive to use and he's really gotten a lot out of it.

But for myself, I persevered without much in the way of electronic organization except for free apps that came on my phone.  I'd love to be able to have the time to understand the technology better and build my own.  But I'm a mom and I need the end product yesterday.  I needed this organization app 6 months ago.  Please save me!

I was using a few apps on my Note 3 that came out of the box.  S Note / Action memo... slick.  Especially with the S Pen.  Scrapbook.  Awesome.  I've gotten addicted to being able to make written notes on my phone, clip it and store it in Scrapbook.  It was great for making up the kids' Christmas list this year and I liked it better than Pinterest.  Except that I couldn't share that easily and I couldn't make all of the information that snips linked to available offline... like for grocery shopping at Tesco's where the signal is poor and their public wi-fi blows goats.

I just got done with 'teaching' myself how to meal plan and grocery shop using only my phone.  I've been trying to 'teach' myself how to do with just the phone to be ready for school because if I don't have to lug a laptop or full sized tablet around and can do it all on my Note 3, all the better!

But I still needed something to help me remember to flip the mattresses.  Or research a utility rate before our contract was up.  Or remind me to rotate the house plants (or yanno, water them).  Since its end of year and everyone's on the resolutions kick and making offers on apps and doing their 'Best of 2013' lists, I went to see if I could find the right productivity app for me.  I checked out a few.  Tody-- which is iOS only.  I found a nice free android app for house routines... called something like clean sweep or something... but it kept crashing.  I was starting to get frustrated with looking and I thought, why not go back to basics and see what Google's done with Tasks lately.

Now for my task list of things to remember, I would be using Google Calendar already except that for house chores, I really can't assign a time.  And my 'all day' items are already jam packed with other information, like where each kid, my husband, and myself are each day.  I looked at Google Tasks again and was sorely disappointed that there hadn't been improvements on the web interface since I last looked at it.  Google Calendar is right there-- why can't these two marry?  So I started looking for apps that did that-- that married the two and found a couple.

GTasks, I found, had a super easy interface for creating task lists with reminders and had an easy to set up repetition scheme.  So I was able to design for myself my annual tasks, bi-annual, quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, every 2-3 days and daily tasks.

And my writing time is up and I wasn't done writing.  But I promised only 15 minutes per.  Maybe I'll cheat later after the kids are off to nursery since its my 'day off' and write more if it strikes my fancy.  But more likely, I'll still be trying to get my head around Evernote, which is raved about but I'm still trying to understand how it'll be better than what I'm using already-- the 'Offline notebooks' for premium users (1 year came free with my O2 account) seems to be the only plus that I've found.  And the Evernote junkies say its real power is with using it by jumping in with two feet.  But I can't write on my clips with my S Pen.

No comments:

Post a Comment