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catherine
5-23-17, 12:12pm
Everything old is new again..

I'm really big into every app that I can get, and they have improved my life to a certain extent, but all of a sudden, I'm in love with pencils! Not automatic plastic ones--the old fashioned yellow #2 with an eraser (the eraser is important).

I think part of the reason is that I've stepped back from online time management and I've adopted the Bullet Journal (thanks, FloatOn). I don't like using pens, because schedules change, I make mistakes, etc. My bullet journal is extremely flexible and it's definitely becoming invaluable in terms of schedules, notes and all kinds of little bits of information.

And I am finding that I can't live without a pencil! Great simple-living tool.

What are some of your favorite simple living low-tech tools?

iris lilies
5-23-17, 12:48pm
The broom and dustpan. I like sweeping our hard surfaced floors.

I love Roomba devices for the hilarious videos of cats riding around on them, but I dont want one. In my old age I have learned that cleaning the device that cleans is practically as time consuming as just doing the cleaning myself.

razz
5-23-17, 1:22pm
Several come to mind
- the simple can opener that will lift the lid from a jar of home canned tomatoes or punch a hole in a can
- the simple nylon nail scrubber that gently cleans the garden soil from beneath your fingernails that I just needed
- smooth-flowing ballpoint pen that I use every morning to meditate and collect my thoughts; tried a pencil but it didn't flow well.
- the little wedgies of wood that help shim up flower pots, shelving units etc

Tybee
5-23-17, 1:53pm
Feeling very appreciative today for straw. In winter we place bales around the house for insulation. We figure we save about 500-700 dollars in propane by doing this. Now in the spring, we use it in the garden as always have mulched straw beds. It has built up the soil marvelously over the past three years we have been gardening here.

bae
5-23-17, 2:33pm
The ax.

frugal-one
5-23-17, 5:22pm
One handed and long handled dental floss picks. Not a tool but like it just the same.

Mortar and pestle.

Rogar
5-23-17, 6:39pm
Bicycle. Although I could also go with pencil.

CathyA
5-23-17, 6:46pm
The Salad Spinner!! haha........is that considered low tech? Maybe not. I'll try to think of some others.

CathyA
5-23-17, 6:47pm
Bicycle. Although I could also go with pencil.

LOL Rogar.........I was trying to figure out how you could ride a pencil...........

catherine
5-23-17, 6:50pm
The Salad Spinner!! haha........is that considered low tech? Maybe not. I'll try to think of some others.

If you have to manually spin it, I guess it's low-tech. If you could tell Siri to spin it for you, that would be high-tech. :). (hmmm.. is there an app for that?)

rosarugosa
5-23-17, 8:09pm
Catherine: I'll nominate these guys to go with the pencils.
https://www.amazon.com/Bazic-Pencil-Erasers-Assorted-Colors/dp/B00CD9WQNA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1495580922&sr=8-5&keywords=arrowhead+erasers

Mary B.
5-23-17, 9:09pm
Pencil's hard to beat (I keep everything in a bullet journal too).

But it's gardening season -- so I'll add the shovel.
And since I just made custard, the whisk.

rosarugosa
5-24-17, 6:01am
Mary: My top gardening essentials are my 5-gallon bucket, trowel, dandelion fork, pruning shears, kneeling pad and garden gloves.

BikingLady
5-24-17, 6:06am
Bike, shovel, water bucket, yellow #2s, bike pump (my new favorite tool), pretty much anything without a lot of parts! My lovely Aunt who passed at 85, years ago told me once can't beat a broom and dust pan instead of lugging that vacuum out.

razz
5-24-17, 10:52am
Wanted to add:
- shoehorn
- crowbar

ToomuchStuff
5-24-17, 11:06am
The wheel. Between cars, bicycles, wheelbarrows, etc. it has certainly helped lately.
What is this bullet journal thing, when I first read that, my brain went to someone who is keeping track of their practice at the gun range.

catherine
5-24-17, 11:15am
What is this bullet journal thing, when I first read that, my brain went to someone who is keeping track of their practice at the gun range.

Here is a good explanation from BuzzFeed:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal?utm_term=.ja3kKqqXLM#.acjKGLLg87

I believe it was FloatOn who mentioned it in a previous thread about task and time-management systems. So even though I was simultaneously trying out OmniFocus and Wunderlist on my computer, I was intrigued by this low-tech system. I LOVE it! It's super-flexible and "high touch" rather than "high tech."

catherine
5-24-17, 11:23am
Love these thoughts...

I agree with the broom thing, IL & BL. I also love the motion of sweeping, and it's quieter and less cumbersome than the vacuum cleaner.

Tybee, I love the straw bale thing--and how you "recycle" it in the spring! Very cool!

Rosa, yeah, those erasers are good idea to keep on hand. I make a LOT of mistakes!

bae: The ax is a great multi-use tool. DH has a "culti-hoe" which is not an ax of course, but nonetheless he calls it his "Tommy hawk". He LOVES that thing.

Sad Eyed Lady
5-24-17, 2:22pm
A notebook, notepad, and good pen. There is nothing like having something handy to jot down thoughts, ideas, to do lists, doodling or, (as I did yesterday), overheard conversations. Some of these can be halarious!

CathyA
5-24-17, 3:57pm
Eye glasses?? I know they could be made less advanced, and they've been around for a really long time.

toothpicks are good.

JaneV2.0
5-24-17, 5:45pm
I've always liked the idea of a treadle sewing machine. In case of a zombie apocalypse/extended grid failure, I could whip up all kinds of useful stuff from the raw materials I have around here.

BikingLady
5-24-17, 6:08pm
I tried the "I am going to sew all my clothes" about 10 years ago. I could make things that maybe look better than rags:|(. I was so excited to start harnessing my education from 8th grade HE class 1974-75. A kind lady told me, as I was picking out fabric and gasping at pattern prices and I was telling her my plans, Oh Honey you have not been able to make clothes cheaper than buying them since about 1972 or 74! Just my funny sewing story.

catherine
5-24-17, 6:17pm
I tried the "I am going to sew all my clothes" about 10 years ago. I could make things that maybe look better than rags:|(. I was so excited to start harnessing my education from 8th grade HE class 1974-75. A kind lady told me, as I was picking out fabric and gasping at pattern prices and I was telling her my plans, Oh Honey you have not been able to make clothes cheaper than buying them since about 1972 or 74! Just my funny sewing story.

I wanted to buy fabric for a gift I was making my DIL and was amazed that there is still a fabric store near me! So some people are still sewing. I'm happy to see that. My sewing went from being my source of ALL my high school clothes to giving me cheap curtains to providing Halloween costumes for my kids once a year to.... basically nothing. I don't even mend anymore (except for maybe replacing a button or tacking up a hem).

But I like Jane's idea of a treadle machine.

BikingLady
5-24-17, 7:10pm
I made all my curtains for few years. I look at so many patterns online, then I tell myself really will this turn out?? I took this online course that showed how to make a pattern from a favorite blouse,pants or any item. It was pin pin pin onto paper till you had a pattern, that was fun. I took a make jeans online also, oh goodness after the class and fabric:|( the cost of those not fitting correctly jeans.

I do think all kids should still learn to sew in school, one just never knows when that will come in handy. Alas I doubt it would happen.

JaneV2.0
5-24-17, 9:52pm
You can come out ahead if you upcycle thrifted clothing with thrifted material, or yardage you get on sale. It's more a creativity or fit thing than money-saving thing now.

BikingLady
5-25-17, 5:57am
yes that sounds fun, oh no another hobby for me.

Float On
5-25-17, 11:40am
I've adopted the Bullet Journal (thanks, FloatOn).

Oops! Your welcome. It's pretty addicting but I love the Bullet Journal freedom. A person can spend a year watching bulletin journal videos on youtube. I don't go super fancy but because I've always been a list maker the bullet journal style works for me. I too love a good pencil with super sharp point and an added eraser but I love my color pens too. I've always had a love affair with paper!

Other simple tools: hand held can opener, scissors, I prefer an adding machine over a calculator (probably because of the paper record).

JaneV2.0
5-25-17, 11:45am
Many upcycled pieces are wonderful. I'm particularly fond of Boho fashion, and it lends itself beautifully--like thrift shop tanks with six inches of lace sewn onto the bottom--easy and a pretty layering element.

Float On
5-25-17, 11:46am
The broom and dustpan. I like sweeping our hard surfaced floors.

I love Roomba devices for the hilarious videos of cats riding around on them, but I dont want one. In my old age I have learned that cleaning the device that cleans is practically as time consuming as just doing the cleaning myself.

Have you read the article about the Roomba that picked up dog poop? http://www.scarymommy.com/roomba-meets-pile-of-poop-jesse-newton/

JaneV2.0
5-25-17, 11:46am
Oops! Your welcome. It's pretty addicting but I love the Bullet Journal freedom. A person can spend a year watching bulletin journal videos on youtube. I don't go super fancy but because I've always been a list maker the bullet journal style works for me. I too love a good pencil with super sharp point and an added eraser but I love my color pens too. I've always had a love affair with paper!

Other simple tools: hand held can opener, scissors, I prefer an adding machine over a calculator (probably because of the paper record).

I'm kind of fond of paper, as well. Lately, I've been looking at paper beads and other jewelry made from it. Intriguing.

jp1
5-25-17, 12:41pm
As a left hander I personally hate pencils. The writing gets smeared and the side of my hand super dirty.

Does my hand crank coffee grinder and french press count? It takes about the same amount of time to grind the beans as it does for a cup's worth of water to get to a boil on the stove.

But more seriously, I'd have to say books. I've tried downloading e-books from our library onto my ipad and just don't find the task of reading a book that way to be at all as enjoyable as a physical book made out of paper.

Float On
5-25-17, 12:44pm
I'm kind of fond of paper, as well. Lately, I've been looking at paper beads and other jewelry made from it. Intriguing.

I have a very small paper bowl (probably from Africa) that fits perfectly in the tray in my car and holds my coins. I have a paper bead bracelet that I use to wear alot. I have some art paper pieces that I made that hang on the wall of my church office.

catherine
5-25-17, 12:51pm
I'm kind of fond of paper, as well. Lately, I've been looking at paper beads and other jewelry made from it. Intriguing.

One of my favorite jewelry sites is Bead For Life. Take a look at their paper beads: http://www.beadforlife.org/shop/beaded-jewelry.html

JaneV2.0
5-25-17, 3:03pm
I like the girls' education necklace; it might be just the gift for a bibliophile friend. I bought a similar one for two dollars at a thrift store some years age, which is what piqued my interest.

catherine
5-25-17, 3:13pm
I like the girls' education necklace; it might be just the gift for a bibliophile friend. I bought a similar one for two dollars at a thrift store some years age, which is what piqued my interest.

Cool! I've had my necklaces and bracelets for years, so even though they are paper, they are durable. I really love them.

Selah
6-16-17, 12:23am
Scrap paper!

Gardenarian
6-17-17, 1:58pm
Swings, rope and board. I really like playing on swings.

The Japanese hori hori knife is a great garden tool.

Books, absolutely.

catherine
7-6-17, 9:15am
Discovered the magic of the squeegee.

Unfortunately, yesterday I came to terms with the fact that I had to clean my windows. They are NOT new or easy windows to clean. 50 year old double-hung sash 12-pane windows that have been painted silly over the years so they stick and jam and you can never get to the middle of one of the rows, especially if they are second-storey windows and you can't clean them from the outside.

But one thing that made my job quite a bit easier was a squeegee. Why have I never used one before?? All window-washers use them. Well, they definitely cut down on the time it takes to get a window or mirror clean and streak-free.

So, that's the low-tech invention of the day: The Squeegee!

rosarugosa
7-6-17, 7:11pm
Catherine: I might have to try that one. Our little house has 28 windows!