View Full Version : Organizing using the computer

Mrs. Hermit
6-24-11, 9:45am

But, I decided while down with an extended illness, to start trying to organize some of my many (many, many, many...) lists and project ideas using some of the software on my computer. I have only had the computer and software for 3 years! I am using mainly OneNote. The learning curve wasn't too bad (as long as I could concentrate on what I was doing-dratted illness!). I was pleasantly surprised how flexible the program is. I can use it for professional development plans (getting teaching materials organized), organizing kid stuff (lists of who needs what for school this year), and project development (that raised bed garden).

One reward has been to see projects in the planning stages. Things that I have been holding in my brain as abstract ideas, I now have some concrete steps listed to start doing. Gives me more hope that these projects will actually get done! :|( I am also finding more mental rest: the bazillion niggling things I have to remember are set down and kept track of. When those reminders do pop up in my brain, I can tell them to go away, they are accounted for.

I am learning to love the Google calendar. It helps me organize who needs to be where when and who needs a car--very important for a big and busy family. It allows for everyone to have their own (color coded--whoot!) calendar, and then I can over-lay them all to see everything that is going on:0! Sometimes all the colors make me feel frantic, but it does seem to help me to actually SEE what is going on.

I have also been trying some organizing systems on line that can be accessed from a regular cell phone. The two that I have really used are Remember the Milk for calendar appointments, and Ziplist for shopping. Ziplist has been great! I'm trying to learn to use the new Gevent system to add dates to my Google calendar with my phone, but that isn't going too well. Their system is not so easy for me to learn as the Remember the Milk system. I am still playing with it, so it may click after a while.

Now that my feet are wet in this computer organization stuff, I am wondering about setting up some computerized inventory stuff. It might be a good way to track what I have in the freezer, for example. Don't know if I will get that fancy, but it could be useful.

Do you have any electronic organizational tools you use? Have you tried and discarded any?

6-24-11, 10:55am
I like Microsoft outlook for recurring tasks (house, yard, work, errands, meetings, etc.)

For the freezer a great way to do it is to have a spreadsheet with weeks of the year on one axis and food items on the other axis.
Then put the number of items you intend to eat in a week in the appropriate cell.
So for example if you froze 50 bags of zucchini and you want to eat them over the 6 months you can't grow fresh zucchini, that would be about 2 bags a week.
Or if you wanted to use more of the zucchini in November and December for holiday breads, you could do 4-6 bags some of those weeks and then have 1 bag a week other weeks of the year.

This allows you to eat items in an even manner. That way you don't have 6 of 1 thing and nothing of another.

Also each week you can look in the column for the week and see what is to be eaten that week. Then use that to plan your meals. Once you have eaten for example all of the frozen tomatoes for a week, you can mark the number in some way such as strikethrough, highlight, or fill color to indicate it's all gone. I haven't figured out a good way to indicate that part of the tomatoes are gone without losing data or being inexact or doubling the size of the spreadsheet. So if anyone knows any cool tricks for that I would love to try them.

10-8-11, 9:09am
Mrs. Hermit: I use the Linux operating system. Is One Note available for Linux? Presently, use a variety of organizers. We have Tomboy a sticky notes type of application which has a Wiki sort of back end. Tomboy can convert its notes into LaTeX, and LaTeX easily converts to PDF, HTML. There is Osmo which provides a calendar, notes, contacts and tasks. Its tasks feature allows setting alarms / reminders. Osmo also has a date calculator which is handy. Gnome has Schedule, which also doubles as a cron manager for those repetitive systems tasks an administrator may need to attend, such as back ups. I am fairly sure Windows users may find benefit in borrowing Linux apps via say for example Cgywin.

Amaranth: You may consider using an Sql database of sorts. I understand these allow for using dynamic attributes. Your situation appears quite an example for using such. Possibly, you may alternately consider MS Access as your database source. I am not exactly a database wizard, from association with a friend whom is, some knowledge of "hey, this stuff could be put into a database" has trickled in. Also do realize knowing databases can be relative, which is the kind allowing for them to be dynamic. Hopefully, I'm offering some helpful pointers in the right direction.

10-8-11, 11:10am
I've been using a computer nearly every day since 1987 when I got a boss who was very pro-computerizing and quite good at it himself. It's truly been a blessing.

While I don't keep an inventory of what's in the fridge, I have an emergency supply of canned and dried foods on hand and maintain a list of those items with expiration dates so I can use or donate the food before it spoils. I *ought* to keep a list of what's in the chest freezer, but I don't and emptying it for defrosting always brings a few revelations to the surface, so to speak. I use Excel for just about everything, including retyping recipes that are disorganized or just plain too dirty from getting splashed.