As an wonderful gift Mystie Winckler, the author of these fabulous e-books, is offering a coupon code exclusively for readers of the Schoolhouse Review Crew for 30% any of her e-books books! To take advantage of this offer use the code TOS2013 at checkout.
(Make sure you remember to snag the coupon at the bottom of the post!)
Something I really enjoy doing is organizing. I know that isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun day, but there is something about a freshly organized drawer, closet, or room which makes me feel warm-fuzzies all over. Yet although I love to organize, keeping things organized is a totally different animal. I’ve tried numerous systems, printables, and variations. I’ve used pre-made and made my own. My problem has always been simplification for implementation…in other words I need a simple enough system that I can actually follow through with it!
When I found out I was going to have the chance to review Paperless Home Organization by Misty Winckler from Simplified Pantry I was very interested, but was afraid it was going to be seeing just one more system that would end up on my been-there, done-that list. I am pleased to say this couldn’t be further from the truth! Although I am still learning how to fully implement her ideas I think I may have landed on a home-organization home which fits my style much better than others I have tried and at $3.99 this is an excellent buy!
Like the author I have made several home-binders in the 11 years I have been married. Some were incredibly simple. Others were unbelievably complex. Several problems arose with these systems which seem to be taken care of with a paperless system.
With my old notebook and paper type systems I found myself focusing a lot of my time on finding something that looked attractive. Who wants to mess with something that is sloppy and messy?
2. SOOOOO much paper!
The more I organized our lives into one notebook, the more paper started accumulating. I don’t mind paper, but it was getting to the point where I was going to need a separate binder to organize the many facets of my life!
3. Unity and Cohesiveness
I frequently found myself flipping back and forth between all those pages trying to figure out when I could schedule in something different.
4. Portability and Size
I tried taking my household notebook with me out of the house a grand-total of…once. Yeah, all it took was one outing of lugging a large notebook with me to show me I was not cut out to be a notebook toting mama. I see many moms with home organization notebooks I envy, but I just can’t manage keeping it all with me. Not to mention that since it had my grocery list inside I was asked no less than five times by complete strangers where various items were in the store. I didn’t realize why until the last lady asked me about something I didn’t know. She said, “Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you worked here because of your notebook.” It was a lot like learning the lesson to never ever wear a solid red shirt to a Target store!
So my journey has brought me to the digital age and here is what going paperless has already done for me in such a short time…
~ I love my Kindle Fire for this which I already have in an attractive case.
~ I am able to have much more unity in all areas of life-organization.
~ Using apps allows me to store things digitally and saves so much space.
~ No one has yet asked me employee type questions. (That is just so embarrassing!)
This e-book lays out the basics, giving everyone who has the ability to be mobile the tips and tricks to get them stared. The only problem I had with this was figuring out some new programs! I gave them a shot, and some I’m continuing with (I love Evernote’s note stacks!) but for other suggested apps I’m going to use ones I’m already familiar with.
The apps which are suggested include Google mail and calendar, Evernote, and Remember the Milk. Because I am not familiar with these I am trying them out, but deciding which of these I want to keep and which ones I may trade for something more familiar. I do like the Evernote note stacks which allow you to create groups of information such as recipes, medical information, addresses, etc.
The benefit to using these same tools is that the author walks your through each, step-by-step and gives tips and tricks to make them work for you to their ultimate potential. One things I really like about the apps chosen is they can be updated on a computer and the information syncs to the apps on your mobile devices. I still prefer traditional typing because I can do it more quickly so this is a nice feature.
There are a handful of downsides to going paperless. The first is, it’s paperless! That may seem strange, but if you can’t get your mobile device to work and don’t have a back-up plan in place you may have a problem. We are fast moving to being a paperless society with online banking, digital medical records, digital books, etc. While I am not opposed to these new technologies I am aware that complete dependence upon them can wreak havoc when malfunctions occur. Paperless is convenient, but it can sometimes come with a price. Because of this I do have a hard-copy back-up system of a single page so I can get what I absolutely need to done. We also keep all of our vital documents in a safe and easily accessible place for emergencies.
The second downside is the time it takes to set-up and learn the various programs. While I do think it is worth it, I have spent much more time pursuing this option as opposed to the 30 minutes or so it takes me to put together a notebook. However I the time-investment in the beginning does balance out because of the ease of use and lack of paper!
Simplified pantry also has two excellent e-books (Simplified Dinners and Simplified Simplified Dinners Gluten/Dairy Free) for making meal-times and your pantry more stream-lined. We do not have any issues with gluten or allergies in our family and we simply eat by rules of moderation. There are a few things which are excluded from our diet (artificial sweeteners, alcohol, gourmet items, etc.) but in all things we strive for moderation. Because I am blessed to not have to worry about allergens as I cook I focused on taking a look at the Simplified Dinners.
I was pleased to find that the list given in the beginning of what should be in your pantry was almost exactly what my staples already are. This made looking at the recipes within the book even more exciting! Nothing is quite as discouraging as wanting to try something new for dinner only to realize you don’t have all the ingredients. I look forward to trying some of these in the coming summer months now that our lives have calmed down a bit.
Don’t forget to check out more reviews from my Crewmates!