Organization. Did your heart just skip a happy beat at the thought of this word? Or do you feel otherwise?
I cherish all things related to organization. It is not as if I have it all together by any means! On the contrary, my ADHD brain could not thrive without routines and organization. My brain tends to wander all over the map as I process multiple streams of information all at once. Without order, I am easily overwhelmed. To help my challenges, I keep a small stack of organizational tools on my desk to keep our lives working in harmony each day. I have a physical paper calendar, homeschool planner, and notebook for quick notes. However, my absolute favorite organizational tool is a digital resource that is available in a cloud-based environment.
Evernote is the perfect productivity tool to organize your life and household. Evernote is a handy app that is available to use on computers and mobile devices. Best yet, it is completely free to use! The Evernote system of notebooks, notes, and tags serve as a digital file cabinet of sorts that you take with you via a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Evernote can be used to create to-do lists, manage topical digital folders, take notes, research, capture information (web-clippings, articles, folders), and organize content.
In my opinion, one of the most powerful features is Evernote’s ability to sync my notes across the many devices I use within my home and while out-and-about. I have Evernote downloaded on my laptop, and I use the mobile apps on my iPhone and iPad. Whatever notes I jot on one device will sync and show up on all devices. Evernote functions as my portable office and second brain. This keeps my paperwork clutter at a minimum by streamlining all of my notes, thoughts, ideas, and plans in one central location.
Here are a few handy ways to use Evernote to boost your household organization.
Meal Planning and Recipes
I use Evernote on my laptop to create meal plans and grocery lists. I have several week-long meal plans with grocery lists that I use on a rotational basis. Since they are stored in Evernote, I can expand and edit these on any device at any time. It is highly convenient! As an idea or inspiration for a meal pops up, I can add this right into my planning system. I find it so handy to have access to my meal plans whether I am sitting home with my laptop or while standing in the store using my smartphone. This tool helps me stay organized and frees me up to have more time. Additionally, Evernote is highly useful for collecting and storing favorite recipes.
Finances, Budgets, and Taxes
Evernote can be used in conjunction with a spreadsheet program such as Excel to organize and track monthly finances. Evernote does not include a spreadsheet option, but you can store spreadsheets as an attachment within a note. So you can track expenses and plan budgets within the spreadsheet and use Evernote to save notes, receipts, bills, and other important information needed for monthly budgeting purposes. Evernote can even serve as an organized digital file for tax purposes. Take photos and/or scan receipts to save in an Evernote notebook for taxes.
Evernote is a useful tool for organizing household maintenance plans. You can create detailed notes and task lists for cleaning plans, remodeling and home improvement projects, and home repairs. You can access your notes from home or while you are standing in the hardware or department store. You can take photos of home improvement project ideas and store them in a notebook you have created for future planning. You can even use the handy web clipper to organize notes from websites you have visited.
Recently, our family discovered how Evernote could help us quickly organize and file information in an efficient manner. We had an unexpected flooding of our basement drains which damaged our furnace and water heater. We needed to organize all of the information regarding our insurance claim and used Evernote to keep everything in order. We created a specific notebook for our claim. Then we created separate notes to file within the notebook. We created notes for photos of damages, inventory lists of lost property, general notes from adjusters, tracking of expenses for clean-up, invoices from service providers, and invoices of appliance replacements. My husband and I were able to share an Evernote notebook with one another which we could access from our laptops and iPhones. As we worked in the basement, we could add notes via the Evernote iOS app. It was quite beneficial to support us in organizing our claim.
Evernote can be used for just about any area of life that needs organization. A few additional ideas for organization are:
- school records and portfolios
- medical records
- genealogy notes
- blogging plans
- meeting notes
- travel plans
- expense reports
Have you discovered this free organizational powerhouse yet?
If so, how do you use it to stay organized?