Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TOS Crew: Paperless Home Organization



Admittedly, I have a bit of an organizational problem. It wasn’t always the case. There was a time in my life when I was extremely efficient. I had to be. I taught in a private Christian school and took a full load of college classes at the same time and my husband and I were in full-time ministry. Yes. I was that person. I lived by my daily planner. Granted there were a few early morning trips to the Super Walmart to buy clean underwear (yikes!), but I made it work. 

How things have changed. I have taken to scribbling my “to-do” lists in a variety of random notebooks. I am a terrific planner…if ever I can find all of my brainstorming notes. And I can’t tell you how many times an important date has snuck up on me and caught me unprepared. I’ve tried my fair share of organizational binders. But here’s the deal. I spend far too much time making sure it’s “pretty” than actually following the planner. An undecorated binder to me is akin to walking outside without my pants on! It just isn’t done (at least in certain parts of my neighborhood). Considering my many “issues,” I was curious to see if Paperless Home Organization by Mystie Winckler could help me get my act together. 



I was sent the Paperless Home Organization from the Simplified Pantry to review. This 75 page downloadable e-book is also available for the Kindle. I also received 2 additional books, but more on that in a minute. 

Paperless Home Organization is a guide to create a digital homemaking binder. It explains how to use 3 free online websites to help with organization. The sites are Google (calendar and email), Evernote and Remember the Milk. I had only heard of Google. The set-up was easy enough, though I chose to keep my existing email.  Mystie gives a step-by-step plan to help set up basic tasks, files and more using these free sites. I found the instructions to be easy-to-follow and extremely helpful. 

Beyond instructions for using these sites, I think what helped me was Mystie’s method of organization itself. She has a blog series entitled GTD (Getting it Done) for Homemakers… which is fantastic. Her post on the “Oughts” was something I needed to hear.  I love this principle she gives in Paperless Home Organization. “Keep everything outside your head. Write it down.” She must have an operative living in my brain.
Mystie also gives specific ideas for making management lists. These were so helpful for me. My life can get crazy; it’s hard to keep all my “hats” straight sometimes. 

Take, for example, my list of projects I have to consider every week.

Homeschool Schedule & Planning
Menu Planning
Children’s Church
Reviews for TOS I’m working on
Current Blog Posts and Future Blog Posts
Sewing Projects (for sale or otherwise)
Homekeeping
That Crazy Book I Think I’m Writing
Cousin Camp Planning

In Paperless Home Organization, Mystie helps me take all of these things and manage them without relying on my odds and ends of notebooks. Instead, she shows me how to use paperless “notebooks” for much better results.  I have been able to “clip” articles and pictures from certain websites so I am not searching endlessly through my bookmarks to find. I can also save receipts digitally instead of stuffing them in my purse and hoping they don’t get eaten up by the purse monster. I look forward to really digging in some more.  The book also contains a terrific appendix with suggestions for a Sample Evernote Structure. I am incorporating quite a bit of it into my own organizational needs. 


Paperless Home Organization is a great deal at 3.99. Right now, you can get 30% when you enter the code TOS2013 at checkout. This discount is good until June 3, 2013. 

I also received 2 additional books for review. SimplifiedPantry and Simplified Pantry Gluten and Dairy Free. I have to say that I got a lot of great ideas from both. While our nutrition needs are a bit more specific I found a lot of ideas I could adapt. If you struggle with meal planning, I think you will find either beneficial (depending on your dietary concerns). 

You can read more reviews on this product and others at Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

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