Thoughts arrive in my head, like butterflies, and then, often, as Pearl Jam sings in Evenflow, I chase them away and forget about them, forever.
Or I write them in my giant, ratty "life" notebook, which I loose twelve times a week and contains all sorts of important, yet completely scattered ramblings.
Because I am disorganized and scatterbrained and brilliant, all at once.
I need help.
Well, correction, I needed help.
I recently discovered AboutOne, a fabulous, amazing and oh-so-simple online family organizer. You can use AboutOne for anything--from recording memories and keeping track of appointments to organizing household receipts and important health information, like vaccination records for your children.
I love that AboutOne is green. You can upload documents, include photos and attach links to websites within AboutOne--it is a great way to reduce paper consumption and stop loosing random bits of paper and your "life" notebook.
And in case you were wondering, AboutOne has bank-level security, so your data is safe.
I use AboutOne for oodles of stuff--both for my professional life and my family life.
To organize my writing life, I use AboutOne to keep track of deadlines, setting up editorial calendars for my blogs, keeping track of my story and pitch ideas and setting writing goals for my book. I can also upload copies of published writing, include links to online articles and upload my paid or pending invoices to each project. It is a great tool for organization--but it will also help me review my writing year.
Since my children say the darnest, cutest and sassiest things this side of the Mississippi, I've started using AboutOne to record all their glorious statements (like when Chloe asked if we could leave in her car during the 3-D preview for Finding Nemo. Apparently that shark was a little too realistic!). Someday, I will use AboutOne to forge their baby books, as if I wrote in them along--saving their childhoods and keeping my perfect mother demeanor (almost) intact.
Charitable giving and volunteerism is important to our family, so I started to use AboutOne to organize our charitable donation receipts (cancelled checks are no longer good enough as proof of giving for the IRS, you need a receipt!) and also keep track of charity expenses, volunteer hours and miles driven (some of these are tax deductible!).
For the school year, I plan on scanning in Lily's latest IEP, plus physical and occupational therapy goals. When I have a question, I can grab the data where ever I am, without having to scramble for an answer. I also want to try to scan in and photograph both girls' school artwork and organize with notes and date in the organizer. Another great way to preserve the memory and pitch the paper!
There is not an iPhone app for AboutOne yet, although it works great on my Safari web browser. If you have a Windows-based smartphone, there is an app available! Signing up is easy, it takes a couple moments and you are ready to roll. Sign up here and enjoy your newly, organized life. (and ditch the notebook!)
Please note, I was compensated by AboutOne to review their online organizer. All opinions and text are my own.