In Love With Evernote

I consider myself pretty tech savvy for a Digital Immigrant (i.e., someone who grew up when the world was still primarily analog).  However, I am not one to jump on the tech bandwagon every time the next big thing comes out.  I prefer to wait until it has more stability and until I perceive a personal need for it.

That’s why I did not immediately start using Evernote even though many of my organizing colleagues swore by it.  When I first heard about it a few years ago I created a user account and poked under the hood a little, but didn’t see what the big deal was.  I couldn’t figure out what need of mine it would satisfy, and without the experience of personally using it, I wasn’t about to go recommending it to my clients.

That changed when I attended the recent NAPO conference.   For several sessions, I sat next to my friend and colleague Julie Bestry, and I watched her take notes on her iPad using an external keyboard.  I was very impressed how the notes were organized on her iPad.   I asked her what app she was using, and she responded, “Evernote.”  (To read about Julie’s note-taking experiment, see her blog post.)

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Everything In Its Place

I’ve just returned from a 2-week vacation with my husband and teenage daughter.  Well, it was sort of a vacation.  My husband had some business trips to take, so we built a vacation around them.  And we decided that as long as we were traveling, we might as well start doing college visits.  So it was a rather hectic vacation, with a lot more early morning wakeups than I’d like.  But it was still great to be away as a family and to experience things together.

It’s also great to be back!

It always surprises me when I go to clients’ homes and they have fully-packed suitcases lying around from a recent trip.  “When did you get back?” I’ll ask.  “Three weeks ago,” they might reply.  Yikes!

For me, one of the pleasures of returning home from vacation is emptying the suitcases and putting away everything– including the suitcases — that night.  Yes, that night!

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Simplify Your Packing

When I was in my twenties, every vacation was an opportunity to wear fabulous outfits.  Of course, wearing a fabulous outfit means bringing multiple pairs of shoes and a lot of accent pieces and accessories.  Luckily I grew out of that phase, and I now pack very simply, bringing things that are easy to pack and easy to wear.  I never pack more than I need.

The one exception has always been my jewelry.  I am crazy about costume jewelry.  Nothing oversized or flashy, but interesting and unique pieces, especially earrings.  I typically bring a different pair of earrings to wear each day — specially coordinated to my outfit — and sometimes even a different necklace to match it.

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Another Travel Buddy: Mini Surge Protector

On my last trip of the summer, I brought along my latest travel buddy:  the Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger.

It includes three AC outlets and two USB outlets.   That means you only need to find one free outlet at an airport or in your hotel room, and then recharge five devices.   Plus, as the name says, it’s got a surge protector built in.

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GRID-IT Is My New Travel Buddy

We visited our daughter at camp this past weekend.  It’s a performing arts camp, and there are performances at the end of each 3-week session.  She is attending for 9 weeks, so including the trip to drive her there, that means four round-trips this summer.  (Two down, two to go.)

It’s about a 3-hour drive each way, and since we are among those uncool types who play an iPod full of show tunes and sing along, the time passes quickly.  But in addition to the iPod, I need to bring along a cord to connect the iPod to the rental car’s sound system, as well as a way to recharge the iPod so that it has enough juice to last both ways.  I also need to bring along my EZ Pass so that we can easily navigate the tolls.  (Not to mention our camera and Flip video to capture my daughter’s circus routines!)

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