(I am double-dipping with this, since it is both my Works for Me Wednesday post and my Keeping Creative Kitchens post.)
When I became aware of the wonderful world of blogging, I was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of tips, advice, and information I received. I would start at one blog, where someone would share some bit of incredible information, then they would have a link that led me to another bit of incredible information. Before I knew it, I was visiting so many different places and picking up so many bits and pieces of things that I wanted to remember.
Can you say "information overload"??
Another frequent habit was reading something and thinking that I would remember it down the road, or that I would at least remember that so-and-so was the blogger who had the really great recipe that I wanted to try the next time I had company.
This "remembering" system really didn't work out for me.
At some point towards the beginning of my web-hopping journey, I stumbled upon a blogger who had created a separate blog, just for storing information. I thought it was a neat idea, but I was still under the impression that I could remember the things I really wanted to remember, so I never thought about implementing the idea for myself.
Then, one Wednesday, while browsing all the many great ideas shared through WFMW, I suddenly remembered this ingenious idea. I created a new blog for myself, with the purpose of using it only to store information for my own personal use. It was one of the best things I did in 2008!
I set it up through my blogger account, and created it to be a private blog. I am the only invited viewer/author. I did this for two reasons. First, I want to be able to jot down information in my own short-handed way, and not have to worry about it being understandable to other people. Second, I use it to keep track of things that I don't necessarily want others to view, such as what I got everyone for Christmas (and where it was hidden).
Now, anytime I see something online that I want to remember for future reference, I create a new post on my information blog, write a little blurb about why I am storing the info, create a link to it, label it appropriately, and publish the post.
For instance, about six weeks ago I came across a blog that had tips for creating freezer meals. After reading those tips, I remembered storing some links to recipes that I wanted to try, and thought they might be good candidates for freezer meals.
So, I went to my information blog and clicked on my "recipes" label, which brought up all of my posts related to recipes. I browsed through and found the links, plus a few others I had forgotten about. I added a new label to those posts called "freezer meals", and also created a new post so I could store the blog with the freezer meal tips, along with some other links I picked up along the way. Someday, after I finally clean up all the Christmas decorations and have motivation to cook again, I will return to those posts and hopefully plan a time to create some wonderful meals and put them in the freezer.
I have labels for kitchen, laundry, cleaning, organization, parenting ideas, entertaining, couponing, etc. (I have more than 30 labels, and continue to add new ones as needed.) I also used this to keep track of my Christmas planning for the year - anything related to the Holidays got a "Christmas" tag. This allowed me to keep track of what cookies I wanted to make, the links for those recipes I had found online, what ingredients I needed to have for each of them, what I needed to shop for, etc.
This has become such a useful tool for me, and I am no longer overwhelmed by trying to track all of the great ideas and recipes I find online. I'm sure there are other systems out there that are designed to help people keep track of these things, but this is what works for me.
Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW ideas and to Meant to Be for ideas on Keeping Creative Kitchens.
P.S. I would like to give credit to the blogger who originally had this idea. However, since I read about it many months prior to implementing it, I didn't save the link and now have NO IDEA who that person is. **sigh**