Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My online organization system

(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**


Sarah said...

I like this. I'm going to make my information blog right now! Thanks!

3XMom said...

oh my gosh - what an AWESOME idea -thank you!

Willow Tree said...

This is Fantastic! Thanks for sharing such a great tip!

Blessings, Carolynn

Bay said...

This is a great idea. Do you find it is a real nuisance with blogger signing you and in and out, though? I wonder if it would be easier to have the idea blog with a different publisher? I have a few gmail accounts and they are very annoying signing me out of one when I'm in another.

Sarah said...

Good idea! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Erin K. said...

Bay - I haven't noticed a problem with signing in/out. About once a week, when trying to access my regular blog, my information blog, OR my google reader, I'll get a message that I've been signed out and have to sign back on. I don't have a gmail account (well, maybe I have one out there somewhere, but I never use it), so maybe it's an issue just with that?

Hope that helps!

Wani said...

THis is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Wow! This is a super idea! I have only recently entered the blogging world myself and am so overwhelmed with the information that is out there. I have a totally unorganized small notebook where I've been jotting down things I want to try in the future, but your idea is way better! And it won't ever get lost, like my notebook is currently!

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Best wishes with the discipline of your 2 year-old. Yes, my son also did the putting himself in time-out. That is a classic sign of their strong wills; they want to be in charge! Just to be in control of the situation he'd also argue with me to stay in 4 minutes if I said 3!!

Rachel said...

Great idea!!! Right now, I copy and paste stuff into an email and save it in my drafts... I like this idea much much better!

Thanks for sharing!


pcb said...

Great idea! I use blogs to file recipes and other things but have been using google docs for stuff like this. I think a blog page would be way more convenient.

Also, Bay, you don't have to sign in and out; blogger will let you have a gazillion blogspots under your one account.

Hillary Dunham said...

I love this idea!!
Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I'm totally stealing your idea and I'll come back to visit! :-)
AND, I'll give you credit in my idea blog for this idea... :-)

The MeFest Team said...

I'm starting the new year with a brand new computer & don't want to clutter it up with tonns of bookmarks. This will really keep me in the right direction

Diane said...

what a great idea!!!!!!!!!

Mo said...

Where in the world would I be without WFMW?!

This is such a great idea, thanks for sharing! I'm off to start my own info blog right now :)

By the way, this is my first time on your blog, but I've been looking around a little and love what you've got here. I'll definitely be stopping back by.

The MeFest Team said...

I know I have already commented, but I liked the idea so much I've made it part of my blog post today (with a link to your post ofcourse. I always give credit where it's due)

Veggiemomof2 said...

(running off to make her own info blog!

Karen L said...

This is a fantastic idea! I am so glad you posted it-THANKS!
Now all I have to do is figure out how to do a link like you described.
I really like the title of your blog. I am grieving the loss of my Mama and trying to consciously look for joy and to be open to moments of grace, just the title was a reminder-a tap on the shoulder for me today. Thank you.