Review of My Digital Planner

The past 8 months I have been using my tablet as a planner. I have to admit it was a bit strange and not so easy to transition to. But, things have really worked out nicely.

I use my tablet to take notes in class and also take notes in meetings. It syncs nicely to the cloud, where I can retrieve all my notes on my laptop. But, I have the ability to take all my notes, todo’s etc… with me on my tablet.  And if I don’t want to bring the tablet I still have access on my phone.  I’m going to go back to my initial post, Moving To A Tablet As A Planner and go down section by section for an update on what I do.

These are the apps I had listed before to use, with updates to how I used it or if things have changed.

Calendar & Email – I still use Google Calendar for all everything I need to schedule. I have several calendars I maintain. I have also added a few of my friend’s calendar as well. It’s been great because of the syncability to all devices. The only frustration I had, was that it took a long time to schedule a calendar entry. Click the plus sign, add the title then change the time. It seems like it was much easier to just jot it down as a quick note. But, I have recently purchased the Galaxy S5. Like the tablet there is something called the S Voice. And now if I need to quickly write down a calendar entry, I activate S Voice and tell it to add an item to my calendar. Now, when I need to, I can quickly add calendar entries.

Notes – I have been using OneNote for everything. I have several “notebooks”. One for work, one for class, one for personal stuff. And they’re all accessible on all platforms. The only bad thing is recently, work has really limited access online.  I no longer have access to my OneNotes on the cloud. For work, I use my tablet in meetings then sync to my work OneNote. That way I always have historical detail for notes. Considering that a lot of things change, at times I do need to understand how things have changed and why. The notes are searchable and work great in that manner. There’s also a feature where I could add “To Do” items in a meeting, then at a later time do a search and all the “To Do’s” from that day will be organized nicely on one page with a quick link back to it’s original source. I can’t talk enough about how awesome OneNote is. But, not having the ability to sync, I’m having to figure out an alternative to get my notes into OneNote. I may need to send myself emails. I still have access to Google, so that might be an option. Not sure yet as this just happened this week.

Task List – For work, I use OneNote to track any task / to do list items. It’s very organized. For personal use, I like Google Tasks and GTasks. GTasks also has an add a quick note feature along with using voice to take down tasks items. I am currently looking at WeeklyPlan. It’s a way to plan the week and prioritize tasks in a goal oriented manner. Right now I need something to help me with working on my task list. I’ve just added another area to my work, so I have more responsibilities that I need to manage. I normally use my calendar to book time to work on my task list, but that hasn’t been working lately.

Project Planner – I really never got around to using a project planner. I’m not really sure if I need something to plan out my projects. I think OneNote would probably be fine.

Lists | Database – I am still using Memento Database. But, I’m no longer using the free version. I went ahead and purchased a key. It’s a great little database and perfect for keeping track of everything I need to keep track of. I have my apothecary as a database. So, I have my dried herbs and tinctures listed along with amounts I have left. It keeps me from double buying. And if I want to create something rather quickly I can look at my list and see what I’m missing. I also use it as a tarot journal. I jot down my daily card pulls along with quick spreads. I can easily go back to any question and review what I had pulled.

Pinterest – So far no Facebook on my tablet. But, I did add one game.

Recipe | Cookbook – I haven’t really found something. I haven’t used Pepperplate. I think if I ever get that organized it’s going to a huge project.

Prior to writing this article, I actually was reading a few articles for paper planners vs. digital planners. I think there are some misconceptions about digital planners. I wanted to walk through a few of them.

1.) Misconception: It’s better to write things down, than to type. Tablets, even the iPad, have a handwriting option now. I actually write a lot of my notes instead of typing them.  For everything that goes into my Tablet,I write it in. I don’t type. At times recognizing the words I’m writing isn’t perfect. But, it forces me to write nicer. And if I don’t want my notes to be automatically updated to write my words out into text, I can turn off that feature and have sloppy handwriting like any normal planner.

2.) Misconception: It takes sometime to jot down a note, or a calendar entry. As I mentioned earlier. There are voice activated options. I’m sure Siri can assist in taking down notes or booking appointments like the S Voice. If not, Google has an integrated feature that will do the same.

3.) Misconception: You can’t customize the planner pages. Yes you can. If you use OneNote you draw like you would your planner. You can add images to a page. If you wanted to, you can really customize the way something looks. And if you don’t like OneNote, you can customize S Note on the Galaxy. I believe there are options for the iPad, but I’m not very familiar with those. 🙂

The last note I’d like to make is that there is a complaint that there is a learning curve to working a tablet. And I agree, of course there is. But, if you don’t push yourself to learn new things than you’re not growing. The older we get the less likely we want to push ourselves to try something new. It becomes a process. I say, this shouldn’t be a complaint, we should look at learning something new as enjoyment. Makes me think we’re getting too lazy with instant gratification.

I’m not saying paper is bad. I’m actually thinking about carrying a mixed planner where I have my digital source and also a paper alternative. Only because of my syncing issues. But, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll go back to a paper planner or move forward with a mixed planner.

What do you use? Paper or Digital Planner?


Calming Tinctures Ideas

A friend recommended taking some Skullcap tincture to help quiet the mind. I’ll be honest, this recommendation came over 6 months ago. I only recently decided to purchase the tincture. I’ve used it the last couple of days and I really like the calming I do receive from it. It’s not drowsy like Kava, but it does quiet the mind. So, I started thinking about making a Skullcap tincture, especially because I’m considering adding this to my needed tincture list. I am considering making an Eleuthero tincture as well. I wasn’t intending on making them together. I had separate reasons for why I was making each one. I was reading an article for skullcap, on this great resources of a blog called Methow Valley Herbs Herbal Remedies Advice and from what I understand about Eleuthero, I’m now considering mixing the two together. I’ll probably add other things like Oat tops and Holy Basil.

I started searching for more information on different relaxing and calming recipes. I came across a post from Mountain Rose Herbs, “5 Calming Gifts For Mom“. They have a tea that sounds tasty along with a tincture. Neither have Eleuthero, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make something of my own. I love how herbs can be so adaptable. If you understand what each herb does you can actually read a recipe and tweak it to make it fit what you need. Like you can with every recipe. But, it’s just fun.

Off to do more research and some studying. I think I’ll have a final recipe idea in a few weeks.  Do you have any ideas or thoughts with what I could add to this calming tincture recipe?

Week 3: You Make Me Smile

The prompt for Week 3 is You Make Me Smile. I really didn’t use art to express what I wanted to. Instead I spent a bit of time writing about the things that made me smile.  I could seriously sit there and write pages and pages of things that make me smile. Life can be very difficult at times. But, there are still things that I can smile about.

Keeping Busy

Work has been crazy lately. I’ve been working long hours and it seems as though it’s been non-stop for months. In thinking about it in more detail, I honestly haven’t slowed down since November 2013. I’m really hoping that after this cycle the long hours will lessen.

I started working on an art journal and I added a photography class to my list. And you would think that this is just adding on to my work. It might actually be adding work. But, the art journal and focusing on things that I like or enjoy, almost makes it feel as though it’s not work. It’s more relaxing. I find myself not thinking about the stresses and allow myself to take my focus elsewhere. Which helps a great deal.

I have a stabilized decoction and a salve to make over the weekend. My eye started to develop eczema. So, I’ll be making a salve to help with that issue. The decoction is to continue my allergy treatment. I’m working with my nutritionist / master herbalist on my congestion. In conjunction with my allergist. This right now is priority for my health. Progress has been really good. But, I still have a lot to work through. I definitely wasn’t expecting that I would feel any relief from the congestion, especially considering how long I’ve dealt with my allergies and asthma. I knew it would take sometime and wasn’t expecting quick results. But, after a week, my congestion started to go away. I am still congested, just not as bad. It took about 3 years to get myself better with asthma and allergies in general, I know this too will take some time. I’m in no rush. My body is healing.




Week 2: Somewhere, Some Place Simple

The journal prompt for Week 2 is Somewhere, Some Place Simple. I had thought about what that means. And I may have taken it slightly out of context, but for me, I had to think as to what this place would be. I have a few places that I like to go venture to. A place where I will go. But, those places aren’t always so easily accessible. So, where is the simple place that I always go to. And it’s my heart. The past several years I’ve done a lot of reflecting. Part of that reflection was learning to love and accept myself. To do this, I had to turn within. I had to find my truth, to listen to what my spirit was saying. To hear without judgement, to accept. There is no other place, than my heart, where I can find simplicity in truth.

W2 my heart J52

I’m still working on the not being so critical. And I’m finding myself adjusting to what I make. It’s definitely not as filled as my other artwork from before. It’s coming out with very little embellishment. I’m not sure if I like it completely. But, it’s me settling in to find my hand again. To find how I work with the mediums and relearn how I want to express myself. I’m not using or doing the same things I’ve done in the past. Those felt a bit uncomfortable. Trying to see who I am now and how I express that through art. A little choppy, not as clean, not as refined or complete. But, I’m happy I’m learning a new way of expressing me.