I’m so glad to share that I’ve finally found a way to organise my family’s photos, videos and stories… Besides having all the family archive available on an external hard drive + on my mum’s hard drive (there’s not enough space for this on my computer), it is very convenient to have all the family photos and videos available with several clicks of a mouse anywhere in the world in order to easily share special events with family and friends.
WordPress is my solution! 🙂
I have considered and tried other sites like Facebook / Google + (sharing only with close “Friends” of course) or Tumblr (having a site protected by a password). But having gained a lot of experience in working with WordPress, I have realised this is the best option for me and returned to it.
Because what is important for me in such a website is that:
- the website can be made private – I’m not ready yet to share all my family history with the world 🙂
- everything can be organised in a chronological way
- one can create galleries
- one can ‘backdate’ – post something as if it was posted years ago (Tumblr, for example, makes it a bit messy on the back end – where one edits the site..)
- one can make drafts in advance or schedule posts
- videos can be embedded
- the design can be adjusted
- there is a tagging option
- there is a calendar
- visitors can leave comments
WordPress has all these functions and more…
So, what I’ve done is – I have:
- signed up for ‘another WordPress site’
- made the site private
- chose a sleek minimal theme – ‘Forever’ 🙂
- adjusted the functionality of the site to my preferences
- created posts for all the family events or photo collections
- created galleries (in those posts) with photos from our trips or with our guests, or from events and so on.. – uploaded lots of pictures on the wordpress server (still a lot left to upload to be up-to-date, but still lots of free space left)
- started to upload all the family videos to youtube (making them private too, so that only people who I choose can view them) and embed the videos into the posts on the WordPress site
- been in the process of creating login details for my family members and friends, so that they can access the website
The only problem I’m having with WordPress is that there is no way to protect the website just with one password, like on Tumblr, so that anyone who has it can access the site without usernames or creating accounts… (In that case I would use Disquis to add a comments function..)
Other than that I’m very happy with how I’ve organised our family archive! 🙂
I plan to use the information from the website for my son Carl’s 1st year baby book: it should be much easier to create a physical book using the materials from the site, for everything will be already organised when the time comes to prepare the book.
My other plan is to do the same for my parents… They say they like the idea! 🙂 And I like doing nice things for them. ) I just need time…
I’ve been using Google’s services quite a lot recently, and I find them very useful. So I want to share with you how exactly I use some of them.
- Google Web Search: obviously to find stuff online and answers to my questions – just write your full question in there and you might just get the exact answer you’re looking for. Note that one can control their web search history here.
- Gmail: well, for emails of course, but I also use labels extensively when archiving the messages. Messages that I am not completely done with I label with RESPOND and SORT OUT, so that my inbox is clean most of the time.
- Google Calendar: this calendar is very useful, one can create several calendars (for example, one for a different area of life) and share some of them with others, or invite people to events and use email reminders.
- Google Docs: I’ve uploaded to Google Docs all the documents from my computer that I just want to keep as a reference or archived, so that my computer has only relevant stuff on it that I actually use regularly – everything that I’m just too afraid to delete completely can be kept on Google Docs. Moreover, it is really easy to create new documents with Google Docs and to share them or collaborate with others.
- Google Reader: helps us keep track of all the blogs that we’re interested in. So instead of having newsletters delivered into your inbox at not always convenient times for you, you can decide for yourself when you’d like to check the updates. Just add the feeds of your favourite blogs to your subscriptions.
- YouTube: In the meantime I’m mostly using YouTube to save my favourite videos/songs/playlists in one place that I can always access. Also I keep track of the channels that I’m interested in.
- Google Maps: I always use it to find locations of places. Moreover, in Zurich one can use Google Maps to check on the timings of public transport and to plan any journey. Recently I’ve started using ‘My Places’ – I’m making lists of places I’d like to visit, to remember or to share.
- Google Translate: I mostly use the iPhone app – it’s good.
- Google Plus: it’s a social network, I’m planning to make more use of it in the near future… I can already say I like it, for grouping one’s contacts is much easier here than anywhere else – for example, choosing from whom we’d like to get updates or sharing pages we like online. I hope more of my friends start using G+ soon… 😉
- Picasa Web Albums: I’ve uploaded (almost) all of my photos to Picasa (besides an external HD) to save space on my computer. I think it’s good, however I haven’t fully grasped it yet… There’ve been some changes recently, so it must be even better now.
What’s more, all the functional goodness that Google offers is, again, free, accessible from anywhere, sharable, and backed up securely.
Just make sure to set your desired level of privacy for each service…
- Clutterfree: book / course
- Zen Habits – Search for ‘Declutter’
- Fly Lady – How to Declutter
- Organized Home – Where Do I Start?
- Create a relaxing clutter free home
- Positivity Blog – Declutter, declutter, declutter
- Declutter & Simplify
- Organized Home
- Alejandra Costello – on YouTube – Best Organizing Products
- Angela Harris Design
- Organize Anything
- YouTube videos about organising, selected by me
Organise your thoughts, plans, ideas, documents electronically in Evernote – ‘Remember everything’. Access from the computer, mobile app, iPad app.
I use it for:
- storing articles that I might want to read in the future – in word/pdf/photo formats (I will eventually upload them to google doc’s)
- storing my travel and hotel booking information to have it on my iPhone easily accessible in electronic (paper-free) format when we travel
- storing recipes with pictures
- shopping lists + pictures
- notes from books/blogs/articles
- writing down thoughts/answering questions for myself
Check out Evernote website and find out about all the things you could do with this tool. It can be used for anything. 🙂
Note: after following someone’s advice to divide my activities by projects, I had also divided all my notes by projects/areas of my life. Some time later I found this not as useful as it might seem to be, for some notes correspond to several areas/projects, and such division makes it more difficult to locate a particular note. That is why now I am distinguishing notes just by names: I put all the important info in the name of the note (the main key words in the beginning make it easy to find the note alphabetically) and I make use of a search function.
Hope you find Evernote useful too. 😉
Organise your projects with WorkFlowy.
This online tool enables us to keep track of our notes in organised lists – accessible from anywhere where there is internet connection.
So far I have been using WorkfFowy to:
- plan my trips – keep track of my ideas, of places to visit, of links to those places/restaurants and other useful info for travelling…
- outline my blogs – write down ideas, plan topics, keep useful links organised…
I intend to put all my projects and task on to WorkFlowy – I find it very useful.
Note: the creators advise us to use tags in our notes, but I personally don’t find it useful, for it’s very easy to search the notes using the ‘Search’ function in the top left corner of the web-page.
I hope you find WorkFlowy useful too. 😉
Let’s start with them.. 😉
I have LOTS of magazines, and finally I’ve decided to declutter & organise them. So I’d like to share with you what my plan for dealing with them is.
I used to be or am still subscribed to different magazines. I haven’t been reading much from them though… So eventually, now, I’ve accumulated so many that, although my plan has been to read them through and to write out all the important suff, it’s become rather intimidating for me to do anything about them at all. I haven’t touched most of them for more than half a year… Well, I’ve been pretty busy, but I also didn’t really know where to start… 🙂
This doesn’t sound or look good to me anymore. So this is what I’m doing:
To eliminate unnecessary magazines,
- ask yourself the following questions to determine why they are there in the first place:
- What’s my plan regarding them?
- Do I need them for work? for reference? for entertainment? as decor? for studying?
- depending on the plan and purpose, do the following:
- look through them, identify the articles of interest
- if you need them for work/reference – take pictures of or scan the articles and/or find them online to store them on you computer, get rid of paper versions
- entertainment/decor – get rid of most, leave the latest several issues or the most appealing-looking ones in a designated spot
- studying – leave them in a designated spot, if they’re not in such a spot already
- look through them, identify the articles of interest
- do the above for a particular amount of time: for example 2 hours now, then again 2 hours some time later – until you’re happy with how many physical magazines you’ve got
- ideal would be to upload all electronic versions of the articles you’ve saved on to google docs or similar – to declutter your computer and to have access to the articles wherever you are
- read the articles when you fancy or it’s needed or planned for work/study/reference
To keep your magazines in order:
- follow one in – one out rule: as soon as you get a new issue of one magazine, the old one has to go. One reason for this would be, if you need some article from the old issue (which probably isn’t likely, for it becomes outdated, unless you’re a fan of history…), you can always find it online (definitely if you’re subscribed to the physical issue), for most publishers make the old issues available online even for free as soon as the new issue comes out.
- if needed for reference/work, name your electronic versions with key words, including the subject matter, purpose and maybe date
- regularly upload on to google docs
But also consider: if you still haven’t used some of the articles for several months (decide for yourself how many, for me it’s 3 months), then just delete those files – there’s so much info around us and it’s so easy to find answers to our questions: just google it! – we don’t need clutter in our homes or computers, or even on our online accounts 🙂
And remember, when you’re done with as many steps as you’ve decided to take at the time, enjoy the uncluttered space, embrace the tidiness and order – love it and be very-very happy for yourself and appreciate your efforts. 🙂
So, this is my way to declutter & organise my magazines.
I’m in this process now and already quite happy with the results that I’m getting – I have:
- electronic versions of article that I might want to read (I just need to name them and upload on to google docs)
- a pile for elimination, scheduled for the 21st March 2012 (when paper collection comes)
- a stack of magazines in designated spots – for learning: German and Spanish
- a plan to review my electronic versions in 3 months – on the 2nd June 2012
Contact me if you need my help to organise your magazines. 😉
Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments whether it was helpful (I hope it was). 🙂