Holiday Projects – getting organized

Once December rolls around I find that once again I know I have at least 50 projects I want to complete for the holidays.  And yes I also know that there will never be enough time in the days to get them all done.  But this year I have been trying to stay organized in many of the aspects in my life so I am thinking that maybe I can use technology to keep my creativity in check.

When I got Melvin the Mac, I realized the power of Evernote – it hit me like a bolt of fabric coming off the shelf.  Evernote is a free program that you can get for the Mac, PC, iPad and other devices. Oh yes, there are LOTS of free apps out there and sometimes “you get what you pay for” but this program is a GOLDMINE!  First, here’s the website – http://www.evernote.com – where you can download the program and even access the web version from anywhere even on someone else’s computer if you are traveling.  Second, while you are installing stuff, you may want to make sure that you get the “Evernote Webclipper” for your browser.  It may be installed automatically, but I needed to install it for Firefox and Safari on the Mac.

Operation Organized Holiday!

Operation Organized Holiday!

So the first thing I did was create a “notebook” for my December projects.  I like to think of this folder as my corkboard where I have all my sticky notes, cut out articles from magazines, photos of stuff that inspires me.  This notebook will have everything in it that relates to my December projects.

For example, I know I want to stitch out the free standing snowflake designs from Lindee G Designs and use them as gift tag decorations on presents. Snowflakes match everyone’s holiday decor and if they attach a ribbon to the end they can even double as a bookmark.  I have one for my cookie cookbook – can’t imagine anyone who got this handmade gift who would not be thrilled. Its even something that they could “regift” as a gift tag on another gift! So to remind myself to stitch these out, I created a note called Gift tags and put a picture from her website (following the directions from the webclipper thing I installed).  Even though the purchased designs have instructions with them, I know myself quite well and again included the note that you need to stitch with TWO threads in the needle to get a better result – the one thread sample is too lightweight and hanging on my tree 🙂  You can type any information you want, insert any picture you have, there is really no limit.

Next I created a note about the personalized ornaments I wanted to make.  Got the idea from my friend Lyn of http://www.AdesignbyLyn.com and thought of all the puppy dog owners I knew and wouldn’t it be great to make some personalized ornaments for the furry four legged friends in our lives! Do NOT shake your head at me 🙂  I know each of you reading this has added some project like this to their to do list at some time in your life 🙂 Fabric artists are giving people and love to share what they make.  I saw these designs and thought PERFECT.  So I made a list of the doggie names with check boxes next to each one and as soon as they are stitched I will check them off and go on to the next one.  And just so that I would remember the font and some of the settings I had used, I included a screen capture in the note.  Who knows, I might have to do this again next year and I’m pretty sure I will not remember what I had for lunch the day before nevermind what software settings I used a year ago!

Now what is really cool about this whole thing is that whatever I add or update on Melvin, it synced with my Desktop, my laptop and my iPad! If I had an iPhone it could be there too!

Susan O'Very Free DesignSo I’m browsing email and get a free design notice from Sealed with a Stitch on my iPad – don’t want to download it here but I do want to get it, so I make a note and add the webclip from her page as a reminder.  Remind me to get the design AND what I thought I might do with it 🙂

So just think, you’re in the store and see this holiday fabric that would be perfect to embroider and make holiday wine coasters.  Not something that is on your list yet but you can take a picture of the fabric with your iphone, add it to Evernote  (and I refer to Evernote as Lilly because she really is my personal assistant) with “wine coasters for the holiday party at work at Pam’s house”.  Next week when you find the fabric and go “I bought this for something” you can check Lilly and there is the idea! Better yet, when you wake up and head to the sewing room for 30 minutes and want to work on something but don’t know what it is you have to do, all I do is log into Lilly on whatever computer is handy and see what it is that I haven’t done yet or want to do. That’s the exciting part – you don’t need to do anything to get the information from one computer/tablet/phone to the next.  Its all done for you automatically – almost like elves!

So that’s my attack plan for staying organized this holiday season and hopefully get more projects completed and out of the UFO pile.  I feel confident that having Lilly with me, I can stay on track and get stuff done.  Happy holidays!

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