5 Travel Planning Tips with Evernote

suitcase messYou’re planning a trip to Italy – OK, so maybe you’re not, but let’s just pretend…  You hold on to magazines, bookmark all these websites, save emails somewhere, and before you know it –  you’re one hot mess!  Everything is scattered all over the place, you can’t find half the stuff you saved ‘somewhere’, and by the time you reach Italy you realize that the list of all those cool places you wanted to visit is back home $#!&{14f5d89cdb458448eb9fffe01321f06ef5bef8c8ad6d8f6849e8ec1fe6b49dc7}#!

Evernote can’t pack your suitcase for you (or can it?!), but it can make your travel planning and your trip itself so much easier.  Here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Set Up a Travel Notebook in Evernote and use this to collect & organize everything.  Make sure you have Evernote on all your devices, so that you can easily add things no matter where you are… and, more importantly, you can travel with any device and have all the updated information with you – no more missing that list of cool places to visit.  Also, make sure that you have your Notebook available offline, in case you travel to places where it’s hard to get internet acces – this happens more often than you think;
  2. Share Your Notebook.  Are you traveling with someone?  Share the Notebook with him/her so you can both keep your notes in one spot;
  3. aruba travel poleCollect Your Ideas:
    • See something you like online?  Clip it with the Web Clipper app
    • Have an idea?  Type up a quick Note in Evernote or just record a Voice Note right in Evernote
    • Got cool stuff in your Email inbox?  Forward the email right into your Notebook (you’ll need the Evernote paid version for this handy dandy feature)
    • See something you like?  Take a picture of it and store it in your Notebook
  4. Gather Important Information.  Keep a copy of all your important documents in Evernote, so that you’ll have them with you no matter where you are.  You can either email them directly into Evernote or if they’re in paperform you can use the Scannable app to scan them directly into Evernote.  Some things to consider:
    • Travel docs (flight, hotel, car  and any other confirmations & receipts)
    • Passport & Visa
    • Health information, immunizations, and prescriptions
    • Emergency information (contact information of family, friends, doctors, etc.)
  5. Create Checklists to make sure you don’t forget anything.  In Evernote you can quickly and easily create all kinds of checklists.  Some checklist ideas:
    • Travel Packing List for the Summer
    • Travel Packing List for the Winter
    • Travel Packing List for Your Business Trip
    • Things to do, places to visit, weird things to try… you name it!

So now that you have all your ideas, information, and checklist in one place, you’re ready for take off.  You’ll have everything right there on your phone or tablet and if you do use a computer somewhere you can always access your account online as well.

 

Bonus Tip:

mobile-and-moleskineWhile traveling it’s always a great idea to journal all your memories while you’re doing them.  You can take a journal with you and collect everything as you go along.  Moleskine is a great Evernote notebook that lets you easily scan everything into Evernote.  Or you can just type in a journal entry directly in Evernote, take a quick photo, and even scan a cool menu and save it directly into your Travel Notebook – and organize it all when you get back home.

How do you travel – are you that ‘last minute packer’ or do you ‘plan everything to the T’?  Do you have a specific way of planning for your trips?  Please share!

9 Time Blocks That Make Things Happen

It’s Friday – are you ready for the weekend?  Heck yeah, right?!?

How did your week go?  Did you get everything accomplished or do you feel like you were running around non-stop all week and yet haven’t accomplished much?

Life is fast and it feels like the days and weeks are literally just flying by.  The only way to get stuff done – the important stuff – is by taking control of your day by managing where you spend your time and focus.

Why is it that we have no problem putting appointments with other people in our calendar, but when it comes to things that matter to us we neglect to put them in our calendar?   Start planning your week by blocking out time for the things that really matter to You!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a paper or digital planner – use these 9 Time Block ideas to plan your week:

  1. Review Time.  Schedule out a couple of hours each week (yes – hours!) to go through this week’s accomplishments.  Scratch off what’s completed, delegate what you can, and prioritize what’s left to do.  Once you know what you need to be doing, schedule time to get them done.  This time block is the most important one on this list, but yet most people neglect to spend time on it – make it your priority!
  2. Project Time.  After doing your Review, you’ll know what projects you’ll need to be working on and what needs to get done next week, so schedule them in.
  3. Office Time.  You know that boring stuff like filing, bookkeeping, cleaning out your inbox?  Yeah, they need to get done – schedule time to do it on a daily or weekly basis to make sure you stay on top of it all.
  4. Research Time.  Use this time to do any kind of research.  For example researching topics to write your next blog, your next topic for a presentation, a new exercise routine, your next vacation destination, you name it.  Research time can be spend surfing the web, going to the library, reading a book, visiting other companies that work with your market, …  And rather than getting sucked into all these shiny objects you see all day long, save them for your Research Time.  Tools like Pocket & Evernote are great for this – I’ll make sure to do a blog about this very soon!
  5. Writing & Creative Time.  If you’re like me and you write articles, social media posts, or maybe you’re writing a book – you need to schedule that time in your calendar.  Pick a time that fits best for you.  For me that’s first thing in the morning, before I start working on any of my projects.  For you it may be late at night when the house is quiet and everyone is sleeping and you’re still wide awake.  Do it when it feels right to You.
  6. Catch Up Time.  Use this time to get caught up on things that you weren’t able to finish, things that just popped up, or anything random you want to get done.
  7. Fitness Time.  Yes, schedule in your health!  No matter what that is for you – a work out, biking, running, yoga, meditation, whatever it is, schedule it.
  8. F&F Time.   Make time for Family & Friends.  With today’s fast-paced tech life we have gotten out of touch with our family & friends.  Life is short – make time to spend quality time together.  And yes, I challenge you to turn off your tech during those precious moments, unless of course you’re on FaceTime spending time with someone special.
  9. Me Time.  Schedule time for You.  Time for to the beach, reading a book, some art, hiking, time with your dogs, cats, horses… wherever your happy place may be!

 

Remember, when scheduling these in your Calendar:

  • Once you start working in one of these time areas, try to block everything out and get totall focused on the task at hand.
  • Think something’s going to take you 1 hour?  Add about 30{14f5d89cdb458448eb9fffe01321f06ef5bef8c8ad6d8f6849e8ec1fe6b49dc7} to make sure you have enough time to get things done.  If you do finish within the hour, you can always take a break or move over to the next Time Block;
  • Don’t over-schedule.  When over-scheduling you get overwhelmed and you’re least likely to follow through.  If this is new to you, start small and slowly build up to where you’re comfortable;
  • When you have appointments that include travel, consider the time it takes you to travel to/from to your appointment and add in traffic delays
  • Be kind to yourself. There will be days that you will miss some stuff and that’s OK, just keep doing your Review Time to make sure you’re on track with the important stuff to get them done.

 

Stay-On-Track Tip:  

Get an accountability partner!  Find that one person – or a small group – that will help you stay accountable & motivated.  Keep on the look out – more on this soon.

 

Do you have a system to get things done?  Or are struggling with this?  Are there any topics you’d like me to cover?  I’d love to hear from you.

Skitch is One of My Favorite Apps

If you’ve been with me for a while you’ll know I love Skitch – I actually use it for a lot of my tutorials.  It’s a super easy tool that lets you quickly annotate pictures, documents, and screenshots.  And yes, it’s free!

You can:
  • Add Arrows, Text, Shapes, and Stamps;
  • Draw (not really crazy about this one – AKA I just suck at it!);
  • Highlight or even Hide certain Areas;
  • Change the Color or Size of these Tools;
  • And yes, you can Crop your Image.


What Skitch Tools Do


To Give You an Idea

Let’s say, you’re working with someone on updating your website, but your web techie is not in the same space as you are, so you’re trying to communicate via email, phone calls, and voicemails – going back & forth & back & forth & back again – aarrgggghhh!!!  What a pain in the you-know-what!  

Why not take a quick screenshot, annotate what you want done on the page and voilà – you’re done.  This saves you a ton of time, emails, cursing, and money – Time is $$$
 
Skitch
 

A few more ideas on where & how to use Skitch:
  • For Presentations.  Share a screenshot and add your instructions for a quick & easy view of what you’re trying to say;
  • At Work. Open a PDF and highlight changes to skip the lengthy, confusing email chains and give clear feedback;
  • At Events.  Capture a map, mark it up, and share it with your friends to show them where you’ll be;
  • At Home.  Planning a meditation garden?  Take pictures of your yard and annotate them to plan out your new space.


Where to Find Skitch

Skitch was part of the Evernote family and they used to have a quick and easy download for all platforms from their site, but Skitch has moved out on his own, so I had to do some digging for my PC friends.  You can find Skitch at:

  • Mac Friends:  You can downlaod Skitch @ Evernote or get the app for Skitch @ iTunes
  • PC Friends:  After some digging I found this link that has a download – but as you know I’m not a PC girl, so not sure how well it works… sorry, but my brain can only handle so much tech stuff!

(You can still use Skitch with your Evernote or just use it on its own.)


Do you have any creative ways of using Skitch?  Or do you have another tool that works just like it… or better?  Please share…