how i organize with onenote

About this time last year I made the switch from Evernote, which I’d used since it came out, to Microsoft OneNote, which is an integrated part of my Office software. After making a ‘trial run’ of OneNote to see how I could organize everything, I knew this was the better program for me. I hated to let Evernote go – they’ve been very good to me! But I just needed more than what their program offers.

imho, the worst thing about OneNote is that there aren’t a lot of templates available (although I’ve found they’re easy made), and there doesn’t seem to be much support / tips’n tricks available.

The biggest plus is that it integrates with the other Office programs – you can “print” to or from OneNote and share in the Office cloud (though I don’t use Skydrive – does anyone?). I keep my OneNote files inside my Dropbox folder – so it backs up its own backups, essentially. The program is largely intuitive. It’s easy to figure out what does what and what you can and can’t do with it. As for the lack of support et al, googling OneNote turns up what I’m looking for. I like that I can customize the interface, too. In the quickview bar, I have only the tools I use most often; everything else is tucked into the ribbon.

I have ADHD (leaning toward the Inattentive/Distractive side), so the way I organize things drives people straight up a wall. For them, it’s not intuitive or organized. For me it makes perfect sense. (I have friends who don’t like using my laptop because they never can find anything – but to me, its organization makes perfect sense)

From this article:

OneNote is designed to mimic a collection of spiral notebooks, with metaphors of tabs and pages. It has six total levels of organization–notebooks, sections, subsections, pages, and two levels of subpages. OneNote also has a system of links that allow notes to contain links to other notes, or to a Web page, a Word document, or a PowerPoint presentation.

I have three notebooks. One is for all my personal stuff, one is for all my blogging stuff, and the third is for all my writing stuff. I could break the writing notebook down into three notebooks, really: writing advice, adult stuff, young adult stuff. And I might if it keeps getting more crowded in there.

Another thing about OneNote is that you can size and position the sidepanels. You can put them on the right or the left and collapse them or widen them as large as you need them to be. When you open a notebook, tabs open across the top of the display, so really you can collapse the notebook pane entirely to give yourself more workspace. As well, you can minimize the pages panel. You can also color the notebooks and individual tabs any color you like, just like a physical notebook, to help sort this into that. “Oh, that’s in the green tab.” Click! Very handy if you’re as visual as I am. One thing I don’t like is that each page and subpage (and sub subpage and sub sub subpage, ad nauseum) under a given tab is the same color as that tab. I’d like to be able to color the individual pages – that’d be awesome!

Like I said, I prefer OneNote over Evernote; it’s what works for me. OneNote gives me so many more organizing / sorting / filing options. Also, the workspace is more user-friendly – I can make everything else smaller in order to view what I need to see / work on. OneNote pastes text into blocks (similar to a text block in Word) that you can click and drag around to reposition where you’d like. If you have a lot of small elements (small text bits / pictures) on a page, this comes in handy; it allows you to put things where they’re more available to you.

Since I started using OneNote last year, I’ve dumped almost all of my writing notes into the program. Some stuff still remains on my hard drive, but bit by bit, I’m moving it all into notebooks. This is so much better to (and for) me than having endless folders with endless streams of documents. Click FAQ tab, and voila, there’s everything in a neat little row for me to pick and choose from. Even with descriptive file names, I’d find myself sitting here thinking, “Is this the file I need? Or is it this one?” I don’t have to do that any more. Less muss, less fuss – I’m all for that!

i’m a pitiful blogger

Here I’ve made a strong effort to get my ass back into blogging regularly. I’ve made a strong effort to keep up with NYNY. I try to keep up with the good news and the bad news. I’ve been busy trying to bring new stuff into the apartment – inexpensive stuff to help decorate and organize. I’ve been busy trying to get this website organized (it’s a wreck!). I’ve gotten back on a regular cleaning schedule, somewhat; it’s not as perfect as I’d like for it to be, but I’m getting there.

But I keep feeling like I keep falling flat on my ass – or flat on my face (depending upon the direction of the fall, of course!). I feel like a horse clomping toward a dangling carrot. It’s gotten to the point of taking one step forward and sliding three back.

And while I’m writing this, I’m hearing my own words, words I’ve crammed down my Gwyddon students’ throats for sixteen years, come back to bite me on the ass. Why do you keep throwing roadblocks in your way? You put them there. Get rid of them. Move on. And I answer myself back, “But it’s so hard!” After that? Well, then it’s total beat my head on the table time. Wailing, “I know better!” doesn’t fix anything, either. Neither does sitting here staring at the computer like a complete idiot. I mean, I’ve not gotten to the point of having drool drain down my chin. Yet. But still…

In Gwyddonics, we have a way of breaking down problems that allows us to find the straightest path to the best solution. It involves paper and pencil. At least to start, no metaphysical knowledge required. What is is a good understanding of the situation, how you feel about it, what you can do about it on your own, and what you can do with metaphysical help for the best outcome. So, I’ve been sitting here between thoughts and between paragraphs, writing down my table and filling in the lists with the necessary information. Next, I can either sit here and stare at this and read it over and over ad nauseum, or I can get off my ass and get the work started.

I’ve got to get off my ass, anyway. The management office is holding a party of sorts in the new clubhouse, and I need to go over there and pick up mine and Preston’s access cards so we can start using the new clubhouse and the new fitness center. While I’m gone, I’m leaving the notes I wrote beneath my (unlit) St Jude candle and will get down to the real nitty-gritty when I get back home.

nyny: about my ‘goals’

[note: this is a post i wrote longhand on december 31st and am just now getting around to typing up.]

You’ll note my goals (in this post) are kind of vague. I left them that way on purpose. Why? Because I have ADD*. Because I never know how I’m going to feel or be from one day to the next. I can’t say, “I’m going to walk three miles in the morning,” because I may not feel physically or psychologically able, or Thomas might have a clinic/hospital visit.

This is why it’s so difficult for me to schedule anything. That, and I think it’s ridiculous to say, “I’m going to walk three miles in the morning,” when I might get up and manage only half a mile. After that, should I feel guilty because i didn’t meet my goal? imho, no. Realistically, you look at your life and see what you’re capable of, and that’s what you do.

This is why I don’t won’t can’t refuse to use dated and/or timed ‘planners’. They just don’t work for me. This is why I like my plain regular notebook. I can write down what absolutely must be done today (phone calls, chores, meals, etc) with things I’d like to do today. As stuff gets done, I draw a line through it. If it doesn’t get done, I rip the page out and transfer that thing to tomorrow. Etc, etc, and so on. Lather, rinse, repeat. This is what works for me. This may not work for you, and I’m okay with that. Each of us has to find our own way in the world and work with that (and what we’re capable of, as I said before).

So that’s why I went through and listed vague steps to explain how I would like to achieve my goals. Note, I didn’t say, “How I will achieve my goals.” For me, listing how just sets me up for failure. Because life, the gods, and health, and unscheduled apocalypse may have other plans for me at any given time.

The new equipment at our new fitness center is complicated, and we actually have to go over and be shown how to use it. That’s the first step. The second step is using it. This new stuff has television screens attached (and gods know what all else – I may be able to send up signals to promote ‘Free Mars‘, for all I know), so I’m hoping that will help with the ADD boredom that always ensues when exercising with machinery. People say, “Listen to your mp3 player, Mari!” But that doesn’t work. That doesn’t give my mind or my eyes something to focus on. You have to understand true ADD/ADHD to ‘get’ this. It’s like before I started the Trazadone to get to sleep at night. I’d lay there and say, “Well. I’m bored.” And Preston would say, “Mari, just shut your eyes and go to sleep!” As if it were that simple!

Also. I forgot. The clubhouse is going to be accessible by keycards once the locks and cards arrive. We have to learn how to use those, too. I think the clubhouse is going to be ‘open’ twenty-four hours; I’m not sure yet. Also have to learn how to use the equipment in the theater room. But that shouldn’t be difficult. Sixty inch flat screen tv with a 3d Blu-Ray player and three rows of stadium seating (seats either twenty or twenty-five). The business center has three touch-screen iMacs; I get to learn how to use those, too! Sometimes I go over there when I need to print something – and I’m nice; I try to at least take my own paper and print double sided when I’m able. I’ve not use a Mac since 1992. Twenty years almost! (excuse me while I step over there and feel old for a moment)

But once I figure everything out, I’d like to host a weekly or a bi-monthly writ-in at the clubhouse. November spoiled me for getting out of the apartment and for having writing buddies! I miss that so much (which means my agoraphobia is definitely better!). Even without writing buddies, I plan to use the clubhouse for ‘leaving the apartment to write’ purposes. Mommy called this ‘a change of four walls’. I also want to walk down to the Tates Creek Library now and then when the weather is cooperative and my health will allow it. Four more different walls!

Getting back on a regular cleaning schedule shouldn’t be that difficult. If I can get the laundry done Wednesday mornings, I can go home and clean something once I’m finished. I did a big clean yesterday [December 30th], but I’m not always able to clean the apartment all in one chunk like that. Thanks to my blood pressure, migraines, and my back, I have days when I just can’t bend or lift my feet. Trust me, if your blood pressure is running high, the last thing you want to do is bend over and, at the least, get dizzy, or, at the worst, trigger a migraine. Remember what I said about being realistic about knowing and working with what you’re capable of?

Doing more organization around the apartment is going to take some time. I have to figure out what works best where and in what container. I have to figure out what I need to keep and what I need to throw out donate give away. And I have to figure out what containers I need to store it all in. The pinboards at Pinterest have really helped with this by giving me some terrific storage and re-use ideas. What I need are my reusable shopping bags, a dust rag, and time to go through all of my dvds and all of my books. Then, I need a lift to Half-Price Books to unload it all.

This and in my writing are where my creativity goals also apply. Creativity doesn’t have to apply only to ‘arts’. People, including me, need to get back in touch with their imaginations and start applying those ideas again – seems like we called this ‘creative thinking’ in school. I have found so many do it yourself and how to blogs out there that it’s ridiculous; and they all have so many great ideas, but it’s impossible to follow all of them. It’s no use collecting ideas if they aren’t ever implemented. And that’s the whole point of this NYNY thing. Action. (‘more doing’, just like those commercials tell you!)

And as I write this, I realize I didn’t put anything in my goals about my faith. And I should be ashamed because one of the first things I learned as a Gwyddon (also twenty years ago!) was ‘action’ instead of ‘re-action’. So easy to say. So difficult to do! One of my students sent me a paper Thursday [December 29th] titled What I Have Learned as a Gwyddon. As a teacher, it probably wouldn’t hurt me to write something similar. There are three of us in the college now, only three active members. And right now, one of those members is without Internet access, and it’s driving us all batty. See, we’re not one of those groups who insist on everyone living in the same neighborhood and getting together face-to-face every weekend. My current students? One is in Texas, the other in British Columbia. But I’m not discussing me here, am I?


Ganesha cropped up in conversation not long ago. Now he seems to be everywhere – or maybe I’m just looking harder. I’m not surprised, though, since I already have rapport with Kali (and have had since 1998). Also, it finally occurred to my addled ADD brain (we won’t discuss how many years, okay?) that all the cranes (Gwyddon, duh!) and herons have been Manawydan fab Llŷr‘s way of trying to get my attention – and here I’ve always looked at these as omens, and I know better!

But all of this seems to be pushing me toward some kind of direction, is my point. And I’ll eventually get there. It just may take me a bit longer than everyone else, but that’s okay, too!

* it’s not adult-onset ADD; there’s no such thing. it’s like chemical depression. it’s either something you’re born with or you don’t have it.

my water fountain

I finally broke down and got a tabletop water fountain, or in this case a bookshelftop water fountain (it’s a very short bookshelf). I was running it with tap water until I could get to Kroger for a jug of High Bridge Spring water. Today I cleaned it out and poured in the spring water, and I felt like Bob Ross – What a happy little fountain! So I took a video of it, and I hope the sound comes across in it. Unfortunately I had the front patio door open, and there were kids playing outside.

if bill gates wrote a book on wicca

Sorry I haven’t updated in forever. There really hasn’t been much to update about. So, for right now, I leave you with a joke:

If Bill Gates Wrote a Book on Wicca

The book would be called Windows to the Goddess

Iconology would be a major chapter

A revised edition would be released approximately every 6 months, without which your magik would no longer work

Your broom would crash at least once a week

Cauldrons would be called recycle bins

A Book of Shadows would be called a Folder of Magik

A free high-speed connection spell would come with every book

Every now and then your circle would collapse and you would have to perform the re-boot ritual to get it working again

If you used the more powerful NT Magik, all circles within a 5 mile radius would go down

At least once a month you would have to re-install your spells into your Folder of Magik

You would have to use a start ritual to exit your circle (and cakes and wine would only be served after a sign from the Goddess that it was safe to do so.)