Thursday, June 5, 2008

New, free computer organizers to end CHAOS.

I'm TIRED of missing appointments, being late and chaos. CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) Well, we're neater now, so it's not complete chaos, but there are still patches that I need to deal with and couldn't figure out how to do it.

I downloaded several programs over the last few days. I had downloaded WASEO's calendar, and found a program called DiaryDominator on their website. I love the fact that I can keep weather, mood, health with the click of an icon. I can type and edit on the fly. I can keep a weather journal and what I've planted in the garden in a separate panel that I can format.

The only thing I don't see is a spell-checker. Since I almost always have a blank Doc. (Open Office) open for saving things I find, I just type the suspect word on it and check it there. I can also copy all the text, paste it to the Doc., check it and repast it to the edit window.

DiaryDominator is sort of like my old 3x5 journal cards, but I don't have to write anything and worry about a bunch of little cards getting lost. Plus, I can save, backup and print it. Wooohoooo.

I found Mozilla Sunbird and replaced WASEO's calendar with it. It's an even more comprehensive calendar. I had to mess around with it a bit and downloaded another program, The Wonderful Icon, to allow me to make it go to the tray, instead of the task bar and to start the calendar on startup. Other than that, Sunbird is working very well.

I've spend the last few days looking for a desktop calendar wallpaper. I couldn't find a free one. I tried WASEO's for a day, then stumbled upon Sunbird. I already have Firefox, so I figured Sunbird would be an excellent program too. I really like Sunbird, so I'll do without the wallpaper feature.

I also downloaded a timer from WASEO. I haven't used it yet. I haven't had time.

I'd also downloaded FreeMind and LOVE that program. It allows me to plan things out and then switch them around. You start with a base node and then add children out from it. Add children to children, etc. Then when you're ready to organize it better, just grab and drop the children to where you want them. LOVE IT.

I was up until 9am this morning working on menu planning and organizing some of my life. I've never been able to wrap my mind around some aspects of organizing in a useful way. But plotting things out on a FreeMind page helped me to arrange things and then it clicked! For example, the menu problem. I mean I did get the part about where you're supposed to say what meals you were going to fix each day and writing that down. It was putting all the parts together that stumped me. You know the variety of foods, what's in season, who likes what, who's home on what day, assigning each day a theme - pork, beef, vegetarian, etc.; that has always stumped me. So I just didn't do it. We eat whatever, whenever. Not conducive to good nutrition nor maintaining a decent weight, not to mention that a fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants approach kills the budget (ever heard of carry-out? sigh)

I also downloaded a bunch of files from one of my Yahoo! groups. I belong to a group called Creative Control Panel. It's to help me setup and maintain a Control Panel/Journal. There are several ways to set up your housekeeping. Make a list on computer, paper or 3x5 cards. Well, for me, I use all three ways.

I have my daily chores on 3x5 cards so that I can sort them around when "life happens". But I also need stuff on the computer. Hence my looking for a calendar for my desktop.

I'm sick and tired of "forgetting" appointments. I'll remember it right up to the day. I'll remember it that morning. But, during the day, it slips away from me. Next thing I know, I've missed something. desktop calendar has an alarm, MULTIPLE alarms. And they're set off to GO OFF multiple times a day. So now I should have a handle on THIS problem too! lol

Then there's some stuff that needs to be on paper. And that paper needs controlling. (As in right now, there's no place on my desk top that isn't inundated with STUFF. Paper STUFF. And cleaning it off 3 times a year and stuffing it into a box to go ???; isn't working. Hence my joining the CCP group. (I'm a backsliding Flybaby, too)

I used my FreeMind program to get my mind wrapped around the Panel/Journal too.

I guess I'm a visual person. I can work with the stuff in my mind,I've done it for years. But putting a major thought in a base "node" and then spidering ideas outward, adding "children" as I go, then being able to drag and drop the ideas around, lets me see the big picture.

There have been so many things that I just "didn't get", stuff I couldn't work with, things I couldn't figure out; no matter how much I thought about them. I'm finding that doodling on FreeMind collects all the tangents and lets me put them in an order that works for me.

I don't know why I didn't do this earlier. I've known for years that my mind "sees" in pictures, not words. And that for me to understand something, I have to be able to "see" it. Once I "see" it, I've got it. I think that the greatest problem that I've had with math all these years is because I couldn't "see" it, well that and I'm dyscalculate. Then one day, a few years ago, someone showed me a manipulatives movie. Suddenly, I "got it". Four times I've taken Algebra 1. I've NEVER understood what was going on. I'd ask my teachers how you know what formula to use and they would say, "you just know". Uhmmm, NO, I didn't "just know".
After watching the clip on factoring, I "got" what was going on!

The nicest thing about all these programs is that they are all FREE.