Alternate Title: Planning a Summer Vacation With Evernote
Last Christmas we decided to give our kids some memories, and a lesson in delayed gratification. We purchased two smallish rolling luggage sets (red for W and purple for C), and attached bows and a tentative itinerary for what we deemed: "The Skillen Family Great Westward Adventure". The idea: over summer vacation, drive to St. Louis, MO, take the Amtrak overnight train to Santa Fe, NM, and fly back to Nashville. We would take roughly 10 days to fit in everything we wanted to do and see.
So far, so good. They were thrilled and we felt excited that we had planned something a little more out of the ordinary. Now came the interesting part - to get all the logistics planned and organized so that travel fatigue (and the accompanying arguments, meltdowns and irritations) would be mitigated, and fun experiences maximized. With the various modes of transportation and the dizzying array of activities to choose from, my husband and I quickly realized that getting all of the details nailed down was going to be key to memory-making success. Enter one of our favorite apps, Evernote.
For the uninitiated, Evernote is an app that helps you create and capture notes, checklists, pictures, scanned documents, web pages, and pretty much anything else you might normally cut out, scribble or save for reference. The advantage of using Evernote is that you won't misplace what you store, it's available on most any computer or device, and you can easily search for any notes you've created using tags or key words. You can organize different projects into "Notebooks" and share your information with others if you choose. Basic Evernote is free, but I use the Premium version ($45.00/year) because it's worth it to me to have the improved searching and sharing capabilities. Still, the free version works really well for home projects and reference.
So anyway, my husband and I set up a shared notebook, entitled "Westward Ho". Here are just a few of the things we've collected/created:
The great thing is that all of this information will be with us, through the magic of our iPhones, whevever we go on this trip. All of our confirmation numbers will be available should we need them, and important phone numbers (like the trusted neighbor who will check on the house) can be stored in one list. Because it is a shared notebook, my husband or I can add things as we find or think about them, and then we can discuss when needed. I am working on packing lists for the kids that I can print or email to them so that they can start getting their items together. I also plan to add things during the trip that will help me create a scrapbook after we return.
Some of our other tips for preparing for a trip:
Our departure day is fast approaching, but I rest easier knowing that I've got everything stored in one neatly organized, electronic location. If you don't already use it, check out Evernote at www.evernote.com.
What tips do you all have for an organized vacation?
Hasta la vista!
Sara Skillen - I'm a Certified Professional Organizer®, wife and mom, and serial list-maker. I'm also an Evernote Certified Consultant. I love to help people from all walks of life get organized and productive - and I'd love to help you, too:
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