Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tools for the post menopausal

I don't know about you all...but I have SO MUCH to remember these days.  My memory is usually pretty decent, but sometimes it just gets overloaded.  They say that being post-menopausal doesn't help and maybe that's true.  Personally, I think maybe it's not so much because the synapses are so old...but because at this stage of my life I always have so many things that I need to squeeze into a very short time.

You would think that having the internet at my fingertips most of the time would solve the problem, but in some ways, it also creates the problem.  

Used to be that I chose books by what jumped out at me from the library shelves.  Now I take a list of books recommended for me by several different websites.  I don't want to forget a single one.

The meals I cooked were tried and true and usually the result of supermarket weekly specials.  Now I take lists of ingredients for dishes I've seen on Pinterest, Facebook and recipe websites.  (Except I'm not such a good cook and sometimes I wonder who I think I'm kidding)

I'd go shopping for a new needlework project by visiting shops and browsing stitched models and choosing what was available (because even back then my closest shop was 50 miles away).  Now I go to a shop armed with lists for needlework I've seen on your blogs.  (I'm blaming you all for my crazy spending this year).

And obviously my brain can't deal with so much clutter.  Especially if I'm going grocery shopping, visiting the library and going to a needlework store all on the same day.  My head might explode.  Luckily, I've found some great list and list-type apps that I can always have handy on my phone, my tablet or my computer.  So I thought I'd share a couple of them with you, just in case some days your head feels like it might explode, too.

I think the most important thing about a note/list app is its ability to be used on all of your devices, even if they aren't all using the same operating systems.  For instance, my home PC, my laptop and my work PC all run on Windows products.  My phone is an Apple product.  My tablet is an Android product.  Not all apps will work with all of those systems, so keep that in mind as you shop for apps - you want something that will run on ALL of those.

Sometimes I want to keep a list handy for a long or indefinite length of time, like my friends' favorite colors, books I want to read, verses I'd like to use in a sampler some day, quantities of food I've bought to feed large groups of people.   When that's the case, I use Evernote.  I can look at and edit my notes from my phone, my tablet or my PC and it's super useful.

For instance, I can be out and about and a blog post idea will come to mind.  I can type it into the Evernote app on my phone.  Then, 2 weeks, a month, 3 months, 4 months later, when I'm sitting at my home computer and searching for something to write about, I can log into Evernote and read whatever idiotic ideas I thought I'd like to remember!

Sometimes, things you want to remember are simply WAY beyond using a note or a list.  It needs its own file...or even its own folder.  Maybe you keep a spreadsheet of the threads and fibers you have in your stash.  Maybe you keep a big, giant list of all the charts you own in a Word document.  Maybe you belong to a stitching club and you like to keep your club-member directory handy. I think Dropbox is a perfect place to keep those things.  Put your file into Dropbox.  You can see (and even edit) your file from anywhere.  (Except if it's a PDF.  Most of us can't edit those anyway)

For quick, on-the-fly notes, there are several Sticky note apps out there.  Like if you are headed to a stitching retreat and you need to bring a couple snacks.  Once the weekend is over, you're done with the note.

I still haven't come across a sticky note program that works well across all my devices, but I since I use the note for such a short time, I haven't really looked hard for one.  And of course, there is always the iPhone note app.  With sticky notes, you can see several notes at the same time.  Not so easy with iPhone notes.

So...that's my two cents on how to remember stuff you don't want to forget.

And as for stitching stuff - mostly I've been working on one of Ellen Chester's With Thy Needle Quaker designs.  I'm using Colorworks (aka Belle Soie) Blue Lagoon silk on 32 ct lambswool linen. I have to say...I'm enjoying every single stitch.  I'm also super excited to personalize this for my family.  That will be the really fun part.

I'm off to a stitching retreat this weekend, in the beautiful Ohio Amish country.  Who knows...maybe I'll stop socializing long enough to make more progress in this sampler?  


  1. Very pretty beginning - love that color! Thanks for the tool notes. I've pretty much gotten by with the iPhone notes, but may try the sticky notes. Recently was introduced to XStitch, and it seems pretty neat for threads so far. One of these days I may enter my charts, if they ever get a download (from Excel) feature.

  2. Love your Quaker piece; the fiber and fabric combination is fabulous. But then, there are not many blues I don't like. Enjoy your upcoming stitching retreat! Hope you will share your weekend with us upon your return.

    Robin in Virginia

  3. We must be about the same age Lee. I use both Dropbox and Evernote. I am a HUGE fan over Evernote. I used it daily on a 3 month trip to England with my mother. You are working on a lovely Quaker stitch!

  4. Oh I love that blue lagoon color!!

  5. Your project is so pretty! I love the blue!! You are onto something with your comments about all the stuff we try to remember! Have fun on your stitching getaway.

  6. I have notes everywhere....except where they ought to be. Beautiful shade of blue on the stitching. Enjoy your holiday.

  7. and then there is remembering where you left your notes. Enjoy the time with your stitching group, your Quaker sampler is lovely

  8. I've dabbled in DropBox but need to learn more and I've heard good things about Evernote. I need to explore that one. I really rely on lists. Right now I'm pretty much using the Notes app that comes with the iphone.

    Enjoy your retreat! So good to see a post from you!

  9. your picture post are very good....great works.. very lovely great colours.. your gallery is just very nice .graphics are very nice . your website it just super. best of luck . do come visit me some time. that goes to everybody who see this. and please sign my guestbook at the bottom of my webpage to let me know you came to see me do send your very good friends ( thank you ) it good to meet new friends. love a beautiful thing.