Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How To Get Organized via AboutOne.com

  I don’t take well to change, dislike technology based organizational tools, and in general I’m a skeptic. I just don’t like wasting my time trying out programs I’ll never remember to use or putting together gargantuan binders with so much paper it makes me cringe. That said I’m also absent-minded and the only thing that keeps me in line are GOOD organizational tools and now that we’re starting a new homeschooling year I’ve been on the hunt. 

Enter About One


Like the video shows, About One is a family organizer that handles everything from tax records to mementos.  It’s also a tool that slowly but surely making me eat my words and actually, ahem, like streamlining my records via cloud technology.  Seriously, did I just say that?

So imagine me, Ms. Resistant to Change, as I first started adding entries to my About One account muttering, “This is stupid, I’m not even doing it right.”  I typed in a title, attached a file, and then hit save (when needed I’d add a description).  Yup, it was that easy and after an hour I had scanned, uploaded, and archived ALL of last years art projects (for BOTH of the little ones) and my entire important stuff binder. 

And that’s how they hooked me.  It didn’t take a lot of time, it wasn’t overly complicated, and I can actually see myself doing this on a weekly basis to keep the papers in check.  The clutter purging neurotic inside me is giddy with the possibilities…and there are a lot of them.  Not only is everything in one place, we can access it at anytime via the Mobile App (which would have come in handy during our many emergency room visits when asked about medications and conditions), and with bank-level security I can feel okay having so much of me and my life in one place.

As far as online organizers there is only one thing About One is lacking, the calendar.  Because it’s still in the beta stage you get to read about how tremendously awesome it will be but you can’t use it yet.  During BlogHer I had the chance to talk with one of the About One girls in person and before the question even left my mouth she started shaking her head.  Yes, they know we’re anxious for the calendar and Yes, it will be available soon.  

I could go on and on about the really cool aspects of About One but I’ll be honest I spent some time watching videos that do a much better job than I could.  Here’s my favorite.

And here’s one from founder Joanne Lang explaining how and why she created About One.  Every parent’s worst nightmare.

So, in a nutshell About One is an organizing tool that’s actually made me want to digitize my entire filing cabinet…and that’s saying a lot.

I was compensated by AboutOne to review their online organizer. All opinions and text are my own.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tips To Get Your Kids On-Board With Household Cleaning From Dr. Jana

During the chaos that is BlogHer I had the great pleasure of taking a moment to sit down in the Lysol Recharge Station and talk with award winning author Dr. Laura Jana about kids and cleaning.  

www.myveryeducatedmother.com Dr. Jana InterviewAs a board certified pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics Fellow, Dr. Laura Jana knows the many reasons why children need to be included in our household cleaning routines.  It’s her experience as a mother of three and owner of an educational childcare center that’s taught her how to turn these dreaded tasks into rewarding family time.

Teaching the importance of cleanliness and hygiene go without saying, but my first question for Dr. Jana was if there were long term benefits to having chores?  Turns out there are and you might be amazed at just how big those benefits are.  A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that the best predictor of a child’s success is the age at which he or she begins helping with household chores.  It went on to show that children involved in regular cleaning routines had a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives.

I’m busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy, sometimes it just seems easier and quicker to do the work myself rather than try to explain how to do it or worse, have to re-do work.  That’s were Dr. Jana recommended setting aside a special time each week dedicated to cleaning.  You can’t expect any lessons to be learned or good habits created while you’re doing a quick sweep of the house before company comes over.  Designate cleaning time as family time so that it is a time to be enjoyed together and not dreaded. 

Little ones WANT to help and a great way to get them involved is to turn cleaning into a game, explained Dr. Jana.  Form an assembly line, set a timer, or implement a game of “hide and seek,” just be sure that your kids know the rules and their limits when it comes to handling cleaning supplies.  Assign ambitious jobs like vacuuming, scrubbing and disinfecting for older kids while the younger ones handle simpler one-step tasks like dusting or picking up toys.  In our house my two little ones are the designated ‘runners,’ running everyone’s toys, books, shoes and miscellaneous items to their respective bedrooms.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BlogHer '12 Swag Giveaway!

I'm going to keep this short 'cause I've got entire post about what I learned at BlogHer this year over on my other site.  This is all about the swag that I am NOT keeping!  Cookbooks, grocery totes, lip balm, facial creams, Wall Pops, notepads, shoelaces, press-on nails, t-shirts and whatever else I could fit into this large USPS flat rate box can be yours!  Enter below via Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway