Monday, August 5, 2013

Mac Users Can Be More Organized With Growly Notes, A Free Solution to Microsoft's Onenote

 Paperless Organization

Everyone says he or she wants to be more organized or more productive or less forgetful. Students want to take better notes and study more efficiently. At work, we want to use the business hours wisely, hoping for less stress. At work, I use Microsoft's One Note 2010, which is a note-taking program which has a number of tags that you can use with your notes. I relied upon it immediately after my office upgraded to Window and Office 8, most notably the sections and pages for the various topics that I choose to include and the inclusion of information directly on the page, or attached files and pictures. Coming home to a MacBook Pro, I found that I missed the organization, until I found Growly Notes.
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The Basics

Cost: Growly Notes is the solution for Mac users who like Microsoft's OneNote and is completely free to download because it is open source software. Who doesn't like free. In fact, a lot of PC users wish that there is Growly Notes for PC, but this will not happen.
Sections and Pages: You can organize pretty much any information that comes before you so that you don't have to remember the information and the information can be at your fingertip when you need it.
Here are some suggestion sections:
1. Completion List/To Do List: I keep both a list of things to do as well as a list of things that I have done. I keep a running list of both so that I can just keep adding to either list. I insert a date and time and then each entry of what I have accomplished plus a tag, which is a symbol next to an entry. I prefer seeing what I have done, even though it may be a little tedious at times. But it keeps me motivated when I feel sluggish and wish to procrastinate.
2. Financial Information/Online Accounts and Passwords. I used to keep this information in Excel but I found that the Excel program takes too long to open. The beauty of Growly Notes is that you can password protect your sensitive files. This is great to keep a snapshot of your finances in each account in an easily created table, and I like to copy the information from credit card statement regarding monthly balance and due date and add the word "paid" when I have done it. Opening the scratchpad and also a calculator program, I can make informal number crunching notes. As for the online accounts and passwords, this is easier to keep in one place instead of asking for each site to send my password.
3. Recipes. I have a page for each type of food that I am collecting. For example, I have a all of my kimchi recipes on one page and muffin recipes on another page. I also copy links of the recipe including videos, photo of the food and the actual recipe for easy access. I have essentially made a recipebook of what I typically use. If I don't want them anymore, I can just delete the page or delete the recipes that I do not want.
4. Reading Log. I created a table to show what books each family member is reading or has read. As a mother on top of their reading, I can determine what books have been read and can be returned to the library. I can look back and gauge what books the younger child can read.
5. Travel Planning/Price Comparisons/Itinerary. I am a careful travel planner because my resources are limited. I like to collect different activities for each trip and also compare hotel prices. Keeping the research digitally allows easy access and also reduces redundancy in research.
6. Coincidence Journal. I started a coincidence journal to memorialize wishes that have come true that have made our lives better. It also relieves stress because it can show how powerful our subconscious mind can be in getting through unexpected obstacles. This has helped me become more open to good things in life as suggested Rhonda Bryne's "The Secret" as well as be more open-minded in my thought process.

 Overall Review

Growly Notes is a primitive program. I found it difficult to copy sections of my notes if I wanted to copy it into a Word document. It is a more cumbersome program than Microsoft's OneNote. I really like to insert a blank box in front of my to-do list entry whereas Growly Notes allows you to insert a checked box once your task has been completed. Further, I have not figured out when a page can be locked. It is not intuitive. However, for the price of free, it is worth putting up with all of its flaws.

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