My Sandwich Generation Secretary

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Evernote makes a great secretary for this Sandwich Generation caregiverDo the Sandwich Generation issues of life keep you so busy, you wish you had a secretary? I know that feeling well. And, believe it or not, I do have a secretary or two – kind of. I thought I'd introduce you to one.

Meet my workhorse – Ms. EVERNOTE. Yes, it's an app. What else would a geeky baby boomer grandma have for a secretary, right?

 

Evernote isn't just an app for the iPhone, though I do use it there. It also works on my Mac, my Windows netbook and, to quote their site, "Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there." How's that for handy!

Evernote is a program that lets you write notes, paste in information, and it stores it all "up in the cloud." Thus, you can access the same information at any time and almost anywhere you are as long as you are online via the internet. So I can add my senior mom's prescription medication to my notebook for mom, then I can read it at the doctor's office – IF they have wifi or IF I have my 3g AND wifi cell phone.

For that matter, Evernote is free, but they also offer a paid version, which I use. I added that so I could search through most of the pdf files on my iPhone and have access to notebooks even when I am offline like on a plane. (I could have gotten to my senior mom's medication info faster at the doctor's that time, IF I had remembered to push the little button making them available offline. I had just set it up and forgot that little detail.)

What do I keep in Evernote? My brain! Here are just some of the specifics:

  • Bible file – favorite comforting and encouraging Bible verses, Bible study notes and verses, along with Scriptures and and other words of encouragement and inspiration I spot to comfort me in future situations. (I always mark where those came from to be sure I don't inadvertently share someone else's work. Plus I can then make reference to it down to road if I need to.)
  • School and babysitting info – educational ideas and resources for the grandkids as well as notes for what we've read or done so I know where I left off
  • Recipes – favorite recipes so I have them no matter which grandkids' house I'm at
  • User Manuals – It is so handy to have my netbook and other manuals here for troubleshooting when not at home. And oh my, I just realized it can even include their LEGOs manuals and instructions so I can show them to the grandboys even if I'm not at my desk and printer! YAY! 
  • Blog – for fellow bloggers and writers, it's great for keeping article ideas, information we need to read, great resources, and a raft of educational materials I never have time to read through. Then they are handy to read while standing in line or waiting for a senior parent or grandkid at a doctor's appointment, etc.
  • Schedules and information for my senior mom and my grandkids, as well as myself – like sports schedules, physical therapy, etc.
  • TO DO LIST – this is the last AND probably the most important. I keep a running to do list of everything I have to do. As I need grocery items I add them to this. I try to remember to remove things completed but some things I leave on permanently. When the list gets too long, I copy the most pertinent items and start a new one, saving the old in my archives. Then, if I need to remember something from way back, I can easily search for it. This is so much better than the stickies and paper lists I used to make and lose all the time! Especially in this Sandwich Generation season of my life when things are a bit more chaotic than they used to be.

It took me a bit of time to get used to it, but it was well worth it. Now, I'd probably be lost without it, literally. Since I'd be back to those paper lists and losing them again!  How about you? Have you tried Evernote? What do you use it for, besides your Sandwich Generation issues? If not, and you want to try it, just click here.

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