Treed

I won something online !

I never win things !  But I just have.  I’m a bit in shock about it, but chuffed as well.

It was a nifty giveaway over at Simple Mom.  It is an app called Treed.
The giveaway was about a month ago, and I’ve been having fun with it since.
It is a very simple, pretty way to organise your ideas, plans and goals.

I know I said I was going to go goal-free this year.  I am standing by that.  What Treed allows me to do though isn’t feed in lots of unattainable goals, it allows me to see the steps needed to get projects completed.  The ability to do this sort of things will still be required this year, especially when the project is something like Home Educating your kids.   This, of course, is actually a process and not a single-point “goal”.

In my comment on the Simple Mom post, I said that it looked like a cross between a To Do List, a gantt chart and a mindmap.  Having now used it, I will stand by that.  It could be used as any of these.  Of course it is a simplified version.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes we don’t need all of the bling to get the task done.

So far I have a number of projects noted down and I am finding it really useful to just do a brain dump of ideas that can be tidied up and grouped later.  No doubt as I use it, I will find things that I’d like to see added to the app, but isn’t that always the way with technology.  At the moment it is a nice simple piece of software that works for me and my needs. (And I have been a MindManager user previously.)

Did I mention that it has a really restful interface?  Not only does it help you to remember, be productive, but it also does so in a peaceful way.

Oh, and I won it !!   Thank you very much Simple Mom and Pas de Chocolat !!

Pinterest

Are you addicted yet?

No?

Can I tempt you?

Pinterest is, for me, a combination between an idea storage space and a visual inspiration board.  I have found it to be a great resource of ideas shared through images.  It has introduced me to like minded people who in turn have introduced me to corners of the interweb that I may never have found on my own.  And I am very grateful for that opportunity.  I now have several new inspirations for future activities for the Oh Waily children, as well as ideas about how better to arrange our home environment for all of us.

Oh, and did I mention the ridiculous number of delicious photographs of indulgent cupcakes, slices, muffins and fantastically decorated celebratory cakes?  Often linked to recipes or tutorials that help you to replicate the scrummy yummys in your own home.

Be warned, I can see it becoming something of an addiction, but used in moderation it is a wonderful source of ideas and connections.

Choosing to explore?  Feel free to follow me and my boards here.  I have boards for yummy food ideas, Montessori activities, decorating ideas (for kids mostly), crafting ideas (again mostly for the kids), things that make me laugh and things that just seem to hit the right spot for me.

I look forward to your company and getting to know you through your Pins.

The Missing “Right Now” at WordPress

Does anyone else miss the “Right Now” widget on their WordPress.com Dashboard?

I really do.

The “Your Stuff” widget is meant to be replacing it, or so I believe. So far “Your Stuff” is pretty darn ugly and not remotely of use to me. I hope it’s going to improve a heck of a lot because it’s not looking good from where I’m sitting.

And I’m bummed that this is the first time I’ve had something bad to say about blogging here at, the otherwise wonderful, WordPress.

UPDATE:  As of today, 8th July, the beloved “Right Now” widget has been returned to the Dashboard.  I have no idea what the heck has been going on, but I’m very glad to see it back.  What a lovely, quick way to get an overview of your blog.

Unplugging

The idea of taking some time out and unplugging myself from the computer, the kids from the television and maybe even prising the Blackberry out of Mr Oh Waily’s tightly closed hand, has been growing on me.

Really growing on me.

I love the internet.  I love my computer.  Blogging is great fun when I have the inspiration.  Reading blogs gives me really interesting ideas and allows me to meet, in a virtual way, very interesting people.
The problem is discerning when is it time well spent, and when is it time wasted.  The line between this being a useful, enjoyable pastime and being a life-draining parasite* becomes blurred the longer you carry on your daily life in an unconscious manner.

I know my personality.  I am easily sucked in to these time-wasting, technology based things.  Instead of sitting reading one of my many wonderful Bedside Pile (or library**) books, stitching up one of my many WIPs, creating interesting games or toys for the kids, the glowing computer screen calls to me.   It doesn’t help matters that one of my primary hobbies, genealogy, now relies so heavily on the internet for access to information.

Well it’s got to come to a stop.  There has to be a break, a gap, some technology-free space. Without creating that space, there is nowhere for the “other” fun stuff to fit.  So a change is in the wind.  Ms Oh Waily has had enough.   And as the Buddhist proverb says,

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

In the way of circuitous things, through blogs linking to other blogs, I came across a new blog beauty that moves just a few days ago.  And just what was one of the topics of conversation going on here?  Unplugging.  So much so that the author of beauty that moves was planning to begin a new blog specifically about the process.  And now it has begun.   I particularly like the very simple ideas in the post How to Unplug.    As you might have guessed, this is one blog that’s now in my feed reader.  I’m looking forward to reading about how other families are unplugging, and why.

I see an interesting journey ahead.   My first step was taken a few days ago when I removed myself from some of the time-wasting online games that would eat up small chunks of spare time mercilessly. There is to be no more of that, thank you very much.

So, do you unplug?  Is it a regular thing with you?  What do you do with your unplugged time?

* was that too strong a phrase, perhaps?
** I know I promised not to go there until The Pile had shrunk, but you should know about me and books by now…