Category Archives: organization

Summer Punch Reward Cards

Summer is here! YAY! I thought this would be a great time to introduce a goal card to my daughter. The basic idea behind the card is that whenever a child accomplishes a task related to the goal, they get a punch. Kindness was something that I thought would be a good focus, and I was ELATED when I found a darling goal card from My Sweet Sanity. She also has a reading and chore card… so cute!!!!

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The plan is simple. For every act of kindness, we  punch her kindness card. When the kindness card is full, she can trade it in for a special summer treat or activity on the rewards card (which will also get punched.) This prevents my daughter from choosing swimming EVERY SINGLE TIME and gives her the power of choice.  And when she randomly wants to get an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, I can simply point out to her that she needs to fill out her kindness card first. The whole object is to get my daughter thinking about showing acts of KINDNESS more frequently.

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I thought it would be fun to attach both the kindness card and the summer rewards card to a lanyard to make it more “official”. 🙂 Plus I think it might be harder to lose (hopefully!). I simply placed the cards in plastic lanyard sleeves. But you could laminate the cards and attach those to the lanyard instead.

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The lanyard also allows for the cards to be worn when we are out on the town- so I can immediately reward her with punches for good, kind choices (as long as I carry a hole puncher with me!). And I just love this How to Train Your Dragon lanyard!!

Rewards on our pass include: ice cream cone, snow cone, trip to the dollar store, pizza night with friends, family movie night, day at the park, swimming, and family campout. Feel free to download our pass or use it as a guide to help you make your own! (Just click on the image file below to download the pass).
reward cards

And we just happened to get lucky- our summer reading program is using brag tags to motivate kids to read. This is something I can easily attach to our lanyard. I love it!!!

Now some might say that giving your child a tangible reward for service or kindness is not a good idea. And I agree with that, to an extent. When a bad habit needs to be broken , or a good habit needs to be formed, I am all for doing everything and anything to ensure that habit is set securely in place. Sometimes we need to modify our way of thinking and our actions with those extrinsic things that motivate us.

Happy Summer!

Acrostic Bedroom Cleaning Plan for Kids

Cleaning a bedroom can be a challenge for some kids. Their vision of a clean room usually consists of a bed that’s made and nothing on the floor. Which in our house looked great from far away- once you entered the room you could see piles and piles of toys and books squished under the bed. There would be towers of books and papers on Boo’s desk and nightstand that were placed in such a way that if you so much as sneezed would come tumbling down . And let’s not even talk about the closet.

Clearly we both had a different idea of what a clean room looked like. Boo would get frustrated having me tell her to go back and fix things, and I got frustrated that I would have to make a detailed list of what needed to be done every day. This system just wasn’t working out for us.

Let me introduce you to the Acrostic approach. It is AMAZING. Why? Because my daughter has clear expectations that she can REMEMBER. And I don’t need to print a checklist or make a fancy sign or anything. I just tell her it’s time for a B.E.D.R.O.O.M. clean. And she knows exactly what to do. She does each job while spelling the word bedroom. Might I also add this is a good spelling activity, too! By the time she is finished spelling the word, her room is clean. It’s so nice!

This is our Acrostic BEDROOM cleaning plan. You can totally modify it to meet the needs of your child and the bedroom cleaning battle you might be facing. 🙂

Acrostic Bedroom Cleaning Plan

B- Make Bed (easy enough, right?)

E- Everything off the Floor (everything that SHOULDN’T be on the floor- including under the bed- needs to be picked up and put away- like blankets, books, clothes, toys, lip gloss, pokemon cards, legos… you get the picture)

D- Drawers closed (there seems to always be drawers left opened, so we added this as part of the room cleaning plan)

R- Really Clean closet (shoes lined up or in organizer, clothes hung up, etc)

O- Organized Desk (things just get piled up on Boo’s desk! I added this to make sure she gets things put away and that they look nice and tidy.)

O- Organized Toy Bin (while I am not a fan of toys in bedrooms, that’s where they always end up! We got a little toy bin for her room which also happens to collect books and shoes and it needs the occasional organization help)

M- Move the Vacuum!

And voila! Instead of having a room that’s semi-clean with extra stuff thrown under the bed and in the closet, we actually have a clean room. And that brings me joy!

Book Buddy App: Must Have for Teachers and Librarians

I have been so excited to share an AMAZING iPhone/iPod/iPad app with you! It is called Book Buddy, but it may as well be called the Best Book Cataloging App Ever :). And no they didn’t pay me to say it- I truly just love it! In the digital age that we live in- and the easy access most of us to have technology- it just makes sense to have a digital database of all our books. It will make lesson planning easier as well as assisting you in trying to locate that one copy of a book you know you have SOMEWHERE.


Here are some of Book Buddy‘s great features….

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home screen of the Book Buddy app

1. You can easily add books to your library 3 ways: scanning the barcode, searching in an online database, or manually adding the books. You may think- why would I want to manually add books? Well, sometimes a book might not be in the database. OR you may want to add some of your classroom’s created books. Cute, right? It makes those homemade books feel more professional. 🙂

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2. While lots of books have pictures of the titles already stored in the database, there are exceptions. No worries though- YOU can take a picture of the book! This is another feature that you could use when adding those books made by your kiddos.

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3. After a book is added to your library that is in the database, there is a link to an online summary as well as reviews. This is also a great tool in getting additional background on the authors. There are also some links if you need to purchase more copies of the book.

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4. One of my favorite features of this app is the tagging system. You are able to easily add tags to each book that is in your Book Buddy library. You are able to sort and search books by tags. For example, after scanning “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” into my library, I added the following tags: “animals”, “breakfast”, “comical”, “level k”, “pigs”, “problem solving”, and “sequencing”. Now, when I am teaching a unit on pigs, I just look up all my books with the “pig” tag and this book and others will show up. No more searching through all the book tubs for titles! I just love this- especially when you have books that can be placed in various places in your classroom/home. Which bring me to the next reason I love this app….

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a few of the tags I added

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a look at some of the books listed under the tag “Pigs”

5. This is a great app to keep track of those leveled libraries! While it doesn’t look up the guided or lexile reading levels for you, if you know the level already simply add it as a tag. (I used a free app called Literacy Leveler to look up levels on some of my books). So if you are wanting to know all the level N books in your classroom, simply look up the tag. It will let you know all the titles despite the location (super useful if you have books everywhere- in baskets, themed tubs, bookshelves, etc) Which also brings me to the next reason I love this app….

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6.  You can sort your books into categories. Now you may wonder, how could I utilize this feature? Books that are scanned into this app are automatically placed in the “unfiled” section of your library and will remain there until you place them in a category. I have created categories for all the different locations where I may have books. Some of my categories are “Animal Tub”, “Biography Tub”, “Craft Room Bookshelf”, “Leveled Library”, and “Professional” (plus a TON more).  To add a book to a category, I go to my list of unfiled books, click on a book title, click on “move book” and then select the category. While this app does have the option of adding a physical location of each of your books, I found the categories much faster to add and it will be faster to edit the location- because lets face it, we are constantly moving books around. It is also easier to view all the titles in each of my tubs quickly while in the home screen of this app.

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a list of the unfiled books in my library

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7. You can sort your library by title, author, genre, rating, and more! A great way if you know you want a last minute author study of Eric Carle or want to see what historical fiction literature you can share with your students.

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8. If you have every spent hours at an expensive bookstore drooling over books with the intent to go home and find them for cheaper on Amazon (not that I have ever done that or anything) this will help you out! You can scan in books while at the store and add them to your wish list. Then the next time someone offers to get you a book for your library you can let them know specific titles right away. You can also printout a list of your wish list items to hand out to parents at conferences! 🙂 I LOVE it!!!!

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9. Book Buddy has a simple yet effective check out system. Just click on the title of the book, click edit, and then change the “loaned out” status from none to either an existing contact or create a new contact. There is no way to import a class list, but to be honest I didn’t have students checking out books to take home too often. You can view your list of loaned out books from the home screen, and you can also export a list of those books that are borrowed, upload it to dropbox, and print. Imagine how nice that would be to show parents at conferences- they would not only see what books their child needs to bring back but they could see what the book actually looks like- which might prove to be useful in locating it :). Which brings me to the final reason I love this app….

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10. You can back up your library. In this digital age of technology crashes- having a backup of data is a MUST. Especially if you have spent hours adding this data! You can also export and print your entire library- or just parts of the library. Like if I wanted a printout of all my Level M books so I could laminate it and place it next to my level M book tub, I would just go to settings, utilities, export, and then update the “My Books” section to the tag “Level M”. Click on export and there you go! If you have access to an airprinter you can print your wishlist, borrowed items, or an entire list of all books in your library. I think exporting them to Dropbox works better because you can export specific lists. And one thing I love about the lists is that there is a cute little thumbnail of the picture with information such as who it’s currently loaned out to, what category it’s in, and the different tags.

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There are so many other features too- you can recommend books in your library via twitter, facebook, or email. You can also keep track of books that you have borrowed from someone else. There is the ability to import files (haven’t tried this yet), mark books that are your favorites, add books to a series, and give books a rating (up to 5 stars). There is a free version, which I played around with until I felt comfortable paying for the upgrade- in my opinion the pro version is well worth the money!

Before I started scanning in 1500 books, I did my research. This app does everything I need and more- hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Teaching

Summer Organization

For those that don’t know me well, I LOVE planning. It just makes my heart smile seeing organized lessons and ideas all bundled up in folders and binders with color coded titles… please say I’m not the only one! Anyway, when I was putting together the summer activities for my little family I knew I needed to revamp the organization. I had so many ideas that I knew I would get bogged down if I didn’t create an easy, educational routine.

And here it is. The ultimate summer organization system!

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This plastic drawer cart holds all the activities I plan to do each day. I love that it is all in one location and I can prepare in advance for the week so I can just sit back and have fun without scrambling for materials.

image_3This is what I plan to put in each drawer:

Monday

Read Naturally Book (a collection of timed stories my daughter reads and answers comprehension questions)

Piano Books (Mondays are the days of my daughters piano lessons)

Make Something Monday List (this is just for me: a list of different projects we can make during the summer. I put the materials in the Mystery Box that my daughter can open after her jobs)

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Tuesday

Summer Passport (a little journal where Boo can write down the places we travel to on our Take a Trip Tuesdays)

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Wednesday

Worksheet (just a random sheet with skills Boo needs to practice- nothing strenuous)

Engineering challenges and materials

Thursday and Friday

Materials for our STEAM camps (flash cards, books, lesson plans, manipulatives)

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Next Week– folders with our STEAM camp ideas, extra worksheets, Science Saturday List, our STEAM journal where we can record our learning

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I took our Summer Bucket List can and really narrowed down our ideas to things we can do immediately without any extra materials. We still are using the color coded system.  Our yellow sticks have outside games and activities, blue sticks are easy treats and snacks, red sticks have simple art projects, green sticks have local field trips (less than 5 minutes away), and purple sticks are movement and exercise games.

If you hear the words “I’m bored” a lot during the summer, than this might be the solution for you. The bucket list activities that require materials,  are far away, or are things that I really REALLY want to do during the summer are not in the can but are scheduled in our calendar. It just made more sense to do it this way!

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Our mystery box contains items that would be fun to explore and make creations with. After we are done with our jobs we can open up our box to see our special item of the day! The objects I plan on putting in our box include yarn, paper clips, straws, balloons, bubbles, jump rope, etc. Nothing too over the top. Boo can use that item during free play, to make a craft, to come up with a game, to do an experiment, ANYTHING she wants.  I am excited to use these items to spark a little excitement for engineering as well as just being fun and creative with something new every day… because lets face it, we all need a little change.

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There it is! I am hoping that these three organizational tools (plastic drawer cart with daily activities, Summer Bucket List can,  and Mystery Box) will help make your summer a little less hectic so you can enjoy these precious moments!

Happy Teaching!

Our Disneyland Adventure (with printables)


Our little family recently had the opportunity to take a family trip to Disneyland. It was the first time my daughter had the chance to go, so I wanted to make it memorable! Here are a few of the things that we did to get the most out of our Disney experience.
1. Mickey Clock Sacks: 

To make our car trip more exciting (because we all know how exciting it is to be sitting in the car for 12 hours) I decided to make special clock sacks. Each of the sacks had a different treat, activity, or dollar store toy. We got to open the sacks at the time shown on each of the bags. And I couldn’t just use a round clock face. Of course it had to be Disney-ish! So I came up with this cute little clock face:

This worked well educationally since we are working on telling time with my daughter.  I was able to find cheap disney toys at the Dollar Tree, and I used a bunch of Halloween candy that we still had.

2. Tinkerbell’s Surprise
Tinkerbell left a little gift for my daughter when we got to the hotel. I heard from an unknown source that this fairy found all the little toy surprises from the Dollar Tree and the dollar bin at Michaels. She’s a smart shopper! Having these surprises from Tinkerbell meant less money in the park buying souvenirs.

3. Disneyland Vacation Journal
I wanted my daughter to document everything about our trip… I want her to remember as much as possible! I came up with some pages for a special Disneyland Vacation Journal. This journal has space for a daily run down of events, weather report, ride recommendations, a happy face/frown face evaluation of each ride, and SO MUCH MORE. I printed these pages on card stock because I wanted the pages to be sturdy enough for me to glue ticket stubs, maps, and pictures. 
The finished product is a precious scrapbook of our entire vacation! I thought I would share our printables- just click on the image then save it to your desktop! I didn’t include the cover because there was Mickey Mouse clipart and I didn’t want to break any copyright laws.

This is a great map to use for the license plate game!

4. Homemade Autograph Book
I know Disneyland sells darling autograph books… but I wanted to make a special one just for my little girl! We were able to find a ginormous Mickey Mouse pen for a dollar at Michaels and had the characters use that to sign the book.

5. Mickey Mouse Trip Check lists
Its all about the small details. Instead of using boxes for our check lists, I used blank little mickey mouse ears. And yes I had 5 different lists! We had a Shopping List for supplies prior to our trip, a Road Trip list of things we needed to pack with easy access for our long journey, a Vacation Packing list that included the basic necessities for any California trip, a Disneyland Park Packing list, and a general “To Do” list. One of the smartest things we did was to pack a Disneyland backpack with all the park necessities prior to leaving on our vacation. We didn’t have to worry about getting anything ready for the park while we were at the hotel because it was already done!
If you want a copy, just click and save the following lists to your desktop:

Other great tips:

  • bring a lanyard with a pocket to hold your fast passes
  • don’t bend down and pick up your 5 year old the wrong way and mess up your back so you walk around like an 80 year old for the entire duration of your visit
  • bring lots of snacks! we munched on a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, fruit snacks, granola bars, and beef jerky
  • don’t forget to bring pennies and quarters for the souvenir penny pressing machines
  • plan on purchasing souvenirs the last day of your vacation- it gives your child a longer time to think about what they really want and will save you money
  • buy glow sticks and rain ponchos (a must have for Splash Mountain) from the Dollar Tree- a lot cheaper than purchasing them in the park

Happy Teaching!

DIY Days of the Week Clothing Organizers

First, I have to admit something:

I am obsessed with the dollar store. To the point where I may need some intervention.  My biggest weakness is for all the cheap organizational stuff. I find myself buying plastic bins with no idea what I will use it for… and they just collect in a happy, one-day-I-will-use-them heap in my basement. And it certainly doesn’t help that one is VERY close to my house, either. 🙂

I also have wanted to create something that will help my daughter get ready faster in the morning (my gal is just not a morning person). I have seen adorable hanger cards but they just weren’t what I was looking for (lacking durability). When I was meandering down the craft aisle at the local Dollar Tree and saw these foam door hangers at 3 for $1 I knew I had an easy, budget friendly solution! (side note: I really enjoy meandering down the aisles at the dollar store)

Here is my final product! Using 7 foam hangers and a sharpie! I know the dollar store has different shapes- the heart ones fit nicely on our hangers, so that would be my recommendation for anyone interested in making these. I also color coordinated the hearts on top by using red for the weekend, pink for school days, and yellow for weekdays with no school.

We pick the outfits once a week. If my daughter changes her mind about her outfit for the day she has every right to pick something else! This just gives her something to fall back on, for those late mornings. Which we have a lot of around here… 🙂

A closet door knob is a great place to store these organizational gems once the outfit has been worn.
We are not perfect at using this system. There are weeks that slip by where we haven’t used our clothing organizers. But when we do use them its been a wonderful way to shave off some time deciding what to wear in those chaotic mornings. 🙂
Happy Teaching!

Summer Bucket List

I have a MILLION plans for my family this summer (thank you Pinterest!) Instead of doing the old plan-the-days-in-advance method, I thought I would try my hand at making a more spontaneous and fun bucket list. And for the record- I hate that these summer to do lists are called bucket lists- I don’t plan on kicking the bucket this fall! Geez! But my ideas of “popsicle pail list” or “random jar of fun” just don’t have the same ring. So I’m callin’ this a bucket list! 🙂

Here is a pic of our summertime popsicle pail (see, it just sounds WEIRD). Notice that there are no cute summertime stickers on the pails- and for one good reason: I will be reusing these for every season. I am bound and determined to cross off some of my pinterest to do lists!!

As you can see from the pic, there are three pails. One pail for our fun activities, one pail for the completed activities, and a third pail to hold extra popsicle sticks and a fine point sharpie. Because I am continuously adding to our list. I think I add about 5 new ideas a day! Which is the primary reason why we have already started picking popsicle sticks. At last count I had a total of 125 things to do this summer!

All of our popsicle sticks are sorted into colored categories. The yellow sticks are things we can do outside in the sun, the blue sticks are summer time treats, the orange sticks are science projects, the red sticks are art projects, the purple sticks are learning activities, the green sticks are places we can go near our home, and the brown sticks are places we can go in Salt Lake (and beyond). This has provided to be SUPER useful already- when my daughter wanted to do something artsy she grabbed a red stick and voila! she had a summertime art project. And I was able to cross of an activity from my Pinterest list! Yay!

When an activity is completed, I have been writing the date on the back of the popsicle stick. That way if I decide to do a journal, I will know the exact dates we did stuff. And when some of the more easy and accessible activities are finished, I write the date and stick it back into the pail of things to do.

I thought I would include the activities we have in our summer bucket list. Of course the list can be easily adapted to meet your family’s needs. And I should mention that the pails are from the dollar section at Target, and the popsicle sticks are from the Dollar Tree. I just love a good bargain!

125 Things To Do This Summer


YELLOW (things to do outside in the sun)
1. bubbles
2. catch a butterfly
3. sandbox
4. paperbag scavenger hunt
5. water pinatas
6. water games
7. hopscotch
8. run in the sprinklers
9. make an obstacle course
10. pull weeds (not everything has to be fun, right? 🙂
11. sidewalk chalk paint
12. mud pie kitchen
13. hunt for predators with water guns
14. sidewalk chalk
15. ride your bike
16. wash cars, scooters, and bikes
17. plant flowers
18. play hide and seek
19. have a race
20. roller skate
21. play red light/ green light
22. play tag
23. plant a garden- even if its just herbs
24. kiddie pool in backyard

BLUE (summertime treats) I have a bunch of dinner recipes that I want to try that I will be adding to our monthly meal schedule (hopefully!).  I wanted to make the summer bucket list fun for my daughter, and pulling out a popsicle stick that said “grilled chicken fajitas” wouldn’t do much for her.
25. smoothies
26. campfire cones
27. cupcakes in ice cream cones
28. make sugar cookies and decorate
29. food paint
30. dip a banana in chocolate and freeze
31. take a picnic somewhere
32. muddy buddies
33. mini personal pizzas for lunch
34. candlelight dinner
35. make homemade taffy
36. indoor smores
37. homemade snow cones
38. frozen grapes
39. ice cream in a bag
40. make popsicles
41. use candy melts to make suckers
42. frozen jr mints
43. gelato
44. fruit kabobs

46. kool-aid ice cubes and 7-up
47. crabby sandwich for lunch
48. frozen fruit bars

ORANGE (science projects)

49. make bird feeders
50. freeze things and dig them out
51. oily fireworks
52. fossil cookies
53. static electricity
54. volcano in a mug
55. m&ms in hot water
56. glow in the dark party
57. weather cloud in a cup
58. blowing up balloons
59. ice sculptures
60. sidewalk egg frying w/aluminum foil
61. floating eggs in salt water

RED (art projects)

66. glitter toes
67. make a treasure map and go on a hunt
68. marshmallow and tooth pick sculptures
69. make slime
70. make a paper mache bowl

72. paint cement with water

74. fingerpaint
75. fingerpaint with pudding
76. self portrait
77. silhouette pictures

PURPLE (learning activities)
80. use a calculator
81. write digits 0-9
82. puppet show
83. sound sorts
84. write name
85. letter bingo
86. write and illustrate a story
87. follow direction cards
88. etiquette factory
89. Dora letter sound flashcards
90. number bingo

GREEN (hometown activities)
91. bowling
92. bounce house
93. aquatic center/ swimming pool
94. dinosaur park
95. splash pad
96. children’s museum
97. playground
98. duck pond
99. city museum
100. train museum
101. nature trail
102. nickelcade
103. Hill Air Force base airplane museum
104. nature center

BROWN (Salt Lake and beyond activities)
105. Symphony
106. Natural History Museum
107. Red Butte Gardens
108. Zoo
109. Kennecott Copper Mine
110. City Creek shopping center
111.State Capital Building
112. baseball game
113. planetarium
114. temple square
115. liberty park
116. aviary
117. childrens theater
118. Park City
119. aquarium
120. Church History Museum
121. Gateway
122. This is the Place State Park
123. ride the bus
124. fireworks
125. fair

I know there are TONS more ideas (Thanksgiving Pointe, Yellowstone, Dinosaur National Monument, hiking, Antelope Island, etc….) And there is NO pressure on accomplishing every single thing on my list. OK, maybe a little pressure- I mean, being able to cross off my entire list would be amazing!
I hope this list inspires you to make some fun memories with your families this summer.

Happy Teaching!

Noteshelf App: My New Digital Home Binder

I am addicted to binders. I have a house organizational binder, a binder with my daughter’s curriculum ideas, a binder with our FHE plans (just realized I am 2 weeks behind on those… nice!), a binder with baby educational ideas,  … you get the idea. And then there are all the countless notebooks- containing everything from my daughters journals to the 10 I have stashed everywhere for my to do lists.

My organizational bliss needed a makeover.

And I think I found the answer in the form of an iPad app. Noteshelf.

Let me first tell you that I was not compensated for writing this review- I think this app is so amazing that I want to shout about it from the rooftops.
Noteshelf is an app that was designed for, well, taking notes! But it goes to the next level, with the ability to create custom pages (you will see much more of this feature throughout my review), exporting finished notes as pdfs, and it has the all important cute factor. Which is a big deal!

Pros:
Ability to sort notes into notebooks. And notebooks can be grouped together. Think of it this way: the groups are like your binders. And the notebooks are like the tabs within those binders.

My “Home Planner” group of notebooks
Noteshelf app front page
For example, all the items in my old home binder were sorted by tabs….now they are individual notebooks, under the “home planner”group. I can easily open up the home planner group and pull up the January notebook to see what we have going on during the month, just as easily as the old tab/binder system. 

My daughter has her own notebook group. Within her group she has two notebooks: her chore chart and journal.

My daughter’s notebooks are grouped together in her own collection.

And do I worry that she might accidentally delete all her cute journal entries, since she has easy access to her notebook? No, and here’s why:

Noteshelf has the ability to easily copy pages. And not only copy the page into the current notebook, but I can move the page into any other existing notebook that I created. So in my personal notebook group I have a copy of all her journal entries, safe and snug.

In the finder view you can easily see all the pages in your notebook. You can copy, move, delete, and export pages from the finder!

Boo’s journal is one of my favorite notebooks. I love that she loves to write in her journal now, she has access to several ink colors/pen widths/stickers, and I can quickly type a description on the same page. I love that I can now email her journal entries- so if there is an especially cute one about grandma, I can send her a copy right away. And for those that have the iPad2 (so jealous!) you can take a pic and insert it right into the note.  Those of us with a regular iPad can insert pics from the photo album. I think my days of binding notebooks for my daughter to use as journals (and end up only using half of the notebook because it gets lost) are over. At least for now. I just love the idea of having an instant digital copy of my daughter’s work. How cute would it be to make a shutterfly book of all her journal entries! Ahhhh I am rambling- back to Noteshelf….
I LOVE having my daughter’s chore chart on Noteshelf. As I mentioned earlier, you have the ability to add custom pages by importing jpgs. I used the GIMP to save all my pdfs to jpgs and I was good to go! After creating the chore chart custom page, I added it to her notebook. Now she can immediately add a digital sticker to her jobs as she completes them, and when we are done for the week we can clear the page and start over! (Once you create a custom page, you can easily insert it at anytime into any notebook) No money spent on stickers- or time spent searching for those aforementioned stickers… I love it. This also works for our scripture reading chart as well!

Digital chore chart

With the ability to create custom pages, I have been able to use all my old binder planner pdfs. So nifty! My monthly menu plan, my special days lists, my birthday calendar,… everything! Just think of all the money you could save by not printing a gazillion lists! And you never have to reprint… its all digital. And no more lugging around your 2 pound binder everywhere.

The finder view of all the pages in our January notebook. You can see the variety of pages! 
A close up view of our weekly cleaning page in our January notebook. (You can download this for free- scroll down to the bottom of this post!)

Other pros: you can tag pages, so if you are looking for a page in a notebook and you don’t remember where it is, you can search by the tag. And I do believe you can do a search for text, if it has been typed. You can export pages to evernote/dropbox. I don’t use these services so it doesn’t mean anything to me, but I know a lot of people might find this feature useful! You can send a page directly to facebook, and that might be of use someday…. Another pro is that it offers wrist protection- which basically means you can set your wrist down on your ipad while writing and the app won’t think your wrist is writing too. You can password lock notebooks and notebook groups- PERFECT for your personal journal, or any notebook entitled “Gift Ideas”.  You can also zoom in on your notebook for more fine tuned handwriting.

Zoom feature for handwritten text

And those lucky ipad2 folks can take pics of children’s calendars from school or other important notes and send them directly into a notebook so you can truly be paper free!

Cons: I have to mention a few. First, I would love the ability to import pdfs directly, instead of having to save them as a jpg. I don’t mind the extra work because I love the result, but it would make life a bit easier. I would also love to see the ability to insert links and images directly from the internet. I created a Pinterest page with the projects I want to work on during the month, but I had to save the pics of each project to my ipad before importing them into the notebook.

Pinterest notebook page- A great place to add pics and text of potential projects for the month.

Also, I would really like to be able to make custom notebook covers. And it would be cool to have that handwriting to text conversion that I have seen in other notebook apps. None of those are deal breakers for me- it is pretty nitty gritty stuff.

Here is a free download you can import right away as a custom page in your Noteshelf app(or you can print it, I won’t mind)

When all is said and done, this app is a must have. Let the trend of digital binders begin!!!

Happy TECHing! (and yes, I left the “a” out on purpose!)

Birthday Party Planning Pages

Confession: I am addicted to planning. And I just can’t make mental plans or jot ideas in a notebook. I crave the organizational high that I get from seeing all my ideas and itineraries printed out on well designed forms and placed in a folder or binder. Here is one of my latest organizational creation: birthday party planning pages.

Click here to download the planner from our wiki. Enjoy!

Book Themed Baby Shower

I had the most wonderful opportunity to host a baby shower for my brother in law and his wife. I LOVE planning!!! (Check out my post on Baby Shower Planning Pages). And I just couldn’t resist hosting an educational based party. After looking around the internet (and my new favorite site Pinterest) I found adorable book- themed baby showers. What an inspiration! Two sites that I gleaned the most creative juices from is Aesthetic Nest and Bowtied’s Etsy shop. Guests were encouraged to bring their favorite book as a gift. (I made a cute Dr Seuss-ish invitation but I don’t have a pic to show. Included in the invitation were bookplates so baby would always remember who gave her each book)

The setup with my cute mother in law in the background. She was kind enough to host the big party at her lovely home.
Banner made out of an old book- I am thinking this would be cute to hang in my daughter’s playroom. Yay for multi-purpose crafts!

 

Each guest picked a letter and designed their own alphabet page for baby’s first ABC book. It was SO fun!
Side table decorations- I couldn’t resist putting the “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sign next to a jar of swedish fish. There are also extra bookplates for guests in case they lost the one included in their invitation
The “Snack Snack Eat a Snack” sign didn’t motivate enough people to eat the treats- but it was still cute!
Cupcakes made by my cute sister in law with the book toppers from Aesthetic Nest.
I love sneaking in learning and literature in any activity! 🙂
Enjoy!
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