Online home organization tools

These online tools are an easy way to stay on top of life.

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  • Getting more organized is on nearly everyone's list. And now, with smartphones, tablets, and computers of all types in nearly all our homes, there's a whole new world of ways to get more organized—online.

  • Keeping track of appointments

  • Programs such as Google Calendar are free, online tools that makes it easy to share calendars with others. This makes it easy to know if another family member already has an engagement when you are scheduling something new. You can assign each person a different color, too, to make it even easier to see at a glance who needs to be where. The other great thing about Google Calendar is that you can log in from any computer or smart phone, not just your home computer—so your calendars are available to you any place there is an internet-capable computer. Google Calendar can automatically sync with a smartphone.

  • Shopping lists

  • Several programs exist that allow you to keep track of what you need at the store. These are more than just list-makers. You can categorize your list by store, and even by aisle, keep track of prices. Best of all, you can create the list on your computer and sync it to your smartphone, or make it directly on your smartphone. No more forgotten shopping list—if you have your phone, you have your list.

  • Home inventory

  • Everyone should have a home inventory of possessions in case of fire or other insurance situations. Search online for free programs that help you through this process. Pre-made checklists help make sure you don't forget things. Some programs even offer ways to insert photos of your items, using a phone camera or a regular camera. You can also keep track of where your belongings are stored for easy retrieval.

  • Documents

  • Digitizing your documents by scanning them is a great way to protect them and to make them easier to locate. A scanned document becomes a backup copy of the actual document, and takes up no space. Finding a document becomes as easy as performing a computer search, instead of digging through boxes of old papers.

  • Cleaning

  • Yes, even cleaning can be done more efficiently with online help. Several online programs allow you to sign up for email reminders to do certain tasks which you set up yourself, or the website can suggest things that may need doing. You can also access information on how to clean nearly anything and how to make your own cleaning supplies.

  • Recipes

  • Another fun online organization tool is for recipes. Most people know how easy it is to find recipes online for any imaginable food. Now there are websites that allow you to enter the items you have on hand, and it will tell you what you can make from those things—and even give you the recipe and photo of the finished dish. As you search online for the online organizing tools that are right for you, be sure to read about or even try a few different ones to see what is the most helpful for you—and be sure to read the fine print about cost. For every paid online organizing tool, there is usually a free alternative.

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Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at mynewoldschool.com, and she blogs about her writing adventures at margothovley.com.

Website: http://www.margothovley.com

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