How I Use Google Drive & G-Suite to organise my life & home

I have free online storage from quite a few places, but the best by far has to be Google Drive for me! I use it for so many different things it has become an invaluable tool for my home, mostly because of the Suite of apps run within it, so I’m going to share with you how I use it…

Play school

I save Dylan’s weekly reports (each week the staff share what Dylan has been doing during his sessions) which I download as a PDF and save in his own playschool folder. I also write up Dylan’s half term reports on Google Docs ready to copy & paste and share through the platform the play school uses.

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Organising

The latest project is label tags for Dylan’s toy boxes. We have boxes for his kitchen stuff, building, puzzles, music etc so using the flat icon website, I have put together some labels that he can see without being able to read (although to be fair, Dylan knows by now what toys go in which box really, it will mostly help daddy out!)
I have a DVD inventory in a spreadsheet, I recorded episodes of tv shows off the telly and onto DVDs and made a list of the episodes into a doc file. Plus I made a vision board of our home before we moved in to get a better idea of how we wanted to set up the rooms.
When it comes to car/house insurance renewal, I have documents set up (this helps especially when looking into car insurance for hubby – we currently have joint insurance but when I’m looking for a cheaper deal I need his info) with all the answers I would need to questions on comparison websites. Sometimes the info is saved over to the next year on the website itself, sometimes they disappear so it certainly helps that I have the information to hand!

Scrapbooking

While I don’t keep my digi kits stored here as they would take up far too much storage, I have experimented in digi scrapping within google drawings. On google slides, I have done album mock ups such as an album all about my nan to print on to cardstock and assemble into an album – these of course don’t use any storage space. Slides has become my most used tool, using it as a desktop publishing software.

I have taken online classes, Cathy Zielske is my fave! I have saved a lot of my class materials to my google drive, especially after big picture classes went through a big change and we were encouraged to back up the materials before they were no longer available. I’m hoping to use Slides to prep for a lot of Cathy’s upcoming Design Your Life 2.0 class as well.

Family history

Ancestry showed a really cool binder their genealogists put together, so I decided I could do something similar with google docs. I have made family tree pictures with drawings to insert into the document (I have 2 – one for ancestors on mum’s side and another for ancestors on my dad’s side) and I save research here too.

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Planner

Slides has been amazing for me – I started using it as a desktop publishing tool a long time ago before I even realised that was what some other people were doing. I have made planner stickers, inserts & more within it, and I love it! Check out my video on how I use it here.

IFTTT

Rather randomly, I set up ifttt to save weather information to a spreadsheet for my hometown, since 2015. This is especially neat to look back on but other than that it has no purpose, well that I have yet anyway!
I also have a spreadsheet for medication, using the “do button” or “do widget” I press it and it adds a row to the spreadsheet with the date and time as a reminder of when I (or hubby, as he always forgets) or Dylan, takes medicine, so I press the button and I have record of it.

Finance

This has to be one of my ultimate uses. Every new financial year, I have a new household budget spreadsheet. While I use YNAB for tracking and overall household finance, my spreadsheet has the numbers I use for YNAB. As I am on a part time wage & more often than not it varies each month and hubby is paid full time the same amount each month, the spreadsheet works out the percentage we contribute to the household, plus our budget per month listed down, and shows how much I should have towards savings. Best of all it can be viewed by hubby as it is shared.

I also have holiday/vacation budgets spreadsheets, Christmas budget spreadsheets, and when we moved into this house, budget for furniture & moving costs.

Work

While not household, I keep a running log of holiday leave taken from work plus notes of overtime each month I have done. When I worked through an agency, I also kept a running log of holiday accrual and kept a list of appointments when I was pregnant with Dylan plus time I paid back to the company in a spreadsheet so I had it all noted down.

Website (& design)

I decided fairly recently to keep my website “resources” within drive. I stumbled upon Joshua Pomeroy’s YouTube channel about using design in drawings and slides & firstly I thought it was awesome because I used slides for designing planner stickers and inserts already so it was a huge inspiration to me. I began to start putting some of the design resources I collected over the years into drive (they are all still kept in Box as an original though) as G-Suite files and I figured it would be good to keep logo, brand identity, backgrounds, elements, patterns etc in their own folders for ease of access, and as G-Suite files do not count towards storage I have added some images etc as Google Drawings image files.

Google photos

I backed up photos and videos through the app which are also saved to my drive. I have the optimised size and not original saved here purely as a back up. I figure that is better than lost forever, though my photos are also saved to my Flickr from my phone so it’s not a major deal to me, but it’s great to have the peace of mind.


I shall certainly work on a new post with the planner inserts in more depth and share some of my Drive files here as well under downloads for sure so keep an eye out for those!

Hanson Crafts Branding

Hanson Crafts BRANDING

I’ve been a big fan of the whole “branding boards” for some time now (I even have a ton of Branding Boards pinned over at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mmmbisto/branding/) I just adore looking at them, they give me warm fuzzies! As much as I love design, and drool over magazine layouts and like to try and dabble in it, I am absolutely terrible at it! A part of me wishes I could do something like that for a living though, and I’ve even loved webdesign since the early 2000s when I used to spend entire Sundays locked away in my bedroom at home just sat working on a brand new website layout for my Greymatter blog… Ah the good old days! Funnily enough, as is the norm, life got in the way and I began doing less and less web design and so over the last year I’ve been trying to sort of catch back up in everything I have missed. Back in January when I was made redundant the original plan was that I was going to go back to college and do something in webdesign and design but on the other hand I was absolutely happy to get a new job within that first week, but then the whole college idea was soon forgotten.

So this weekend just gone, I was thinking about “branding” this blog here and spent the entire day pouring over quite literally everything on my various pinterest boards for Branding, Websites and Design. Then I decided that I would do my own branding board first for what I did for the Hanson Crafts website, so a bit backwards way of doing it really LOL, but I just wanted to do it for fun 🙂

How I’m using Evernote to help plan for the baby

If you haven’t checked out Evernote (videos), then I highly recommend that you do 🙂 I’ve have been a casual user for a couple of years now, just keeping ideas noted down and some images just like I would in a regular notebook but it’s super handy to have them with me everywhere I go in digital format, recipes I find online, and notes on scrapbook page ideas (and photos to go with it) while it is still fresh in my mind. I have even taken some of my paper notebooks with my doodles in them and have them backed up to Evernote! I have the set list from Hanson’s Birmingham concert back in November 2011 nicely noted down in here while I was at the concert as I didn’t want to forget, a list of our Disney DVD collection, and Christmas gift ideas which I add to each year when inspiration strikes. It’s funny how much I’ve come to love this handy little tool!

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But the one thing that has made me a heavy user of late is preparing for the baby…

My notes include:
Images of baby clothes (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 & 9-12) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][I started a “Baby Clothes” notebook specifically!] Baby clothes wish list clipped from the web/images snapped from catalogues
Birth Plan
Weight gain
Budget advice clipped from Bounty website
Notes to take to my next midwife appointment so I don’t forget what to mention
Images of 12 & 20 week scans
“Thank you” so I can remember as we go along who we get gifts from so we can write thank you notes
My Milestones (When felt baby move, bump measurements)
Copy of my MATB1 before I sent it off to my employer
My Maternity notes… Yes, I sat and “page captured” all the pages from my Maternity Notes book (and best of all it’s now searchable!), my notes are with me EVERYWHERE in my pocket… Much relief!
Baby scrapbook notes, typing out information to include into my scrapbook before I write them down onto the journal cards.
Copies of hospital letters (also page captured and searchable)
“Baby essentials” clipped from Babycentre/what baby needs, taken from various birth group ladies
“Hospital bag” noted from websites/birth group ladies
Money notes (SMP/Maternity allowance information, Links to benefits/cost of childcare)
Checklist of what we still need to buy baby

baby notebook

I hope my list inspires you to give it a try :)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Mojo is back!

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I am back to Zumba classes 🙂 So fab to be with such lovely ladies, and they were all talking about a video which Reg gave us a demonstration of (minus the Zumba men!) So glad to be back.

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I’ve also been on Illustrator which just does not want to co-operate on my laptop. I managed to export 2 of my vector images but for the last 2 it claimed I did not have enough memory to complete the operation. Thank heavens for smart layers! I copied and pasted the vectors into photoshop.

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8 papers made for a new “Shout It Out” kit I’ve been toying with for Hanson Crafts. Hopefully will lead on to phone wallpapers, 10×8 print to go with the subway art I made… My vectors are far from perfect though, but I made them so they’re good enough for me ^_^

Move more eat well March

So I have lost a pound each week in the first two weeks but didn’t lose a pound this week, however it wasn’t a weight gain which is all good and my BMI actually went down, so in my eyes that is still a victory!

That kit I was working on is pretty much completed and has been for a while, and on top of my wunderlist right now is to get the TOU written, split the kit between Hanson crowd & everyday crowd, zip, upload & link up 🙂 I thank you all for your patience & understanding as things have been busy & hectic as usual! On top of my main worries I have my mobile contract expiring soon & I need to cancel within the next 2 days, trying to adjust to new glasses but having issues with them and I had my eye test in tesco & glasses made in Boots so a headache of going between the 2 to sort out what the problem actually is, the weather is picking up now so chores are extending out into the garden where we have a flower border that is positively awful, constantly growing weeds and we have some things we’d like to plant. I’ve weeded a bunch already but still have a lot left to do. Oy.

BeforeAfter (still needs work)
I also need to sit down and sort out my domain, the current sites on it & how best to present & manage them as I still haven’t even got to finishing off my Hanson crafts site since Hanson.net cut their hosting and I’ve had to just sort of upload what I had over to my domain & figure “I’ll sort it out later as I have more important things to do right now”.

Lynda.com certificates :)

I did thoroughly enjoy my week of free Lynda .com training though. I did a refresher on web design fundamentals, did a website from photoshop to dreamweaver course & something that really took my fancy: hands on magazine workshop, doing a magazine spread in InDesign. I was positively giddy with learning & taking some time to sit & watch the videos. I vow to save up some money and take a month to learn some cool new things. Not at all career related but for me. I won’t need to learn how to do a logo (I have played around and made my own in the past!)  but I think it’s a cool skill to have, and making book covers in InDesign ready for the next installment of our trip report but of course 😉 and I want to brush up on my HTML skills. I remember back in the good old days when I spent entire Sundays coding my website  locked away in my bedroom and running it through the validator to check that it was good coding! Ah, the days back when we had Greymatter blogs and numerous “skins” that we coded in php so that the visitors could choose their favourite. I do miss those days, especially as I lost touch with it all and that’s a bad thing in an ever changing environment.

Well, many other things calling my name that needs to be done. People waiting on me to do my turn on Draw Something as well. All being well I hope to be back on Sunday with a little something for you all for being such superstars!

Not quite the big 3-0

Oliver & Daddy

So I turned 29 a couple of weeks back, and as usual with work and life in general getting in my way I’ve not blogged (in fact, my digital kit I’ve been working on hasn’t been touched in some time and I have been neglecting my CT work this month too, I am such a bad person!)

The point of this post was really to give myself a quick toot toot lol, as Cathy Zielske herself picked my above layout as one of the giveaway winners in her Type class so I’ve been especially excited. Even more so when I note that I started that layout right before bedtime on the final night of class (again, had been super busy!) and I nearly never got to do it and I’m so glad I did!

Having a play…

Coming Soon

I’ve not played around making a digital kit in many years. Now this kit in particular is aimed towards my special crafts site as a freebie, but I have been toying with the idea of removing those theme specific items and releasing it as a mini kit for here. But I still have a lot of work left to do on it, believe me! But it’s actually really fun to be doing something with design. I could never do it and make a business of it though, I couldn’t do numerous kits a month LOL! Though I have been making templates, and overlays so hopefully there will be more freebies in the future 😉

New Moon

Team Jacob!

(Click pic for credits)

I saw New Moon yesterday and it was absolutely FAB!  Such a great atmosphere in the cinema and I seriously want to go see it again 🙂 I think I’ll have to go take my mum lol! People “Woooo”‘d when Jacob took off his shirt and a huge round of applause at the end. Seriously LOVED it, I will type a post tomorrow when I have time with a cut so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it 🙂  Hmm, I think I need to twilight my blog lol!

Week 5

Just finished these 2 digi pages 🙂 I bought some stuff from Holly Designs – her stuff is seriously awesome! And it was alllll on sale at the weekend. Wanted to kick myself today though as I saw she’s the one who does the lush metal alphas like my making Memories ones. Gutted.

80s child

chuppa chups

and my pages from Cathy’s class:
Living With a Guy - week 5, layout 1

In the month of.... - week 5, layout 2

Hair Today, Gone tomorrow - week 5, layout 3

Now I’m off cos I want to watch a programme about the Titanic that’s on at 9pm and I’m going to snuggle in bed and watch it after my shower 🙂