Posts Tagged ‘technology’

My workload reached unprecedented levels of crazy last year, a situation that I’ve been determined not to repeat this year. I am planning to do a whole lot more of the things that make me happy and healthy. (Note: I confess I had a fleeting thought to describe it as things that ‘feed my soul’ but I rejected this Oprah-esque nonsense. You’re welcome.)

I did so much working on and in my home that somewhere along the line I forgot to live in it.

I’ve been trying to regain my weekends as a time of rest and fun. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation to me I want you to as well!

I’m the first to admit I’m not always successful at this, but I have been better about making time for friends and family and switching off the computer on weekends.

With that in mind, I am starting a new column that will be all about cultivating simplicity and joy at home. Every Friday I’ll be encouraging you to join me in a fun weekend challenge. Some of the topics will be a bit more about obvious relaxation and others will be satisfying projects that involve a bit more effort, but they will all have the same goal of making your home a more fun, relaxing and fulfilling place to be.

I really hope you enjoy it!

Why don't you... have a technology free weekend

By necessity of my work, I spend long hours all week on the computer and by the end of the week I am drained from being constantly connected. I have found the single biggest factor to me returning to work on Monday feeling refreshed and raring to face the week is limiting my screen time over the weekend.

It’s true I still do a lot of work-related tasks on the weekend but I make sure they’re easier / more fun / offline (eg. buying supplies, taking pictures, working on blog projects) so that it doesn’t turn into just another work day.

Try turning off the TV and computer for a weekend and limit your social media usage and see how much more relaxed you feel. Not only that, you’ll have way more time to spend on the things you love doing and with your family.

So this weekend, why don’t you have a tech-free weekend?

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Scoutie Girl: Use technology to improve your family life

A sneaky second post today to let you know about my new article over on Scoutie Girl.

It will actually be my last regular guest post, which is a shame because I’ve really enjoyed writing them. Ultimately, though, I realised that it wasn’t contributing to my blog goals and in order to achieve them I needed to trim some of the ‘extras’.

If you’re still interested in some of the topics I covered, do let me know and I’ll do my best to tackle them but in a way that’s more in keeping with Atypical Type A.

Click over to read the full post!

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Scoutie Girl: Tooling Around - Please mind the gap

I normally talk about my fave technology lifestyle tips on my Tooling Around column over on Scoutie Girl. But there is such a thing as too much. We’re now filling every spare or ‘wasted’ moment with checking our phones, updating our status and checking email.

Today, I’m challenging you (and myself) to not fill those empty moments. Simply relax and enjoy the breathing space it provides in your day.

Read the full post and let me know how you go!

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Scoutie Girl - Tooling Around: Business on the road

Inspired by our trip, I thought I’d make this instalment of Tooling Around all about working while travelling. Although most of the tips apply to any kind of travel, whether you have a business or not.

Read the whole article here.

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I think you’ll all agree when I say that paperwork is one of the biggest clutter culprits in most homes. ‘Going paperless’ is a semi-regular series on eliminating paper from your home in order to save time, reduce clutter and benefit the environment.

Step 2: Digitising

papers
Oh Hello Friend

I make a lot of notes. And not pretty scrapbook-worthy notes like in the above photo by Oh Hello Friend. We’re talking scrawled scraps of paper all. over. the. house.

Not only is it clutter-producing in the extreme, it’s also not even very effective. I know I wrote down the address for the party / that blog idea / Mum’s birthday present idea somewhere. Is it in one of my (many) notebooks? Is it on a post-it note hidden under a pile of papers on my desk? Is it on a piece of paper stuffed in a handbag? (Sounds like a not-very-successful children’s book.)

Since life doesn’t have a ‘search’ field, I had to work out a better system.

I started using Evernote a couple of months ago and I am loving it.

I’ve set up a handful of broad categories (‘Stacks’) including Akimbo, Atypical Type A, Inspiration, Orgainising, Personal and Finances, but you can organise it in a way that makes sense to you. Within that I’ve created sub-category ‘Notebooks’, for example within Personal there’s Travel, Parties, Gift ideas and Recipes.

From there you just create individual notes from your preferred device. I like the fact that it’s cross-platform and -device so if  I’m in the studio I’ll jot dwn ideas using the desktop version, if I’m on the couch I’ll reach for my iPad and if I’m out and about I’ll use the Android widget.

I mainly just type in notes but the I’ve found the photo note function on the phone version quite useful too (there’s also audio but I’ve never used that). I have no idea how I lived without the Web Clipper tool – seriously it is so handy to be able to save articles for later, all with the original URL intact. The image previews are great for visual browsing.

Gawd, I sound like an ad, don’t I? I promise I’m not being paid to say any of this, I’m just really digging the product and wanted to share it with you.

It’s a really powerful tool and I’m quite sure I’m only using 10% of its functions. I’m still trying to break the lifelong habit of writing paper notes so I’m currently in the transition stage.

I’m definitely keen to dig further into it, but for now here are some ideas on how you could use it to reduce your paper clutter in your life and work:

  • Receipts
  • Articles to read
  • Bills
  • Recipes (either favourites or new)
  • Business cards
  • Blog post ideas
  • Gift ideas
  • Crafts to try
  • Places to visit
  • Books to read
  • House projects
  • Home references
  • Work ideas
  • Things to buy
  • Items lent/borrowed
  • Meeting notes
  • Activities to do with spouse/kids
  • Instruction manuals

I’ll be talking about a few of these in upcoming posts (next up: Manuals & warranties).

Do you use Evernote or some kind of digital note-taking system? I’d love to know what you use it for. Let’s discuss more ideas in the comments!

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SG-Tooling-Around-Top-10-Tools

My latest guest post is up over on Scoutie Girl!

Today I’m revealing my ten daily business tech essentials for keeping me sane. It’s not just for biz owners though, the majority of the tools would be useful for anyone juggling everyday demands of work and life.

Head over and check it out and don’t forget to add your own faves and ask any questions.

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I think you’ll all agree when I say that paperwork is one of the biggest clutter culprits in most homes. ‘Going paperless’ is a semi-regular series on eliminating paper from your home in order to save time, reduce clutter and benefit the environment.

home notebook

Step 2: Digitising

One of my earliest posts waaay back in June 2010 was about carrying a home notebook. It was a small spiral bound notebook I wrote down references about our house, such as dimensions of furniture.

Of course, the problem with a paper-based system is that you had to remember which handbag it was in and it tended to get really tattered and messy with scribbled updates.

My notebook has now gone high-tech! I set it up in Evernote on my desktop computer (way quicker to type everything in) but I can easily access and edit it on my phone when I’m out-and-about. I love that if I find some cute storage boxes I know they’ll fit into the shelves back at home. It seriously cuts down the time spent returning too-short curtains and too-big frames.

I haven’t tried it yet but I believe you can also share notes with other users (don’t know how much use it will be though, pretty sure The Man has never been casually wandering around a furniture store by himself and thought ‘Gee, that’s a gorgeous tablecloth, if only I knew what size our dining table was’).

Do any of you guys have a reference system like this? Or are you more a of a cross-your-fingers-and-hope kind of person?

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SG Tooling Around - Why Technology Matters

Guess who the new contributor to Scoutie Girl is?

You guessed right – it’s me!

I am still pinching myself that I’m writing for one of my favourite blogs alongside some very esteemed names.

I’ve been handed the reins for the Tooling Around column by the ever lovely Janice Bear. I am looking forward to getting to know the Scoutie Girl community and sharing my thoughts and experiences on incorporating technology into your creative business and life in general.

It’s something I’ve been increasingly interested in since starting my business in 2010, and while I’ve touched on it briefly in my Going Paperless series, I knew that this blog is not the right forum for tech- or business-oriented content. I’m thrilled to have the perfect external forum to explore these ideas so as to keep Atypical Type A full of the interior eye candy and projects you have come to expect.

Even if you’re not tech-savvy or a biz owner, I’d love for you to join me over there. I’ll be covering nifty tools, easy tricks and creative lifestyle issues – all easy stuff that you can implement straight away (without a degree in computing).

And with that, I invite you go head over to Scoutie Girl to read my first monthly column.

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bud vase crate before

After cracking open a bottle of yummy fortified wine recently, we were left with the fancy display crate it came in. It was a really sturdy, well-made box with a nice grain so it seemed such a pity to throw out. I concluded it would make a great flower box of some sort.

Meanwhile, I was clearing out some kitchen cupboards and came across this shot glass set I’d been given many years ago. It was fun at the time, but these days I prefer to savour my drinks (that’s a nice way of saying I just can’t handle shots anymore).

Goodbye, reminder of my partying days, hello cute bud vases!

bud vase crate after

I borrowed a tin of wood stain from my Dad and set to work. I was initially planning to sand back the timber to get rid of the engraved text, but I decided that I quite liked it. The stain obscures the text so it doesn’t stand out too much, but it’s still readable as a memory of the winery we visited (on the day The Man proposed, no less).

bud vase crate after 2

I’d been trying to think of some way to disguise (but obviously not affect the use of) the ugly black speakers on our entertainment unit. I may yet find a more permanent solution to hide them better, but for now this is provides a useful distraction.

Since all the materials I already owned or was able to borrow, all it cost was a couple of dollars for some poppies. Faux, admittedly, but still much prettier than a row of chunky black speakers.

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tv in gallery wall
One Kings Lane

One of the greatest challenges in decorating a living room is what to do with the television. Sure, it’s great that we now don’t have chunky black boxes, but now we have ever-growing screens that can dominate a room (that’s certainly the case in our home!).

That’s why I love the idea of hanging your flat screen amongst a gallery wall. Of course you can still see the TV but it looks integrated into the room and the focus is on the beautiful artworks instead.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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