Feeling a little out of touch lately since I am not actively involved with dirty hands in a DIY project at the moment. My husband and I are building a new home and are acting as owner/builder which means doing our own project management. Crazy maybe, but the reward at the end will be immeasurable. Like any good project, it requires HOURS of careful planning beforehand to be successful. Measure twice, cut once right? I have also found that there is absolutely no way that I would be able to carry a huge binder or boxes of ideas around with me as we go through the extensive design planning process. Sure formula for going crazy!
So, forget the old idea of magazine clipping and folder making. Now, anyone can dream with ease by clicking the button on their mouse. With the explosion of online information and social media, there are lots of sites now dedicated to the online consumer of information. Even online “bookmarking a page” has gone into the caveman era. Pinterest, Houzz and similar sites have grown by ginormous numbers that allow consumers to easily share and save socially their ideas, dreams and in the case of Houzz, portfolios of design professionals in your area that can help you.
As a user of both myself, I can tell you, it was love at first click to discover these sites. These online based idea boards also allow me to also easily identify a client’s ideas by going to look at their likes and wants on their idea boards online. Anywhere that I have an internet connection, I can see YOUR ideas as well as my own.
Now to take it a step beyond the “idea board”…..Enter “Evernote” and “Dropbox”**…ahhh true love.
**not a paid advertisement for either, just my own opinion based on heavy usage and what has worked well for me
Evernote allows you to easily clip pictures from your phone, camera, or any web site (ie Pinterest, Houzz etc). It will also clip website URL’s, webpage text/image data you want to remember, emails you receive, documents (pdf, word, excel etc), self made notes you need to remember, etc. and they can all be filed at the click of a button into handy notebooks you establish. Think “kitchen”, “bathroom”, etc. or even as minute as “kitchen faucet”, “bathroom tile color” where you can add any and all the information to your heart’s content that you feel like you have researched or should remember. The information syncs to all of your devices and to the cloud seamlessly, so its always available. The notebooks can also be shared with whomever you choose as long as they also have Evernote. Yes, my husband loved the notebook “man-cave” and anything I added to it because he received a notification when I added something new. You can email or print from Evernote as well. Sites like Pinterest and Houzz are limited to their own information, so Evernote takes it a step further since it is completely user customizable and allows all media from all sources.
Finding myself calling contractors to get pricing, the all want high resolution pictures or my .pdf construction drawings. Not easy to do via email given large file sizes and you sure aren’t going to spend the time making hard copies for mailing or face to face meetings. The solution? Drag and drop large file size documents and pictures into a free dropbox account and share the folder with anyone you choose and they can view or print on their end without ever emailing the information. These large files also don’t take up space on my home computer since they are “in the cloud”.
Planning is everything in DIY so I hope you find these sites helpful by increasing your project organization skills and decreasing the paper and stress level involved in most DIY projects by having all the information at your fingertips. This is one instance of why you should get your head in the cloud.