March 14, 2010

My New Digital Assistant

Feeling overwhelmed with trying to remember things? Have issues with sticky notes and little slips of paper that keep you feeling like your brain is scattered all over your office? You aren't alone. Keeping it all together in this lightning-fast digital age is nearly impossible.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about one of my newest favorite tools to help keep you from information overload. Have you ever wanted a digital assistant? I would love one (if only!). I'd also love a maid, a cook, and a nanny to help with keeping up in real life... but that's for another post. Springpad might not do your dishes or fold your clothes, but it certainly helps keep you from forgetting about things that are important to you.

Springpad is a digital organizer...a memory bank... an 'external hard drive' for your brain. It helps you organize and remember things.

Here are some of the things that Springpad helps you keep up with:

*That amazing recipe you saw and want to recreate (and a menu planner calendar you can drag and drop them on).
*The gazillion notes you have stuck to every surface of your desk.
*Events you don't want to miss.
*Movies you want to watch.
*Products you want to remember to buy.
*Websites you want to revisit.
*School projects to complete or links for school research.
*Task lists.
*Budgets for projects.
*Cute things the kids say for their baby books.
*Grocery lists.
*Blog post ideas you want to write (and even a calendar to organize them on).
*Online coupons or deals that you want to take advantage of.

I could go on and on. Not to mention that everything you save in Springpad has a reminder function (which allows you to have your notes email you before your deadlines). Wow. Did you hear that? Your own NOTES emailing you!

Here's a view of my 'Stuff' - and the buttons on the sidebar help you narrow down your view... You can click the types on the side and see just that category of stuff at once... or you can use custom searches using your own tagging system. It really is ingenious:

Sounds a LOT like a personal assistant already, right? A FREE one, at that! Yep - I said free.

Springpad also released an iPhone app recently and allows you to keep track of your 'Stuff' (as they so affectionately call it) from literally anywhere. It also automatically organizes your information in to categories that make it easy to locate later, allows you to tag things, and has many applications you can use to work with (or even print) your data once you have it entered.

Here's a view of my calendar...

And my recipes...

Check out this video to get a better idea of what Springpad can do to help you keep track of your world:

And here's a video of the iPhone App (Also free!):

Want to hear something REALLY cool? The iPhone App offers a "barcode scanner" that utilizes your phone's camera to scan objects and add them as product links in your 'Stuff'. You can keep track of things with barcodes, typed notes, GPS tracking (for tagging restaurants and businesses in your area), or pictures (your phone's camera).

Even cooler is that Springpad automatically populates things when you use it (which means less typing and work for YOU). It adds ingredients from your recipes that you "spring" from online websites - and usually ads pictures to your products and movies... etc.

My favorite cool App within Springpad? The blog post planner...

Isn't that awesome???

You have to try it to see for yourself. Seriously. Go back after you read this article and click on all the links to learn more from the pros at Springpad.

Users of Springpad also can connect with other "Springpadders" and you can snag interesting things from their 'Stuff-stream'. Check out this article about following 'friends' 'Stuff' in case they have something interesting you want to add to your own. However, you can make things public or private with one click (each entry you make has either option), so you don't have to block or allow anyone - no hassles. Unlike Facebook's tricky privacy policies, each item in your Springpad stuff has a little lock image. If the lock is open, it's public. If it is closed, it's private. Easy peasy. [If you do sign up for a free account, be sure to look me up so I can find you - K?]

If you have a group of information that needs to be categorized together, you can use the "Lists" feature and keep them in one place for quick access, too. When I went to Blissdom, I grouped my RE-USABLE packing list, my budget, my notes, my contact info, the hotel website, the Blissdom Conference website and agenda, local restaurants, directions, my wardrobe planner, and my grocery list - all linked in one easy-to-click group.

As a list junkie and an aspiring organizer, I've really enjoyed getting to know Springpad. It has already helped me clean off my desk and I'm about to use it to organize my emails - you can email things in to your Springpad account if you send them from the email account that you used to sign up. I'm imagining how cool that will be when Morgan and I have our "secretary weekend". When the boys go camping, she and I are going to clean my email boxes out. My 11 year old daughter is a super organizer and promised to be my digital assistant for two days if I threw in some popcorn, a chick-flick, a trip to Starbucks, and a few dollars. With her and Springpad on my side, I'm hoping that my digital overload will soon be over - or at least a lot easier to manage!

If you are interested in learning more, comment here to let me know you are interested in joining me for a GoTo Meeting to get to know Springpad better. My friend Lauren at Springpad will show you how to use this amazing online service and answer any questions you might have.

Quick Links
Read Write Web Article about Springpad as compared to Evernote
The Springpad Blog

Disclaimer: This post is my opinion and was not paid for. However, Springpad did give me a donation towards my trip to Blissdom in early February 2010 as a partial sponsor and sent me some cool t-shirts and notepads to give away to blog friends and Blissdom attendees.


mommyp4 said...

I am interested and checking out links now!!!

cceeyore said...

not sure if you already signed me up or not ... but wanted to make sure my name was on the list! Thanks, girl!

Trish said...

Yep, I'll be checking it out. I still need LOTS of help keeping up with the social media side of online presence, but it looks like Springpad will help with my bookmarks, blog posts, book and/or product reviews (having an email sent to myself to remind me a review deadline is coming will be GREAT), online recipes and tons of other "stuff." Looks great, Heather ~ thanks for the info. I'll let you know when I've signed up!

dianne - bunny trails said...

I'd like to understand Springpad better because so far, it doesn't thrill me. I don't care about the iPhone side of it, since I don't have one.

I'm glad it makes you so happy, though.

Sisterlisa said...

I have tried just about every planner out there, except this one, and it never seems to work out for me. I fly by the seat of my pants (er um skirt) lol It looks like a great way to keep it all organized.

Fudge4u said...


I spent almost all morning exploring the springpad site. It is wonderful! I think it has a lot to offer, but untangling it, setting it up and learning to use all the functions will be a time commitment for sure. Albeit a valuable time investment! I would welcome the chance to be a part of your Go To Meeting event.


Lauren said...

Great write-up Heather! I think you've officially become a Springpad Super User ;) Let me know if any of your readers have questions, I'd be happy to help them out.

Running After 3 said...

Heather - Looking at your "my apps" page, where did you get the notebooks? I am interested in the weekly meal planner & calendar but not quite sure how to create or springit!. Thanks!!

I'm momma Skyla said...

Oh, how I needed this! I can't wait to sign up! Thanks for the great tip!

Nikowa Lee said...

OOH checking this out! Thanks for sharing girl!

Kela said...

I'm headin' there now too!! Thank you for sharing this :)

Lauren said...

Hey Kelly! To get to the apps, simply click on the Apps Tab (next to the Friends Stuff Tab). You can then add any of our apps into you account from there. We have an App Directory that lets you search apps by category, too. Let me know if you need help:




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