The Drive to Digitize (part 3 of Mission: iHome)

Now that my computer is neat and tidy and organized, and my house is becoming so, I’m taking the next step – digitize anything I can.  I actually discovered this to be a fantastic solution for the many treasured works of art that my 6 and 7 year old daughters bring home from school.  I just hate to feel like a rotten parent and throw away the things that they worked so hard on and were so proud of, but man does that stuff take up a lot of space.  The solution?  Snap a pic, save it in my iPhoto Library, throw away the real thing, like so:

The added bonus, of course, is that the picture is automatically dated, so 20 years from now, I’ll be able to know exactly how old my kids were when they created these masterpieces.  Of course I’ll still save a few physical examples of each type of artwork, but this will vastly reduce the keepsake storage.  I also have to mention that I found a really cool app on the new Mac App Store to make this even easier – RemoteSnap.  I downloaded the free app from the app store to my mac, and grabbed the free version for my iPhone.  So, when I’m at home, I use that to snap my pics and they transfer automatically to my computer via wi-fi.  I liked it so much, I decided to go ahead and shell out the 99¢ for the full version (which removes a watermark from the top left corner of the pic).

As I look around my nice tidy kitchen (still neat and organized after 2 weeks!!!), I notice one remaining eyesore – an assortment of recipes – card files, books, printed out slips of paper attached to the fridge with magnets.  Too messy.  Solution?  A Bento Database.  I mostly have to type the recipes in, but it’s worth it, especially once I have an ipad with Bento on it and a pintel mount under my cabinet to hold the ipad while I’m cooking.  Not to mention I will be able to have my recipes with me wherever my iPad travels.  Bento comes with a standard template for recipes which I modified slightly to meet my needs.  I can type into a table, and then look at the nice recipe view:

And while I’m at it, I thought of other things I can have on my iPad.  My first thought was music – not audio files, that’s a no-brainer.  I mean actual sheet music.  I’ve played piano for quite a few years, and whenever I go visit my mom, I LOVE to play on her Steinway.  There’s just nothing like playing on that piano.  But I find myself breaking my back carrying tons of books of music over to her place, because of course I have one favourite in each book.  BUT, I can scan that music in, convert it to a pdf and view it in iBooks.  My husband even told me about a great app called ForScore available for $4.99 for iPad which I am considering.

Next – my CDs.  I still have a bunch that aren’t in iTunes.  While I don’t yearn to listen to them, I can’t quite get rid of them – just in case, you know?  (Yeah, I’m kind of a packrat…or rather, Cindy was a packrat, iCindy is only a digital packrat…little steps at a time).  So all my CDs are being imported into iTunes and then they are bound for Love Garden or maybe Craigslist.  But I’m not stopping there with music.  I have a bunch of old records…on vinyl!  I haven’t listened to those since I was a kid and my parents had a turntable.  Some of those records I’ve searched for on CD and come up empty.  But, now I have the solution.  For Christmas, I got a USB Turntable and I’ve been importing all my vinyl into iTunes.  I was kind of excited to share some of my own childhood favourites with my kids:

Once I am finished importing all of my old records, they too, will go to Love Garden, and the USB turntable will have a new and happy home at iCafe where it will be available for all of you to do the same.  Keep an eye on our website for details!

Lastly, my DVDs.  Wow, do I have a lot of those.  I’m using handbrake to import all of them to my computer.  Ultimately, my goal is to get rid my house of all the DVDs and DVD players and just have Apple TVs and digital movie files instead.  They take up so much less space, not to mention the cabinets I’ll be able to repurpose or recycle.

The next step will be to make this all start to come together and be accessible throughout the household.  Stay tuned!