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Week one: begin at the beginning – tools and planning

February 10, 2010

Chers Amis,

It has officially been one week since we started our bricolage and all of my work so far has been on the initial planning and researching of  each individual part of the overall project. Even though I am itching to grab a hammer, get started and, “just paint something already!” there is a lot of groundwork to be done.  My first step was to create a notebook in Microsoft Onenote to keep organized. I love this software!  It came with my Home and Student Suite and allows you to gather information, links, pictures and the like from multiple sources and ‘file’ them electronically in a virtual notebook complete with binder sections and dividers. This appeals to my color-coded ‘dweebie’ side.

Here is a screen shot of one of my notebook pages.  You can see the colored dividers across the top that mark and  name the sections and the individual page tabs for each section.  I have sections for each major area of the project: kitchen, exterior, financing, and more.  Then each section is further divided.  The exterior section includes pages for: house painting, garage door, driveway, shutters, stone path and porch.

You can also group pages together as you can see in this detail. Under “House Painting” I have subpages for both painting and carpentry estimates. (Those pesky woodpeckers!) One of my favorite features of OneNote is the ability to print directly to OneNote instead of a printer.  So, I was able to look at the estimate the painter sent me and print it to OneNote which made it a separate page that could be filed wherever I chose. This also is tied directly to Outlook so I can insert “to – do” flags, tags, and many more neat features.

I also have old-fashioned paper files of clippings from catalogs, hand-written estimates that arrived snail-mail, etc. My favorite resource to date is This Old House Magazine. Every issue has fabulous ideas I can actually use. (I even snagged a 1-yr subscription on Amazon for $7! Sweet!) I have a HUGE stack of past issues that I have marked with sticky notes and a list of vendors that I need to research.

The topic of the week was gravel driveways.  More about that later 🙂


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