“They are asymmetrical and raised,” I told the pediatrician. My wife insisted they were circular and flush. Maybe my description of our toddler’s rash was accurate, or perhaps my wife was right. Perhaps we were each right and wrong. In any event, it didn’t matter. Our contradictory observations stalled the diagnosis of Sam’s rash.
Since the hives didn’t appear to be bothering him all that much, we had a little time. We just didn’t quite know what to do with our extension. Then it dawned on me: Evernote.
Those who know me won’t find this revelation surprising. My brain is duct taped together by Evernote, the “remember everything” app just raised $70 million on a whopping $1 billion valuation. But this was a particularly good use case.
The Evernote taxonomy is comprised of three levels. Users create notes, multiple notes comprise a notebook, multiple notebooks create a stack. I created a note called Sam Hives, which was nestled into a notebook called Sam, which was added to a stack called Family.
Every time he’d break out, we’d catalogue the details – date, time, what he’d eaten, and if he’d done anything unusual (for example, once it happened when we were at a farm). Because Evernote supports multimedia, we’d also add a photo of the image to the note. Next time we showed up at the pediatrician and pulled out the iPhone, boom! Parents of the week, courtesy of a free app.
It turns out, Evernote is pretty much my parenting consigliore. I use it to catalogue gift ideas year-round … heck, there is even a note ambiguously named, “Gifts for When Sam’s Older.” If someone tells me about a great birthday party idea, or fun place to go on a weekend, yup: to Evernote it goes. (Seriously, I can’t risk forgetting that the New England Falconry is an option in a year or two. The Phil Dunphy in me wouldn’t stand for that.)
Before you get the wrong idea, Evernote isn’t just a place were I catalogue all the stuff I want to buy. It’s not an over-engineered shopping list. I also use it to archive memories.
Every Christmas, we give “the grandparents” photo books created in iPhoto (and put one away for Sam) that tell the story of the previous year. You might think it’s the photos that conjure the sentimentality, but it’s not. It’s the annotation. Throughout the year, we archive in Evernote milestones, discoveries, funny events, and even regular ol’ slice-of-life moments, so that as we sit to write this keepsake, the memories are as fresh as they day we experienced them.
Now as far as who was right about the hives, my wife or I … that’s something I’ll be keeping that between my family and Evernote.