Oh my gosh. The amount of information I have to keep track of right now in my life is a bit much. I’m not doing a perfect job at this by far, but it’s not bad, either.

OneNote

I feel as strongly about OneNote as I do about the Wegmans app. No, maybe more strongly. Think of OneNote as bookshelf full of electronic binders. You decide you need a new binder for a new topic (a notebook). You create one. Then you add dividers (sections). Then you add pages in each section. You can move anything around at any time.

  1. It is included in the Microsoft Office suite, so many people already have it.
  2. If you choose to save your notebooks to the cloud, you can access them from anywhere.
  3. You can even make a shortcut to a particular page and add it to the homepage on your phone.
  4. There are browser plugins that help you save webpages to OneNote.
  5. You can send emails to OneNote.
  6. You have massive options for automating item forwarding to OneNote if you use ITTT.
  7. You can use the OneNote phone app to take pictures (including automatically squared photos of pieces of paper) and insert them into any document.
  8. It is searchable.

I use it for so many things. I organize all my doctor’s appointments and notes and test results in it (I wrote about it in detail here.). I organize research. I document every phone call I make to annoying bureaucratic agencies, and every piece of paper I send them. I save articles. I copy my Kindle nook notes into it. I compile snippets for my future memoir.

 

Organize medical information and handle appointments

Check out my overview over at How to Get On.

 

Google Drive/Google Docs/Google Sheets

The greatest strength for me here, is the ability to share documents with other people.

I wrote a spreadsheet full of important information for friends and family in case of an emergency. It has my car information, address, building manager information, contact information for lots of friends and family, who has my house keys and car keys, who knows how to drive a standard transmission car, my doctors, who is my health care proxy, etc. It is shared to most of the people whose information is on it.

I have a folder on current health information – my current medications and supplements, diagnosed conditions, important reference docs, etc. This folder is shared with my health care proxy.

 

Airtable (or other spreadsheet, database, or tracking software)

I meticulously record a lot of information about my health and treatment on a daily basis. It helps me understand trends over time, and accurately report changes to my doctor. I keep track of activity, symptoms, medications, foods, heart rate, pain, rest, and other details.

Before each doctors appointment I look at my data since the last appointment and jot down summary information. I then say to my doctor things like, “It’s been 52 days since my last appointment with you. in that time I’ve had headaches 31 days, which is 60% of the time.” or “I’ve had 8 days of pain at a six or higher where i needed to take Tramadol. That compares with 15 days in the period before out last appointment. The LDN is helping to reduce the severity of my pain.”

I know that not everyone is able to record so much, but it has been really helpful for both me and my doctor. I like Airtable a lot because  it’s easy to use on my phone, and kind of looks like a custom-designed app. I’m able to use star ratings to describe things like pain, an add screenshots from my heart monitor.

 

Facebook

I’m in a lot of incredibly helpful support groups on Facebook. Sometimes there’s a post that I’m really interested in. The first thing to know it that you can follow any post for notifications as comments are added. The second thing to leverage is saving a post and adding it to a collection. I once needed to advise my doctor on something that came up in an appointment, and I was able to pull out my phone, to to my saved posts, to me “ME/CFS” collection, and tell her what dosage of a medication was being advised by other doctors.