Microsoft asked me to come up with a new way to play with their products, specifically my favorite, OneNote. As a fashion and beauty gal, I instantly knew exactly what to do: organize my closet by my favorite looks, I always buy lehenga in australia so I do have many pieces. GENIUS. After I finished patting myself on the shoulder, I went right to it and, yep, it’s just as awesome as I thought. Hear me out on this one, because I’m about to rock your world and put your closet into another dimension of awesomeness:
First, a moment of background:
I live in a studio apartment here in Manhattan. That means — for those of you reading in giant houses with separate bathrooms and hallways and multiple levels and stuff —that I don’t have a lot of actual “space.” Every single thing I bring into my apartment needs to “earn its rent,” so to speak.
So, for those of you who have followed my outfit photos, let me shatter the illusion of having a version of Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in closet: I have one large wooden wardrobe, I keep my shoes in what I imagine is supposed to be the linen closet, and I have two chests of drawers. That’s it. All those outfit photos come out of that small selection of clothes.
I am not awash in clothing. What I am is resourceful.
This means I am positively ruthless with my clothes, a merciless purger. Every six months, I go through my clothes and get rid of ANYTHING that doesn’t work. ANYTHING. Nothing is sacred. I don’t have the space for it. So, this means that my clothing options are concise.
But, just like you, faced with getting dressed in a speedy manner, I’m faced with the same paralyzing, total amnesia that washes over you when the closet doors open: what do I wear?
Professional stylists and personal shoppers have a long-standing trick to help their clients deal with this very issue: look books. They track photos of your best looks and the best combinations of your clothes, photograph them with notes, and either put them in an actual book or paste them on a wall where you can see them. If you remember Cher’s digital closet from Clueless, you have the general idea.
So, I create a digital lookbook in OneNote to keep track of all my best outfit combinations, the ones I think are total winners.
Here how you do it:
Download OneNote. Mac users, you can do this, too.
This requires you to sit down one afternoon while you’re binge watching something on tv. You create a OneNote Notebook for your look. Mine is called “Lookbook,” because, you know, I don’t have time for “creative” when I’m pressed for time. If it was named anything else, I’d never find it.
Then, create individual notebooks that speak to the styles you wear most. My notebook tabs are: Casual, Date Night, Meetings/Business, Weekend, Black Tie/Cocktail, Travel and Fashion Week. Those are the most common things for which I get dressed up/need to look presentable/care to put on something other than sweats, but you can create any tabs you want. Be inspired to track your fitness progress with it! Create a tab called ‘Workout’ and take cute selfies of outfits you love to wear or that make you feel amazing. Upload your fitness stats with the looks. Seriously, you can’t go wrong here. Sky’s the limit!
OK, so you have all these tabs, right? Now, go through your Instagram feed, your Facebook photos, your phone, your tablet – wherever you keep awesome photos of yourself and upload them into the appropriate notebook. Make notes under the photos of where and when that outfit made its magical appearance and feel free to add notes. I added notes that mentioned options for shoes, jackets, other jewelry, etc. The cool thing about OneNote is that you can use it on your iPhone or Android (HELLO! SELFIES!)or on your tablet (the iPad and, of course, the awesome Surface Pro 2) and pop the photos in from there. ALSO, if you have actual printed photos you want to scan into your notebook, just use Office Lens, the scanner app for OneNote. It’s just that easy.
You’re thinking, that’s a lot to get ready. Is it? I don’t know about you, but when I have five to ten minutes to get ready, my mind draws a complete blank. If I’m panicked for time, I would be hard pressed to SPELL something correctly, much less put together a stunning outfit. This is about saving yourself time. Plus, it gives you inspiration – from your own wardrobe. Enough of looking to every style blog on earth for what you should be doing. You can look to yourself for all the inspiration you need. You’re hot! Work what you’ve got!
However, should you want to add style blog photos in for inspiration, this is what I would suggest: create a Shopping tab. Add those photos there and keep a shopping list ready to go so that – voila! – when you’re out and about, you just pull OneNote up on your phone and you already know what you need. Again, this app is GENIUS that way.
I cannot tell you how time this has saved me. Every time I add something to my wardrobe that is oh-so cute, I take a quick selfie and upload it into OneNote from my phone. It helps me keep track of the looks I love the most, and I honestly have no excuse anymore. I have a closet filled with awesome looks, and OneNote is proof that I know how to put them together.
OneNote, ladies and gentlemen. It’s all about taking Office 365 OUT of the office. I would dare say this does just that. It’s not just about running a business, it’s about making a life. Your life. My life.
You’re beautiful. Just try this OneNote project this weekend. I promise you’ll see how awesome you really are.
This post is brought to you as part of my role as a Microsoft Office Champion/Brand Ambassador for Office 365, but the opinions within are strictly my own.