My organization level varies quite a bit.
My fanfiction Evernote library? Has it’s own decimal system.
My skincare routine tracking? uhhh hhh hhh
With this being the turn of the year I thought I’d try to find some way to take more and better notes on what I’m using and what it does to my skin. I’m hoping to review more products–not just the amazingly awesome standout ones, but also the middling ones that I’ve struggled to review in the past.
I have a fabulous new daily planner, but I quickly realized that it gets filled with my research notes and stickers, leaving little space for my routine notes. I also find it hard to take [legible] notes on my routine when I’m running out of the house to make it to work or passing out at night. The ideal system would organize itself, take no more than 1 minute per routine, and could be done while standing on the train in rush hour.
Enter Google Forms.
Forms are free from Google and I’m kind of obsessed with them. They’re an easy way to create surveys, order forms, and generally collect info from lots of people in an orderly way.
The first step was to make a spreadsheet that includes everything I own and might put on my face; having to edit the form constantly due to finding new products would be something of a drag.
Here’s my spreadsheet. It has two columns: one with the product name and one with the name of the step in which it’s used. That’s it, no need for more for this project.
If you already have a spreadsheet tracking your stash, even better. This was honestly the first time I made a stash spreadsheet and it was a nightmare. Spreadsheets are not my thing. Forms are my thing.
Once I had my list I started making the questions, step by skincare step. I referred to my visual guide to the skincare routine and just made one question per step. Here’s a video that explains how to use Forms (I used the new version, but the old version–still available at the time I’m writing–seems a bit more intuitive for beginners):
I made sure to add some sections to help serve as signposts for when I quickly scroll through the massive list.
One thing to note: although I used dropdown menus at first for most of the steps in my routine I found that checkbox responses are vastly easier to use on mobile (even though they make the survey extremely long–worth it imo). Alphabetization, which not usually something I’m uptight about, is a huge help for fast scrolling and finding.
Here’s a copy of my current routine tracking survey. I’m sure it will change in the future as I get used to it and want it to do more or better things, but at least all of my current products are listed. I think. By the way–this is a copy just for the blog, so feel free to play with it and see how your own response looks in the spreadsheet that collects the answers.
Once I (or you–seriously, play with the form!) input a routine the data automatically gets put into a Google Sheet. Here’s the Google Sheet connected to the above Form. If you make your own Form and Sheet of responses you’ll be able to edit the responses on the Sheet–very useful if you forget or need to adjust something.
The really fun twist is inspired by my desire to have an overly techy skincare workstation.
To upgrade my beauty lair I put my old iPad mini on a gooseneck adjustable arm, where it can now serve as the entry screen for my routine. Or as a way to watch EXO fancams while getting ready. Honestly, why not both.
The gooseneck clamps to my skincare workstation (which I got for free one day from a neighbor who was throwing out her desk woo!) and it’s sturdy although it does wiggle a bit when I use it as a touchpad entry system. Not perfect, but fine for $16. ahaha
So this is what I’m up to (aside from The Snailcast, the Asian Beauty podcast I’m doing with the snail unit woo!) right now. Tracking nerdily, applying skincare, and watching EXO videos while putting on makeup.
I love Forms, but I’m not a master of them and this is just a first attempt, so I’m thinking (and hoping) that other people might have ideas for how to improve on this. If you do, tag me on Twitter or Instagram and show me what you’ve come up with!
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