August 6, 2008

An organizing schema for organizing

A Writing Club member who was feeling disorganized this week, came up with a nice way to start dealing with this problem. In response to one of the questions on the progress log ("What are your specific goals for tomorrow?"), she made the following list.

Here is my organization strategy for putting that mountain of papers in its place:
  • Step 1: (Create the categories) Create paper folders based on subject/topic (eg: stat notes; emotion articles; pilot analysis; chapter feedback etc)
  • Step 2: (Start filing) Start filing papers into the folder created above.
  • Step 3: (Revise categories) Go through papers that have not found a home and see if you want to create more subfolders or combine some.
  • Step 4: ( Containerize): Now when all papers have found a home, based on sub folders, if any are too large- house them all in a box/ file holder, with sub-categorizations if it helps.
  • Step 5: (Create a reference): List all folders and boxes and stick it where you can see it. This way next time you find a paper lying around you know where to throw it.
  • Step 6 (Create flexibility): Have a folder where you can throw active stuff to be filed later. DO not allow it to overflow.
  • Step 7- Enjoy the fruits of your labor !

Maybe a variation of this schema can be useful for your piles of paper.