October 24, 2007

Filing Doesn't Have to be Scary

It's my front desk partner-in-crime's first day on a two-week vacation and I also managed to muck up my boss' office supply order, giving me more work for the afternoon. Therefore, today was a little more hectic than usual, and left me little time for continuing my Snowflake novel planning. I did, however, take the time at lunch to read a bit about antagonists to see if I could fix my shallow "bad guy" a bit. The pocket in the back of my moleskine filled to bulging until I could bring my notes home to transfer them to the computer.

On the non-work/writing front, I also get to tuck those notes into a special file folder in my **new** filing system. It's been about a week since I set it up, and I'm still amazed at just how useful a general reference filing system is. Instead of having a pile of writing notes, sushi recipes and organizing ideas cluttering up my desk, it's neatly stored away and easily accessible. Before reading GTD, I only thought of a filing system as something to stick my banking and credit card statements in. It's incredible to not only put things in their places, but also know that new things are easily assigned places, too.

Here are some things I've learned from rereading about filing in my now dog-eared copy of GTD:

  • A folder for a weird category isn't stupid if you have material for it
  • Folders hang better in open-bottom filing drawers if you only have one manila folder in each hanging folder
  • Hanging folders are a pain, and only worth the trouble if you have an open-bottom filing drawer
  • Folder labels made with a labelmaker look so nice and uniform in a filing drawer
  • Both the files and the filing supplies must be easy to reach if you want to keep up on your system
  • You probably don't need half the crap in your evil "to file" pile
  • Comfortable old chairs are for reading in, not for the "to file" pile (well, I indirectly learned this one after I cleared the junk out of one of my major piling hotspots, discovered that it really was a chair, and moved it so I could easily reach it)
I'm not completely contented with my living space yet, but it's a lot more comfortable. I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to spend so much of my life living in so much mess.

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