guilty of being ...

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Monday, April 03, 2006

My 43 Folders

NOTE: If you don't know what the "43 Folders" refer to, I'll be coming back later to 'splain it. If you've read David Allen's GETTING THINGS DONE you already know, and may have come here specifically to see these pics.

The question has been raised, if you are an "out of sight/out of mind" person and having your 43 folders in a file drawer doesn't work for you, how do you keep them in sight? Most answers have been pretty easy, but when I started to describe my situation I couldn't without pics, so here they are.

I bought the Christopher Lowell magazine storage thingy from Office Depot because I loved the look of it. I intended to use it on my desk to store project files I want to keep in front of my face. (See above, "out of sight/out of mind.") However, it didn't quite work. Because it wasn't quite deep enough for folders to slip straight down. It would be except that the horizontal woven rattan (if that's what it is) sticks out just far enough for folders to catch on and not go all the way down.

Because I loved the darn thing, I figured out that if the folders were put in diagonally they'd fit, so that's what I did.

In the meantime I was looking for a way to store my 43 Folders so that they'd be on my desktop but my desktop is very cluttered with other things I want/need on top of it, and I finally looked again at the magazine thingy and figured out a way to use it, and I love this not only because I get to have the very attractive Christopher Lowell office accessory (which looks good on my desk) but I like it because it has a small footprint on my desk, takes up little space between my monitor and tower, and truly does keep this stuff in front of my eyes.

I pulled out an old file pocket and recycled it by putting in the 43 folders and my current project files, and propped it into the magazine storer thingy (why can't I ever think of words when I need them?) at an angle and voila!

Not only does it keep things in front of me, but it's just snug enough that I can pull out the folders that I really want to catch my attention so that they stick out higher than the others.

You know, if I took nothing else from Getting Things Done, the P-Touch Labeler would have been worth the price. Because yes I knew they existed, but it seemed a silly waste of money for something you could do so easily yourself, not to mention that I'm so disorganized it would just be a time-waster and I'd eventually give it away .... Only not so. As David Allen says, when things are labeled this nicely, it really does make it easier to deal with them, and labeling is fun! Any time you can make a tedious job fun, that's a good thing. He also recommends you don't color coordinate folders because that makes things more complicated, not more easy. Since I love color I'm using colored folders, but not in any particular system (except for the months/days which I did figure would work better if they were the same color). I just grab a folder without worrying what color it is, and enjoy the fact that my files are bright and cheery.

Now, like I said, I'll explain "43 Folders" later. But for now -- this is what I've done, and I like it.

Oh, and duh, it's a magazine file.


At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice, pooks.

so *little* of my work revolves around actual paper that i am either relieved or dismayed that i wouldn't have a use for a cool magazine file.



At 7:20 PM, Blogger pooks said...

I'm still pretty much about paper. I have to print out everything I write to edit -- editing online just doesn't work for me.

And I have things like birthday cards in the appropriate days' folders -- so that all I have to do is remember to mail them. Which I'm more likely to do this way! (Not guaranteed, mind you -- just more likely!)

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous David said...

Spiffy tickler file! I love the look of it, too...

Oh, and that machine next to it, too! ;-)

By the way, "On Writing" is fabulous in my opinion - and Stephen King is an excellent reader as well. Heard him read (via audiotape) "L.T.'s Theory of Pets" - that was fun.

But the best King was "Dolores Claiborne" on audiotape - wow!


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