Monday, March 12, 2012

Destructive Creativity

Ideas galore!
Okay, own up to it . . . you have a pile of magazines that contain projects and crafts that you'll work on when you get "'round to it."  I know I certainly do!

Who doesn't just adore
colorful sticky notes?????
Unfortunately, whenever I finally got "'round to it," I spent so much time looking through the magazines (see Mailbox Treats on Savory La Bibliotheque)  for the projects and crafts that I used up the time I had allotted and never got "'round to it!"  So, I had to find some way to organize the information so that it's usable.

My first step was the venerable sticky note method.  I would put sticky notes on the articles with a few quick key words on the part that flapped outside the magazine.  Even in the dreaded stack, I could see the keywords on the sticky notes and pull out the appropriate article.  Worked okay, but I still wasted time looking through the stack and getting sidetracked by the other articles!

Ideas "ripped" from the headlines!
Step two was satisfyingly destructive!  When I found interesting articles, I tore them out of the magazine.  Wow, that was really therapeutic!  I stapled them together, then, sticky note still attached, made a stack.  This worked well until someone (I wish I could blame the resident dragon but . . . ) bumped the table and the Leaning Tower of Projects came tumbling down.

Step three harked back to my college days:  random access file allocation.  On a computer, files are stored in pieces and non-sequentially and an index (called a File Allocation Table or FAT) is maintained of their locations.  In non-computer practice, this involved three-hole punching the pulled-out articles and sticking them in a binder in the order in which they were found.  My brain was the FAT.  Not surprisingly, the FAT forgot pretty quickly and I still had to fumble through the keywords, although the articles were no longer in danger of flying off the table.  Thunking off the table, perhaps.

The snap of the binder rings makes me feel so organized!
Step four, the current stage, is a refinement of step three and involves tabbed dividers and multiple binders.  I divided the articles into stacks:  recipes, crafts, and garden.  The garden articles found a new home in a new green binder (D-ring, of course!).  The remaining articles, their now nearly-ragged sticky notes still attached, moved to a large binder with tabs for each of the stacks.  The binders now have a home on the bookshelf in my office.  A treasury of ideas rests at my fingertips!

What's next?  I suppose I could alphabetize or subdivide the tabs.  If I really wanted to get fancy, I could scan the articles into the computer and create an index or use an online indexing tool.  Until then, I'll continue being destructive; it really stirs up my creativity!

How do you organize your idea files?


So, what do you think? How are you living your savory life? Tell us about it!