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Friday, October 23, 2009

Paper Should Not Be Work

I promised I would share a trick I learned about how to stay on top of paperwork.  I only recently learned about this, but I was so impressed by the way it was explained that I had to try it out for myself.  And you know what?  It works.  I am not always so lucky.

Here's how it goes: first, make a file for whatever you are doing. No, not a whole filing cabinet full of folders. Just one simple folder for, say, your blog. In that folder, you will put anything relating to your blog, but it doesn't stop there. Let's say you post one comment per week and while you are thinking about what you want to post next, you have several thoughts on the subject. There's a way to stay on top of that, but it will come in a future post.
Okay, so your file is simply labeled Blog. Now, lets suppose your blog is about writing. So far, you have posted an average of once a week on your blog, for an average of four times per month for three years. Cool.
If you had made paper copies of each of your posts, you would now have a file full of papers containing copies of all of your posts.  That's awesome. Would you be able to go to your file and pull out a post that you wanted to refer back to? Possibly. But what happens if you are still posting on your blog fifteen years from now? Would you still be able to access the paper you want without spending a lot of time, shuffling?  Maybe not.
Here's what I've found helps: inside the hanging file marked Blog, slip another, smaller file marked 2006. In that file, place the copies of all of your posts from 2006.

Did you have several topics you discussed on your blog? Okay. Then all you have to do is put still another file in the hanging file and mark this new file Writing, if that is something you have posted about several times and if you plan to write more about it. Make copies of those posts which discuss writing and put those copies into the file marked Writing. Don't worry if you have several folders within your hanging folder. There's a way to take care of that and we'll be discussing that at a later date. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me in gaining some degree of control over my many and varied types of paperwork.


My name is PJ. said...

Okay, I'm going to be first in line for part 2: where you come to my house and do it for me! This is a great tip and you are organized, a quality I admire in people. Truth be told, I'm organized and tidy....but I'd still like you to come to my house and do it for me. ;)

LucyCooper said...

I LOVE folders. The geek in me lives for office supplies. Just so you know, they sell some really pretty file folders at Barnes and Noble. I use them at home and at my office, and I swear, they work better than the manilla kind.

Angelia Almos said...

Great info, Yaya. Just wanted to let you know, since you asked, that I got my blog back up and rolling. You can check it out at

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Good post, Yaya. We writers need to treat our writing as a real job...because it is. :)

Yaya' s Changing World said...

Hi, PJ,
We could turn it into a party. 'Course, then we'd hafta' have somebody else come over and do it for both of us, right? hmmmm. I kinda' like that plan.

Hi, Lucy,
I'm like you; I can't pass a bookstore or an office supply store. Very weak as I get near. Must go in and buy cute stuff.
I didn't know that Barnes and Noble had cute office things. Now, I must find a reason to go 150 miles to the closest Barnes and Noble. haha.
I tried going to your blog, but it says I need an invitation to get there. Thanks for commenting and for following.

Great to see you. Love your new blog. So nice. I'll be back over there to read some more. Thanks for letting me know about it. Don't forget to collect your award and put it on the wall of your new blog, k?

Hello, Amy,
Now that I've found my way to your blog, I'm enjoying the trips over to see you.
Thanks for the good word. You're right about needing to treat our writing as a business. If we don't recognize the business of it, why would anyone else, right?

Thank you all, ladies, for your lovely comments. I do enjoy reading your responses to my posts. Thanks, again. ~ Yaya

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