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Blog: Life Management

Did you ever spend time looking through piles of paper for one item, then find something at the bottom that you didn't know was there? Then, it's time to File! Pat Dorff, author of File Don't Pile, gives an ABD 123 system that makes it easy to retrieve your papers.  Start by listing all subjects about which you keep information.  Then compile them into broad categories.   Now take these broad categories and develop your filing system. 
Let's start with your papers on the craft pile.  Using the index described, write down the topic of the first paper you pick up.  Perhaps it's a pattern for knitted mittens.  Decide where to file it where you would most likely look for the pattern:  Knitting?  Patterns?  Mittens?  If you have a lot of knitting patterns, you'll probably want a separate file for mittens.  On your M page in the index, IN PENCIL  (not ink) write "Mittens", and assign the code M101.  Label a file folder M101 and put your mitten pattern in it.  The next piece of paper you pick up is how to make Easter baskets.  Would you first think of Easter or Baskets?  Probably Easter.  So go to your index E page, pencil in Easter Baskets and assign the code E101.  When you come across a pattern for macramé plant hangers, pencil in Macramé on your M page, and file it in the M file.  Since you already have a M101 folder, macramé becomes M102.  All macramé patterns would most likely be filled in the M102 folder.  Any other mitten patterns you own will be filed in the M101 folder.  If you have a book with patterns of various kinds, put a note on your index, see also Patterns books, which may be labeled P105 and cross reference the mittens to the P105 folder.
Pat devoted an entire book to teaching this method!  If you feel overwhelmed, but interested in her method, call your local library to see if they have a copy of her File Don't Pile book on the shelves.  Before long you'll have Files not Piles!

posted on: 3/15/2011 12:00:00 PM by Judy Warmington
category: The Mental Side

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Life Management

by Judy Warmington

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Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.

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