43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

3x5 organization

How do you organize yours?

I ended up with quite a stack of cards I'd printed out at one time or another, all mixed together. I finally decided to find a stand-up holder for my desk (clear lucite, made to hold brochures and purchased at Office Depot for about 4 dollars).

I've made labels (using post-its) for each card (NAs, Shopping, Projects, etc.) and now can find the card I need at a glance. I still have a stack of extra cards in the drawer but I'm hoping this will stop me from not being able to put my hand on the right card and printing more.

To make the post-its easier to read, I put the major ones across the top, and subsets down the side.


Actions or NAs is a yellow post-it sticking out of the top of the stack.
Waiting For and Agenda are yellow post-its staggered down the side, as they seem to me to be subsets of "NA."

This is just to keep things separated and easy to spot when I need them.

I haven't come to terms with the way to best organize ongoing projects, though.

pooks's picture

Wow -- Hawk's system is...

Wow -- Hawk's system is amazing!!! I spent quite a bit of time poring over his flickr set and then reading his blog. I prefer lined cards, but picked up some grids today I was so impressed with his logging system.

I think something similar to what he has done might be the easiest, most reliable way to organize, and that's to have each card/document marked at the top so you can tell at a glance what it is, then (I suppose) have a separate system for knowing where stuff is stored. Hmm, maybe a card catalog for your notes?

I don't know if this helps at all, but one moleskine system I saw was to set your moleskine up like a "blog." Number the pages, then at the front of each one, start a list for "categories" or "tags." Add to it as needed. Then whenever you write something new in the Moleskine, turn to the front and put that page number by the appropriate tag/s. I'm not sure if there's a variation on that for cards, but it's a way to be able to just write straight through a moleskine w/o worrying about keeping your info together in blocks that match -- just have the index in front.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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