A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Do You Keep an Idea File?

Idea file is in center of photo.  Larger file in corner was
acquired later and is used for personal and business

          Years ago when I was in high school and still living at home with my parents, one of the items on my gift wish list was a file cabinet.   It was on the birthday of either my junior or senior year when my mother got me the file cabinet that I had specifically picked out from the Sears catalog.  The cabinet consisted of two standard size file drawers on one side and a compartment with shelves and a safe on the other side.  This cabinet remained in my parents house for the next twenty years.

          Since childhood I had always had an interest in organizational fixtures in which to keep my belongings.   Usually I resorted to cardboard boxes.  When I began collecting stamps I acquired an index card size two drawer file and some metal storage boxes.  However, my storage capacity for papers and such was sadly lacking.  The official file cabinet made a world of difference for certain aspects of my ability to organize things that were mine.

          In the cabinet I kept mostly things that pertained to my writing and my personal memorabilia.  One drawer held file folders of newspaper clippings and papers that served as story ideas and prompts and other articles that pertained to my life or people I knew.  The other drawer was mainly for various publications, photos, personal documents, and other data that was important to me.  After I moved out of my parents house, the file cabinet was moved to their basement laundry room where it remained for the period of over a decade when I was on the road in the entertainment business.

         Eventually after I returned to Tennessee to settle down to a regular life, I retrieved the file cabinet contents from my parents basement and transferred them to a new file cabinet that I had purchased for my apartment.  The old file cabinet had rusted away at the bottom and had seen its better days.  As I looked at the cabinet by the curbside where I had hauled it to be removed by the sanitation department, I recalled those many years it had safely kept my files in an orderly fashion.  The old piece of office furniture had served me well.

         Now my newer more stylish looking file cabinet sits in my California writing office.  It's now over 20 years old, but having been kept in a dry environment it still looks almost like new.  My newspaper articles and other odds and ends are there waiting for me whenever I need a prompt or a memory.

         Do you keep an official "idea file"?    What types of things do you hang onto for purposes of writing research or records?   How do you store your writing files?

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  1. My filing system is most lacking. I need one badly. I have this idea of buying a filing cabinet, but then this idea gets lost because I have no place to put it. It's sort of like "which comes first,the chicken or the egg?" Seriously, I need to do something like you have done.

  2. I have everything filed because I'm über organised, and I carry around with me a notebook for future ideas. It's filling up, for sure.

  3. I have organized piles. But for my ideas, I keep a small spiral index card pad.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. I have some 3 ring binders with craft ideas and instructions for projects but these days I mostly get my craft ideas from the internet.

  5. Sad to say Lee am not very organised.
    I keep all my poems in a drawer and in no particular order, Perhaps should get more organised.


  6. I'm in the badly organised camp but I do on occasion wonder into mad chaos, Not good, must try harder :)

  7. Richard -- Space is often an issue at home. Sometimes you can find furniture that incorporates multiple uses including filing. My wife has a desk with file drawers.

    Donna-- It's good to have plenty of ideas on hand.

    Shelly -- I too have more "organized" piles that I should. This stuff needs to go into a better storage system.

    JoJo -- Binder notebooks are good and have long been an old school favorite with me. The internet really expands our reaches for information.

    Yvonne -- I have many boxes and drawers like that. I try to be organized but am not as successful as I'd like to be.

    Maggie -- I have my corners and closets of chaos. It makes for fun treasure hunting sometimes, but organizing would save time in the long run.


  8. Hi Lee .. one of my goals is to learn Evernote - and to get rid of my paper ...

    ideas - just seem to abound out of me .. I'm very lucky - then the posts take me a while to write, but I learn too ...

    I'm having another go at getting rid of paper info I won't be using .. but some I will!

    That looks very neat and organised to me .. cheers Hilary

  9. I've gone very high tech in my old age. I carry a voice recorder and when something triggers an idea, I record enough to remember, sometimes just a fragment, sometimes a full blown concept.

  10. Hilary -- I had to look up Evernote. Getting rid of a lot of paper is good although I am a bit enamored of things recorded on paper.

    LD -- I tried that for awhile, but couldn't stay in the habit. I found that a small recorder was especially useful to record song ideas back when I was doing a lot of songwriting.


  11. It is nice that you're so organized Lee! Not only is your file cabinet a treasure trove of ideas, it's also very sentimental because your parents bought it for you.


  12. I have journals, files, and binders. But that does not mean that I will find whatever pops into my brain.

  13. Julie -- Actually I only kind of organized. I could do much better.

    Susan -- I haven't gotten to that point either. I usually have to look awhile to find some things. Others though are very well placed and labeled.


  14. O my goodness - an ideas file .. I have thousands of scraps of paper which I transcribe from time to time onto computer or onto another special paper folder .. when in mew townhouse I plan to be uber organised. Will take me a month of Sundays I am sure .. .dozens and dozens of note books large and small for keeping own thoughts/ideas/writings as well as meaningful quotes etc ...
    Thanks Arlee, this has inspired me.

  15. Susan -- Organizing is an ongoing never-ending job that if left unattended often seems insurmountable to tackle the accumulation. My organizing never ends, and often doesn't begin soon enough.



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