OA Aunt Q&A – organising journals, sketch pads etc

 In Home Office, SME, Time management

Dear Organising Aunt

I am embarking on a clutter reduction project in my room at the moment. I write and draw quite often and I have accumulated journals, sketch books and pieces of paper with drawings & hand written notes on them. I have begun the process of making electronic copies of the parts that I want to keep. My issue is that I’m constantly creating new journals and writing on more paper.

I enjoy writing and drawing on paper but I don’t want to create new stuff at the same rate that I am clearing the old. My vision for my life is to travel light so I am trying to find an alternative – maybe I could invest in a whiteboard or blackboard that I can wipe clean but take photos so that I have electronic copies? Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you


Organising Aunt’s response:

Thanks for your question Lou, it can be quite hard to be creative and organised at the same time.  Inspiration can take hold at the strangest of places and scraps of paper used to jot notes and draw, making it quite hard to manage.

Having a place for everything, using the right storage solutions and creating habits are all ways to help keep your projects under control and making electronic copies is an excellent idea.

  1. Get rid of any items that are no longer needed – use Finer Details simple de-cluttering tips to do this with your journals, sketch pads and scraps of paper.  The area will be much easier to organise and less daunting to tackle if you get rid of anything you no longer want or need.
  2. Sort your journals, sketch pads and pieces of paper into different topics/projects and come up with categories for each topic/project that make sense to you.
  3. Temporarily store each sorted topic/project into labelled containers (using the categories you came up with) and then tackle one container at a time.
  4. As new work comes in, but them in the relevant container.
  5. Consider how you would like to store the information – could you use a spiral bound journal to write and draw in, and then stick related scraps of notes and photos of larger projects into.  Would a lever arch folder, a box file, magazine holder or drawer system work for you?
  6. Label everything to make it easier to find and store things.
  7. Start to create new habits to help maintain the area.  Look at having a notepad/sketch pad with perforated pages with you at all times.  When you get home, tear the page out and put into the relevant journal or storage item.
  8. Regularly schedule in time to go through each category and make electronic copies in bulk, getting rid of the originals.
  9. Consider using other electronic products like a painter sketch pad or smart whiteboard, or as you mentioned a white or blackboard and take photos of the work before getting rid of it.

Lou, if you would like any clarification or more help, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact us.

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