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Need photocopy of work-thing. Look in project folder for work-thing’s project. Not there. Look in related folders. Look in desk drawer. I used this work-thing not that long ago, it should be on top somewhere (stratigraphy theory of organization).

Work projects have topical folders, with reprints, data, notes, etc. all together. Sometimes they spawn and create additional related folders. There’s a three-tier system: stuff I’m actively working on is in a pile by the computer. Stuff that I’m working on just not this week is in a vertical rack on my desk. Other stuff is in hanging folders in my desk drawers. Reprints are in the topical folders if they are very, very relevant and currently being used, in “theme-stacks” on my desk behind the monitor if I pulled them out for projects but am not immediately using them. As in, “I feel like reading this afternoon. Here’s the theme-stack for the project I’m thinking about.” That separates the fairly mindless activity of identifying and locating the relevant reprints from the brain-requiring act of reading them.

NO work-thing in relevant topical folders.
NO work-thing in relevant theme-stack.
NO work-thing in vertical file.
NO work-thing misplaced in some other theme-stack. (But lots of, “That looks interesting, I really need to (re)read it.”)

Oh. Work-thing in neatly labeled folder in desk drawer. Where I looked already. Harrumph.

3 Comments on “(Dis)organization”

  1. #1 Michael
    on May 30th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    As my friend Nan always says, “The Pixies had it.”

    She had a deal with them… she got them to hide things at the store for her, so it’d be there when she had the money to come back and get it. And they usually didn’t hide her scissors/thimble/etc. for more than an hour or so.

  2. #2 Laura
    on May 30th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Neatly labeled folder: good disguise.

    I think I have even more piles than you do. Mine are on the floor, too, and I have some hanging on the wall. Out of sight, out of mind…fortunately, my supervisor operates on the same principle. There is thus a geography as well as a stratigraphy of organization.

    Pixies would explain some things, though…

  3. #3 Phiala
    on May 30th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Pixies, right. That explains so much! At home I can blame Nick or the dog – the cat would never do such a thing, right? – but at work it was much more problematic.