Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tools of mass organisation

The other evening I watched my husband working through a ring binder full of Top Secret Information (TSI) and couldn't help but be impressed by the neat pages all diligently organised into sections and separated by variously coloured - er - separators. I cast my mind to my own TSI, which is recorded on myriad pieces of paper, post-its and notebooks, scattered randomly around my small office. And then it struck me - I too could have a ring binder, I too could have colourful separators - I too could be organised. After all, it wasn't just MI5 who had acccess to WH Smiths.

It wasn't difficult to decide how best to utilise these tools of mass organisation - I would separate the ring binder into compartments using the colourful separators and have individual compartments for characers, plot lines, scenes, research (sub-divided into individual topics), miscellaneous notes/thoughts/ideas. I could even store the print-out of my draft wip in it too. This would allow me to easily locate whatever I needed and even to move scenes and plot lines around physically, which would be pretty much like having a - well - p l a n.

So, off I trotted to Smiths, feeling like a kid at Christmas with a pocket full of Granny's money to spend on whatever my little heart desired. I thrilled to the touch of the hard-edged binder, marvelled at the two-hole setting of a jumbo punch, delighted in the rainbow-coloured separators and finally climaxed over the 200-page (yes - 200!) pre-punched, 'narrow feint and margin' pad of paper. Then I exchanged my cash for one of their 'how-long-does-it-take-to-cut-off-the- circulation-in-our-customers'-fingers,' survey bags and reassured myself that the cashier always mopped the countertop with a super-absorbent towel after every customer, not just the excitable ones who had been unable to contain their drool.

Now all I have to do is find the time to actually take the tools of mass organisation out of their carrier bag and GET ORGANISED.



Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

LOL. I'm such a stationary junkie! Doesn't matter if I'll use it or not, if it's stationary, I want it!

8:45 pm  
Blogger India said...

Aha! You see! You prove my point! As well as the Lucky Mug, the Room of One's Own and the Right Music, a writer needs Great Stationery! (Fiona Harper put me on to this and, dammit-- as well as being snapped up by HMB in record breaking time-- the girl is spot on.)

Er... am I right in thinking you came out of WH Smiths without a pinboard?? Blimey O'Reilley Annie, don't you want to get published? Get yourself into Woolworths tomorrow and lash out the cash. (Shakes head sadly) Have you not been paying attention? We're trying to help here, you know....

8:47 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Will you be spending all your time, Annie, getting organized?! That would be my fear. However, I am guilty of organizing my research notes by topic on large-sized index cards, filed...you guessed it, alphabetically complete with cross references.

8:59 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

ROFLOL! I've a stationery fetish too. Trouble is, the motivation (or is that procrastination) that drives me to Smiths seems to be left behind at the till, because once I get home it's vanished!

9:25 am  
Blogger Annie said...

Eva - you surprise me not at all! (and yes, I probably will now spend all my time getting organised and trying to be just like you!)

Imogen - I already have a pinboard - though I call it a dart board - and right now it's got a picture of you (and your lucky mug) in the middle.

Stacy and MsCreativity - I never said I had a fetish. Just because my drawers are overflowing with spiral-bound notebooks, hard-backed notebooks, unlined notebooks, A4-sized notebooks, A5-sized notebooks, handy pocket-sized notebooks and notebooks that haven't even been invented yet, merely makes me extremely practical - though I have to say it's not a particularly pleasant experience when I put them on first thing in the morning.

8:31 pm  

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