Organizing Your Contacts

Linda

I coach women on various homemaking skills through speaking engagements and social media

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3 Responses

  1. Gil Helland says:

    Cleaning up and organizing one’s personal information can be daunting – a real challenge. I’ve digitized most things that can be digitized. More than 50,000 film negatives, more than 5,000 pictures, military records (I kept copies of the ones that had seals on them), and articles I’d accumulated in my life on sports, gardening, recipes, computers, photography, hobbies, and so much more.

    My two four-drawer file cabinets are now down to just two drawers in one cabinet. Boxes filled with papers I’d saved are gone. All of that is on my computer. And yes, everything is backed up – several times over in fact.

    However, there are items that I’ve kept originals of – even after scanning those items into the computer. Like Linda mentioned in her posting, there are some things that hold memories. A scanned version of a Rolodex set of cards, for example, can surely be seen from my computer screen. But maybe those cards hold memories that a scanned version of it just won’t bring back the memories they hold.

    I will always be one to look for ways to digitize things from my life. For me, it keeps a cleaner and more organized house, my system of organizing files on my computer means I can find things quickly and easily (unlike digging through boxes for things and hoping to find what I’m looking for), and once I have things digitized I can share whatever I want with people in my life.

    I did just that with the last item in 2019. I had a couple dozen 16mm reels of film digitized. Those reels of film were between 55 and 63 years old. They were of times in my family from when I was born to when my youngest brother was about four or five years old. There was no way for me watch those films as I didn’t have a projector. Even if I did, would the film on those reels crack or break or be compromised in some way when viewing them. Instead, I sent those reels of film off to Kodak and had them digitized. It was somewhat expensive, but how can one put a price tag on the times in our lives from so long ago and the memories they bring back. Once digitized, I shared them with my siblings, who I’m sure had no idea they even existed any longer. I had toted them around the world for decades, waiting for just the right time to have them digitized.

    So, the point of all of what I wrote is simply to organize things in your life and decide what you want to do with them. Find a “system” that works for you. My “system” is one where even my wife has difficulty with because it doesn’t work for her. She has her own “system”, one that works for her. While I’ve incorporated much of my computer organization to her computer (mostly with pictures in our lives that have been digitized or taken with digital cameras), she has her own way of storing things for documents, like crafts, recipes, family matters and whatever. Her organization skills have spilled into physical things in her office/craft room. She has craft stands with drawers that hold many different things. On top of those five craft stands are wooden cabinets where she stores colored paper in slotted shelves, she has two other stands with drawers where she keeps jewelry making items – all organized in little plastic cups by the types of beads or whatever, and she has ten cubbies that have four compartments. In each compartment is a cloth bag with cardboard sides and bottom and holds more craft items. She has organized her craft room and office in a way that works for her.

    While my wife isn’t blessed with having OCD like I am (haha) – we both benefit from being organized. We hardly ever have to look for anything for more than a very short time because of how things are organized.

    To conclude – our contacts are in an Excel spreadsheet, where numerous columns for each person in our lives is listed – in alphabetical order. Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, webpages (if applicable), Facebook pages (if applicable), and a comments column. All organized nicely! And with that spreadsheet, if we ever want to create a mailing list or set of mailing labels – we sort who is to be on the list, which columns are to be included and then it is put into a .pdf file. From there, that list can be printed. Quick and easy!

    • Linda says:

      Sometimes I wish I were OCD like you. I’d also need that organized mind of yours, though!

      You mentioned that you have one organizing style and your wife has another. One thing I didn’t mention because it wasn’t the focus of the blog itself, was learning that there are 4 really distinctive styles of organizing. People have criticized me for mine because I’m not “like them,” so it was good to learn that I fit perfectly in one of those four styles. I learned so much from Cas Aarssen, creator of the ClutterBug system. If you’re a “butterfly” or “bee,” you don’t fit the ‘normal’ clutter type. Most decluttering and decorating styles will not work with those styles AT ALL. And it’s just trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You feel bad. You might feel something is wrong with you. You can’t keep it up, then you feel worse. Cas never ever makes you feel that way. In fact, she is so upbeat that you might want to watch her videos after you’ve had your first cup of coffee! You can find her at https://ClutterBug.me/ I recommend taking the quiz right at the top of the homepage. She then tells you what “bug” (style or type) you are and how to organize for that type. She even has lessons on how one ‘bug” can live peacefully with another. That would have been nice to know years ago!! Hint: We all start out as Butterflies and develop what we like later. It’s just how the mind works at that age. As a parent, learning that and how to organize for children, will save you a lot of frustration!!

  1. January 28, 2020

    […] I buy too much and keep too much. I know I am sentimental about “stuff.’ Just read my Organizing Your Contacts post and you’ll know that’s true. But to fill a dumpster? I don’t think I would […]

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