How does a writer keep his/her materials in order?
What does a writer do with all the paperwork, journals, folders and notes he/she has accumulated over the years when trying to declutter?
I have one file drawer for all of the paperwork such as tax forms, ledgers, and copyright papers. I have one notebook with all of the general information about my novels and ideas for plots, etc. Since I don't do all of my rough drafts on the computer, I have notebooks with all of my manuscripts and put them on a shelf. As a writer, I'm so afraid I'll throw away a scrap of paper I had ideas written on and then wish I still had them later so I keep almost everything. My suggestion for a way to declutter without throwing things away is to get a couple of good file cabinets and organize everything in that smaller space. If you're not as paranoid as me about the computer dying and losing everything, most files can be scanned and saved there.
It may be a lot of work, but if you have a flatbed scanner (or better yet an all-in-one printer with a multi-page scanner) you could scan your documents and such into the computer as PDFs. More often than not the printer's software (that creates the PDFs) will make them searchable, so as you organize your scans into folders you can also use the computer to search the documents for keywords and they will come up in search results. Then of course, you can recycle all of the materials that you've scanned, and the PDF scans you can back up to external drives, flash drives, etc. A flash drive takes up a heck of a lot less space than a filing cabinet!
I was wondering this very thing the other day as I saw how much research paper and copies of writing I now have in my file drawer. I am contemplating scanning them for storage. I do save all my work onto a flash drive to keep my computer free and running well.
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