Organizing Research For Creative People

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There are many of us who use large quantities of research for our work, and with such large quantities comes an organization nightmare.  Should you organize by subject matter or another way entirely?  Some of us are more the absent minded professor type and have large quantities of completely unorganized materials dragging us down.  Everyone wants to be able to quickly put their hands on their research, whether in a file folder, notebook, or on the computer.
Writers are not immune to this trouble either.  Many creative types tend more to the absent minded professor then being organization whiz kids.  So we need an organization method that works for us, with our flaws.  Writers tend to have the most research out of the creative types, needing it for anything from articles to novels.  Being the most sedentary of the creative types as well gives them a unique problem when it comes to organization, how to get everything within arm’s reach, and yet still be able to find it?  Yet it doesn’t matter if you are a writer, scrapbooker, painter, sculpter…organization is almost always an ongoing issue.
Portable File Boxes – Oh how I love these.  Throw some hanging folders in and fill with manila folders.  Sounds easy right?  Until you get a case of the exploding file box!  Multiples are a necessity of life.  The greatest thing about them is you can take the current one to wherever you are working for the day, and they aren’t the space hog a fixed file cabinet can be.  The downside is that these can add up fast.  And then there is the issue of how to divide them, what should go where?  I’d suggest using your research and papers as your guide.  Do a lot of work with Egypt?  Then make one just on that topic.  Take the larger amounts of research and create a file box for that particular type as you go.  It is not necessary to go out and buy twelve file boxes at once.  Buy one or two, and then expand.  I know I know, we all seem to love office supplies.  Buy more pretty pens, you’ll thank me later.
Evernote – With much of the research done being accomplished online, this creates the challenge of where to store all the bits we’ve searched out.  I love Evernote myself, as it makes researching online a snap.  Evernote allows you to create notebooks to store your bits and pieces, and allows snippets of webpages to be saved as a note, with the link of where the information came from.  How many of us grab information and later forget where it came from?  This solves that.  Evernote allows the use of multiple notebooks, so you can organize the research based however you wish, by project, topic or type.  Evernote also has a handy dandy backup system, so all your notes are automagically backed up or syncronized online.

There are many of us who use large quantities of research for our work, and with such large quantities comes an organization nightmare.  Should you organize by subject matter or another way entirely?  Some of us are more the absent minded professor type and have large quantities of completely unorganized materials dragging us down.  Everyone wants to be able to quickly put their hands on their research, whether in a file folder, notebook, or on the computer.

Writers are not immune to this trouble either.  Many creative types tend more to the absent minded professor then being organization whiz kids.  So we need an organization method that works for us, with our flaws.  Writers tend to have the most research out of the creative types, needing it for anything from articles to novels.  Being the most sedentary of the creative types as well gives them a unique problem when it comes to organization, how to get everything within arm’s reach, and yet still be able to find it?  Yet it doesn’t matter if you are a writer, scrapbooker, painter, sculpter…organization is almost always an ongoing issue.

Portable File Boxes – Oh how I love these.  Throw some hanging folders in and fill with manila folders.  Sounds easy right?  Until you get a case of the exploding file box!  Multiples are a necessity of life.  The greatest thing about them is you can take the current one to wherever you are working for the day, and they aren’t the space hog a fixed file cabinet can be.  The downside is that these can add up fast.  And then there is the issue of how to divide them, what should go where?  I’d suggest using your research and papers as your guide.  Do a lot of work with Egypt?  Then make one just on that topic.  Take the larger amounts of research and create a file box for that particular type as you go.  It is not necessary to go out and buy twelve file boxes at once.  Buy one or two, and then expand.  I know I know, we all seem to love office supplies.  Buy more pretty pens, you’ll thank me later.

Evernote – With much of the research done being accomplished online, this creates the challenge of where to store all the bits we’ve searched out.  I love Evernote myself, as it makes researching online a snap.  Evernote allows you to create notebooks to store your bits and pieces, and allows snippets of webpages to be saved as a note, with the link of where the information came from.  How many of us grab information and later forget where it came from?  This solves that.  Evernote allows the use of multiple notebooks, so you can organize the research based however you wish, by project, topic or type.  Evernote also has a handy dandy backup system, so all your notes are automagically backed up or syncronized online.

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