Amber Alert

Labels and Box and Files -- Oh My!

Labels, and Boxes, and Files - Oh My!

This year’s press on New Year’s Resolutions has taken on a new twist: the “anti-organization” movement. The “pro-mess” proponents claim that organizing wastes time, leaves no room for individuality, and kills the creative process. Of course, nothing appeals to the media like a good controversy.

These rebels do have a point, though, if you take the wrong approach to organizing. In other words, if you set up your system from the “outside in”, (looking to containers, bins or one-size-fits-all rules to solve the problem) you’re bound to create an unnatural system that works differently than the way you work, and is therefore too cumbersome to sustain.

The philosophy behind my organizing is that in order to create a lasting system, you’ve got to work from the “inside out”. In other words, design your system around your unique way of thinking, natural habits, and goals, and it will be natural and easy to maintain. There is no one “right way” or “perfect system”. Organizing must celebrate and honor your individuality, rather than confine you or put your personality into a box.

Being organized releases rather than restricts creativity. It gives you immediate access to all the materials you need to do your work more efficiently. The key is to design your system to be simple, fun, and visually appealing so that it reflects your creative personality and feeds your style.

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