24 February 2011

Trying to get a bit organised

With bits of my "old life" dropping away (this is deliberate!), it's feeling more spacious inside my head and I'm finding ways to be organised not just physically in terms of clear spaces and "things in their place" but also in terms of setting up routines that will make sure the important things don't get left till the last minute - or overlooked entirely.
Earlier this week, this little table (behind my computer chair) was piled high with heaps of paper to sort out - they had been moved there from the corner of the desk. At least they were out of sight. Now they've been sorted through and most have been binned - they are out of mind (so much nicer to see enticing books lying there...) And it's been good for the desk -
On the corner of the desk lives the notebook in which I keep a long List Of Everything. If it's written down, it won't be forgotten ... if it's all written down in one place, it won't get lost! Also in the notebook are daily lists of Three Things To Do Today - usually these are important or time-sensitive things - sometimes this list is five or six items long, and that's ok too; as long as three things get done, we're making progress.

Does the word "routines" (or "systems") make you groan? Often these are seen as bad things, suppressive and repressive things ... and whether these work for you is a matter of how you look at it (just like ... is the glass half empty or half full). When things get done automatically, unconsciously, they become habits - good habits I hope - and life gets easier. Every little helps -three things a day, whatever ...

What got me started thinking about all this is the need, for my art course, to keep a reflective journal. In the foundation course, I simply printed out my blog, and that worked ok. At the moment I'm encountering a LOT of things that relate to my course, and trying to put them all into the blog is making for a bit of a muddle! Some posts are about keeping a record of the seminars and lectures and other sessions; some are about seeing and remembering exhibitions or the work of artists encountered on the internet or in books; some posts are an account of the development of work I'm doing toward class projects or personal projects; and another facet is the reading I'm doing towards the essay and also the write-up that will be needed for the final project, come Sept 2012.

A little organisation is needed here; my plan is that instead of a mishmash, four separate printouts will act as reflective journals -
-Book arts course (lectures, seminars, etc )
-Artists (those mentioned in Book arts course blog posts could be added)
-Processes (course work or personal work; again this might include extracts from posts about the course)
-Reading/research (this might be merely a picture of the cover of the book, with notes imported from elsewhere on the computer)
Set out like that, it seems straightforward enough - another case of "I know what I think when I hear myself talk"?

I've just about trained myself to write up the week's classes by or on Saturday (it's so easy to get behind!) so it won't be a big step to go through the week's posts and move them to my printable-blog files. The idea is to use Labels when writing, and then use this function to speedily and easily gather the relevant posts into the relevant documents, print the new material 2 pages to the sheet, fold those, and collect them for eventual japanese binding. The tricky part will be consistency about applying Labels so that the indexing/retrieval system works. It makes sense to start with the new stuff, and deal with the backlog as time permits.

It's on my list...

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