28 November 2013

A-Z tabs

The A-Z tabs we get with our organisers are mainly intended to be used for names and addresses. Steve one of our readers has come up with an alternative use for these.

Ignore your computer or smart phone for a while, we are going off-line, off grid even...!  It is just you, a pen (or pencil) and your Filofax personal organiser.

Let us think for a moment about the various notes and ideas, bits of information we jot down in a typical year. In my case these can be fairly random, from how to change my watch from one time zone to another, to conversion formulas, to what frequencies local radio stations are on, which Mark Billingham books I've not read yet... fairly random stuff.

So you could put these notes on different sheets of paper, that would be a good start, and put them in to a section called 'Notes/Information' but you still have a random set of notes and information and over the course of a year,  these notes start to build up a bit.

Steve's idea is to file these notes and information sheets within an A-Z index, so in my examples above I would put:
  • My watch information sheet in W
  • Conversion formulas in F (formula)
  • Local radio stations in R (radio)
  • Mark Billingham in B (books or Billingham) 
And so on, now to make it easier to work out which section you have put things in Steve  suggests using a simple index sheet to list the information and which section it is in. I think this is a good idea especially if the number of sheets starts to grow in numbers/size. 

I'm certainly going to give this idea a try in my own organiser it will help to combine the notes and information sections in to some sort of regimented order. 




15 comments:

  1. I use this method in a dedicated A5 Finsbury. Using A5 means I can fold in A4 references as well ( I trim enough to allow folding without i jutting out ). The index is also essential since sometimes you think 's' for song?, no 'm' for music! It's much easier to scan the index than leaf through a number of tabs.

    One addition is I use a business card holder for spare keys. A little 'tac' (blu-tac in Australia) keeps them in place for all but the most vigorous filofax shaking! LOL. A small folded card with reference point keeps them in order and helps them stay still also - under K tab of course! If you were an employed turnkey it might be unmanageable but for my half dozen spares it works well.

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  2. I have an information section in my home organiser for snippets of information just like that and I can see it starting to build up. I have a set of A-Z dividers I didn't really have a use for, but now I do! Thank you to Steve for this clever solution.

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  3. It's a great idea! But my problem would be remembering what I called things! Did my parents' work rotas go under W for work, R for rota, P for parents, or separated under M for Mum and D for Dad? Even the index wouldn't always help me with my muddled brain!!

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    1. But I meant to add, this is a great idea and I do use my A-Z for certain things like Car, House info etc.

      Reminds me of a friend at university who saved up for months and filed her cash for Spring Break very carefully. Too carefully in fact, and she couldn't remember where she filed it! She missed her Spring Break trip (to Florida) because she couldn't find her cash! She found it MONTHS later, in her M file for MONEY! LOL but poor her!

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    2. I wonder whether this would actually be a good time to combine paper and digital? I can imagine keeping an index on phone or computer, which would make it really easy to add synonyms and do quick searches?

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    3. I've been doing this for years. Occasionally you do forget where you filed something, but I don't find it to be an issue; if it's not "here" then it must be "there", if that makes sense! Also, the more you use it the more you just know where you filed things that you need to look at or add to regularly. I honestly cannot imagine trying to organize my filofax any other way.

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    4. That's one of the reasons that the filing cabinet bit of GTD didn't work for me - could never remember what I'd filed things under! I'm beginning to see the wisdom of an index now, maybe I'll revive this in the A5 Classic which is a bit redundant at the moment!

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  4. I've been using a similar method. Though as a simpleton my addresses were printed on white & all the other things are on coloured sheets. Whatever the subject matter it is filed in alphabetical order, i e restaurant, bars/pubs, florist.
    I use the Slimline A-Z & write my favourite wedsite information on the dividers... Space saving idea!

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  5. I have been using this idea for 6 months or so and it is one of the best tips ever! When a reference starts getting too many pages (like Filo tips, for example), I create a tabbed subsection elsewhere.

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  6. I saw this idea mentioned in one of Joshua Laporte's Youtube videos and like it. Even if you are not sure exactly what letter you filed it under it would still be better than flipping through 20 pages of notes. The subject/letter relationship at least gives you a start.

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    1. Yes, I've been doing this for quite a while, almost since the beginning of my filofax days! I got the tip originally from @Aspire_to_be. She was using it in her Cuban zip.

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  7. What a great way to order your notes!! I've been using an The original in personal size for my company and private life. Each letter stand for a company and there I have customer no./user names and so on. For example UPS is U. A great way to order information and if I'm not in the office others can find anything they need!

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  8. I too have been using this system for quite some time. I have an ever expanding wish list for music albums they are filed under artists surname or a particular song goes this is placed under the relevant tab. I use a Slimline which is reaching its limit, time to move into a Compact or Personal size I would think.

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