Where do all the project support material folders go?
I guess I am not following the initial collection thing yet, I am going through all my files and purging like crazy and trying to set up a new pro-GTD filing system - with the 43 folder tickler and the reference file drawers. There's so much stuff that I don't want to even make it to "IN" it's going right out! I've been working out of this home office for 17 years and I have a stack of paper beside my shredder as high as it is (it's too early to shred without disturbing my neighbours.
I am running into a problem with the project files - both the way DA uses the word and the way most people do. I thought I understood what DA said about project folders and I realized there'd be a lot - but where do they all go? I have a place for active client project folders - the kind of work I do I don't have too many contracts at one time. But with the wider definition of active projects I have lots - including prospective client sales efforts, household projects, personal expression things. Well I am sure you get it.
I'm trying to re-use a lot of the various organizational gear I've bought in the past. I have tons of folders (having emptied so many out) and I have yet to re-arrange the office so all my drawers are within swivel distance. I've tried other organization methods before - usually starting by buying a bunch of stuff and then not following through. So I'd like to see how GTD will work for me before I start buying more things.
Actually, if all it does for me is motivate me to keep purging so much intellectual, emotional and physical clutter - I am already impressed. I am going through stuff I've tried to thin out a thousand times before without much success but this time, I pick something up and I get a fairly immediate response. I might pick up an old (completed or dead) project folder and this time I think either "trash" (a lot of it) or I see *how* it could be useful and because I am thinking about what I would do with it - I might pull out the final report because it will make a good reference example, or the list of firms on the competitive review I did as a possible source for future leads and throw the rest away.
I also find I am sometimes spontaneously completing small projects around the apartment that I have been vacuuming around for years.
But the project folders have me a bit stumped.
I have dedicated 4 file drawers to reference, 2 file drawers to "general" files - like insurance policies, marketing plans and brand standards and things like that, and one file for the "tickler" file and - well I thought - "informal" or "potential" projects.
I have these slot things on a shelf above my desk for files on live "formal" projects including client projects, seminars I am developing or personal expression or volunteer projects I am working on. But I haven't even really started the mental sweep thing and I am already thinking of so many projects (in the DA wider sense of the word). I presume I am supposed to create a folder of support materials for each one, right? But where do they go? Are they supposed to go in those 4 alphabetical reference drawers? Is all that reference supposed to be specifically project related?
Don't get me wrong, I think this is an awesome idea. But I am picturing piles of *meaningful* folders as tall as the various "ugh" piles I am looking forward to saying goodbye to. (I listened to the audiobook, I have no ideas how DA spells those piles of "stuff" you don't know what to do with.)
In the desk file drawer to the right of my chair, I set up the 43 folder tickler system (the best I could - I'll probably ask a question about that later) and behind that I guess I had figured I would put prospective and informal projects.
But I have filled up the room I have for project folders and I haven't really started...
Any thoughts or advice?
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