“What Do I Do With All Those Magazine Articles?”
This question came up at a Paper Management class a few weeks ago, and it comes up often in my work!
I understand the challenge! Personally, my magazine reading consists of:
- Stash new magazines into a holder above my desk as they arrive in the mail;
- Grab the magazines as we head out the door for a road trip (I read when it’s my husband’s turn to drive);
- Read magazines cover to cover, pulling out only the articles that interest me;
- Recycle the used magazines;
- (Eventually) Process the handful of articles and information I have pulled out when I get home.
So, most of those steps are pretty straightforward, right?
- Create a spot to keep your un-read magazines.
- Create time and a routine around actually reading them.
- Keep the important info, and recycle the rest.
But…. then what? How do we store them? What should we DO with them? Here is my answer for the class participant (let’s call her Patty) and the rest of us with the same question!
CATEGORIES: My first question to Patty was “What are the categories for your articles? She answered:
- Health articles
- Books to read
- Diet & Exercise tips
- Great Household Tips
- List of Good Wines
- Sentimental Greeting cards given to me
- Beauty/Makeup Products
- Easy Craft Projects
- Decorating Ideas
For my own categories, I might add:
- Items to share with others
- Business ideas / marketing ideas
- Blog article ideas
HOW TO USE THE INFO?
Once you have established your categories, consider how you want to use each category’s information. For example –
Let’s say you save an article with “work out moves for cold weather”. You probably want to post that article where you can see it as you work out.
What about an article regarding a new treatment that you want to discuss with your doctor? You probably want to keep that article close at hand but portable, so you can take it with you to your next doctor appointment.
What about recipes? The logical place for recipes is in the kitchen, of course, where they will be used.
HOW TO STORE THEM:
Consider 3-ring binders for articles you want to keep and read again. Binders work if you want to read your information like a book, or if you want your information to stay portable.
I personally use a 3 ring binder for recipes. I have done away with most of my cookbooks over the years, and keep only the recipes I use often. When I tear out a new recipe from a magazine, I will tuck it in to the front pocket of my recipe binder. When I am looking for dinner inspiration, I will head to that front pocket! I’ll only keep recipes that my family and I actually have tried and like – those go in page protectors in the same binder, filed by category.
I have a client with multiple health challenges, and she keeps a binder for articles and ideas to take to appointments and discuss with her different medical professionals.
I also recommend standing file holders with hanging files tabbed with the name of each category. As you collect the articles, filing becomes so easy! Then, when you’re ready to review the file, you can pull out all the similar articles at once.
Consider high tech solutions, too. I asked Facebook friends for their magazine article suggestions:
MHD: “I scan the articles and store in a file on my computer” or
MTO: “I take photos of recipes that I want to save and keep a file on my PC. For longer articles, I will sometimes scan them to my PC and save them based on topic. (Meaning, a marketing article would go into the Marketing folder on my PC, a sales article would go into a Sales folder, etc.)”
Snap a picture with your phone or tablet, save articles and ideas on Evernote or Pinterest. Better yet, consider receiving your subscription electronically on your tablet or kindle.
HOW TO USE THE INFO BETTER!
The most important thing to remember about these magazine articles you are keeping is that you actually want to USE the information they contain.
- Keep only the pages you want, and recycle the rest.
- Read with a pen and notebook nearby. Sometimes, an article only contains one idea or reminder that we need to keep (circle it or highlight it!!), or generates one idea or task to add to our to-do list. (“Oh, reading this article reminds me I want to ask my doctor about vitamin D supplements.”)
- Make sure that you make time to actually ACT on the ideas from the articles!
- What can you take care of right now? Add ideas to your lists, bookmark the website referenced in an article or subscribe to the newsletter or blog, then toss the paper!
- What can you get rid of for good? Are there certain magazines that always seem to pile up? That you never seem to want to read? Or that don’t have articles that you keep? Time to let that subscription go!
Receive more ideas and suggestions like these;
Book time with me in person or virtually;
Arrange a presentation for your upcoming event; or
Discover the benefits of Organizational Coaching;
Please contact me.