This morning, I’ve been going through my google files. What a mess! I’m a fairly organized person, but keeping up with digital papers is apparently a ridiculous task for someone who touches so many areas of the curriculum. And I’m a jack of all trades with interests in soooo many things. And this is not a problem I have with items I can hold in my hand. Those I can evaluate and toss.
When I taught math and the occasional science course, I could divide things up in courses and then units. There was overlap, but not like this. I had created an archeologist nightmare. I could dig for days to find related files in multiple folders.Virtually identical files were everywhere. Folders were in folders that were in folders. I felt like Alice exploring Wonderland looking at the baffling and unexplainable.
Some decisions have to be made. Topical, seasonal, type of lesson? What made me think I could do all three? Why do I have five copies of this same file? Is this a library skill or a literary skill? Have I ever used this? Will I ever use this? Why in the world did I keep it?
Well, muchis gone now – at least for this moment. But this is truly a digital problem – maybe just mine, but I suspect I’m not alone. I can easily keep it, so I do. At what point will my drive resemble the internet?
I guess I should confess I have the same problem with pictures, but that will have to be tackled another day.
Those of you who know me in real time, know I’m an organizational fiend. You’ve made a mess of it, I can whip it into shape. Thirty year mess? No problem! And I absolutely love it!
But there are areas in which I struggle with organization. I have come to the conclusion that digitally organizing things just isn’t always the most efficient way for me. Ideas – searching, gathering, and of course organizing them for easy retrieval (oh what the heck – even just remembering they were ever a thought in my head to begin with!).
My random thoughts –
lessons for mmmm lets say 6 grade levels 😉
lessons for every subject that is taught or might be interesting to students
ways kids can valuably respond to literature (can they please be fun too)
doodles resembling art
hand lettering ideas
articles on advocacy
yes, I want to submit a proposal
healthy meal plans
oh man, I forgot to check the Google drive for NCSLMA
Levi would love that!
what was that grant source?
on and on and on
This isn’t a problem when I’m working on a particular project. My brain kind of goes into automated mode. It’s still going a mile a minute, but for the most part, it’s traversing at the speed of light about what I’m currently working on. The stray thought gets swept away when I move on to the next shelf or pile of books or cabinet.
Some things I’m ready to admit about myself:
I can’t keep a bunch of stuff around. This includes a jumble of ideas. If I need to save something and it has no functionality, I have to hide it until I can deal with it. I know the personal psychological reasons for this, but that’s a post for another time.
I’m not all that good at really long term projects. Open ended things aren’t very appealing. I can do a project that will take months, but years? Forget it.
I change my mind a lot. I like this for a while, then I like that for a while, then I move on to whatever. This has led to a rich and varied background, and is part of the reason why the library is perfect and why I am a frequent changer of schools.
I shut down if too much is going on. I can do the too much for quite a while, but I hit a wall eventually, and then I become super-introvert and shut down. I’ve just started sharing this with people. I am paralyzed at times. I look like I’m functioning on the outside, but inside, everything stops. That paralyzing thing happens with ideas too. Too many directions, too many thoughts, too many choices. BAM! I can’t function.
Part of the problem is, I’m not just generating my own ideas. They are literally coming in from all kinds of directions. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, blogs, chats, conferences, f2f conversations, texts. And while some of those offer ways to organize information, they just kind of hang in others. I’ve tried including those thoughts in my bullet journal, but there are too many, and my day-to-day stuff (like I have a meeting) is easily lost among all of the other things.
So I did a search. Someone is bound to have a great idea about the organization of ideas themselves! Did you know that if you search for “organizing my ideas,” you will get the best ways to organize your bedroom, your laundry room, and your classroom? Apparently “MY” is invisible. I did have better success with “organizing my thoughts,” although most suggestions were digital. It’s appealing, but I know I can’t stick with it online – mainly because I’m always searching for the best app! I would love to be that digital to the max person. I’m just not.
So, I’m going to try a second journal – an idea journal. I’ve been terribly resistant to having more than one. Lots of people I my journaling groups have at least two. I’ve been afraid it will feel fragmented. But I have ideas exploding in my head. It’s time to capture them before the disappear in space.
Last week, the carpets were cleaned at school. I thought they would be done early in the week, so I could go in on Wednesday and Thursday, but didn’t happen. I didn’t get to go in.
So, instead I took a nap most days. Naps are really nice in the summer.
went to a meeting on our county’s adoption of Discovery Education.
went to a departmental meeting.
made a Little Free Library Box header (I’ll have to take a pix, but it’s to use in the library.)
made a magazine banner and figured out a way to display new magazines.
cleared out (and cleaned up) a small cart I think can work as a listening station.
found some large tubs that can be used for big item stations.
Worked on an August conference.
Met friends for lunch!
put a shed together
laid a tile floor on the patio
Went to Ikea to window shop for items I think I might like to use at home and in the library. We went on a family outing and ended up with two carts full of stuff. Not bad for window shopping.
Whew! Not really – it’s fabulous to have a week to do that kind of stuff!
The thing I most enjoyed was finding information on Bullet Journals. (Thank you Pinterest!) I’ve already told you about my love/hate relationship with planners. Digital or notebook? Monthly/weekly or Monthly/daily or Weekly/Daily? What is the perfect combination of pages that gives you enough for notes on the fly? How do you find those notes again?
OK, I know for some of you, I’ve entered into the nutcase arena. But I also know that some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. *ahem*
Here are some sites to see what it is:
Bullet Journal This one has a short video on the basics of how to set one up. Easy smeasy.
There are hundreds and hundreds of of sites and videos. What a time sucker. I finally had to stop reading and watching and grave a notebook and some pens to start.
Pictures. Some of them are works of art.
I still have a few composition books left over from when I taught Math, so I set one up using one of those. I want to try one with grid paper in it next time though. And I think that I’d like to put a calendar list for each month at the beginning so it could serve better as a calendar too. I may go ahead and do that at my current spot, just because I think I’ll go crazy without it.
What I don’t like: Lots of writing. I was making a ton of lists anyway with the library flip, but I already had a skeleton page. Mine is functional but not pretty. I’m going to work on that. And I think I’m going to run through a notebook really fast! Hoping that will slow down some after the summer.
What I do like: Everything is in one place. The index helps for finding things that were lost in my calendar. I’ve got all the pages I need for a certain day if a lot is going on. There are oh so many ways you personalize it for what you need. You can use an expensive notebook or a cheap one.
I wasn’t sure I’d like the monthly calendar list, so I drew off a grid for July and left a column for goals. For August, I just made the list like they show in the video on bulletjournal.com. I think I like the list just as well (if not better) and it was much quicker. It’s also neater looking.
Maybe you are interested in a bullet journal??? I’d like to hear what you think.
I’ve been working in the new digs for three weeks now – four days a week, 10 hours many days. I’m estimating that the library is about half way to where I’d like it to be.
Week 1 – made decisions on items to keep or clear out. Find a place to put items to keep. Clear the walls.
Week 2 – organize items kept as best as possible. This is ongoing. Ron and I have joked time and time again about how we are having to move items to move items to a place that might make sense for a new home. Some cabinets are full of items that will just have to wait. Clear some more items out. This is tricky. If you move out too many things at once, you risk losing something of value. So some things you walk around and think about longer.
Week 3 – reorganize fiction into genres. Move magazines and make a reading nook. Clear some more items.
Week 4 – reorganize easy.
Weeks 5 & beyond – reorganize nonfiction.
Because you can only deal with books for so many hours at a time without Belview employees arriving with their little white jackets, I’ve also hung some things, worked on files, and looked at 100s of VHSs. I’ve catalogued and changed call numbers on some things.
Carpets are being cleaned next Monday! Yeah! I’m staying home with my feet up. (Ha! Not really. But I will be home. 😉 )
A few pictures of the fiction section. I was going to take some more, but all the furniture was moved for Monday’s carpet cleaning adventure. The books that are just piled on the bottom shelf need genre labels.