I told you that I’d explain the 43 folders.
Well, it’s not just a site, though that site is pretty fabulous.
It’s what is also known as a “tickler file.” Google that and you’ll see all kinds of them. You can even make them with index cards in a card file, if you’re the hipster pda type. I’ve done that before, when I was using another organizational system.
But, the folders.
David Allen describes it:
“This is a system that allows you to almost literally mail something to yourself, for receipt on some designated day in the future.
Okay, mailing something to your future self is very cool. Mailing something that your future self is going to say, “Thank you forever, oh pooks of yesterday, for not letting me forget this today!” is more than cool. It’s potentially a lifesaver.
You can do this by writing notes to yourself on the calendar so that you will look at the calendar and see important info on the day you need it.
But “43 Folders” means the 43 folders that make up the “tickler file” that I mentioned before.
Since I can’t figure out why this is showing up as a thumbnail I’ll leave it for now. Maybe I’ll be able to fix it later. Anyway, click it, and it should pop up large enough to see.
I added extra saturation to the color and sharpened the image hoping you can see how it’s set up. There are 12 folders labeled Jan-Dec. The only one you see in this image is April because I’ve tugged it out far enough that it sticks up. The other months are behind it.
Then you’ve got 1-31 for the days of the month.
That’s it, the simplicity of 43 folders. (Pay no attention to the purple folders marked “Saving Sebastian” and “Rep Info.” Those are current projects I have stored with the 43 folders so that they’re easy to get to.)
I took that photo on the 3rd. What that means is that on the morning of the 3rd of April, I pulled out the folder labeled “3″ and checked it. If there had been a bill to pay or a birthday card to mail or some stuff to be filed that I didn’t have time to file earlier but knew I was supposed to have free time on the 3rd? It would have been waiting for me to pop into my inbasket and process. Then the folder marked “3″ went behind “April” in line behind “1″ and “2″ and waiting for the rest to join them in front of “May.”
And since my inbasket was empty, I merely had to process what was waiting for me to process on the 3rd.
Does that make sense? I hope so.
I’m not always good at ‘splaining things.
And then, of course, my inbasket was empty again, waiting for more stuff to process. Once something leaves the inbasket, it does not return. It gets filed or acted upon or even tossed in the trash. What a concept. An inbasket that isn’t piled full of stuff from months past.
(Well, it was a wild concept to me, anyway!)
I had them in my file cabinet until I noticed that I wasn’t looking at them daily. So now they’re on top of my desk, in front of my nose.
There you go. 43 folders. Simple, huh?