How to organize/library different reference materials


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
I admit I am somewhat of a packrat. Especially when it comes to information reference materials. And I am a terrible librarian.

Does anyone have any great, hopefully foolproof, methods of organizing, storing the clippings, the pictures, the information that is SO important when I read it but then can never find it when I need it.


HAHAHA, you must be kidding!

The only way I have ever found is to sort by general category, then start subdividing.

So, file drawer is category, then file folders are subcategories, in alphabetical order.

It is a nightmare to keep up. We moved a year ago and I am still afraid to go into those boxes.

My other thought is that maybe I can just burn it all and rely on the internet and library. Most anything that I really need can be found in those two places, or by a phonecall.

This has worked for me:
Go to Staples (or where ever) and buy a few binders and a pile of two pocket insertable plastic divider pages - Avery makes a good sturdy one. I catagorize my stuff and file away. I have a binder for creative ideas and another one for my main supplier, tax stuff etc etc etc....
Keep your goodies in a plastic storage bin until you accumulate enough to go through it... oh and while you are at the office supply store get magazine holders.
happy organizing
My theory is similar. File in an expanding folder.

But on the outside, write the date of when you last accessed it info inside. That way when it gets to "five years ago" was the last time you looked in there.....pitch it.
I tear out the complete article, or great framing design, and file in a three ring binder, according to subject matter. I have one notebook just for marketing ideas, which has my collection of great things to try.
I eventually file everything in folders. The problem is, once it's filed, I forget about it. Then about three years later, throw everything away to make room for the next collection (like all the information we picked up in Atlanta). I have spent the past three days cleaning my desk and files(almost finished!) - all the while swearing that I'll never let it get this bad again. Yeah, right!
Amazing how we can accumulate "stuff" -
I still have catalogs from Hallcraft - Peidmont - Ivy Industries - etc
Why do I still save them? Maybe they'll be valuable someday?

I figure this is the way to get even w/ my kids - after I'm gone, they'll have to sort thru all this "stuff"
It is a nightmare for me!! And I was wondering if anyone has tried scanning and saving on the computer - an enormous task no matter which way we organize!??!

Glad I am not alone on this one!!
Like Sherry, I keep reference materials in a three-ring binder with tabs for: marketing, framing design ideas, techniques, etc. I tear out articles that are of interest and put the rest of the publication in File 13. Even when I research on the internet, I like to print it out to highlight and make notes. The computer has not reduced my volume of paper use at all--I probably use more.