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I am a fairly organized person. When it comes to managing clutter, I adhere to Benjamin Franklin’s credo:

“A place for everything, everything in its place”

Scarves, sunblock, tools, linens, books and the flotsam of everyday life have their berth and are easily stowed away and retrieved when needed.  But for some reason, I haven’t been able to apply this same order to my notes.

A ragtag collection of note pads, dog-eared composition books and an assortment of blank journals with pretty covers are squirreled away in the nooks and crannies of my house. Some are completely full of writing and others contain just a few pages. None of them have titles. I have no idea what is in them but I’m pretty sure there might be something I could use some day.

Flipping through the legal pad on my coffee table, I find morning pages/journal entries, a grocery list, details of an upcoming trip, random phone numbers and pages of drawings by my nine-year-old daughter, who thinks any piece of paper is fair game.

I explained my problem to my daughter who said, “You need categories!” and proceeded to create a chart into which we put the following headings:

  • Journal entries
  • Morning pages
  • Random thoughts and phrases
  • Blog posts
  • Short stories
  • Essays
  • Non-fiction projects
  • Shopping lists
  • Words

(And I just noticed she included a final category: YOUR DAUGHTER!)

I am overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing what I have and creating a system I can use for the future. Do I need different kinds of notebooks for each category or a color-coding system? How do I maintain the integrity of my notes? Is there any hope for me?