Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Open File Surgery

It took years, but my paper files are now a stack only two inches thick. The key to the system is a question from Koberg and Bagnall's "Universal Traveler": what is the worst thing that can happen if...(in the case of files) I throw this away (or just scan the thing)? When I started slashing files, I asked myself if I were willing to accept $25 worth of hassle if something were missing. The sum is larger now, but the question is the same.

Now and then it's important to have an overview of the paper archive. I discovered that it's simple and effective to stack the sheaf of files on an empty three by six foot table and deal things into relevant piles. Most files can then go back into hiding, while the hot topics claim the attention they deserve.

The key to this particular mint is knowing the files can sit there undisturbed by other demands on the desktop, and that I can safely leave the archive out overnight -30-

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