Tag Archives: Organization

Page Protectors

This … might seem a little nutty. Maybe even a bit out there. But I love page protectors. So, please, indulge me as I talk about them for a little bit.

I’m sure I am re-inventing the wheel, here, but I use page protectors in my organization efforts pretty much daily – both at home and at work.

We keep statistics at work by hand for a number of patron activities. I stuck a stats sheet in a page protector and we tally them using a dry-erase marker.  The same can be done with a calendar – especially if you have multiple employees all needing to change their schedules (oh, the joys of working with students.)

I think there might be a laminator in the building, but if there is I a) don’t know where it is, b) wouldn’t know how to use it and c) would probably have to spend more time outside of the library than I care to fussing with it.

I also (when I think about it) will use a page protector to keep recipes safe while I’m working in the kitchen. I don’t cook from paper recipes that aren’t in books very often, but I have copies of a couple of my mother’s recipes that I keep safe this way. (Her macaroni and cheese .. yum! I should share that sometime.)

Those are the obvious uses for page protectors though, right? Essentially protecting pages from ink and spills.

I also use page protectors for keeping papers together. There is a limit to how many pieces of paper you can stick in one page protector, but the answer is not one or even two.

As we’ve touched on before, I get to be awfully creative at my job. And sometimes an idea is good enough that I want to save it for reuse. I was perplexed though – I have limited space in my desk drawers, so putting it in a file folder was, for the time being, out. I could put it in a binder, but then I’d have to hole punch things – making them less usable later on. I went looking for something to fix it in the supply closet, and that’s when I found the page protectors. Now extra copies of papers, flyers, signs and miscellaneous can all live together neatly in my binder titles “Library Displays.”

If you don’t get to do fun displays like I do, you can use this method if you have meetings where you’ll be handing out papers. (My boss could potentially benefit from this; he usually shows up with several file folders to each of our meetings.) You could use it to store extra copies of paperwork (like inventory sheets, time sheets, etc) that you’d rather not have holes punched in.

I also use this method at home for a variety of craft projects. My all-time favorite though is pattern pieces. I print a lot of doll clothes patterns, and the tiny pieces fit very well in the page protectors – but larger patterns would also fit. Let’s face it, those paper sleeves they come in won’t last forever.

I keep Ana’s “artwork” in them. (She’s only a year and a half, so it’s just scribbles right now, but I am sentimental and want to keep at least a few of them. )

I am sure there are other uses for them I am forgetting, but let this post be an inspiration – and feel free to add to their use in the comments!

Not Perfection, but Efficiency

One of the things I want to talk about in this blog is organization. We touched on this ever-so-briefly yesterday, when I advocated getting a calendar to keep track of coworkers’ birthdays.

The internet is full of organizational methods, paper and digital planners, and how-to-guides. I have even published one. It’s for planning conference trips, something I could not find anywhere one the internet. I found plenty of family trip planners, and one very nice but incomplete-for-my-needs blogging conference planner.

But here, I am going to let you in on a little secret: planners are a damn lifesaver when you’re a working mom. I had a lot going on in my life when we found out I was pregnant (including buying a new house, working toward tenure, and issues with my mother-in-law being unable to live on her own). I don’t know if it was stress or hormones, but baby-brain hit me hard, too. So I started looking for planners (and in a few cases, making them.) It is better to start earlier, because the more things you forget, the worse the stress will be, and it will affect your ability to remember other things.

My super-fantastic memory mostly came back when the new baby stress was over, but I do find myself relying on planners still. I have two, and I’m working on a third. The first is work, the second is family, and the new one is my personal one.

I task you with this, tonight: make a list of all the things you have to keep track of, regardless of whether you feel like you struggle with them or not. Then start looking for planner pages and start building your planner. As this blog progresses, I’ll be sharing how I built mine, but for now just start with taking a look at why you might need one.