I’ve collected a lot of quotes, jokes, poems, anecdotes, etc. on various topics over the years. I used to just save them in a folder with my saved e-mail, because most of them I received via e-mail. If I found something somewhere online that I wanted to keep, I’d copy and paste it, along with the source, and send it in an e-mail to myself to put into the folder.
But it was getting harder to find particular ones I wanted, plus all the saved mail was causing my e-mail provider to load slowly. So I have been working on taking all of these things and organizing them into Word documents.
Each member of our family has a folder with their name in “My Documents” on Microsoft Word. In my folder I created another folder called “Topic file.” I created several subfolders in my topic file for Holidays, Seasons, Marriage, Raising children, Trials and afflictions, Prayer, Missions, etc. — I add categories as I come across things in my files. Some of the folders are further subdivided into categories: Holidays, for instance, has subfolders for various holidays. In most of the folders I have a page for quotes; in some I have a page for jokes. There is a page for shorter poems but longer ones often have their own page as do anecdotes.
I use many of these things in personal correspondence, but I also use many both in my blog and in a newsletter for our church’s ladies group. When I use something, say, for instance, a poem about Easter, in parentheses after it I’ll put whether it was used on my blog or the newsletter and the date. This has been a great help because previously I’d have to leaf through past newsletters (all the May ones, for instance, to see if I had used a certain Mother’s Day poem yet).
This is a work in progress. So far as each holiday or season approaches, I go through my files and pull out everything on that holiday or season and then put them in Word documents and then create folders for them. That way it is not overwhelming trying to do all this at once. As I find new quotes, etc., I want to use, it is handy to find or create the file it needs to go in.
I thought about organizing it a little differently: making a folder for jokes, a folder for poems, etc., with topic categories within each folder, but organizing it by topic seems to work best for me. It has been a big help already in finding that certain story or quote I want without having to dig through a lot of files.
I don’t have many quotes from books in my files yet. I have a few books that I quote from often with little pieces of paper stuck in the places I like to quote. 🙂 That might be the next project after this one: getting some of those written out in a Word document and then into the right category. I also have things like this in paper files in a metal filing cabinet (from the days before computers 🙂 ) that I need to go through and transfer to the computer some day.
I’d be interested to hear if anyone has a different way to handle this kind of thing.
As always, visit the Works For Me Wednesday creator and hostess, Shannon, at Rocks In My Dryer for great tips on a variety of topics. We’d love to read any tips that you have as well!