Monday, October 3, 2016


By Mary Kennedy                                  
I'm drowning in paper, and no, I don't mean confetti!

I'm talking about endless little scraps of paper, "notes to self," post-its, scribbles on backs of envelopes, etc. Things that seemed worth writing down (at the time) but now are in a hopeless jumble in my office. And they're threatening to take over other rooms as well.  The situation is dire!

In some ways, it's an occupational hazard. Writers, after all, are constantly observing, taking in their surroundings, always watching for the small detail that will turn up in a book. Love the way the moon light is reflected in the dark, swirling waters of the Atlantic Ocean? Quick, write that down!  Notice the way your cat gives you a long, slow blink before drifting off to dreamland? Grab a pen and paper and capture that thought!

The trouble is, all my lovingly prepared notes are a hopeless jumble! Some people, of course, do a much better job of keeping track of things than I do. Just wander through Staples and you'll see dozens of notebooks, post-its, organizers. Supposedly everything you need to keep on track. There are plenty of spiral notebooks...

 Or bound notebooks, if you require something more substantial...


And post-its for those quick thoughts that only take a sentence or two...

Some people like to record their thoughts and transcribe them later. (That would never work for me, I'd never get around to playing them back and typing them up.) 


Of course, it would be better if we could take notes on our laptop, but that isn't realistic, at least for me. Who carries their laptop with them all day? 

It's much more likely that you'll grab whatever is handy and scribble away. I've tried buying notebooks especially for "Notes" or "Things to do" but I usually misplace them. (yes, I'm hopeless!)

I often wonder how other people manage to be organized. Joan Rivers once revealed that she jotted down her jokes on little pieces of paper all day long. What did she do with the little gems on scraps of paper?  She tossed them in lovely china dishes scattered around the house. 


 And here's the best part of the story. Her trusted assistant dutifully gathered them up at the end of the day, typed them up and filed them according to category!

What a wonderful plan! Sadly, it is out of reach for most of us. Do you find yourself scribbling notes here and there? Do you eventually organize them? Is there a better way?? I know I need to find one. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Finally, here's a lie we often tell ourselves, I can totally relate!

Mary Kennedy