August 10, 2006

Organizationally Challenged

I try so hard to be organized, but I am just the clutter queen. Oh, I'm so much better than I used to be, as I am always looking for ways to sort my life, but it is never enough. NEVER.

Do you know that I taught for almost two straight years before I organized my lessons, materials and handouts? I think back now and I don't know why I was so stupid. Get some file folders, girl! Duh! Some of my colleagues use binders, but I don't always use the same materials from year to year depending on the level of students I have and how much I need to build scaffolding. I wish I could only use a few binders--at this point I have enough files to fill two drawers in a filing cabinet.

Oh, but wait! That does not count the all the files on my computer and the bookmarked websites I have. Do you know that I have gone years saving files without putting them into folders? Again, duh! Use those folders! In the last few years I've been pretty good about using folders, but then I do have a "Stuff" folder on my Mac desktop. Who am I kidding? It's like the junk drawer in my kitchen.

And let's complicate this a notch. I work on three different computers. Mosly I work on my Powerbook G4 because it goes back and forth to work everyday, but sometimes when I think I'm going blind and my wrist just can't take it anymore, I use my home or work desktops, which have normal keyboards and big screens. I often start things and then send them to myself to finish on another computer, so you know I have some half completed stuff out there---or even better, I have saved myself the confusion and saved it to one of my two flashdrives. Got a handle on where my files might be found? Good luck finding it only if you're a determined detective.

So, what I'm working on this week is getting myself organized. It's not just for me, but so I can share with my colleagues, too. (I'm really just thinking those with the same grade level and subject.) My big undertaking is to create a wiki for me and my mates to use as a reference and sharing too. There are apparently many uses for a wiki, so I hope this is a good one. We often share things anyway, but this might make it easier. Now, cross your fingers we can even access it at the school. You know how locked down we are. I'll get back to you on this one, as I am still sorting through the wreckage of my files. And yes, I do have folders. Lots of them.

My minor undertaking, which is taking a while, is to move all my Internet bookmarks to Okay, if you think I had any better system for my Internet bookmarks, you are just not paying attention. I rely on the Internet as a research tool and source of inspiration when lesson planning. I'm up for sharing that information with my colleagues, so I wondered if I should limit it to only school stuff, but there isn't anything too crazy in there--and it's going to be used by ME primarily. This is a tool I am looking forward to trying out and sharing with my students, so it's likely I'll end up making another one with classroom resources if this one works out well for me.

So here's mine. I'm not quite finished as I have some huge folders on blog tips and various forms of writing. When I look at all the bookmarks I have saved, I wonder if I really need them--do I use them? Some I have, and I keep the others because I know they contain information I might need. Perhaps with the tagging features in, I'll be able to find them and use them more. Although, I'm not sure I'm using the tagging business right, as the more I add, the more I rethink what tags should be applied--I've really overtagged in many places. The reason for some is that the resource has more than one use, but I most honestly, when I go looking for these places again, what tag will I think I put it under?

You can give a girl an organizational tool, but that doesn't mean she will be organized...

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