Focusing on organization
I’m much less of a perfectionist than I used to be, but I do have limits on how “imperfect” an environment I can tolerate. My own personal gauge is the columns of icons on my computer desktop. You know…the ones that come from program upgrades, shortcuts, miscellaneous downloads, and, let’s face it, lazy filing habits. I’d like to keep it to only a single column but once it gets to three, I know it’s time for some serious housecleaning.
So, I spent a good part of the weekend upzipping files, updating databases, and tagging digital scrapbooking products so I can actually find and use what I’ve purchased over the last several months. Once that was done, I moved on to computer maintenance…offloading lots of stuff to CDs, backing everything up, downloading program and security updates, and finally running a system diagnostic to determine whether there were any problems I needed to deal with. The last thing I did was to empty the desktop trash can. All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t have to haul all that to the curb, because the trash can was full to overflowing…more than 20GB! Of course, there’s a lot of processing time associated with all this, so while the computer was doing its work, I was puttering around the house doing (also long neglected) household chores. Now both my computer and my house are a little bit more tidy, and I won’t have to feel guilty about computer maintenance for at least a week or two.
One of the things that inspired my cleaning spree is that I realized I have lists of quotes all over my computer—quotes about travel, daughters, friends, flowers, photography, etc., etc., etc. I wanted to figure out a way to organize these so, as mentioned above, I can find what I have and easily add new quotes. I poked around the internet for awhile, hoping to find a program specifically designed for quote management, but I didn’t find much that appealed. Plus, I wasn’t really wasn’t anxious to add yet another program to my computer.
It’s not as if I have thousands of quotes, though it would be easy to build a substantial collection, so my requirements are not extreme. It finally occurred to me that Microsoft Access, the program I use to record the details of my digital scrapbooking supply, could be used for my quote collection. This is still very much a work in progress and therefore subject to revision but, as shown below, the fields I’ve used so far include Quote, Author, Source Work, and Quoted by (for quotes found on other people’s blogs for instance).
I’m going to add a keyword field so I can search by words that are prompted by the quote but not included in the quote. So for the quote “Each child is an adventure into a better life – an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new” (Hubert Humphrey), I might add “future” as a keyword. Note also that I could search on any word in that quote (e.g., “child”) and Access would find all occurrences of that word in my quote collection.
So, this is nothing fancy, but I think it will do what I want it to do. Still, I’m open to suggestions, so if you have another method for managing quotes, I’d love to hear about it.