The other day in the office I opened the wrong file cabinet and was confronted with so many hanging folders. I hadn’t been in that file cabinet in a while and looking at those folders reminded me of the way I used to celebrate finishing a project. When I finished writing an article I would print out a copy of the final version and slip it into a file folder and put it in the front of a hanging folder. I’d then print copies of the articles I had cited in that article, and put each in its own folder, with the author’s last name, first name, and date of publication. I alphabetized by last name and put all those articles in the hanging folder, too. I’d put a label on the hanging folder with the title of the article. Gosh, so organized. Gosh, so much paper.
Over the last few years, without intending to, really, my celebratory organization has migrated itself into an online format. I’ve been using EndNote for this purpose. Now when I write an article I’ll create a group with the title of the article, and drag into the group all the references I cited in the article. To each reference I’ve been attaching a clean PDF of the article, and if I’ve marked up a copy with notes or highlights I’ll attach a second PDF with the marked version. I’ve also got a group called “Marie’s writings” where I’ll make a reference for each article, and to that reference I’ll attach a PDF of the publication agreement and a PDF of the final published copy. All neat and tidy, and gosh, no paper or hanging folders.
Also, if anybody needs hanging folders, I have a few empty ones now.