Organising those snippets of information (Part 2)

Care Cards

Keeping information so that it can be easily retrieved is often a challenge so here is  how I deal with information about the care of anything –  from a Kitchen appliance to advice on Stain Removal.

On my Kitchen notice board I have a bull-dog clip that has a number of A5 size information sheets and I call these my ‘Care Cards’.

I choose A5 because a lot of information booklets are printed on this size for instance my new Iron Instruction book.

I have a number of kitchen and other appliances and although I don’t need to keep the whole booklet available in the Kitchen (because my Kitchen is tiny and I have very limited space) there is often a page of information I do need handy from time to time for undertaking a certain task which I do not perform regularly enough to always remember the procedure.

For instance

  • For the Flymo Lawn Mower – I need to know how to adjust the height settings in Summer and Winter by adding the disks
  • For the Oven  – I occasionally want to set the automatic timer or adjust the shelves to the correct place for my Christmas cake
  • For my Iron  – I should do a self clean maintenance once a month
  • For my Washer  – I need to clear the drain pump every other month

 Then I occasionally need information on items like

  • How to care for my Orchids – the feeding and watering instructions
  • What items I can take to our local recycling point and their opening times
  • The diagram and instructions for correctly placing the coals in our open Gas Fire when I clean it out
  • A handy leaflet on the uses of my kitchen cleaning products – Bi carb, White Vinegar, Borax and Soda Crystals (see Move to Portugal for a recent post on simplifying your cleaning products)
  • And just in case I keep a First Aid leaflet with a useful ABC direction on how to resuscitate someone if I ever had the misfortune to need this (hopefully not!!)

Anyway I think you can probably get the gist now…

I photocopy the information from booklets or type out and print what I require and anything that isn’t A5 I reduce down on the photocopier.

I then used to slip each sheet into one of those A5 plastic pockets and cut off the edge with the holes but for items that are going to be used for many years I laminate them which is even better as they are wipe-able. (yes I know laminated items are not very green – if you prefer to avoid the plastic then print or photocopy onto stiff card)

After laminating each sheet I bundle them all together and keep them secure with a large Bulldog clip and hang in the kitchen.  Then whenever I want any of that information it is there at my fingertips and the cards are very transportable and can be stuck on a cupboard or wall whilst being read – much easier than having an open folder or book.

I also find it useful to keep the details from the boxes of bulbs that we purchase that are not the usual run of the mill light bulbs – like narrow screw in candle bulbs for the wall lights and Halogen for the spots.  I collect these together, photocopy and laminate  them…

…the sheet is kept with the care cards ready for when I need to buy some more – I can drop the card into my shopping bag and match the size and number up in the shop.  I also do this for batteries for the various appliances we have.

 

 

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Organising those snippets of information (Part 1)

 

 

Organising those snippets of information (Part 1)

with my Systemised Product and Information Folder or ‘SPIF’ for short

For ages now I have been trying to find a way to catalogue and contain all the bits and pieces of information that I seem to collect from sources such as magazines, catalogues and even the junk mail.   These assorted clippings can be anything from a magazine recommendation for a new skin cream, to a newspaper ad for a play at our local theatre, or even a leaflet advertising an upcoming event and I keep them all thinking I might find them useful one day. (Whether this is the case or not is another matter and maybe another blog!)

Up until now I have never really found a good way of collecting and keeping these odds and ends so that I can easily retrieve the information when I need it.  All too often I have discovered details for an event that has passed tucked away in the back of my Filofax and forgotten about. I tried sticking these clippings into a small notebook but soon realised that I couldn’t organise them into any kind of order and in no time at all I had filled the book.

Then one day recently as I was browsing in my local stationery store Ryman I noticed that they are now stocking A5 lever arch binders and A5 tab inserts (even though they are in garish primary colours – what is wrong with plain white???) and this gave me the idea.

So my plan is that I will stick each clipping with Pritt stick to a piece of A5 paper (at work we always have a huge shredding pile where the bottom half of an A4 sheet of paper is unused so I cut them in half to produce a clean A5 piece to use in my Filofax).

This is a clipping advertising Solgar Probiotics that I want to try…

and this is a flyer giving details of some Open Gardens that I was interested in going to


and this is a page from a garden catalogue with various plant frames that I might be tempted to buy- but just not yet.

I have made a separate tab for each category and so far I have

Out and about (Places to go)

Gardening

Supplements and vitamins

Skincare

Foot care

Haircare

Exercise

Gifts

Books / Music

Home-ware Items 

I am sure I may add to this list as I go on or even shorten it depending on how useful it is.  As soon as I have attended an event or the date has passed or I have bought and tried a product or no longer have a use for the clipping I can remove the sheet and throw it away.

When I have the whole thing assembled I will make proper tab labels with my trusty labelling machine but for now I am using a few Post it notes. So far I am loving my new binder already.

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