Fill Your Five Fat Files!
I wrote a while back about making five fat files. If you need a reminder of what they are, you can read about it in this post: Five Fat Files.
I mentioned a few ways to find ideas in the post above, but today I’d like to expand on that and give you a few more ideas. If you’ve forgotten about your little files, or maybe just ran out of steam, some new resources are sure to get you going again!
Something to remember when collecting information: Don’t just keep what you think you’ll use. Keep in mind that your goal is to one day be able to bless others with your knowledge, so you’ll want to hang onto good ideas and inspiring articles that might not apply directly to you if you think it’s potentially helpful for someone else.
Magazines: Consider your five areas and do a little research to see if there are some magazines devoted to your file areas. Sometimes a smaller magazine will have much more content than a larger, ad-filled one. There are lots of magazines out there with a specific focus like photography, homeschool, gardening, etc. You can find lots of these at the library and photocopy useful articles.
Newsletters: Don’t overlook the little newsletters that come from everyone from your dentist to your retirement provider. Our local hospital sends us one and I’ve gotten some interesting tips for kids from it.
Websites: You may have a computer file with links, or else jot them down on a sheet of paper and file away. On some websites, you can copy information directly from the site and paste it into a word document. Just be sure to include the link so you can include a reference if you share the information one day.
Sermon Notes: Do you take notes in church? I always have because it helps me process information better. It is always nice to come across old notes in my files, and it always seems to be just the right day! Sometimes, I will enjoy a message so much that I’ll buy an audio CD of it and tape it right into my sermon notes journal. It’s also a great resource for encouraging others! Don’t forget, there are many available audios online from conferences, radio shows, and church pod casts.
Conferences, conventions, and workshops: I am absolutely a conference-dork. I love them! I have been to a fine arts convention, a writer’s conference, a homeschool convention, and countless workshops just in the last three years. Notes and handouts from all of these are filed away, and I refer to them often. Audio CDs are often available here, as well.
Books: Well, of course you will find information in books. If it’s one you own, put it on your reference list and use highlighters and flags to point out sections you want to remember. If you borrow one, take copious notes and be sure to include the library call # in case you want to check it out again someday or recommend it to a friend. Be on the lookout for book sales–especially those great library ones—so you can stock up your shelves with quality reading.
Interviews: This is something Elizabeth George, the author of the book this idea came from suggests. Pick women who are proficient in one of your areas and interview them! I love this idea, and I already can think of a few women I would love to spend some time with and pick their brain.
Any more ideas? Where do you get your info from?