A couple weeks ago at the NGS conference in Charleston, I attended a lecture called Organizing Your Research: The Overlooked Step by Ann Carter Fleming. She had a lot of great ideas and suggestions to make organization more simple. I like simple, however the bottom line is, everybody has their own systems that work for them. I've heard about some fairly elaborate ones that involve numbered codes that I would never be able to figure out, let alone remember. I mostly use binders with page dividers, which so far has worked nicely for me. I am starting to branch out into file folders though, since receiving a 120 page civil war pension file that is too bulky for the binder. It is cross referenced in the binder with a page that says, "See hanging file folder for pension file." Simple. It works for me.
So how does trying to find a pencil case and attending a lecture on organization tie together? I've learned that sometimes it doesn't matter how organized you are, there can be larger forces working against you. Like a 6 year old.
Well, I'm off to the archives with my research papers in hand, and my pencils swimming around freely in my bag. Overall, a good start to the day.