Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Response...Organization

Hi everyone! Today I'm going to respond to Svetlana's comments to one of my previous posts. The first thing Svetlana asked:

Are you going to use a index card box to store your cards with some dividers for dividing the first letter of the pen-pal's last name? Or are you going to use mini folders and store them in a box?

To be honest, I had no idea how I was going to store the cards. I assumed I would just put them in a binder, but some great suggestions came up. I could get a little recipe box or index card box to store the cards in. I know there are some amazing decoupaged boxes on Etsy, and what better way to individualize my storage than to order a handmade Etsy product? With owls. Yes, owls. Or smiling cupcakes.

But I digress.

I alphabetized my binder, so I don't see the harm in doing the same with my little box. And, speaking of boxes, I need some photo boxes! I will have to go to the store this week to buy some as I'm running out of space for my incoming letters! The boxes I own are overflowing!

My pen pal is going to have a design up tonight, so I'll be printing these cards out and sending out my letters by Tuesday.

The next question Svetlana asked:

Also, how do you keep track of who you have sent to and who you are waiting for a response from?

While searching for pen pals, I came across a wonderful way to organize my mail on Julie's blog, Pen Pal of the Week. I use two woven aqua-colored baskets I purchased at the Dollar Tree down the street. The one on the left is for unopened mail or mail I have read but not responded to. The one on the right is for letters I have responded to, and letters I have to send out. Once I respond, seal the envelope, and put it in the mailbox, I place the letter I received in a photo box on my bookcase.

I realize this does not really answer the question, but I will go into more detail with what I am planning on doing in the future.

Because I have no set way of telling who I am waiting on a response from, I will be creating a log book of sorts. Most likely I will build one on Excel. The general idea is to keep track of what is coming in, what is going out, and what I'm waiting on. I have a horrible memory because I get busy.

So the way I'm picturing this working out is that I'll make a basic template on Excel. Within the template I will have a column stating the name of the person I received a letter or package from. To the right, I will list the date it arrived. Beside that, I could put down the date I responded, maybe add a little note regarding some information about the contents of the letter, and then finally, the date I sent out the letter.

This would result in roughly four to five columns. I could add more, such as the length of the letter or if gifts were included, and what they were. Maybe even if I sent a gift, what I sent could be listed in a column, too.

I am thinking I could color block the person's name the last time it showed up, and remove the color once I receive their next letter. This way I can keep track of everything without the bulk of an extra column or even post-it notes. Then, once I go through the process of writing my letter, filling in the remaining columns, and sending out my letter, I can color block the latest name, and the pattern continues.

Now that I've written this, it sounds like a good idea. I'm off to make my template!

Remember, ask any questions you have and I will do my best to answer them. Take care!

1 comment:

  1. I think you should use a database because it might be easier for you change the data rather than with an Excel spreadsheet. But the issue with that you have to learn how to make a database and use one. But then again, if your way works, it will keep on working the way you have intended it to do so.

    I was thinking the same thing using a Excel spreadsheet but after picking up a book called "A Manga Guide to Databases", I thought it would be easier with a database.