I have a fever, a fever that never breaks. It’s a sickness really.
It’s called organizational fever; more specifically to this post – file fever – and I don’t know how to stop! Being organized is fuel to my body. It gives me clarity and peace of mind.
My studio gets organized and reorganized every few months and rearranged to some degree once to twice a year. I’m getting to the point where I’ve nearly perfected the arrangement, but rearranging and organizing to me are like a breath of fresh air. I’m a better teacher when everything is in its place. I have my moments – we all do – but I strive to keep my studio and workspace continually tidy for mine and my student’s sake!
In this post, I’m going to share how I organize my (physical) student files.
(To see how I organize student information using Evernote, see the post Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook.)
First, a quick note on what inspired me to improve my organization even more.
Getting Things Done
Ever since reading the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen, I have been working to streamline the way I work. Some of the topics he covers include cleaning up the space you work in, setting up the right tools, corralling your “stuff”, and keeping things fresh and functional.
One of the first things I did was purchase a label maker. After several months of using it, I wondered how I’ve gotten by as a supposedly “organized” person without a label maker my whole life. I’ve been label-making like crazy!
My file drawer is one place where my label maker has been put to work. I love 4-drawer lateral files. All my student files are kept in one drawer. Every student gets a hanging folder. Monday students names are labeled, and the label situated in the slot clear to the left. Tuesday students are in the second space, Wednesday students in the third space and well, I think you get the idea. I love seeing the files laid out this way!
(In case you’re wondering, I used the app “Blur it” to blur out the last names in this photo.)