Binders galore

Binders galore

Assorted tales of an information hoarder.

The first time I decided it would be a good idea to organize my life, I didn’t know anything about bookmark managers. In fact, they didn’t even exist, back then. I suppose there was no Internet available yet, not for non-techies like me. But there were those sturdy binders with a black cover, a metal clamp like a rat trap to fix the pierced papers you wanted to collect, and this tight plastic jacket on the side where you could slide in a piece of unwilling paper.

I also optimistically started a tab ‘Comedy’, but I’m afraid this section never really got filled. 

First, I wrote down the word ‘Body’ because I planned to save everything about sports, health, fitness, recipes and anything else health-related. Doctors recipes. Pictures of nice looking sunglasses. Running shoes. I think I managed to fill at least six of the available ten tabs.

The next binder I dubbed ‘Mind’ – mostly because I still considered the mind and body two separate entities, back then. I felt it would be a good idea to gather everything I found inspiring in the tab ‘Inspiration’. I also optimistically started a tab ‘Comedy’, but I’m afraid this section never really got filled. Even the tab ‘Spirituality’ seemed to wither away, even though there was a time in my life I really was into it, to the point of agony no less. And there were some newly developed sections: ‘Sleep hygiene’, ‘Memory training’, ‘Positive psychology’. The effort I took in cutting out and cataloging what I read in newspapers and magazines almost seemed worth the effort. I really slept better knowing where I could find all my knowledge.

In the end, I managed to fill no less than seven binders with a whole lot of information. It was awe-inspiring, I thought. Lots of information about the Body and the Mind, but also about Culture, Relationships, Possessions, Writing and the more ominous label Enterprise/Employment. As if I didn’t know how to choose between the two. I really thought I had captured my entire life between a few pieces of cardboard.

Some binders on the shelf
My entire life between a few pieces of cardboard on the shelf

But then I decided I wanted to study some more, and this required a new binder. I started working as a high school teacher, and this meant a new set of binders, for every year a new one. And the taxes came along; don’t get me started on taxes, especially after I bought my first house.

The big metal cabinet I bought a long time ago to save all my precious binders soon proved to be way too small. Plus, my wife didn’t really enjoy the sight of a grey metal cabinet in the middle of the living room. Something had to give. Some papers had to go to a better place, I decided. A place where they could enjoy a nice, quiet little afterlife, waiting for the next time I didn’t seem to be so pressed for time and space. In the trusted attic, for example. My body on top of my mind. Nice and cozy together in their own special cardboard box.

Stefan van Dierendonck

Stefan van Dierendonck

For many years Stefan has been active as a blogger, building and maintaining his own and other websites. He is also the author of two well received novels. Wherever possible he tries to combine modern technology with literary or at least pleasantly legible content.

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