Today we tackle the menagerie of magazines. I should start by saying that I have gone through the process of culling magazines and sewing periodicals many times in my sewing life. Before easy access to the internet became commonplace, we didn't have any other way to learn and be inspired with reading material except for magazines and books. For almost ten years I had the privilege of contributing to what I considered to be the premier machine embroidery magazine, Designs in Machine Embroidery. Copies of my contributions are on my must keep list. The batch of magazines that remain are going through the should it stay or should it go process. Below you'll find my best list of ideas and methods for tackling this stack of shiny paper full of pretty pictures and golden information.
Now it’s time to go through the keepers pile. If you don’t have the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome like I do, you may be able to breeze through the index of your saved magazines to see if anything is there that still interests you just by looking at the titles in the index. You may be like me and want to leaf through page by page just to make sure you are not in fact missing out. Now you are ready to plough through and see what you can’t part with. See if any of the following ideas work for you.
- Clip and File - Once clipped, file in a file cabinet, file box, drawer, or stand up organizer designed to hold magazine or file folders. I like to use a simple A to Z system. If I’m looking for zipper tips, I simply look for the label that includes Z and I’m sure to find what I want. For yet another idea, buy clear sleeves for a binder and store the articles in binders by alphabet or by categories. These methods work for chopped up pieces of articles or multi-page articles you want to keep for future reference.
- Snap and Store – Snap a picture of a tip or paragraph or even a picture you want to keep and then file it using your favorite digital formula. For me that is yet another A-Z system on my computer. Tip: If you are using a Mac, you can open your picture file using the preview program, add text or drawing to emphasize areas and even export it as a PDF. I know there are other Windows based programs that allow you to do this as well. One that I use for both Mac and Windows is called SnagIt.
- Scan & Store - If you have access to a flatbed scanner, simply scan in the file, save it as a PDF for easy printing should you choose to print at a later date, and once again, file it in your computer as digital media.
- Protect & Keep Intact - If you find a magazine that you can’t bear to part with and want to keep intact, consider putting it in sleeves made just for that purpose or make your own from clear vinyl. I have even considered purchasing two-page menu covers for magazines I know I will never want to part with. I'll keep you posted on the progress of that idea.
- Search Before Saving - Last but not least, if you're seeking to cut down on the quantity of items you are keeping, before you save an article do a quick online search to see if the information exists in digital form. If you can download and save the info you won’t need to store the hard copy. Also, think about the books you already own. Perhaps the same or similar technique or information is already archived in a book you plan to keep. By the way, if it is really important information be sure to have a digital back up copy as well.