Good Organization Systems

Hello readers!

Scott here. The most important goal of any organizational system is to be able to find what you're looking for. This has traditionally meant "You can find it if you know exactly what you're looking for." Title Reader takes care of that for you, which opens up a lot of intriguing possibilities. We opened the conversation a couple weeks ago with some really interesting ways to organize your books - you can read that here. We’ll continue today with some systems that may be less interesting but are possibly more useful, depending on what you collect.

Sort covers by color

This is the most popular novelty system to make fun of, but even if it sounds like madness, yet there is method in it. If you only have a vague memory of a book, one of the things you're most likely to remember is the color. This will help you narrow down the search area.

Use your own genres

The current standard set of genres leaves a lot to be desired. Calling a book "historical fiction" doesn't tell you much when the genre includes Harry Turtledove, Neal Stephenson, and, technically, Jean M. Auel. Instead, make up your own genres that encapsulate what you think is important in a book. Put all the hopeful books together, so you know where to go if you need a pick-me-up. As a bonus, if you label the shelves clearly, Title Reader will be able to identify that for you.

Sort music by note progression

Do you remember that one song, the one that goes sort of "da da daaaa da da"? It can be hard to remember the name of a song, but by the very nature of music it's easy to remember how it goes. This system puts all the songs that have the second note higher than the first on one side, and all the songs that have the second note lower than the first on the other. Repeat for the third note and so on, until you’ve reached the exact song you’re looking for. No two songs have the same note progression for very long, so you can find what you're looking for very quickly, even if you only remember the first few bars. This one was developed a long time ago for classical music libraries.

Sort reference books by last time you used them

This is a strategy that comes straight from computer science. The idea is that whatever books you used most recently are the ones you're most likely to need again. It's not foolproof, but it is surprisingly effective.

Got some other ideas? I'd love to hear them! Tweet them @titlereader or drop me a line. Want more? Sign up below. Otherwise, until next time, happy reading!

- Scott Dubinsky