Are you compelled to clip articles from magazines and other reading material and save them for later, or share them with your friends and family? Is it becoming a problem?
Clipping for yourself: The main question is, do you have an organized system for FINDING the clippings later? If you do not have a reliable way of organizing and filing these items, you might as well not have them. I would like to suggest to you that almost everything is indexed online now. Virtually all major magazines have indexed their articles, and if you’ll allow the possibility, they can be responsible for holding this information for you. I would recommend taking a few of your clippings and "testing" trying to find that information on Google, or directly on the magazine’s website. My guess is that you will be successful almost 100% of the time. This may give you the confidence to drastically reduce your clipping habits. It’s very time-consuming to handle this paper and file it and keep it, and it takes up a lot of space. Remember, you do not need to create your own personal library when there are literally libraries and search engines and others that do nothing but index information for you.
A helpful tool: A PDF maker. PDFs are a universal type of document that almost anyone can read on any computer. You can "print" a web page to save as a PDF document, using Adobe Acrobat Professional software or a less expensive "knock-off" product like Cute PDF. Saving a PDF of something you like online can allow you to organize it into your personal files on your hard drive, rather than printing something out and keeping it in your paper files.
Clipping for others: The good news is that you are probably a very caring "people person" who really values your relationships. That is great! Let’s make sure you’re doing the best thing for the people you care about helping.
First, ask yourself honestly if this person truly wants the information. In my work as a Professional Organizer, I have a client who is a very well-intentioned "big sister." She is always wanting to send articles about health and wellness to her parents and siblings, along with parenting advice and similar items. We were able to broach the subject that perhaps these types of articles could be perceived badly as unsolicited advice, and that you have to be careful about the unspoken messages you’re sending along with the material.
Secondly, always ask yourself (again) if this information is available online. People nowadays would greatly prefer a link they can click on, read, and move on–rather than adding to their pile of paper they feel they must read and respond to. E-mail makes it much easier to share this information conveniently. It’s also much less time-consuming for you. The client I have mentioned above often makes 5-6 copies of an article to send out to various family members, so imagine the time savings of doing that vs. just addressing an e-mail to 5-6 people.
Hopefully this information gives you a different perspective to help relieve your clipping burden. I’d love to hear comments from the clippers out there!