I love magazines. They are fun to read. I may learn a thing or two. And the designs are often luscious.

However, I think of magazines as transient items. Not something to be stored forever as most magazines are out of date soon.

You rarely get any new information out of an old magazine. Sure, there was that great article but can you find it again? Do you even know which magazine it was?

I used to tear out articles so I could recycle the rest. That was a step in the right direction. The articles could go into binders or folders of the correct interest. That can be a lot of work for what may not be extremely valuable information. Once again the information is not likely to be used.

My Current Magazine System

  1. Rip out interesting articles from magazines.
  2. Weekly input the information from the magazines. I use evernote mainly to store  info. I can tag notes making it easy to search and find what I want. For instance I have a note on how to start an emergency fund that I ripped out of Family Circle. It’s rare that the whole magazine article is important. I type in a few highlights, similar to how we underline in books.
  3. Recommended books I want to read go onto my Amazon Wishlist. Every 3 weeks I put books on hold at the library from my Wishlist. Only if the library doesn’t have it or I think I will need it for future reference do I buy a book.
  4. Recipes also go into Evernote. I have a recipe folder there. However, I search online before typing in a recipe. Often the recipe is online at the magazine website. Or a similar recipe pops up.
  5. To dos can go right on an action list of other to dos. Like Buy [great mascara] that was reviewed. Or start a new making the bed habit.
  6. If it’s a project and I need the how to from the magazine I’ll put the article into a manilla file folder called Implement. For instance, a home decorating project might go into the folder. Then on the to do list or in the calendar I would schedule time for the project. Then write (implement) next to the item so I know where the instructions went. This is great for craft projects. A file folder keeps you from having binders and binders full of projects you don’t have time to complete.
  7. After a month, I put any of last month’s magazines in the recycle bin under my desk. Then if I need magazines for a collage or art project I have them until the bin is full.

Evernote also has a phone app, so if you read magazines with your phone you can input info right then. I prefer to lounge on the couch while reading magazines with no technology around.

The system may seem like a lot of work, but only takes minutes. And now I have access to the information where I need it.

P.S. If you have a lot of ripped out magazine articles laying around don’t try to save all that info. I give you permission to throw them out and start over with any new magazines that come in.





  • Laura says:

    I’m a complete magazine junkie. I merchandise them for my job which is either handy or dangerous depending on the week. I was thinking of scanning pages i want to keep and just storing them on my hard drive but i think i’ll try the Evernote program too for odds and ends. There are so many odds and ends. And magazines are why i can never live a simple and uncluttered life. I’ve accepted this fact. :)It’s them, and all the papers i seem to accumulate.

  • Janice says:

    Love your magazine ideas! Here’s a couple alternatives to putting them in a recycle bib:
    1. Donate them to your schools art room or teachers lounge
    2. Donate them to a cancer center, dialysis center or nursing home
    3. And my favorite, my SIL and I exchange complete 1 year “subscriptions” with each other for Christmas! This year I got Everyday and she got Real Simple.

  • Lily says:

    I have a binder full of “important” or interesting magazine articles that I’ve ripped out for future use. I always think I’ll refer to them someday… Hasn’t happened. I’ll be cleaning out my binders soon and get started on decluttering!

  • Coreen says:

    Most magazines post their recipes on their website. I have found Pintrest to be a great way to “save” recipes I might want to try without creating an ever expanding binder of recipes I might get around to making. When I am reading a magazine I simply turn down the corner of the page that has a recipe I want. When I finish reading the magazine, I pull out my I-Pad/computer and go to the website for the magazine and Pin the recipes I want then recycle the magazine. If I make a recipe and love it then I print it out and save it on paper.

  • Beth says:

    These ideas are so helpful. Thanks everyone!

  • Carol says:

    Great ideas. Magazines and paper are my downfalls. I’ve resolved not to renew any magazines for the next six months. That will give me a chance to see what I miss.

  • Kristi says:

    I can read through a magazine in 20 minutes. I use double-sided tape to stick my husband’s business card (not the good ones, but the cheapo ones we get for nearly free) to the outside and then he leaves them at our local laundromats. We write it off the magazine subscription as a business expense (all except his Modern Drummer, which we save every last stinkin’ copy – yes that’s disdain in my voice).

  • I used to rip out the pages and put them in a flip file (plastic filing sleeves all bound together). Mine had 30 sleeves so when it got too full, I’d declutter til it all fit.

    These days I just take a pic with my iphone and it’s right there with me. I think since Sept I’ve taken maybe 3 pics total 🙂 so it might be time to toss that flipfile!

  • Stephanie says:

    I like to use to keep track of books I’ve read, books I want to read and also what my friends are reading.

    Thank you for your tips about magazines!

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