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 Not something to be stored forever as most magazines are out of date soon.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.