We have said that the secret to becoming a master organizer is learning how to see what organizing systems have in common instead of focusing on how they differ.  A key part of what you need to learn is that organizing systems follow patterns that you can reuse when you need to design or analyze an organizing system.

Because organizing principles use properties or features of resources to organize them or to create categories, when we group organizing systems according to the types of resources they contain it is easy to see  the patterns in the organizing principles and category structure.

Then, when you need to create an organizing system, having these patterns  is like having an expert organizer to help you – you’ll save time and your organizing system is going to be better!

First, we divide all organizing systems into three large groups using very big differences among types of resources:

  • Organizing physical resources
  • Organizing digital resources
  • Organizing time resources

Time is a little tricky because it can be a resource, like when we organize a calendar or schedule by breaking time into pieces for events or activities, but can also be an organizing principle, like when we organize the kids in your classroom by their ages.   So we’ll start with the easier resource types in this part of the book and come back to organizing time later.

Patterns in organizing physical resources

  • Organizing tangible objects
  • Organizing plants and animals
  • Organizing people
  • Organizing places

Patterns in organizing digital resources

  • Organizing resource descriptions
  • Organizing the web
  • Organizing personal digital resources



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"The Discipline of Organizing" for Kids Copyright © 2022 by Robert J Glushko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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