Recently, multiple people have been asking me about how I keep track of my penpalling adventures. So, I am sharing this with the world, at least those who read my blog.
I bought this file folder box from Staples. It was just around $10. It has small channels on the sides that fit standard, hanging file folders. It is AWESOME.
I was able to pick up some hanging folders for cheap on Amazon, and I pick up pretty folders from what we had in the office, and if I see any while I’m out and about (Target has 6 pretty ones for $3 on occasion, as well as Staples and Marshalls). I make labels for the people I penpal most on my labelmaker (It’s $22.00 on Amazon right now and if you click on this link, you’ll support this blog) and I usually do this once a month—usually when I’m labeling my newest Ali Edwards Story stamp kit. I will also write label names on the folders in erasable ink (I totally recommend these markers from Pilot Frixion and they’re under $10—this will support my blog, too!).
There is a folder for IGGPC, LEP and Family letters/cards. I also have a few folders for giveaways and promotional materials and my Happy Mail subscription. So far, this system has worked well. I have an incoming folder, a ‘to write’ folder and a ‘to mail’ folder. It has allowed me to figure out what I have, what I need and really hammer out what I needed to do. I have found pieces of mail here and there since the move that I need to deal with, so that ‘to write’ folder is something I open every time I sit down to write, slowly replying and getting to a point where I can be totally caught up (if such a thing truly exists, LOL!).
This is an example of the information I have on each folder (with washi, I am so in love with gold and teal right now, how weird is that?!?). It has basic information and dates to remember. It also has a list of when I received and when I sent out the items. All of my correspondence is dated with incoming/outgoing. It does require a little work at the front end, but items that are in the ‘to file’ folder are easily added to the log as we file them in the folder. I like keeping the envelopes, just in case the address changes.
I also track via this website, and the Midori Traveler’s insert I have. It’s not a perfect system, but I have yet to find a log that I love. I have decided to start working on a way to get all of this information into my midori, to create my own inserts, but am working through some template issues currently. Sometimes the planner I have works in a pinch, but on the lots-of-mail days, it’s a bit rough.
How do you track your penpal/letter writing efforts? Please share in the comments below!