I’m a magazine junkie, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
An editor by day and an inspiration-finder always, magazines give me ideas, keep me up to speed and can be read anywhere, anytime. But because they take time to read, if I don’t keep up with them, they take up space and look at me accusingly.
Which is why I included them in my annual household chore calendar as a monthly card. Knowing I’ll have a set time to go through a stack makes me feel less guilty for not diving in when they arrive.
I have a long list of subscriptions, but my faves are Working Mother (smart and empowering), Country Living (knows its audience and has great, affordable home decor picks), Better Homes & Gardens (much more down-to-earth than it was 20 years ago — and yes, I read it when I was 10), and Entertainment Weekly (gives you some water cooler convo and features strong, witty writing). As a Tennessee girl I will always and forever be true to Southern Living, but in recent years it’s been suffering an identity crisis. Beauty! Fashion! Celebrities! Self-important 500-word editor’s columns! I hold out hope that one day it will return to its roots (and never again use the words “New South” or, God forbid, “gastro pub,” on every other page to justify its shift into weird Millennial-urban land.) Ahem.
As I’m reading, I act immediately, forming piles for where ideas should live. The most common is my Pinterest file — most magazine articles these days live online, and for the ones that don’t, I have a folder in my Pinterest file for scanning and uploading that way. These are ideas I want to keep for later, inspiration finds, things I want to buy, etc.
Another common pile is coupons and discount codes. Those live in my coupon binder, which is also updated monthly.
A third common pile is gift ideas, whether it’s for Mother’s Day or Christmas or just because. Those ideas live in my lists on Wishpot — I love it because you can have separate lists for different people/occasions (including yourself), make them private or public, add gift ideas from any website, and set it up to email you when the prices of gift ideas change. (Add an app suite, and they’d be perfect.)
The last pile I make is for magazines I want to take with me to work for story and/or design ideas. After I’m done going through an issue, it goes in the recycling bin.
Ideas are everywhere — the key to letting it inspire, not overwhelm, is having a system and staying on top of it.