Most of us are more than happy to forget a screwup at work, a project that didn’t pan out, or even a bad experience at a restaurant. Remembering your mistakes, screwups, and bad experiences, however, can keep future ones at bay.
Over at the organization blog Unclutterer, they found these “I’ll Never [ ] This Again” filing folders. While they didn’t think it was worth spending a premium for such a folder—although it would certainly be fun as a goofy gift—they did see the utility of creating a “Never Again” folder.
The actual paper folders are unnecessary, but the fundamental idea behind them are brilliant. After seeing them, I created a folder on my computer called “Never Again.” Then, inside that folder, I made a series of plain text documents: Restaurants, Books, Websites, Ideas, Hotels, Vacations, Wines, and Gifts. In these documents I recorded important notes to myself about mistakes I’ve made in the past.
In the folder, or master text document, you can record anything you want to remember. I could have, as an example, recorded “Never use XYZ cellular provider.” after a friend had warned me about the absolutely horrible experiences he had with them. I completely forgot about his very animated warning and ended up using that provider years later, resulting in me having the exact same experience he had. Even when things work out, it’s worth recording what didn’t work so that you don’t end up using a flaky vendor for a future project, reusing a similar line of argumentation with your boss, or buying a gift for a friend that was terribly received.
Would you keep a standing record of past mistakes and failures to help ward off the future ones? Sound off about it in the comments.
Never Again Folder [Unclutterer]