My ID Folder happens to be where I store all of my story ideas. Say I lie down for a nap and dream up the best story idea ever, because, come on, don’t we all? Or maybe I have a conversation with a kindly old man whose words sing of originality and a long ago story that needs to be told. Rather than stopping my current project and starting in on the new one, I’ll sit down and write a brief summary. First comes the [ID] tag. Then I’ll give it a date  that for me always goes in a logical order, Year, Month, Day, so that when I sort them by name they’ll show up in order. And finally, the clever title [Space Elves Rule XMass]. All together it looks a little something like this: [ID 081225 Space Elves Rule XMass].
My ID’s are usually not full fledge stories, they’re not necessarily novel concepts or short stories per say, they’re just interesting ideas that have struck me. Later on, when I’m in need of something new to write, I’ll come back to my ID Folder and scan through interesting titles and find something that I can work with. It keeps me away from the black pit of “Oh oh! I have an exciting new idea for a story that is way better than what I’m working on right now and so I have to stop what I’m doing and go work on this new idea so that I can come up with another great idea and ditch this new one for that one and continue the endless cycle of never completing ANYTHING! YAY!”
This process developed from a class I took in college where we were assigned to live “writerly lives.” Basically, we carried around note cards and whenever an idea struck we were to jot it down and date it. I really got into it for a while, even purchased a small receipt holder so that I could divide up my inspired bits into different sections. There was a section for project ideas (the chicken coop would have gone there), lesson plan ideas, story ideas, scenes, and who knows what all else. At some point along the line I decided that I was going through way too many note cards and simply storing them away. It wasn’t manageable. I ended up going through the cards, pulling out the ones I really liked and typing them out as ID documents.
And that’s today’s time saving technique. Maybe it’s more of a story saving technique. Perhaps I’ll develop two new folders, one Super Ego, in which I store all my critiques and hyper self analyzations (add that last word to the list of Davidisms … along with “davidisms”) and then a final folder called Ego, where I come to terms with the differences in the ID’s and what lies in the Super Ego.