How do you sort unused bits of writing?

I can’t imagine I’m the only one who keeps bits of writing that got revised out in case they come in useful later, or ends up writing stuff that doesn’t really fit into the current outline.

So, how do you sort these?

I just drop them as separate documents into a folder called the Scrap Bin. I titled them for a while, but coming up with titles that were both descriptive and not overly-long was difficult, so I stopped doing that and just use search if I want to find something.

I also have an “Unsorted Scenes” folder. My actual outline is more of a list of main plot points (and mainly so I don’t forget the main plot points), and I only plan ahead a few chapters at a time. But sometimes I write scenes that don’t fit into the outlined chapters. They go into Unsorted Scenes.

Your approach sounds as reasonable as any. You might find it helpful to use keywords to clarify just what the scene is – who’s in it, where does it take place? – and the synopsis to summarize what happens and where in the outline it might fit.

As for chunks that might not belong in the current project at all, the Scrap Bin folder could easily become a Scrap Bin project, that you dig through for ideas whenever you need them.