One of these days I’ve got to get organized! Is that your daily mantra?
If so, here are some good ideas for organizing your business life to increase your effectiveness and enjoyment each day.
Handling Paper and Files
- Use a vertical step rack for “hot files” or current project files, in view and quickly available.
- Keep an in-out basket only if you tend to it often. Once something is second in a pile, it is temporarily lost.
- When sorting, take large items out of a pile first to reduce the pile faster (catalogs, binders, large folders). Instant results can inspire continued effort in sorting.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Be realistic when considering discarding or keeping.
- Use colored paper to distinguish copies or drafts from final form of written materials. At a fast glance, you’ll know which is which.
- Use a spiral notebook to capture random ideas, to-do lists and notes of phone conversations, rather than notes jotted on scattered scraps of papers.
- Place large pads of “stickies” near each phone, then stick the note into your spiral notebook, so it isn’t lost. Staple or tape small slips of paper that do cross your path into your notebook to avoid losing them.
- File by asking yourself “where would I look for this” rather than “where should I put this.” Putting is easy, it’s finding that’s tricky.
- Unfold paper before filing it into folders for the best use of space in your filing system. Staple instead of paper clip to avoid unnecessary attachments.
- Color code your filing system and computer disks or labels for easier and faster identification and a more attractive work space.
- Store items near wherever they are used. Keep excess, duplicate supplies in a less convenient storage place.
- Be creative with unused “air” space on the walls, ceiling and under furniture. A tablecloth can create instant storage under any surface.
- Label “dead storage” clearly for later access. Be as complete and detailed as possible in labeling the contents.
- Use interesting containers or waste baskets for temporary storage to brighten your work space.
- Store by height so all contents are readily visible, placing the tallest items behind the shorter ones.
Paulette Ensign is founder of Organizing Solutions, Inc.