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Hold Please…While I Find THAT File.

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Is there anything worse than NOT being able to find that piece of paper you need? What about that file that you KNOW you saw on your desk yesterday? Where is it NOW???!!! It doesn’t matter if it’s a home office or an actual office (or cubical), things can get hectic and placed ANYWHERE. I know what its like to have days where I’m super busy and I put something down on my desk and in THOSE moments, I know where it is. Then at some point I put something else down on the table and something else and something..well you get the point. Then there’s filing or lack thereof. So before you can organize, you need to look at your office space and ask the following questions:

  • Is the furniture and equipment set up in the most efficient way?
  • Do you have organizing materials? Do you have the right ones? Enough of them? (i.e. file baskets, file holders, file cabinets)
  • Are there storage issues? If so, what are they?
  • How are your files and filing systems? Can you find your files easily?

Start with those questions. Clarify whats going on in your office space. Identify the problems/issues. Also find the things that are working in your office! Maybe you have great shelving and they are the one area that is being used properly. All your books fit perfectly on the shelves and its in a spot that’s convenient. You want to narrow down what is wrong in the space. Then you build from there. The answers will be borne out of whats not working in your space.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Organizing

 

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I Need Me Time To Get Organized!

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When I started The Super Organizer  five years ago, I didn’t anticipate the sheer amount of paperwork that would result! If your day is like mine, by 8 a.m. I’ve already been faced with 600 emails and a few issues that weren’t on my original plan for the day. The crazy pace of daily business tends to create a temptation to just complete each task as quickly as possible at the expense of order and process–a situation with the potential for escalating problems in the future. Or to not handle everything right then and begin the “I’ll get to it later” habit. There have been many times I’ve had the frustration of spending a full day trying to locate a single document .Most of us know how important organization is, but I hope this inspires those who need to get organized. And its start with our filing systems!!

The first step is to block out some time with yourself to get organized. You can even make an appointment with yourself. Put an alarm on your phone. Do whatever works to help you do that! I take a deep breath, get my coffee, and have a seat and first write out the things I want to do first thing. Sometimes its specific (call EDD, Pay for Phone bill, check emails) , other times it’s a series of single words (email, taxes, calls, lunch). For a lot of folks, record-keeping is electronic, and a disorganized computer filing system and desktop can be scary and challenging. If you can, take that appointment with yourself and create a file structure on your computer or network that works for you. Every business is different, so your filing system will be different, too. You want to keep it as simple as possible. Create folders for each thing you can think of and name the folders clearly and easily. Make should YOU will know what each folder means and what to put in them. And make sure that the categories are precise and not open to interpretation. You don’t want to be confused as to where to put a document or where to look for a document. Simple and clear and easy!

Some people have hard files. If you don’t have file cabinets, get some. I recommend cabinets that have at least one more drawer than you think you need for each category. At a minimum, there should be a cabinet for your vendors; one for your customers; one for your financial documents, taxes and agreements; and one for your marketing activities. Again keep it clear and easy. Keep separate filing space for your personal life. I had to learn the hard way to separate my personal and professional papers. Especially when it came to my bank accounts! I have separate accounts so I had to file them in separate places and not intermix the two.

In the end, all that matters is that your filing system provides a place for everything and that you can locate important documents when you need them. The one universal element to organization is the need to maintain it on an ongoing basis. It’s something that should be maintained each day. If a new category comes up, create a new file or file drawer for it immediately.  If you can’t do each day, then get a post-it and write what needs to be done and have a designated place to put the document (s) neatly in a pile till you can get to it. If it is electronic, have a folder specifically set for those documents. BUT in both cases, schedule a time or day you can get to it and get those things into their proper places. The sooner the better!!  Businesses can fall apart due to misplaced documents or unseen/unanswered emails, organization is the key!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Organizing

 

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