Blog

How to Create a File System

Now that you have reduced the mountain of paper spread around your office, it’s time to create an organized file system.

Most file systems are divided into three parts: Active, Reference & Archive.

Active files are those that include action steps. For more information about creating an active file, click here.

Reference files are files that need to be kept for, well, reference. Most of the files in your file system will fall into this category. Reference files include ‘Auto’ ‘Banking’ ‘Credit Cards’ ‘Insurance’ ‘Investments’ records tracking for clients, proof of a legal transaction, or information that would be difficult to locate elsewhere.

Reference files should be kept as close to your workspace as possible for easy access. A file cabinet, rolling file cart, or, for smaller Reference File systems, a mesh cube, can be used to contain these files.

Archive files are files that need to be kept for compliance reasons. They may be accessed well into the future, if they are ever accessed at all. Archive files include old tax information, old medical records, and any other file that may need to be accessed at some point in the future.

To Create your Reference File System

Think Broad First, then Narrow: Decide whether you want to file by categories or alphabetically, or a combination of both.

Continue reading “How to Create a File System”

3 Steps to Reduce Paper

There is little, if anything, more stressful than walking into your office and seeing a mountain of paper. Reducing the volume of paper will certainly help. Below are strategies to help reduce that mountain into a smaller, more manageable, system.  

1. Start with a general sort. Resist the temptation to act on anything you touch. Make decisions as quickly as possible. Sort into:

Action: Items that require an action, such as making a phone call, doing research, sending an email or making a purchase. If like most of us, you have a stack of bills to pay, create a separate pile for these, using one large category labeled ‘To Pay.’

File:  Items to access later or items that you need to keep that have no pending action steps.

Continue reading “3 Steps to Reduce Paper”

When Hiring a Pro is Best

If you’re like most busy professionals, your office has projects that need work: piles of papers, clutter on desk surfaces, perhaps even piles of items waiting for time where you can address them. This can be at odds with what most of us want: a clutter-free, calendar-clear, easily managed task list and space.

Below are ideas to help you decide whether you need to hire a professional to help get you from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Schedule: Most of us have way more to do than time to do it. It can be challenging to carve out time to work on your space when there are so many other obligations on the calendar. How can a large project be incorporated successfully into a very full schedule? Ask yourself how much time you can devote to organizing. Is it possible to designate a day each week, or two afternoons a week, to tackling these projects?  If not, perhaps it’s time to hire a pro.
Continue reading “When Hiring a Pro is Best”