Whether you work from home or run a household, here are simple steps to becoming more effective in your office:
- Eliminate Excess—surround yourself with what’s relevant and inspiring, especially if you’re in a smaller space.
- Set up an effective Filing System—Purge last year’s docs. Box them up. You want your files to reflect your thinking— simplified filing system = clear thinking!
- Utilize Tools—A calendar can help you prioritize and not miss appointments. Using Gmail and Google Calendar syncs everything automatically to your Smart Phone. Well worth the time to set up.
- Compile a Master List—of tasks. Nothing worse than feeling like you’re all over the place. Once you have the Master List, you can then prioritize.
- Implement System—Create systems that work for you, give yourself a chance to adjust, and use them. SYSTEMS save you time, money and energy. The longer you use a system, the more productive you become. Another tools that can streamline your organization includes online banking: Enter all of your vendors so when it comes time to pay a bill, it only takes a moment. No written checks, post office, etc. AND you have an online record of payment history.
- Set office hours—Understand that being busy doesn’t always equal productivity. Use your “office hours” to accomplish tasks, which will ultimately give allow for downtime.
Are you a piler and not a filer? Heck, we all have that pile of paperwork that needs to be filed. Until now…Pendaflex has a great way to sort it so it doesn’t wind up in a BIG pile that you avoid because you don’t want to sort and file.
The PileSmart Organizer Tray comes with a heavy-duty plastic tray and 6 thick plastic dividers with write-on, reusable tabs. I’ve been using this product for the past few weeks to sort (and temporarily file) paperwork for my children’s summer activities and web site notes/changes/etc. This horizontal “sorting system” is great for just that–sorting!
Pile Smart View Folders includes six letter-size folders that are transparent. These are great for organizing paper by project or category. Perhaps a billing issue you need to handle that requires you to keep the bill and notes in one place until you resolve the issue OR the draft of a letter and associated notes you’re preparing. The fact that the files are color-coded makes it easier to spot what you’re searching for too.
PileSmart Binder Clips is an easy way to keep papers together, whether receipts or a project print out. I’ve been using mine for receipts that I’ve collected and organized them by category. It’s nice to know that when I put these receipts in a file, I don’t have to worry about them sliding out of a paperclip and with more than one category, I can quickly identify what that category is based on the label.
Where To Buy:
1. PileSmart® Desktop Organizer Tray
-Buy Online Now
2. PileSmart® Binder Label Clips
-Buy Online Now
3. PileSmart® View Folders with Write-On Tabs
-Buy Online Now
PileSmart® Guide to Desktop Organization
Disclosure: This is sponsored content and we have been paid to do this post. That being said, we do not blog about anything we do not believe in and Pendaflex did not edit our post or direct our content in any way.Read More
Filing and managing paperwork doesn’t have to be horrible! It becomes an issue when it’s neglected over a long period of time and then one’s filing cabinet becomes full of irrelevant information. What exactly does that mean? Well, by now, we’ve all heard the statistic that 80% of what we file we NEVER look at again. So I say, why bother filing it?! Okay, so we do need to hang onto some paperwork, but it doesn’t need to take over our office and our life. Here are three simple steps to accomplishing this task:
1. Create files for “relevant” paperwork. That would include Utilities, Insurance, Mortgage, Taxes, Medical, Frequent Flyer Information, etc. Don’t overload your filing cabinet with out-of-date, “irrelevant” articles and paperwork that you might need. The filing cabinet is NOT a place for paperwork that requires a DECISION. Make a decision before filing it!
2. Consider NOT filing the hard copy if you can duplicate a piece of paperwork easily. For example, a detailed phone bill that’s available to you online or the countless articles you’ve saved but will likely never read before something more current is published online. Make friends with Google and bookmarking pages you intend to read.
3. Of course, you want to keep hard copies of Insurance Policies and Mortgage Papers. Click here for a complete list of Important Papers that should be kept in a fireproof safe, which can be purchased for less than $50 at an Office Supply Store.
Keep it simple: Set up your filing system with hanging files as the main category and third-cut manila folders for the sub-categories. That way, when it comes time to purge the prior year’s paperwork, you simply pull the manila folder, place it in a Bankers Box, label the box, and archive it. There’s no reason to save PAID Utility Bills from 2007 in your existing filing cabinet! In fact, once your taxes are complete and you’ve taken the home office deduction (if it applies to you), unless you want to compare from year-to-year, shred the utility bills to save space.
What you Need to set up a filing system:
3. A very LARGE trash bag (Hefty, Hefty, Hefty)
4. Half a dozen Bankers Boxes
5. Box of colorful hanging folders (you could use the army green, but make it fun–use color!) and a box of third-cut manila insert folders.
6. Vinyl Tabs (3.5 inch) for labeling folders (avoid using the ones that come in the hanging box…they’re too small and tend to fall off the file folders too easily).
You’ll be surprised at how much paperwork you actually no longer need. Follow the tried-and-true method of FILE, ACT, TOSS. Those are the three main categories paperwork fall into. The ACT items go on a To Do List. The “File” items are what you’ll place in the filing cabinet. And the TOSS will lighten your load tremendously! Click here for a complete list of What to Keep & What to Toss.
For more detailed information, get The Organized Mom. There’s an entire chapter on organizing your office that contains step-by-step on setting up a filing system, as well as a simple system for handling paperwork that requires ACTION!Read More
When organizing your office, the only items that should be within arms reach are what you use everyday. Now that you possess this information, sit in your desk chair, put your arms out in front of you, and swing 360 degrees. If you’re putting your hands on or near items you’re not using daily/weekly, they can be stored in another space, leaving you to focus on the tasks at hand.
Next step is to eliminate unneeded papers that have likely wound up in stacks. Here’s what you need to know…
There are truly only three things you can do with paper:
1. Toss – Anything that can be easily duplicated does not need to be saved. If it’s a marketing offer and you’re not “looking” for that item, toss it. Magazines, tear out the pages that interest you, and toss the outdated issue.
2. File – Two ways to file: Action and Reference. Action files are the files in your desk drawer: that file drawer should NOT contain anything that’s not used at least weekly. Reference files are just that, for referring to: Paid bills, copies of insurance policies, legal document, mortgage information, etc. That said, your Reference filing cabinet could go anywhere. I suggest, however, that if you decide to place it in the guest room closet, make sure you can lock it. Not to say that family and friends are snoops, but this is for your peace of mind.
3. Act – These papers are the papers that you must Act on, including phone calls to make, letters and emails, to be written, blogs to written, etc. Stack these papers, enter each task on your Master To Do List, then place the back up in a file. When it comes time to take the Action, pull out the piece of paper associated with the Task.
So I challenge you to shrink your existing work space even if you do have room for everything. Purge papers, toss or archive out-of-date calendars and those dreaded Yellow Pages phone books (which we really don’t need anymore because of the Internet), archive your old paid bills, and just generally declutter. What most don’t realize is that the clutter becomes something that you can get used to…unfortunately. Once you’ve decluttered an adjusted to your new surroundings, you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you will actually be!
Questions, comments…please enter them below.Read More
It’s the beginning of a New Year and what better way to get started back at work than to return to an organized office where you can think clearly, find what you need, and crank out some work!
In this video, Michele Dortch, mother of three, a wife, a business owner, and a marathon runner too, reorganizes her office for $130.
Here’s what Michele said about the project:
My home office was a deplorable mess, which meant I did everything possible NOT to work in it. (My brain tends to malfunction around clutter.) At the same time, it seemed pointless to dedicate an entire room in our home to my workspace and spend most of my time at the kitchen table, so I was inspired to re-organize my office for the New Year. Here’s a vlog of what I did:
Goal: Clear the clutter, start the New Year with a clean workspace and do it without breaking the bank!
Time Spent: 30 minutes planning & drawing out new room design; 45 minutes shopping; 4+ hours of hard labor!
Money Spent: About $130 plus tax buying these new items:
What I donated/recycled: Three printers (two of which no longer function).
What I trashed/shredded: An unimaginable amount of paper!
How I feel: Physically…my back hurts like heck; need a serious massage! Or maybe some good vino tonight for the New Year festivities. Aside from that – I feel amazing! My office is clean, inviting and I’m ready to get back to work in 2009!
What’s next: I want to add some live plants to bring life to my workspace. I like fresh flowers, so maybe I’ll treat myself every week. I’d also like to work on how to display my kids’ artwork and maybe add some inspiring wall art – at a bargain, of course!
An inspiring makeover from one busy mom!Read More