Paper is a big problem in office and home environments and it can be hard to control and to contain.  If you’re going to run a successful business you’ve got to have a handle the paper, so first things first, tame that paper tiger!

Paper is the #1 culprit when it comes to a disorganized office and it’s the first things that you need to get under control.  You might have piles instead of files, so to begin, go through each piece of paper and determine what it is, and whether or not you need to keep it.  Toss the things that you don’t need so that all that’s left is what you need to keep.

Next, set up a solid filing system so that every piece of paper has a home.  Your paper filing system should have three categories: reference, action and archive.  Determine which files fit each category and set up your system accordingly.  If your paper has a home, you’ll spend a lot less time looking for it and more time getting things done.

Chances are that if your paper files aren’t orderly, your computer files aren’t either.  Your electronic filing system should look just like your paper system.  start to organize your electronic files in the same way.  Determine what you need to keep, delete the things that you don’t and organize the rest.  One other key thing to do is to name your documents so that you know what they are just by looking at the name instead of having to open them to see what they are.

Set regular times to purge and archive your paper and computer files so that your cabinets and your hard drive don’t get cluttered.  Usually once a year works very well.  Don’t forget to purge your archives as well.  Purging and archiving are part of your filing system, so don’t neglect to do it!