Tag Archive: filing


Taming The Paper Tiger


PaperOverflow-ResizeThere’s a paper tiger in your office. You know, the one that keeps showing up time and time again after you think you have it under control. Paper, AKA the paper tiger, is the #1 culprit when it comes to a disorganized office.  Of all the things that can possibly clutter any given space, paper usually paper comes out on top. If you just don’t seem to be able to keep the paper under control, you’ve got to tame that paper tiger and do it quickly because the more paper you have, the more paper you’re likely to accumulate. Like attracts like. It’s all energy.

The paper tiger comes about for several reasons: you keep documents that are no longer relevant or that you don’t need; you don’t have a system in place for dealing with paper or your filing system is inadequate. Usually people aren’t aware that paper falls into one of three categories-action, reference or archive.  What I see is that people don’t know that they have a choice when it comes to paper. No matter how much of it you have, there is a simple process for getting and keeping control of your paper.

If you’re like a lot of people, you have stacks of paper. You probably even know what’s in each stack and if you had to find something in one of them you might even know exactly where to look in that stack to find it. Get yourself out of the overwhelm conversation and start by dealing with one stack of paper at a time.  Go through each stack one piece of paper at a time and determine the following:

  • Do you need it?  Can you get the information again, perhaps from a book or online?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of it?
  • If it is relevant, what needs to happen to it?
    • Does it need to be filed? If so, where?
    • Do you need to take action on it?
    • Does it need to go to someone else?

As you go through the paper, sort  it  into separate bins; one designated for each of the three options (File, action, delegate) and the fourth is the stuff that gets tossed. Once the first stack is sorted, move to the next stack and continue until you’ve worked your way through each. Next, take action on the items in each bin.

  • Do the filing; create or place the associated paper into the reference or archive file
  • Take action on items that require you to do something
  • Delegate the items that need to go to someone else
  • Shred any documents that have confidential information

Finally, to keep the tiger from becoming untamed again, set up a system to help you manage your paper on a regular basis. Set a time to file, or to have someone else do it. Create new habits that support you in maintaining that system. That’s how you keep it under control.

 


If you find it hard to keep up with the paper overload even with a streamlined filing system, you might want to consider filing your paper docs electronically.  Of course it’s easy to scan and and then save them, but if you really want to use a tool that will help you when it comes to your productivity, then consider Neat Desk.

Neat Desk is a high-speed, duplex desktop scanner and digital filing system. It allows you to scan receipts, business cards and documents as the software identifies, extracts and organizes key information that helps when it comes to retrieving your information.

Neat uses Intelligent Text Recognition technology to read and understand key information, then automatically organizes what it sees. Very cool, huh?!  The resulting digital files are useful and usable, not just easy to find and access.  They’re also easy to share.

You can scan in your receipts, business cards, or documents pretty quickly–24 pages per minute and you can scan up to 50 pages at once – single or double sided, color or B&W, single or multi-page. You pick.  Your receipts become digital records with vendors and amounts, business cards become digital contacts, and documents become fully keyword searchable.

With this great tool, you end up with information you can not only find, but that you can use.  Once you’ve scanned your documents, you can create tax or expense reports from your receipt data, or export to MS Excel, Quicken, or even TurboTax. You can also Sync your contacts with Outlook or Address Book. Find what you need with a keyword, and organize it however you like.

So, if you’re finding yourself challenged when it comes to the paper in your office, check out Neat Desk to see if it’s a fit for you.  Watch this quick video to get the big picture.


When it comes to getting and staying organized one challenge is the #1 culprit, paper, also known as, the paper tiger.  This is true for both home and work environments.  If you’re challenged with clutter, look at the clutter to see what percentage of your clutter is paper.  Of all the things that can possibly clutter any given space, paper usually paper comes out on top, not that it’s a good thing.

The paper tiger comes about for several reasons: people keep documents that are no longer relevant or that they don’t need, they don’t have a system in place for dealing with paper or their filing system is inadequate and usually they aren’t aware that paper falls into one of three categories-action, reference or archive.  No matter what your challenge is, there is a simple process for getting and keeping control of your paper.

If you’re like most, you have stacks of paper.  Get yourself out of the overwhelm conversation and start by dealing with one stack of paper at a time.  Go through each one piece of paper at a time and determine the following:

 

  • Is it relevant; do you need it?  Can you get the information again, perhaps from a book or online?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of it?
    • If it’s no longer relevant, get rid of it!
  • If it is relevant, what needs to happen to it?
    • Does it need to be filed?
    • Do you need to take action on it?
    • Does it need to go to someone else?
  • Sort  the paper  into separate bins; one designated for each of the three options
  • Once that stack is sorted, move to the next stack and continue until you’ve worked your way through each
  • Next, take action on the items in each bin
    • Do the filing
    • Take action on items that require you to do something
    • Delegate the items that need to go to someone else

Finally, to keep the tiger from becoming untamed again, set up a system to help you manage your paper and keep it under control and create new habits that support you in maintaining that system.


If you’re a business owner you have to be on top of things and handle your business.  Doing so means being organized and having systems set up within your business that support you.  Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • You waste time looking for things because your paperwork isn’t organized
  • Your tax returns aren’t filed on time because you can’t find all of your receipts
  • You incur late fees due to bills not being paid on time
  • You miss connecting or following up with prospective and current clients
  • At times you feel overwhelmed
  • You’re working plenty of hours but nothing’s getting done

Unfortunately, these things happen quite often and are a way of life for a lot of women in business.  It’s easy to  get caught up and lost in wearing multiple hats and as a result, have your business suffer.  Because you wear multiple hats and because life moves at the speed of sound, you have to create systems that support you in running your business.

First things first, tame that paper tiger!  Paper is the number one culprit when it comes to a disorganized office and it’s the first things that you need to get under control.  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.  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!

My next post will continue and give you the next key system for business success.


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!

Time and Space (c) 2015, 2011 [ Back to top ]