Tag Archive: paper

To help keep the paper tiger away, 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.  How many times have you created a document, printed or emailed it off and then couldn’t remember where you saved it, what file name you gave it and couldn’t find it because you don’t have a filing system for your hard drive?

To avoid wasting your precious time looking for those files, set your electronic files up so that you can easily locate them.  Your electronic filing system should look just like your paper system.  For example, if you’re an entrepreneur, you have electronic client documents, so you might set up one folder for each client and other folders for things like marketing, forms, standard operating procedures, proposals, etc.   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.  For instance if you created a proposal for a client, you might name it “Third Eye Group Proposal”.  If you get into the habit of naming documents appropriately, you will save yourself a lot of time when you need to find them again.

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!

Paper accumulates so quickly.  Think about how many pieces of paper you encounter on a daily basis–the flyer from the local coffee shop or your child’s school, receipts from the day, the shopping list and the day’s mail.

This is the stuff that clutters our lives and our minds.  Create a place for personal and business papers, keeping what you use most readily available.   For example, bills up front and tax files in the back or the bottom drawer.  Keep your debit and credit card receipts until your statements come; reconcile the transactions, shred the receipts and file the statements.  Set a regular time for archiving and purging your files.  Usually once a year works pretty well.  Determine how long you will keep particular things and remember that some things you have to keep for a specified number of years depending upon what they are.  Check with your accountant for guidelines.

How much mail do you have stacked on the flat surfaces of your home or office right now?  The usual landing pads are your entry way table, kitchen counter and dining room table.  If you’ve got that stack of mail, you’re not by yourself.

This tends to be a common issue at home and at work.  To remedy the problem, sort the mail as soon as you get your hands on it, and do it over the trash can.  Toss the junk mail and once you’re done, file the bills and statements for payment and place your magazines, catalogs and other items in the designated spot.  Don’t let it hit a flat surface!

So many of us have an overload of paper and magazines and catalogs are a good part of that.  If your paper overload consists of magazines, look at the number of catalogs that you get and the number of magazine subscriptions that you have.  Do you really need all of them?  Do you read all of them?  If there are too many, it’s time to scale back.  Don’t renew the subscriptions for the publications that you don’t read or that you aren’t getting value from and don’t add anything new no matter how tempting it is.  When yo consider subscribing to another publication, think about it first.  Are you going to read it? What value does it bring to you?  Why are you subscribing?

Next choose the perfectly sized container for your magazines and catalogs and put them in it when they arrive.  Don’t let them sit too long.  Set a reasonable time period for reading them.  Maybe you choose to read them by the time the next issue arrives, or maybe you cut the articles you want to read out of the magazine and place it in a reading file.  If a catalog has something that you’re interested in, cut it out along with any ordering information that you need.

Once you’ve read the magazines and catalogs, save any articles or items that you want by filing or scanning them.  If you save a lot of articles, file them in a binder organized by type or topic.  Remember to be environmentally friendly and recycle the rest of the publication.

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