6 Tips for Working Well Together

Working with a partner or within a team can sometimes be a challenge. Many of us would simply rather do things ourselves. It’s much easier to ensure the product is to our liking if we don’t have other hands in the mix. But there are times when more eyes, more ideas, and more hands are exactly what we need. Then what? How can we work well together and ensure that the results of the group are greater than the results of one?

1. Decide who is in charge of the project.

A group is useless without someone who can act as the final authority. We can toss ideas at the wall all day, but someone has to determine which ideas stick. If that person isn’t you, learn to be okay with that. Be willing to set aside your preferences for the good of the whole team and the goals that you determine as a group. It’s wise to have a different person in charge of different projects, so everyone has an opportunity to express their creative vision over time.

group table 22. Use your Prioritized Daily Task List.

You’ll find a Prioritized Daily Task List in many FranklinCovey daily planners. As you begin, complete, move, or delegate a task, mark it on your list so you know where you are with your project at a glance. Your planner includes symbols for each action associated with the tasks you perform.

The symbols are all simple and easy to remember, but you may wonder about the delegate symbol, a letter G with a circle and a checkmark. What does a G have to do with delegating? Nothing, really. The G is simply representative of the initial of the person to whom you delegated the task. You will likely use several different letters. We would suggest making an index for the people you work with regularly: L – Lisa, R – Rachel, J – Jen, I – Imari, etc. You may also choose to use a different pen color for each person in your family or on your team. So when you delegate a task, the initial reminds you who is doing the work and you place a check mark in the circle once the work is complete. It’s a complex symbol, but it helps us keep track of the task and encourages us to follow up.

3. Learn to delegate.

Delegating is a difficult task to master because you are placing something outside your control and into the hands of another. The effectiveness of your team member will have a direct impact on the quality of your work. Delegation is also hard when you are new to the process yourself and aren’t sure enough about the steps involved to ask someone for help. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need help. Be honest with your team members and get them involved early and often. Trust them to do their best and avoid micro-managing at all costs.

4. Let go of perfection.

You may have one idea in mind for certain aspects of a project, and your team member may have a very different idea. Don’t let your preconceived notions interfere with the creativity of the team. Perfection is highly subjective anyway. If you allow each member of the team to exercise their own creativity within the bounds agreed upon by the project coordinator, your project will take on a life of its own and become something more that you could do yourlsef.

5. Finish your portion ahead of schedule.

Do all in your power to complete the tasks assigned to you ahead of schedule. This will allow time for changes and revisions. Revisions improve almost everything. Finishing early also allows room for adjustments in case someone becomes ill and can’t be with you for a while. Having your portion complete early allows time for you to step in and help where needed.

6. Have fun, be positive, and stay flexible.

No one likes a frowny face. Stay positive and enthusiastic about your work and remain complementary of your co-workers no matter what happens along the way. Give them the benefit of the doubt when things appear to have gone wrong, as they sometimes do. Don’t be a pushover, but be willing to bend and help whenever necessary. You never know when you will be asking for the same sort of assistance.

Hopefully these suggestions have reminded you of a group project you loved working on—or not. If so, we’d love to hear what worked well with your team.

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Refresh Your Work Space in 4 Steps

Are you tired of staring at gray cubicle walls or blank white paint? While it’s important to add some personality to your workspace, you don’t want to clog up half your desk with your action figure collection. These three tips will help you spice up your desk while adding new levels of organization.

1. Ditch the Piles. If your desk has piles of old, useless, and irrelevant documents on it, chances are that you won’t have room to organize, let alone enjoy your work space. Before anything else, go through everything on your desk and sort out the items that need to be archived or shredded.

2. Add Personalized Organization. Now that you’ve cleared your desk, spend a week or so observing how much paperwork piles up. Once you have a sense of your inbox load, you can select coordinated desk organization products to match your needs. From woven fabric to wire mesh to eco-friendly bamboo, there’s something for you that looks great while keeping your things tidy. Even if your storage is relegated to a drawer in a filing cabinet, marking your place with personalized file folders can make your section easier to find.

3. Use Your Planner. Your planner can handle many of the things that currently clutter your desk. Rather than posting sticky notes around your monitor, write them down in your planner. You can also hole-punch quick reference documents and keep them in your planner, so you always have them on hand.

4. Finish with Personality. Now you’ve taken care of the organizational aspects, you’re free to add other elements of your personality: pictures of family and friends, calendars, artwork, perhaps a few collection items neatly arranged on an unused shelf. Before you know it, your office will seem less like a recycling center and more like home.

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Reorganize Your Office

Summer tends to be a slower time for most businesses. Take advantage of the break to reorganize your office with some smart 41715_lrgcasefurnishings.

Start by recycling old documents that you no longer need, then tackle your tangle of cords. Giving yourself some elbow room will make going back to busy an easy transition.

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Spring Cleaning Your Office

By Joshua Zerkel

Clutter, both physical and digital, is not only annoying – it can get in the way of you being productive and getting your important work done. With the change of season, now’s a great time to take stock of what you have, jettison what you don’t, and make a plan for keeping your office clutter at bay. Here’s how:

Physical clutter. If you’re tripping over things scattered around your desk or have to go on an archeological dig when it’s time to find an important document, it’s time to start clearing through any physical clutter in your workspace. Set a timer for an hour and see how much clutter you can clear. Take a quick tour of the things around your desk and your office, and if you haven’t used it in more than six months or a year, donate or discard it. If you haven’t cleared your clutter in an hour, set aside an hour a day until you’ve discarded all the things you no longer need.
Go paperless. If part of your clutter challenge is dealing with too much paper, maybe it’s time to consider setting up a paperless document management system. Scan important documents into a tool like Evernote Business (evernote.com/business), shred the files you no longer need, and recycle the junk you never wanted in the first place. Get a scanner for your desk so you can deal with new paper right away without waiting for it to pile up.
Tidy the tech. Over the past year, have you signed up for a laundry-list of online services, downloaded dozens of apps, and bought gizmos that have gone unused? Take a few minutes to review what’s on your computer and mobile device, and see if you’re really using all the tools that you’ve bought or registered for. Contact your local hazardous waste facility to properly dispose of tech trash, and delete accounts from online services you no longer use (or never did in the first place).
Find a level. Adopt the “one in, one out” rule to keep office clutter at bay over the course of the next year. Essentially, as you buy something new – a book, a desk accessory, a piece of furniture, or art for your wall – let something else go. This will maintain a constant level of “stuff” in your space and prevent it from getting overcrowded with things you no longer need or use.
Josh
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Keyboard Shortcuts for Quick Cleanup

If you’ve ever typed out notes during a rapid lecture and tried to adapt them for a paper later, you probably know how hard it can be to re-format everything to look nice. Here’s a list of keyboard shortcuts, both common and obscure, that can help you dress up your notes for easy reading (replace CTRL with Command for Mac users):

CTRL + Z = Undo               CTRL + Y = Redo                CTRL + N = New Document

CTRL + X = Cut   CTRL + C = Copy                CTRL + V = Paste

CTRL + S = Save CTRL + SHIFT + S = Save As

Shift + F3 = Change Case: lower Initial ALL CAPS

CTRL + Backspace = Delete Previous Word

CTRL + Delete = Delete Following Word

CTRL + SHIFT + L = Bulleted List in MS Word (on a Mac, use the Command key)

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The Basics of Organizing

You can say a lot about organization specifics – the best way to organize a junk drawer, great strategies for handling bills, or the proper order for your medicine cabinet. Sometimes, though, it’s just handy to live by basic organization principles and apply them where needed. Try applying these basic organizing rules to your daily life:

  • Everything Has a Home: or, as the old saying goes, a place for everything, and everything in its place.
  • Decide Quickly: it’s easy to spend more time thinking about the easiest way to accomplish a task than it would take to do it the hard way. Pick a strategy and get it done.
  • Delegate: you can’t do it all – don’t be afraid to let others help you.
  • Be Honest about Time: it takes time to plan, time to communicate, and time to execute. In your schedule, give your self enough time to plan and give every project a time cushion – you never know when a short simple project will hit an unexpected snag.
  • Follow the Rules: just as children perform better and are happier when given boundaries, when you develop and follow your own rules, you spend less time arguing with yourself and more time accomplishing your goals.
  • Establish Accountability: let someone else know of your goals, whether it’s a trusted family member or a professional co-worker. It can provide some powerful motivation for keeping with your plan.

Like the old proverb of giving a man a fish, if you apply these rules in your daily life, you’ll stay organized for more than just a day.

Do you have any organizing rules you live by?

 

 

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Workplace Conflict Month

April is Workplace Conflict Month – and no, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to go start the fight with the loud eater in the cubicle next door. There’s a big difference between constructive conflict, or an honest, respectful meeting of ideas, and destructive conflict, where the personal realm taints workplace relationships.

Here are some tips for dealing with the natural conflicts in the workplace:

  • Air It Out – leaving conflicts unresolved only make them more destructive.
  • Tackle the Real Problem – conflicts about minor issues are more likely about larger, unresolved problems
  • Everyone Takes Part in Conflict – there are no bystanders, even if it seems like most of the problems come from a few people; being passive can have just as much effect as participating
  • Everyone Needs to Change to Resolve Conflict – just as there are two sides to every story, everyone involved in a conflict needs to work things out together

Take a look at your performance and identify the conflicts in your workplace, even the ones you keep to yourself. April is a good time to start working through them.

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Evolution of a Secretary

You may have wondered how the role of a secretary changed from the 1400’s to present day?  This week is Administrative Professionals Week and we have put together an infographic that shows the Evolution of a Secretary for you to enjoy.  Click here to view the full-size image.

Evolution of a Secretary

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Business Card Bombardment!

As a self-employed business owner, aside from working with clients in their homes, I spend a lot of time in my home office. It’s wonderful to get out of the office and network with new people who can help you and your business grow. However, while a lot of networking can help both you and your business grow, it can also create a dust covered growth on the corner of your desk…yes, stacks and stacks of business cards!

It’s not atypical to arrive home from a networking session with a dozen to a couple dozen business cards. Don’t panic…we can work through this together! Follow these simple steps when you get home from your networking event, so you have the people that the cards belong to fresh in your mind. Don’t stress about this too much, the process should be quick and painless!

1) Lay out the cards in front of you and first pull the ones that you want to take immediate notes on, if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so at the event. Write down anything of interest that you talked about with a person, even if it’s a hobby that the two of you share.

2) Take 3 sticky notes and jot the following three words down, one on each. Grab 3 rubber bands as well to group the cards together in each category.

  • Contact – If they are someone to call or e-mail about an upcoming opportunity.
  • LinkedIn – If they are someone who you don’t need to talk to about anything at this point but simply want to add them to your LinkedIn account to stay connected.
  • Referral – If they are someone who you think could help another one of your contacts.

3) Set up time in your schedule within the next few days to focus on each group.

So what is there to do now, now that you have gone through them? How do you go about storing them? Well, that depends on your personal preference. Consider the following options:

If you and your smart phone are attached at the hip, then consider one of the business card scanning apps out there. There are so many, so it’s best to check out the ones available to your phone, read the reviews, and decide which one is best for you. After you scan all of the cards, you can toss them in the recycling bin if you so choose!

If you would like to keep the cards (some of them are really great looking!), then consider filling any binder with plastic business card pages designed to hold business cards. You should be able to find these in any office supply store. Or, go old school and get a Rolodex! Keep either in order alphabetically or by occupation.

However you decide to handle your business cards, remember that the main point of collecting them is keeping in contact with new people who can help you. Oh and don’t forget to dust your desk once in a while!

Thanks Naomi for sharing these great tips!

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Setting Boundaries for Your Small Business

How you organize your time, work space, and personal life are key ingredients to your small business’s success.

How successful you are in your chosen workspace depends on how well you’re able to set boundaries around your work life. If you previously worked for someone else, most of your working life was probably decided for you-what time to start work, where to sit, how your day is structured, and much more. When you work for yourself, it can feel liberating to set all of your rules-but rules are, nevertheless, still necessary.

Setting some basic boundaries around your work life will help your define your business. This is especially true if you work at home. Consider the following:

Space

  1. How will you set up your desk?
  2. If you work from home, how will you define your work area?
  3. What supplies do you need regularly, and how will you order them?

Time

  1. What are your work hours and days going to be?
  2. Are you going to work evenings or weekends?
  3. How much work do you want to take home with you?

Interruptions

  1. How will you deal with your kids wanting to play when you have an important project?
  2. Will you take personal phone calls during your work day?

Remember, it’s your business-you get to define how you want it to work. Think about what worked (and what didn’t) at your last job, and use that as a starting point for how you’d like your business to be set up.

Joshua Zerkel

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On-The-Wall Organizing

Happy Family by UrbioIf you ever attend a junior high school dance, you’ll learn a lot about organizing. First: People sort automatically. The “popular” girls will be huddled in a corner away from the speakers giggling over their shoulders. The athletic boys will have their own section with a convenient wall to hold them up while they pose. Then there will be the rest-sorted even further by interests and habits, but mostly by perception. And only the bravest will be huddled around the refreshment table.

But the biggest thing these awkward kids could teach us about organizing is: You can fit a whole lot against a wall. See that wide-open space in the middle? Yeah, that’s the dance floor.

In our homes and offices, we tend to reserve the walls for paint and a few special pieces of art, and our work surfaces become cluttered with the business of the day. Evidently, work surfaces aren’t meant for working. Like these youngsters, we could certainly make better use of our walls. A few shelves or a bookrack can turn special trinkets into display pieces instead of desk clutter.

Gadget Wally Organizer by KangaroomEven the things that were never meant for display can have a spot on the wall. You can keep all your gadgets, from video game controllers and cables to smartphones and remotes, neatly organized and easy to find in the Gadget Wally Organizer. With its unobtrusive neutral color, various pockets, and pouches, it will clear the clutter on a desk or in a drawer in just a few minutes-keeping it permanently off your desk, and on the wall where it’s easy to find.

If you want to turn your wall organization into a beautiful blend of art and order, check out the Happy Family wall organizers. These beautiful magnetic vases and bins attach to specially designed plates or to a metal door and give you an impressive assortment of shape and design that both intrigues and organizes.

Do you find yourself buried in mail, magazines, coupons, or schoolwork? Make sense of it all with beautiful, understated Mesh Wall Pockets. They look great empty, and when they’re full, they won’t look nearly as cluttered as your countertop.

Panel Bin 9 Pocket by SafcoIf you enjoy crafting, or just have odds and ends that you can’t find a place for, the Panel Bin 9 Pocket is a great so44260lution. It mounts easily on the wall giving you nine bins with spring-loaded, see-through lids to keep you from losing that special rivet or set of buttons.

Managing your time is easily done on the wall too. If you have a big week ahead you can keep the whole group informed with the Magnetic Dry Erase Weekly Planner. It provides ample space for your daily events and gives you room for notes or a shopping list, so you don’t forget the important things. Plus, it wipes clean so it’s ready for the next week.

So if your workspace could use a wide-open area in the middle, take a hint from the kids at the junior high school dances and stick a few more things to your walls.

 

 

 

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Easy Steps to Starting Your Organizing Journey

As a business owner, you’ve probably already been faced with one of the biggest challenges – staying organized and productive.

Realizing that you need to make time to get yourself organized is one of the biggest steps to getting organized.  It isn’t enough to simply say, “I’ll file that stuff later.”  Later never comes.  When was the last time you had a bunch of free time to get organized?  Yeah, me neither.

The first step you can take to getting organized is to schedule some time once a week to work on your office.  Make it a small amount of time, like 30 minutes or an hour.  Keep it manageable, with an end time in mind.  Don’t take a whole day off of work to get organized – it will seem too overwhelming and it won’t get done. By focusing on a little at a time, you will get more done and have a sense of accomplishment.

So how do you get started?

Start with the number one thing that bothers you every day.  For example, I get a ton of email and before I know it, my inbox is over 200.  So one of my organizing goals is going through my email inbox and going through each email and deciding what to do with it.  Some of the emails will be deleted, others will be filed, and some I need to reply to.  What is it that bothers you most each day? Start working on getting that organized and under control, and then move on to the other parts of your business life that could be better organized.

Action Steps for this Week

1.       Schedule some time on your calendar to get organized – make an appointment with yourself!

2.       Make a list of your top 3 organizational challenges

3.       Start with your #1 organizational challenge and make a plan to work on it.  For example, if you want to clean out your email inbox, your goal should be to reduce it by 25% each time you work on it until it gets to xx (this number is the number of emails you feel are manageable).  Everyone’s goal is different — some people want zero emails in their inbox, some feel comfortable with 50.  Make a goal that’s right for you!

Excellent organizing advice Josh, thanks for sharing! 

Joshua Zerkel

 

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Digitized Files: How Much Hard Drive Do They Take?

PDFs, Docs, and image files all take space, but how much?

By Joshua Zerkel  

So you’ve gone paperless and are now storing all your documents on your hard drive. Great! By doing so, you’ve likely freed up tons of space in your office by eliminating the need for paper storage. Just because the papers don’t take up physical space, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t taking space on your hard drive. Hard drives have memory capacities, so it’s good to know what kinds of files are filling your storage.

Word Documents (.doc, .docx, .txt): Text documents—whether Microsoft Word, TextEdit on Macs, or other word processing programs—typically contain only text, which is one of the tiniest forms of files that you can have. You can have a book-length Word document that nevertheless amounts to a very, very small file size, unless it also contains embedded images or any sort of imported media inside of it. Typically, however, Word documents are very tiny, usually a in the range of a few kilobytes (kb) to less than ten megabytes (MBs).

Portable Document Format (.pdf): Compared to docs, PDFs can have all sorts of things inside of them. In addition to just text, PDFs often include images or links to other things. This increases their overall file size. If a PDF is a scanned document, it can be an extremely large file size—many MBs. Typically your scanner will come with software that lets you create PDFs, and that software has multiple settings. You can opt to scan things at high resolution, low resolution, black and white, color, single-sided, or double-sided, depending on your scanner. If you’re scanning things at high resolution, in color and double-sided, the resulting PDFs you create can be surprisingly large. So you might want to play with the settings in your scanner, making sure that you’re scanning at the resolution that you need, not necessarily the best possible quality. If you scan something in black and white at low resolution, that may be enough to capture what you need and the file size of your PDF will be much, much smaller.

Image files (.jpg, .gif, .tif): Image files can be of all sorts of different file sizes, depending on the resolution of the image or the overall dimensions. If an image is print-quality resolution—300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher—it will be a larger file size, upwards of 25 or 50 MBs. Likewise if the image is many inches wide, as opposed to a tiny thumbnail, it will be a larger file size. If you use images only for web-based or Power Point presentations, you can save them at a lower resolution (72 dpi) and thus at a lower file size.

Thank you Joshua!  Did you like this article?  Like it on Facebook and/or give it a cheer!

Joshua Zerkel

 

 

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Are You Wasting Time Trying to Get Organized?

By Monica Friel

Have you ever been motivated to organize your desk/office space and gotten lost in the details? Have you made a plan to get organized and found yourself wasting time trying to figure out how to print the perfect, color-coded file labels? Too often we find ourselves having good intentions to get organized, but wasting time focused on the wrong things. Here are some solutions to keep you on task when organizing:

Watch the clock. Look at the amount of time you can carve out for the sole purpose of organization and stick to it. Don’t let organizing get in the way of other work that needs to get done.

Tackle the tough stuff. It’s easy to organize where you like to. When you’re motivated to work, begin with the area that’s troublesome and stick with it, but don’t venture into other areas until you meet your initial goal.

Don’t create more chaos. Don’t pull everything out of a supply closet if you don’t have the time to put it all back. Keep everything in the space, eliminate what you can then sort and organize.

Piles of paper= unfinished tasks. Don’t try to finish all of the details of every task while organizing. You will find many things that can send you in different directions, don’t let them derail you.

Don’t focus on the details right away. The files don’t need to be labeled, color-coded and perfected. Creating temporary files is a great way to get started. You can slap a sticky note on the file folder and move on.

Organize only where you need it. When you decide to organize a particular area, don’t wander into other places. Get through what you need to organize and get back to work.

Don’t Over-file. Do you have files for every category possible?  Make chronological files for January thru December each year and file all bills and related receipts quickly and efficiently.

Don’t file alphabetically. File according to use. If you use a particular file frequently, keep it close so you can access it quickly.

Remember, organization isn’t about perfection, its about productivity and finding what you need quickly. Remember these tips to keep organization where it belongs, as a process that leads to better productivity, not a task that consumes your whole day!

Thanks Monica for more great tips!  If you liked this article, give it a cheer and/or like it on Facebook.

Monica Friel

 

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Managing Your Papers: Inbox, Outbox, and Everything In Between

By Joshua Zerkel  

Set up a system that syncs with the lifecycle of paper.

No matter how organized the rest of your office may be, it’s easy to feel like things are out of control when your desk is covered with papers. Although you may have heard rumors that the so-called “paperless world” has arrived, you and I both know that we have more paper coming at us than ever before. If you feel like paper is a pain in the butt, you’re not alone. But the good news is if you put the right systems in place you can get the papers in your office under control.

In order to come up with strategies for how to deal with paper, we need to understand that paper has a lifecycle of its very own:

1.Papers come into your office—printed from the computer, through the mail, or maybe brought in from meetings or conferences.
2.You sort the papers—you put bills in one stack, magazines and periodicals in another, correspondences you need to write into a third.
3.You process the papers—you pay bills, read magazines, or write letters.
4.You archive the papers—papers you’re keeping long-term are put into your file cabinet or a box.
5.You remove the papers—you drop the junk mail in the recycle bin or shred sensitive documents.

These five stages—in, sort, process, archive, and out—are the basic framework for your paper-management strategy. The key to managing your paper is to have dedicated space for each stage in your paper’s lifecycle: an inbox for all the things that are brand new; a “hot files area” to handle the sorting and the processing steps; an archival area for all the papers you want to hold onto long term; and an outbox for papers that are leaving your space entirely. Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.

First is an inbox. This can simply be a basket, box, or tray where you place all incoming papers—mail, printouts, etc.–keeping it all in one place so that it doesn’t get lost in the chaos of your desk. When it’s time for you to actually sit down and process your new papers, you don’t have to waste time searching your space. Aside from collecting your incoming papers, this first stage is completely action free.

Of course, many papers do require some action on your part—a signature, a response, a payment. This is where most people’s systems tend to fall down. Typically there will be a “To-Do” stack, but that isn’t always helpful because we simply have too many different kinds of actions we need to take on any given paper. I think it’s helpful to have a hot files area: This can simply be a desktop file box, maybe 6” to 8” deep, which is readily available in any office supply store. Inside of this file box you would have a series of hanging files; this enables you to break out your To-Dos into the different actions you need to take, with specific words for each action that your papers represent—“Call” for phone messages, “Sign” for papers that require signatures, “Calendar” for events you need to add to your schedule, “Correspondence” for letters, and so on. Now, when you go through your inbox you can sort your papers into the specific actions that each paper needs. This makes it a lot easier for you to actually take those actions: now you can grab the “Call” folder and make all of the phone calls at once, or take the “Sign” folder and sign all of the documents at one time. Rather than going through a stack of To-Dos and going back and forth and shifting gears, now you’re streamlining how you’re dealing with your paper. Creating this system should save you a lot of stress, a lot of frustration, and hopefully quite a bit of time as well.

Once you’ve taken action on your papers via your hot files area, there will be some you need to hold onto. Those will go in your archives—a file box, file cabinet, or file drawer. This is your long-term, cold storage area. You can name these files whatever you like—whatever makes the most intuitive sense to you.

Of course not every paper you take action with needs to be stored. Some of your paper will need to be recycled, shredded, or sent back into the world. It is helpful to have a recycle bin and a shredder right next to where your new mail or paper comes in. For the papers that need to go back into the world (outgoing mail or interoffice documents), it’s best to have a corresponding outbox right next to your inbox. This would be where everything that you’re taking back out into the world would live until you’re actually leaving.

Excellent organizing advice Josh, thanks for sharing! 

Joshua Zerkel

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Tips for Creating a New Filing System

Trust your intuition when organizing your papers. By Joshua Zerkel

One of the most frequent questions I get from clients who are organizing their offices is what to call their new filing categories. The truth is, there is no one right way to create a category structure for a filing system. Filing, whether on the computer or on paper, is really about retrieval. You put things away into folders because you want to find that information later. It is really important, therefore, that the places we put those things are easily remembered.

Typically people over-think their category names, settling on labels they think should be right based on what someone else told them or what they read in a book—rather than naming a category something that might be more intuitively correct. So when it’s time to look for something they filed, they have to look several levels deep before they can find what they’re looking for.

There are plenty of guides out there that offer suggestions for basic filing systems, but it is important to take these as guidelines and not use them verbatim. You should customize your filing system to meet your needs—especially the category names. You can start with a pre-defined list of file categories, but you should comb through that list and really customize each category name so that they resonate with you. Later, when you’re looking for something, those are the names you are going to look for.

Choose a category name that speaks to you. Four different businesses might file profit-and-loss statements four different ways: one might call them “financials”; another might call them “numbers”; a third might call them “reports”; and a fourth might call them “money.” None of these are wrong. As long as you know where to find what you need, it’s correct! Trust your intuition: whatever pops into your head first—that is the category name that you should choose. Because when you are going to look for those things later, that is probably the first thing that will pop into your mind then, too.

Thanks Joshua! If you liked this article, give it a cheer and/or like it on Facebook.

 Joshua Zerkel

 

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Organizing Tax Documents

During tax season most of us will spend some time digging through our filing cabinets. Most likely, there will be all sorts of documents from past tax years – medical bills, W2s, interest statements, and, frankly, some things that we’re not sure why we’re keeping. This tax season, go through your old documents and throw out expired statements. Most documents can be shredded after three years, or six years if you run your own business. Check with your tax professional.

 

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