> Organizing Tips
Office Management: Organizing Tips
“Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, simplify.”
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
Extra things and activities waste energy, time, and space.
Always keep things close to the place where they will be used.
Make sure that your most frequently used items are the most easily reachable.
Use wall space whenever possible, using shelves, racks, and bulletin
boards. This removes clutter from the desk and floor.
Avoid Supply Crises
Buy frequently-used office supplies in quantity to avoid crises
when they run out.
Centralize Your Notes
Keep all of your notes to yourself in a single place, whether in a
notebook, a paper organizer, or on your computer.
Handle Paper Once
Make a decision about a piece of paper, especially mail, the first
time it crosses your desk. While reading a letter, mark the items that
require a response to avoid re-reading the letter later.
Keep paper files vertical whenever possible. This helps you avoid the habit
of piling papers.
Avoid Filing Paperclips
Avoid using paperclips on filed papers. They tend to catch on other
papers and to fall off.
You can't read everything. If you've got a backlog, evaluate how
useful the material is likely to be. Limit your reading to only the most
important material and delete the rest.
Goals in Writing
Putting your goals in writing helps you stay committed and on track.
Writing up your daily goals the night before makes it easier to get
going in the morning.
Prioritize tasks for each day, then make sure you get the most
important things done. Set aside high-energy time only for priority tasks.
Learn to say “no” to unimportant tasks.
Divide and Conquer
If you're feeling overwhelmed, divide complex tasks into manageable sub-tasks.
If you tend to drift from your priorities, set your computer's alarm
or timer to remind you every hour or half-hour to stay on track.
Just do it. Set up a regular backup routine and write your data to an external device or disk
separate from your regular hard drive. If you don't, eventually you will regret it.
Keep a backup of important files off site. Safety deposit boxes, online backups, and relatives' homes work well.
But resist putting your only backup online, under the control of a third party.
Hard Disk Maintenance
Use disk optimization/defragmentation software regularly. It saves
disk space, speeds up software, and reduces computer errors.
Backup Before Installations
Install new software after doing your full-system backup. Then if
anything goes wrong, you can restore your backup and try again.
Index Your Notes
Use Personal Knowbase to help you find the
miscellaneous information you need to keep track of.