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Office Management: Organizing Tips

“Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, simplify.”
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Office Organizing Tips Tips

Extra things and activities waste energy, time, and space.

Storage Locations
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.

Wall Space
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.

Paper & Information Tips Tips

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.

Vertical Filing
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.

Time Management Tips Tips

Goals in Writing
Putting your goals in writing helps you stay committed and on track.

Morning Head-Start
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.

Drift Reminder
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.

Computer Organizing Tips Tips

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.

Off-site Backup
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.

On This Page
Office Organizing Tips
Paper & Info Tips
Time Management Tips
Computer Tips
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