Monday, April 1, 2019

Controlling Paperwork

Wouldn’t you rather be outside than stuck inside looking at a pile of paperwork? Well, by spending just 15 minutes a day on incoming paper, you can save hours of inefficiently looking for scraps of paper or trying to decide what to do with paper upon a second look.

To be successful in organizing your paper, you will need the following tools:

An in-box - Contain all paper, including flyers, mail, reminder notes, business cards, and coupons in one centralized in-box.

A task list - It is easier to see what you have to do using a list rather than trying to wade through a pile of papers.

A Work-in-Progress folder – Keeping a work-in-progress folder will help organize the papers related to the items on the task list that need further action.

The process:

When received, place all incoming papers into the in-box.

Once a day, spend 15 minutes clearing out the in-box, deciding what has to be done and when you are going to do it.  If you do not do this every day, then plan to spend 15 minutes doing this for each day you have not done this process.

To clear the in-box, touch each paper once and decide what to do with it. There only will be three scenarios:

1.     Further action needs to be taken related to the paper.
2.     No further action is needed, but the paper is needed for reference.
3.     No further action is needed, and the paper will not be used again.

Once you have decided what to do with a paper, simply act accordingly. Put action items on your task list, then file the paper in your work-in-progress folder.  When a paper is needed for reference, file the paper in long term storage.  Papers that do not need to be used again should be discarded, ideally by shredding or recycling, with sensitive material being shredded.

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit