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Hey, That’s Important!

Hey, That's Important!

To get organized the word “important” needs to be used carefully.

If “important” is used too much then there is no distinction and the most important stuff can get buried in the less important stuff. Put another way, if everything is important then nothing is important.

If “important” is used too little then important is seen as a small category unto itself.

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Organizing Business Cards

Got a lot of business cards piling up, that you never find the time to organize? As with so many organizing challenges, the answer lies in the divide-and-conquer approach. Collected in piles or bundles, business cards tend to take up residence, but broken up into simple categories they become more useable.  If they’re not useable, why keep them at all? I’m not a fan of the Rolodex for three reasons: 1. No matter how large, the Rolodex is rarely an adequate size for all your business cards. 2. The Rolodex sorts alphabetically, which can often be confusing in finding a card.  Do you sort by personal name, company name, or profession? 3. The Rolodex takes up too much valuable surface area. I recommend a 1-1/2 inch binder with business card pages.  I emphasize 1-1/2 inches because more than that becomes clumsy and un-useable.  Again, if it’s not useable, why keep it? Label each page a category.  This does two things. It provides room to grow for resource you may want more of and it sets a limit on items within […]

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Focus on Filing, Part 2: User-Friendly Filing

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, May 2007 FOCUS ON FILING, PART 2:  USER-FRIENDLY FILING The AVERAGE executive wastes one hour a day looking for lost or misplaced items.  That’s six weeks a year!      –The Wall Street Journal Last month I discussed the File Cycle, the lifecycle of a file in four stages of activity: Running, Sitting, Sleeping, and Dead.  Understanding a file’s lifecycle is important to staying organized because it helps you think about your files in terms of CIRCULATION, not accumulation. Sleeping and Dead files are easy to live with because they are out of your way.  Running files are easy to track because they are out where you can see them, but what about the Sitting Files?  This is where User-Friendly Filing comes in. It is very easy to make a file go away in a filing cabinet, but it is another matter entirely to retrieve it, instantly, when you need it.  User Friendly Filing begins with the need to RETRIEVE. My recommendation for User Friendly Filing is a system of organizing by CATEGORY […]

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Focus On Filing, Part 1: The Filecycle

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, April 2007 FOCUS ON FILING, PART 1:  THE FILE CYCLE “80% of papers that are filed are never referenced again.” Small Business Association  Do you sometimes feel like you don’t know where to begin when your desk is covered in papers?  If it was simply a matter of tossing it all in the trash you would have done that already.  They ARE all important, but as soon as you start addressing one of them, another more pressing one grabs your attention, then you need a supporting document, but you can’t find it in your file cabinet.  It must be in one of your “to file” piles, but that might have been buried under last week’s mail.  Sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. There are many reasons why filing can be challenging:  Your file cabinet may not be accessible enough; your system may be too complicated or confusing; you may not trust your file cabinet; or you may believe you will never get to anything unless it is out where you can see […]

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