Continued from page 1
At work, try scheduling non-payday Fridays or before/after two different monthly meetings to keep it regular. Here are two suggestions on basic 'To File' systems you can use with your 'file piles' when you do your every day sort.
No matter how you schedule it, you can cut your filing time in half by presorting your file piles into separate file trays in following categories.
Pre-Sorted File Categories: You can separate current business filing into three domains: People; clients, staff, teams Things; projects, programs, products Administration; business of doing business (financials, physical office).
You can separate current personal filing into three domains: Personal/Family Household Finances/Insurance
My own file tray categories are; "Extraordinaire" (business), "Finances", "Eve" (personal) and "Clients". These are same categories that match my four-drawer filing cabinet sections.
So, even if I haven't done my filing for a while, if I need some info that has passed through recently -- I know where to look for it and so will you!
YEARLY Universal Archiving Rule: If they aren't this year's files and you don't use them regularly -- get them out of your office!
I recommend that every private individual and small business do an Office Blitz in April after you've filed taxes. Pull all old financial, insurance and tax-related files out, and put them in an archive box. Put in a back-up disk of your accounting program and data for that tax year.
Pick up a retention schedule from your CPA or Internal Revenue Service.
I store my archives on shelves in garage. Just remember to label paper archive or waterproof plastic file boxes on front, so you can keep a matching archive list in your file drawer with an index of box contents. Then, if you need something you can retrieve it easily.
For larger companies I recommend an Office Blitz at least twice a year. Plan a Friday afternoon where everyone participates in cleaning out their offices and cubicles. (Order extra dumpsters.) If finance year runs July to June do your archiving blitz in end July for prior year.
Archive administrative files, and completed project or program files. Toss records for which you have already been reimbursed, or which you no longer maintain as part of your job. Archive rest to off-site storage after making an index.
Separate essential records into current or archive storage: File in current year filing system (by category) File into archival filing system (by past year) OR Scan into electronic document storage (both)
Now, that you know how to manage your information more successfully at work and at home Peace of mind is just an Office Blitz plus Daily, Weekly and Monthly Maintenance away!
For more free time-saving tips, see http://www.organize.com Copyright 2005 Eve Abbott All Rights Reserved
Copyright, Eve Abbott All Rights Reserved. The Organizer Extraordinaire's new book "How to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain" TM is available online at http://www.organize.com Sign up for more time-saving tips. Enjoy free brain quizzes to help you work at your personal best! Eve’s guide is the first book to offer easy, online assessments that will help you make your own personal organizing solutions match your individual work style.