Archive for files

Filing options to keep your papers organized

1. Traditional Filing Cabinets

They come in many sizes and colours.  Make sure to get one with drawer sliders so you can easily reach to the back of each drawer.  Some come with locks others do not.  They can be vertical or horizontal.  Horizontal cabinets provide a space to set things on, a printer, plant etc.  You can buy a stand that has wheels to set under the filing cabinet to make it easier to relocate.

grey metal 2 drawer vertical filing cabinet

 

2. Binders 

Binders are a good solution for visual people.  You can have them on a shelf and easily see all your files.  The binders can be colour coded to make it simple to find the correct binder. Use dividers, pocket dividers or sheet protectors to file papers. Set up the categories you need:  household bills, bank statements, warranties etc  Some binders also have a set of acordion files attached to the binder.  Here is a review of this product. 

Black 3 ring binder with attached accordian file

3 Rolling Crates/ File Boxes on Wheels. 

Use hanging folders and file folders. The advantage to this is you can take them to whatever room you want and the top is open so you can see the files easily.  With the crates, you can stack them for easy storage. 

Whtie plastic crate with hangin file folers

Crates make your files portable

black metal box on wheels with red, orange and yellow hanging file folders.

Crates on wheels make it easy to store away and then move close to your desk

4. Expandable Files

Use one section for each category of paperwork. For example household bills, income tax, financial documents,  insurance policies, warranties, etc.  They are great to have one for each member of the family to store papers relating to them, report cards/school documents , immunization/health records, passport and other documents, certificates etc.  You can also colour code these files.

Blue accordian file with clear sections for papers

Some come with special hooks so you can store them in a filing cabinet or crate.

Blue accordian file with hooks to hang in a black filing cabinet drawer

5. Magazine holders

Magazine holders come in paper and plastic.  They are avalable in many colours and patterns. Try to buy ones with solid sides so papers will not get caught and be hard to slide in.  Use a holder for each category of paper you need to file.  You can colour code your systems making it easier to quickly access the files you need.  You can turn them so the spines is facing out, label them, to reduce the vsiual clutter of seeing all the papers in each box. 

White cardboard magazine holder with papers and file folders in them.

 

What is your preferred method for filing paperwork?

POC Gold Leaf MemberJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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Document organizing tips to keep you afloat

 

Document System

R – Read
A – Act
F – File
T- Toss

Paperwork, e-mail messages and electronic files  can overwhelm you making you feel stressed and ineffective.  If information has built up, look at the creation date on the document and decide if is the most recent version.  If the document was replaced by a more current version toss or delete the old versions.  If the document can be replicated, retrieved or is obsolete toss it, shredded it or delete it.

As documents arrive, paper or electronic decide:

R  –  Needs to be read or referred to later

If it will be read  or referred  to another person, place it in a folder (electronic or paper) labelled as read.  If the document is to be used by another person forward it to the correct person.

A – Needs to be processed

If the document requires:

  • an action to be taken,
  • a decision to be made,
  • a response conveyed or
  • has a deadline

place it in a folder marked Act.  Financial documents should have their own folder separate from the Act folder.

F – Needs to be filed

If  the documents  are completed, but must be retained ,then they are  filed.  If it is an electronic document forward it to the correct folder.  If it is a paper document place it in a file or basket for filing at a later date.

T – Needs to be disposed of

Documents  that you:

  • no longer need,
  • have no financial implications,
  • are out of date,
  • junk mail or
  • a copy can be obtained elsewhere

can be tossed, deleted, recycled or shredded.

All of your electronic communications and paperwork are now filed as:

  • Read
  • Act
  • File or
  • Tossed

and are ready to be handled at a later time.  Schedule time in your agenda/calendar to read documents, complete any action needed on documents and file paperwork.  This system helps you to:

  • know where documents are if someone has questions,
  • allows you to manage your time effectively by scheduling your paperwork at times when you will be uninterrupted and
  • be able to quickly  locate the papers/documents you need to complete a task.

Although much of your information is paperless there is still a substantial amount of paper to control.  Have 3-5 stacking trays or a desktopper with  folders.  Label the folders/trays: to do, to read, to file,  refer to other people, miscellaneous forms.  File the paper correctly and schedule time to process each folder.

3 black stackable plastic trays for filing and a white desktopper holding file folders for filing paperwork

At the end of the day:

  • Clean off your desk, leaving only papers you are going to process tomorrow in a stack on your desk.
  • In your calendar record the files you need to process.  Place e-mails/documents to be worked on in a folder marked with the day of the week they will be processed
  • Check your to do files (paper and electronic) for items that need to be completed the next day
  • Sort all other paper and documents into their appropriate trays/ folders.

Share how do you prevent emails and paperwork from drowning you?

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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5 Spring cleaning and organizing tips for your home office

Spring cleaning your home office can lead you in many directions.  Perhaps:

  • your inbox is inundated,
  • your files are filled or
  • your time management is missing.

You need to start somewhere so let’s start with the S.P.A.C.E. that houses your office.

Look around your office and start:

1. Sorting the items that are visible into groups of papers, books, office supplies, client files, product, advertising materials etc.

Start with the visible clutter first.

2. Pair down each pile to the items that are current and recycle or shred the rest.

3. Assign a convenient place to store your resources.  If you use them often keep them near your desk, if they are used infrequently store them further way but still in your office.  If they are never referred to but needed for tax or legal purposes they can be stored in another room.

4. Take each of those piles and select the best Container for keeping the items organized, binders, magazine holder, bins, boxes etc.

 

Organize with binders

Organize with bins

Organizing for the person who likes to see everything, the visual person

 

 

5. Evaluate your new S.P.A.C.E.to make sure it will help you be more efficient, productive and profitable this year.

 

 

Share one of your office organizing tips in the comment box.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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Need a New Style Binder for Organizing?

Samsill  2-in-1 and 3-in-1 Organizers

Samsill  has a 2-in-1 organizer and a 3-in 1-organizer.   They are binders with a section of 7 clear plastic accordion style dividers and a fold-over cover with an elastic closure to hold the organizer closed.  They come in a variety of colours.

1 Inch 3 Ring Binder + 7 Pocket Accordion Style Expanding File + Hanging File -

1 Inch 3 Ring Binder + 7 Pocket Accordion Style Expanding File + Hanging File –

There are very few differences between the 2 products.  The 3 in 1 organizer has 4 slide out clips that allows you to hang the binder in your filing cabinet.  The clips lock into position making it easy to use them. This function makes storing the files neat, tidy and easy to retrieve.  No more shelves of binders that slide and tip over every time you remove one.

The binder has clips to hang in a filing drawer.

The binder has clips to hang in a filing drawer.

 

The 2-in-1 organizer has tabs on the top of each file section making it easy for labelling. It also has 2 elastic closures so you can open just the file section or just the binder section.  This is helpful as it prevents any loose papers from falling out when you open the binder section.

In addition to the clips to hang it in a filing cabinet, the 3-in-1 organizer has tabs only on 3 file sections for easy labelling and one elastic closure.

The fold over lid is quite stiff and initially caused me some problem but if you fold it open and re-crease the fold the lid will stay back and make it easy to access the plastic file section.  The files hold paper that is exactly 8 ½  by 11 inches.  If you have manuals or slightly large paperwork you may need to trim it.

Fold over lid keeps document secure.

Fold over lid keeps document secure.

At first you may be fooled and think the elastic closure won`t stay closed because the elastic is loose. The elastic closure works well when the organizer contains paperwork making the elastic tighter.

The elastic closure hooks securely onto the front of the binder

The elastic closure hooks securely onto the front of the binder

The file sections are open at the bottom edge, it is not a pocket.  Some small items may slide under the edge and into the next section.  If this is a problem for you try using an envelope to hold small items in the file section. The dividers are flexible and bend slightly making it is hard to get paper to slide easily into the correct section.  As you get used to it and you have more paper in the sections it becomes quite easy to use.

This may be the perfect product if you have large client files.  You can record your ongoing notes, to do lists, reference information in the binder section and use the file section for billing, receipts, marketing material, information to give to the client, calculator, and ipad.etc.  It would also be a great networking tool.  You can have a place for notes, following up with clients after a meeting, recording upcoming events and to do lists and file all your marketing material. It would always be ready to go when a networking event arises.   Having the binder and file system in one organizer gives you the flexibly of storing paperwork in the way that suits your preferred style and the paper best. You can pick it up and go and look like you are ready to work.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca  www.mindoverclutter.ca

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6 Tips to Reduce Paper

1. Don`t allow paper to build up

  • Handle paper daily, don`t let it grow into a pile

2. Make a decision on each paper the first time you touch it

  • If it can be done in 60 seconds or less to it now, otherwise R.A.F.T it
  • Set up 3 files, bins or trays and sort your paper into:
  • R – read later
  • A – action required
  • F – file
  • T – toss it / shred it now

3. Follow through on work

  • Each time you pick a sheet of paper put a small dot on the top corner.
  • Three dots or more means it is time to take action on that piece of paper.

4.  Be ruthless

  • 80% of what is filed is never accessed again so 80% or more of the paper you receive on a daily basis can be discarded
  • Purge your files once or twice a year
  • Remove yourself from subscription lists

5. Think before you print

  • File e-mails  in a folder on the computer
  • Print only the selection of the e-mail or webpage you need

Store inactive files in boxes indicating a destroy date

6. Follow retention guidelines

  • Retain files as specified by your company or accountant
  • Put inactive files in boxes and place them in storage indicating a destroy date on the box
  • Purge outdated files

Great ideas from “Don’t Agonize Organize Your Office” by Diane A Hatcher

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