Office Document Organizing Tips

3Paper, e-mail and electronic files can overwhelm people making them feel stressed and ineffective.  If information has built up look at the creation date on the document and decide if it has the most recent information.  If the document was replaced by a current version toss or delete old versions of the document.  If the document can be replicated, retrieved or is obsolete then toss it /delete it.

Document System

R – Read
A – Act
F – File
T- Toss

As documents come in, paper or electronic decide:

R – if it will be read  or referred  to another person, place it in a folder (electronic or paper) labelled as read.  Forward referral documents  the correct person.

A – If the document requires an action to be taken, 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 –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T – Documents  that you no longer need, have no financial implications, are out of date, junk mail or a copy can be obtained elsewhere can be deleted, recycled or shredded.

All of your electronic files and paperwork are now filed 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.

Desk top filing system

Desktopper for R A F T folders

Stacking plastic paper filing trays

Use stackable trays for
R A F T documents

Although much of our information is paperless there is still a substantial amount of paper to control.  Have 5 stacking trays or a desktopper with 5 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.

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 that will be working on in a folder marked with the day of the week
  • 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.

Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for some people.  Coordinating schedules, planning menus and preparing the house can make it a busy time.

Here are some tips to make the day for full of thanks giving you less stress

1. Let people help, ask them to bring some of the food.  If you have someone who doesn’t like to cook ask them to arrive early and help greet people at the door.

2. Plan a menu

  • record the amount of food you cook.
  • record the cooking time for each dish
  • reuse the menu, grocery list  and cooking  schedule next year 

Take a walk to help the day go more smoothly

3. Plan to take a walk

  • Between the main course and dessert have your guests go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and build an appetite for dessert
  • While your guests are out, you will have time to clear the leftovers and put them in the refrigerator

4. Be thankful

  • let everyone say something they are thankful for, it is amazing how this can make a happy atmosphere at the dinner table

Come Join me at the Lincoln Public Library

Need some ideas on how to unclutter your life?  I will be speaking at the Lincoln Public Library (Beam Street, Beamsville, ON Canada) on October 21 at 7pm. Image