Paper Tiger Blog

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The Paper Tiger Blog contains great ideas on better ways to stay organized, clear your desk, reduce stress and spend less time managing information.

Organizing to Find Things Quickly

You might have thought Paper Tiger was just for organizing paper! But actually, you can index virtually any physical object into your Paper Tiger database that you can put a number onto, such as binders and other items you have stored in boxes. Paper Tiger Filing System Software can help you get organized so you won’t have trouble finding anything. Organizing storage areas may seem even more of a daunting task than tackling your paper files, but it can be rewarding and help to declutter your life.

Even if you already have your boxes stored in an organized manner, you may not remember what is in each one. You may have things in an attic, a garage, a basement, a storage shed on your property and some belongings in a rented storage unit. One of the biggest problems people have with their belongings is not even knowing what they have. So, if you are looking for a particular tool and cannot find it, you may end up buying another one and wasting money. People invest a good deal of money into certain things they may only use once in a while, but when you need it, you should be able to locate it quickly. You can get organized, not have to worry about putting things away and you can be sure to find them again!

It will take a little effort to get things in order to begin with, but once you invest this initial work into the project, you will be so glad you did! There are varying estimates based on different surveys and research, but experts agree that the average person wastes a considerable amount of time searching for things they’ve misplaced. We’ve been told that an average American spends over 150 hours per year, just looking for lost information (paper files or digital files), in addition to searching for other physical items, such as keys, eye glasses, tools, etc. Some estimates are even higher than this! Based on a 260 day year (not considering holidays, personal days, etc., and let’s say you never search for anything on the weekends…), that is almost 35 minutes per day, 2.9 hours per week and 12.5 hours per month!

Organizing and Searching for Paper Files

For those paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format, index into Paper Tiger by typing the item name and keywords relating to those documents. Click here to see more details on how Paper Tiger works with paper files, as well as suggestions on how to file.

Organizing Storage Areas So That Finding Is Not A Problem

The best thing to do for organized living is to get an idea of what you need access to on a regular basis. You will need to decide what items you don’t want to keep in the house, or no longer have room for, and what can be stored in the basement, attic or storage building. You may want to take one room at a time to pull out things that should be stored. Then when you’re boxing the items to be stored, index them into your Paper Tiger database. Filing system software works great for this, because you can inventory and index what you actually have in the location you decide for storage, and what storage box or shelf the item is located. Then when it comes time for finding an item, you can simply conduct a quick Google-like search in your Paper Tiger database and know exactly where it is located. This will save you countless hours, because you won’t have to sift through everything before finding the needed item.

Box up smaller loose items and mark the box with a number. If you use Paper Tiger filing system software, you can keep track of what is in each of those boxes. You won’t have to sift through tons of boxes looking for that one particular thing if you know from your inventoried list which box number to find it in. Each box would represent an Item number in your Paper Tiger database, and the keywords would be the items in the box.

Keep items that you use the most close to the entry doors of the storage area and the rest can get packed in neatly. Take care to avoid storing anything that may not hold up well to weather issues, if possible. These types of items, or those you don’t use often but want to keep, will need to be stored in-house or can go to a climate-controlled offsite storage area.

The important part really is to use Paper Tiger filing system software to keep track of what you own, what you are storing and where it is being stored. Indexing your items into this filing system will ensure that you know exactly where these things are, before you end up buying another one because you can’t find the original.

Documentation of your belongings also helps other people who may need to gain access to things for you. If you want an organized life, organizing storage areas is a great way to declutter your home and life.

How to Make Searching and Finding a Snap

There are so many uses for Paper Tiger because it is not just a filing system for your paper files, but can index any physical item. It would not be easy to give examples for everything, but we will give a couple of examples here that will hopefully give you the general idea. Just know that if you can imagine being able to put a number onto whatever type of item that you want to inventory or index, you can let your imagination run.

Example:  Shelves in Garage

  1. You can name a Location in Paper Tiger named ‘Garage Shelves’. I’m going to use the example pictured above.
  2. Print out labels from the database to be affixed to the boxes or plastic tubs on your shelves. (Labels will be numbered like Garage Shelves 1, Garage Shelves 2, Garage Shelves 3, Garage Shelves 4, etc.)
  3. For box #1, click on Add Item in Paper Tiger Garage Shelves Location. (when you add an item, Paper Tiger will assign a number to that item, so in this case Garage Shelves 1.)
  4. Enter Keywords for all contents in box #1, such as blankets, pink flower cushions, sheet set, shelf 1, 1st row. Going down the shelves, box #2, click Add Item, then add keywords for all contents in box #2, shelf 1, 2nd row. Continue for each box. If you’d also like to assign an item # to things not in a box or tub, you can do that. You can also type in the shelf location for a keyword, such what I did here: shelf 1, 1st row.
  5. Match Label Numbers and Item Names: Make sure the label number you affix to each box (or item not in a box) matches what you input for the Item Name/keywords in Paper Tiger.

Example:  Boxes of Seasonal Decorations

  1. If you want to keep all of your decorations together, you can name a Location in Paper Tiger ‘Decorations’ and say you have 5 boxes of seasonal decorations, so your Location capacity would be 5. In the description for the Location, you can input where you will store your boxes of decorations, such as ‘Decorations are stored in Basement on 2nd from top shelf of Shelf 1 of 2′, or if you have as many as 5 boxes, it might be ‘Decorations are stored in Basement on first 3 shelves from top of Shelf 1 of 2′.
  2. Print out labels from the database to be affixed to the 5 boxes.
  3. Enter Item Name for each theme of decorations that you have, i.e., Christmas or Thanksgiving or Spring. Click on Add Item, and when you add an item, Paper Tiger will assign a number to that box. In this example, box #1 item name might be ‘Spring’, box #2 item name might be ‘Thanksgiving’, box #3 item name might be ‘Christmas’, etc.
  4. Enter Keywords for each theme, such as in box #1, your Spring items might include a spring flag, bunnies, tablecloth and picnic items.
  5. Match Label Numbers and Item Names: Make sure the label number you affix to each box matches the decoration theme that you input for the Item Name/keywords in Paper Tiger.

Watch this webinar hosted by Meggin McIntosh that shows how she organizes her paper files and the boxes of training material in her storage facility with Paper Tiger: http://www.thepapertiger.com/blog/paper-tiger-webinar-hosted-meggin-mcintosh/

See other great ideas from our Not Just For Filing Paper webpage!

Using Paper Tiger filing system, you can have a place for everything, and searching and finding your stuff doesn’t have to be a worry!


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