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.

Whether you’re organizing your desk drawers, filing cabinets, a stack of paper files, a closet, attic, or the garage, Paper Tiger Filing System software will help you get organized. You can have a system in place so you can maintain organization, and be able to live and work in an more productive environment.

You may be asking yourself, why do I want to add another ‘system’ to my chaos. Will this really help me get organized? Think about it this way. You are already wasting a lot of time searching for things, whether it be in your filing cabinet under a name you don’t remember what you filed it under, or maybe what you’re looking for is something that you’ve boxed up in the attic, but you don’t know which box?

You also may dread the thought of having to make decisions about what to throw away or what to keep. Remember the Pareto Principle, you know the 80/20 rule … we only use 20% of what we have, and the other 80% are back-ups, mistakes, things we hold on to because we don’t make good decisions about what to do with them. If you don’t try to figure out a system that will get you organized so you can find what you need when you need it, you may find that you’re only using 20% of what you can find!

How Paper Tiger Filing System Software Makes It Easier to Get Organized

Paper Tiger uses the power of the computer to organize documents stored in your file cabinets and enables users to actually find what they need, when they need it without time wasting searches. Instead of filing paper documents alphabetically, users file documents numerically. Instead of one “magic” word that you have to decide what to file a document under, you can assign as many keywords as you like!

Paper Tiger combined with a proven methodology, enables users to get organized and manage paper and other physical items more effectively.

The Concept of Locations

Think of your file cabinet as a “paper warehouse” and the hanging files in your file cabinet as containers in the warehouse. When you want to file something, you simply find an empty container (file folder), or an existing container with other papers on the same subject, put the paper in it, type in a few keywords relating to the document being filed, and you’re done! It is that simple!

With Paper Tiger, a location is a “group of like items” such as “Action” and “Reference”  – which are the first two locations we recommend that you set up when using Paper Tiger. For this reason, we have pre-printed tabs that can be ordered with Paper Tiger software. The pre-printed tabs are Action 1-60 and Reference 1-320 to get you started. In addition, there are several text labels for a Desktop File. Desktop Files are not a required component of Paper Tiger. They were developed as a way of customizing Paper Tiger for individual preferences. For many Paper Tiger users, that is all the labels they ever need.

How many locations should you have? With  Paper Tiger there are no “shoulds!” As long as you put in a few keywords for each file, you will be able to find anything you need. However, the more locations you create, the more complicated you make the system and the longer it will take. So start simple! You can easily refine the system later on and you will probably discover it’s unnecessary work.

To explain, a four drawer file cabinet can be one location (Reference) or four locations (Clients, Financial, Administrative, Research). The natural inclination of most people is to make it four locations. The least labor-intensive system, however, would be to make the file cabinet one Location called “Reference”.

Here’s Our Recommendation for Getting Organized with Paper Tiger

Start with two locations: Action and Reference. You can use the “Category” field to indicate whether the file contains client, financial, administration, or research info. Now you might be thinking: “Horror of horrors! All my files will be “mixed up.” Yes, they will be – but so what?

Think of doing a Google search for information. As long as the information shows up, do you care where it is? Think of Paper Tiger the same way.

Paper Tiger Action Files

If you have a paper file that requires action by you, it becomes an Action File. These are the types of files that you might be working on as a project that you want to keep close, maybe in your desk drawer. These are ‘temporary action’ files. When a project is complete, you can transfer this file to your Reference Location or toss if you don’t need to keep the documents for this project.

Organizing experts have worked one on one with hundreds of individuals, and have discovered that most people had single pieces of paper which required their action that they weren’t sure what to do with. When asked the question, “What is the next action you need to take on this piece of paper?” the most common answers were those that became “Desktop Files” such as “Call,” “Data Entry,” “Expense Reimbursement” or “Waiting on Response.” These are what we call ‘permanent action’ files because they are regular, repeating, frequent, and general, so not a project type action that will need a file folder of its own. Since these papers often move quickly and usually not needed after the action has completed, it is not recommended that you index them in Paper Tiger. For example:

  • Call file: after the call has been made, you can enter the phone information where you keep your contact information, then throw away the message reminder.
  • Expense Reimbursement: after you have turned in your expenses for a trip, and you have receive payment, you can file it in your Reference Location for your records. Alternately, you can scan and shred the physical paper file.

Paper Tiger Reference Files

If you don’t know whether you need a paper file, but you just don’t want to throw it away, or you want it for future reference, it should become a Reference File.

For a four-drawer file cabinet in your office called “Reference”, the outside of the drawers might be labeled as follows:

Drawer 1: Reference 1-55

Drawer 2: Reference 56-95

Drawer 3: Reference 96-140

Drawer 4: Reference 141-195

Each Reference number represents an item that you’ve indexed into Paper Tiger with item name and keywords…maybe a category, notes, and an action date.

If you just cannot bear to have certain files mixed in with all the other Reference files, then create a Location for that type of file. For example, some people want to be sure that they have all their client files together. In this case, create a Location named “Clients”, then the item names might be the client or company name, and keywords could be their account number with you, their address, phone number and any other information in which you might search for them later or of which you want to keep track, such as the last time you spoke to them.

The next Location you will want to create is Archives. This Location is for those documents that you don’t need in your Reference Location, but need to keep for financial or legal reasons for a specific length of time. You can also use the Archives Location for when documents can be tossed, but you’re not willing to get rid of them just yet. You will want to create this “Archives” Location in Paper Tiger and decide the physical location to where you’ll move those files. This will be in a less accessible location, so you will want to give it a new Location. Your Archives location could be located in a storage room, garage, attic, or at a records retention storage company.

You might also think about when each item can be removed (tossed/shredded) and set an Action Date to that item when you transfer them to your Archive Location in Paper Tiger and physically. That way you will know when each file can be removed without going through the file. Creating a records retention policy for your home and/or office will help you to have a guideline of how long you should keep records in your specific situation so you don’t have to rethink this every time you clean out your files. We have articles under our blog category, “Retention Guidelines: How long should you keep records?” that you might find helpful.

Most records retention storage companies require that you place a label on the box you send to them indicating when the files therein should be destroyed. You can simply do the same thing with your Archived files wherever you store them.

Other Physical Items (not paper files)

For other physical items, (such as books, CDs, DVDs, boxes/containers, etc.), decide if the items need a location in Paper Tiger or if you can index keywords for the items in with other things. See other Location suggestions described on our Not Just For Filing Paper page. Basically, anything that you can put a number onto, can be indexed into Paper Tiger. For example, for CDs or DVDs, you can either place a numbered label that matches the item number in Paper Tiger, on the CD/DVD jacket or you can place the CD/DVD in a binder such as the one pictured below, index the name, author, and other pertinent information into the item’s keywords section in Paper Tiger. As you can see, the item number was written with permanent marker on the DVD and on the DVD binder slot. So the DVD numbered 45, would match what was indexed in Paper Tiger’s item number 45 for the DVD Location (DVD 45).

Other Locations might be for information only (unless you keep related papers in your Reference files), such as:

  • Passwords: for user names and passwords for websites
  • Subscriptions: for keeping record of subscriptions and renewal info
  • Statistics or Ideas
  • Books Read: books you’ve given away, but don’t want to forget you’ve read
  • Frequent Traveler – Membership #, toll free phone number, User ID, facts about memberships

To create your custom Location labels or more Action or Reference labels, Paper Tiger makes it easy. In case you’re wondering, there is no limit to the number of locations you can have! Click here to see even more ways to use Paper Tiger to get organized.


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Get Organized with Paper Tiger

Get Organized with the SMART System

Even thinking about what you have to do and the decisions you have to make to get organized, can be overwhelming. You might be tempted to give up before you start – but don’t! Whether you’re organizing your desk drawers, filing cabinets, a stack of paper files, a closet, attic, or the garage, you can make a SMART start!

Work SMART!

Sort: Whatever you’re organizing, you will need to sort through the clutter. Put similar or like things together.

Think about the similar items you have scattered throughout your home or office, and make a home for those like items to get them together. For example, do you have appliance manuals and warranties scattered, but cannot find the one you need? Depending on the volume of these similar things, designate a drawer, a hanging box file folder, or a box for these. Note that you don’t have to go searching for these items now. This could waste a lot of unnecessary time, however you will at least have a home for these items and will know where they go when you organize and sort through another part of your home or office and come across them at that time.

Make good decisions now! You’ll need to ask yourself some questions about your paper files and other stuff. Remember the Pareto Principle, you know the 80/20 rule … we only use 20% of what we have, and the other 80% are back-ups, mistakes, things we hold on to because we don’t make good decisions about what to do with them. Set yourself up for continued maintenance.

  • Does this need action on my part?
  • Does this need to be given to someone else for action? Delegate! Send it on, with instructions if needed.
  • Do I really need it? Do I need to keep it for tax or legal reasons?
  • What will happen if I throw/give it away, but need it again later? What is the worst thing to happen if I don’t have it? If it’s a paper file, does it exist elsewhere?
  • Is it recent enough to be useful? Or if physical other than paper, have I used this in the last 6 months? If not, ask if there is a more convenient place for this item.
  • Do I love it? If you don’t love it, decide to give it away or toss it. If it is something that causes you emotional turmoil when asking these questions, is it something that you could take a picture of for the memory, and then let it go?

Action: For things that need action by you, either do it now or place a note on it that outlines what action needs to be taken and by what deadline. (See Paper Tiger Action Files)

Reference: Paper files that you need to keep, but do not require action, can be indexed into your Reference file location. (See Paper Tiger Reference Files).

Toss/shred: If you don’t need a piece of paper, then throw it away or shred it! If you don’t need that old bike anymore, give it away. If you can’t wear or haven’t worn some of your clothes or shoes in a year, then give them away.

Paper Tiger Filing System software combined with a proven methodology, enables users to get organized and manage paper and other physical items more effectively. Click here to see when using Paper Tiger, getting organized doesn’t have to be tough!

Work the SMART system and get organized quickly!


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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!

Paper Tiger Filing System Software can help you organize your paper files, but the software can also help you get organized in more than just filing paper so you won’t have trouble finding anything. Getting storage areas organized 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. Paper Tiger can index anything; it’s not just for document management! In fact, you can index any physical item that you can put a number onto, i.e., binders, books, CDs, DVDs, etc. You can get organized, not have to worry about putting things away, and you’ll quickly be able to find them again!

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.

Organizing and Searching for Paper Files

For those paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format, index the item name and keywords relating to those documents into Paper Tiger. 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 Searching 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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Managing paper and getting organized in any office is an overwhelming task, because there is a seemingly ever-increasing mountain of paper files.

Whether you’re an individual, a small or large company, you must practice good time management and office organization techniques in order to control costs and provide excellent service. Experts agree that efficient staff productivity is a must, and Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management is a simple and effective tool that can help you in getting organized and save time. You get all the power of the computer WITHOUT the risks and time commitment of paper scanning.

What is lost information costing you?

How much does it cost you, not only monetarily, but in stress and lost time when you have to search for something you need, and it takes a while to find it or recreate it? Is your current filing system working for you? Are you able to retrieve what you need, when you need it?

Experts tell us that the average person wastes 150 hours per year just looking for things, and we’ve found some estimates even higher. You can calculate the cost of disorganization in your office at http://thepapertiger.com/roicalculator and you’ll see in a matter of seconds, that your return on investment using Paper Tiger will quickly allow you to get organized and be more productive. Imagine the satisfaction and reduced stress of being able to put your fingers on what you need, when you need it! And Paper Tiger is not just for filing paper … you can index into the software’s database any physical item that you can put a number onto.

Getting organized and more productive will give you more time to do the things you enjoy! An organized and productive system will help you manage your time more wisely.

How does Paper Tiger help you in getting organized?

Paper Tiger allows you to go ahead and set up hanging files with numbered tabs, so they are ready to drop your paper files into. Paper Tiger greatly simplifies filing by eliminating the problems found in traditional alphabetic methods and has made finding paper files in the office faster and much more reliable.

Stacks of paper files all over the office lead to frustration and inefficiency, which is costly in both time and money, so you must prioritize and decide on procedures to handle the paper that comes through your office. To create an even more efficient office, be sure to document your policy for paper handling and retention guidelines. This will ensure that everyone is organized in the same way and training on these procedures will be a cinch in the event of employee illness or staff turnover.

When going through mail and any other documents that cross your desk, decide what needs action, what should be filed, and what should be tossed. Today’s mail is tomorrow’s clutter. Stop making stacks; start making decisions!

-Decide what is junk, and toss or shred what should be tossed immediately.

-For items that need to be filed, the best practice would be to open your Paper Tiger database and type in Item Name and Keywords for each item as necessary, then immediately drop into the corresponding hanging folder. You don’t have to worry about remembering what name you filed it under later because you can input as many keywords as you like for any given file. If you already have a file indexed for a specific subject, just edit the Item in Paper Tiger to add any necessary keywords and add it to that existing hanging file folder.

Alternately, you could have a tray or folder on your desk where you can immediately place items to be filed. Then set aside 15 minutes to clear your desk at the end of each day, enter the necessary information regarding the ‘to be filed’ into your Paper Tiger database, and place the files into the corresponding hanging folder. (remember, the hanging folders are already set up, so you don’t have to worry about finding folders and making tabs)

-Prioritize action items. Decide if the action can be done immediately. If not, either delegate or check the deadline. Decide how long it will take you to complete the task, and go ahead and schedule the time on your calendar for the length of time needed to get the job done by the deadline. Input the Item Name and Keywords information regarding the action file into Paper Tiger, and select the Action date to start. Place the item in the corresponding Action Item hanging folder. This gives you a place to put all files relating to the same project without stacking up on your desk until you’re ready to work on it.

Do you have a records retention policy?

Paper Tiger is great for short-term action files, as well as long-term storage of files. Of course, purging of files should be a task that is done regularly according to your office retention guidelines and compliance with regulations to ensure your filing cabinets do not overflow with unnecessary or outdated files. If you don’t have a records retention policy, (how long certain types of files should be kept), now is a good time to make those decisions. You’ll not only save time by having to think about this every year, but you will set you and your staff up for better efficiency, as well as keeping your office space clutter-free and efficient.

When you’re ready to purge files to archives or to recycle/shred, simply conduct a Transfer of the file(s) in your Paper Tiger database, print a Transfer report if needed, and then remove the physical files from your filing cabinet or desk drawer. (If transferring to archives, don’t forget to set the action date in Paper Tiger when a file should be removed from archives to recycle/shred. That way, you’re sure to keep up with the life-cycle of your document management system, and you don’t keep files too long.) Then box the files you’ve removed, label the box with the corresponding item number in Paper Tiger’s database as well as the date the contents should be recycled/shredded, and send to the archive location. You’ll want to box files to be recycled/shredded at the same time in one or more boxes.

For example, you may have financial files and legal files that need to be kept for 7 years, but you need to clear last year’s files to make room for the current year in your immediate file area. For all files that need to be purged in 7 years, place them in the same box or multiple boxes if there are that many, and label the box Archive 1 (or whatever the archive item number is in Paper Tiger), then write “Purge and shred December 31, 2020″ on the box or label. Your archive boxes can be placed in order of archive item number so that you’ll know where they are and which boxes should be purged on what date. If you’ve set the action date in Paper Tiger when a file should be removed from archives to recycle/shred, when you open Paper Tiger, a reminder flag will let you know which files or boxes need action next.

Making decisions regarding how paper should flow through your office and the life-cycle of document management and retention will go a long way in your staff time management, increased productivity and organization. As mentioned previously, when you document your paper handling system and retention guidelines (the schedule in the life cycle of documents in your office), you will reduce cost and legal liabilities. Keeping unnecessary files will result in over-stuffed filing cabinets or storage space. In addition, different types of files need to be kept or destroyed based on legal reasons and time-lines, which could result in civil or criminal issues.

See our Blog Category for Records Retention: How long should you keep records? for articles written from different sources, including the IRS, to help you decide document/records retention schedule for your specific needs.

Following are 3 simple steps that will help you get organized, but remember, these steps do not have to be done in one day. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be more organized and productive.

  1. Clear your desk first, indexing paper files into Paper Tiger as you file things away, then move to your desk drawers and filing cabinets.
  2. After every hanging file folder has a corresponding item in your Paper Tiger database, review your records retention policy.
  3. When you have a good retention policy, then you can use Paper Tiger’s ‘File Cleanout’ report to help you purge or archive files no longer needed in your immediate filing area. Use the Transfer function in Paper Tiger to easily transfer the item to archive or toss it as necessary. You’ll be able to keep up with where the files are at any given point in its life-cycle.

With the help of Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management, getting organized doesn’t have to be overwhelming.


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Are you already organized or do you need to get organized before the busyness of the next couple of months go in full swing? Yes, it’s that time of year again, already! Time to get the house spruced up for the fall and winter holidays that you and your family recognize and celebrate. Fall and/or Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years! That’s a lot of decorating and celebration within just a couple of months. With the holiday season upon us, decorations are becoming an everyday sight. Are your decorations organized in 1 or 2 boxes or stuffed wherever you could find room last year? Is the Christmas tree in a box never to be found again in the attic? Do you dread wasting hours untangling lights?

It can be a chore when trying to locate where you have certain decorations stored when it seems some are in the garage, some are in the attic and some have made their way into the basement. Or you may have them all tangled together just to keep them all in one place. The problem is, this big tangled mess can cause damage to the seasonal décor you have stored. This may even make you so frustrated that you opt to forgo adding any holiday cheer to your home or lawn altogether.

According to IBISWorld, Americans spent 13.34 billion dollars on holiday decorations and costumes alone in 2010. Can you envision how much that number has grown since then? Year after year, we purchase more and more decorations in addition to the ones we already have. The countless ornaments and lights could take up a lot of space in your garage or attic and become quite pricey. But, what if there was a way to put the fun back in decorating AND save yourself from becoming another shopping statistic? What if you knew exactly which box your favorite set of Christmas candles were?

The important thing really is to use a filing system software like Paper Tiger to keep track of what you own, what you are storing and where it is being stored so that the items can be easily and quickly retrieved when you need them. Indexing your items into Paper Tiger filing system will ensure that you know exactly where these things are, before you end up buying duplicates of something because you can’t find the original. Documenting or indexing your belongings also helps other people who may need to retrieve things for you. With a quick search in the software database, anyone will be able to find an item and also know where it should be placed when it needs to go back to the storage location.

Getting Organized Now For Your Holiday Decorations!

Now you can get organized with Paper Tiger Filing System Software and know where everything is with a simple search in the database. As the seasons and holidays change, so can your home, with less stress.

You might have thought Paper Tiger was just for paper! But actually, you can index virtually any physical object into your Paper Tiger database. You can still win 1st prize in the Homeowner Association’s best-decorated home contest without buying new decorations each year, because you can find what you already have without a lot of stressful searching. Paper Tiger allows you to give each set of holiday decorations a home of its own.

Imagine if you found all the decorations you’ve purchased for each holiday, each year in one place. Imagine no more! Not only will all the decorations be right where you left them next holiday season neatly packed away, but also the combination of all the decorations will allow you to be really innovative when decorating next year. Maybe take the stockings you’ve accumulated over the years and form a mixed pattern above the fireplace. No fireplace? Use decorative ribbon as a bed for glass ornaments in a fruit bowl as a centerpiece in the dining room for a jovial meal. Before you run rampant with all the new decorating ideas, let’s organize the decorations.

-First check every nook and cranny of your house for decorations. Take your flashlight in the attic with you. Gather the decorations so that you can begin to sort them.
-Then, sort the decorations by their various holidays. Santa and his reindeer, the Thanksgiving harvest table kit and pastel plastic Easter eggs should all go in separate piles. If you don’t already have storage boxes or containers, grab a couple from your local retailer to organize your items.

After you have all holiday decorations separated into the appropriate pile, add Paper Tiger to the equation. Choose both a physical location and a Paper Tiger location for your decorations. The decorations have trickled into four piles; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter & Memorial Day. So name a ‘location’ in Paper Tiger to match each holiday that you are organizing. You can then create labels from Paper Tiger software with numbers for you to attach to each of these boxes. Type the keywords in Paper Tiger’s database to match the items you put into each box to help you easily find decorations later with a quick search in the database search engine. For example, we might not remember that we named the bin with “Fall Decorations” under “Thanksgiving”, but if we put “Thanksgiving” or “turkey” or “fall” in the search bar, Paper Tiger will search the database based on what we’ve input previously, and let us know which box or boxes we need to pull out. Following are the fields in Paper Tiger as an example:

Location = Decorations

Item#1 Name = Thanksgiving Box 1
Keywords = Fall decorations, I’m thankful plate, thankful placemats, turkey napkin holders, pilgrim man and woman, small plastic pumpkins, candles, candle holders, Thanksgiving harvest table kit

Item#2 Name = Thanksgiving Box 2
Keywords = cornucopia basket, silk flowers, Fall door wreath

Item#3 Name = Thanksgiving Box 3
Keywords = Fall theme blankets and throw pillows

Item#4 Name = Christmas Box 1
Keywords = small tree

Item#5 Name = Christmas Box 2
Keywords = small tree decoration items, balls, bells, garland

Item#6 Name = Christmas Box 3
Keywords = large tree for living room

Item#7 Name = Christmas Box 4
Keywords = large tree decoration items, balls, bells, garland, bows, doves

It will take a little effort to get things in order to begin with, but once you invest this initial work into the project, your holiday decorating will be easy as can be for each occasion. With Paper Tiger Filing System Software, the decorations are stored and the disarray that once consumed and cluttered your space is replaced with the joys of the holiday season. Paper Tiger will help preserve the life of your decorations, because they will always be stored away neatly instead of mixed in with everything else in the top of a closet. Money will be saved because you’ll know what you have, and the efforts of searching for decorations will be swapped with a few strokes on a keyboard. Never worry about holiday decorations scattered throughout the house again, but know and embrace what you have and build upon it with creative new twists because you took the time to get organized.

If getting organized before the holidays is too much to think about now, make plans to get organized as you’re putting the decorations away!


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Do you have trouble finding your stuff?

Paper Tiger Filing System Software can help you get organized in more than just paper files so you won’t have trouble finding anything. Getting storage areas organized 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. In fact, you can index any physical item that you can put a number onto. You can get organized, not have to worry about putting things away, and you’ll be able to find them again!

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.

Organizing Storage Areas with Finding in Mind

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 Organize With Paper Tiger to Make 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 finding your stuff doesn’t have to be a worry!




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Get organized now starting with just one challenge

Tidy Tiger Solutions, Michelle Panzlaff, a Professional Organizer and a Certified Paper Tiger Experts, created this video to provide helpful advice for getting organized to busy professionals, homeowners, families, and students alike.

Organizing Challenge

Click here to watch Michelle’s organizing challenge video to learn about these organizing obstacles and start applying techniques to help you feel less stressed and get more done!

The fact is it can be hard to get started. When trying to get and stay organized, there is a wide variety of things that can get in our way. The good news is there are ways to solve this dilemma.

Using Paper Tiger as a Getting Things Done (GTD) Task List Manager

Also in this video, see how Michelle combines the functionality of the powerful indexing systems in Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management with the concepts provided by Productivity Guru, David Allen, in his world famous GTD (Getting Things Done) Systems.

Learn more about the organizing products and services provided by Michelle Panzlaff and Tidy Tiger Solutions by visiting www.tidytiger.biz today. Plus, drop into the home page of Tidy Tiger Solutions for free printable gifts and more for your home, work or personal organizing needs.

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Tidy Tiger Solutions
Michelle Panzlaff

To Michelle, serving as a Professional Organizer is all about creating more functional and enjoyable spaces, productive workflow and effective filing systems, while helping clients feel inspired and more productive.

As a skilled professional, Michelle now possesses over 23 years of office, service and administrative experience. Michelle relies on her exceptional skill set to solve complex challenges for her residential and business clients alike.

Phone: (778) 866-6942
Email: info@tidytiger.biz


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Sherry Borsheim, a Paper Tiger Expert of Simply Productive, gives us a great clutter busting strategy to get organized, and to stay organized. Sherry also recommends and helps implement Paper Tiger filing system software for document management for not only organizing paper files at home and office, but organizing other physical items because anything that you can put a number onto, you can Paper Tiger. If you need help busting through your clutter in your home or office, get ahead of the September rush of back to school and get your kids and home organized now. Click here to learn more about Sherry’s special offer!

Read on as Sherry gives advice for busting clutter!

As I was helping a teenager get her room organized for back to school, and she asked me “is your home organized?” And my reply was “yes, I practice what I do with you.”  Then she asked me “what are the best rules of thumb for staying organized?”  My reply was, “well, there are several rules of organizing that I use in my office, home and life and when you use these on a regular basis, staying organized gets easier and easier.”

The look on her face said it all “relief and hope” that she too could keep her room organized long after I left.

I shared with her how appling a few organizing rules on a regular basis was the key to keeping her room organized long after I left.  And how she could apply the same rules to planning her school schedule and finding time for her hobbies.

Sometimes all we need is to get pointed in the right direction, learn a few useful skills and you’re on your way!

I’ll be the first to admit that getting organized can be a process and not easy at times.  But with regular maintenance, and a few clutter busting tips, staying organized gets easier and easier because you won’t want to go back and do the hard work again.

In this week’s S.O.S. (Simple Organizing Solutions), you’ll learn my best clutter busters for your home and how to apply certain rules to stay organized for years to come!

This one rule of thumb for organizing can change your life and help free up extra space in your home.  Click the link to read on:

When you apply this one rule of thumb, on a regular basis, letting go gets easier and the rewards can be very satisfying!

As always, keep it simple and be organized!

–Sherry
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www.SimplyProductive.com

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Sherry Borsheim is the president of Simply Productive. You can visit Sherry, access her free article archive and grab lots of free stuff at http://www.simplyproductive.com. Sherry lives in Vancouver, BC Canada with her husband (her high-school sweetheart).

Sherry’s Organizing Bootcamps will give you a JUMP-START on ORGANIZING your office, home and life. She will give you her trade secrets and steps to setting up your organizing systems, including recommending Paper Tiger filing system software for document management, to be organized and manage the paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format and other physical stuff in your life.

Not getting Sherry’s newsletter? Sign up by clicking here “Send My Kit” and you’ll receive her FREE 7 Ways to Organize Your Workspace kit!

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Life can be very stressful.  Now add your clutter and disorganization to the equation and it’s even worse. Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels by helping you get organized and virtually eliminating paper clutter. We’ve compiled a list of tasks that when combined with Paper Tiger are essential towards a less stressful life.

Declutter to Get Organized and Reduce Stress

Before any organization can occur, you have to part with paper that you don’t necessarily need. Why are you holding on to last week’s grocery list? Do you really need that pile of junk mail? Surely, if you took the time to look at all the paper clutter that you’ve accumulated, you would throw a majority of it in the trash. Getting rid of the excess clutter is the first step towards reducing stress. A huge weight will be lifted as you throw away extra paper files that you don’t need.

Be Proactive to Stop Clutter

Instead of creating a to-do later pile or getting in the habit of doing things later, get things out of the way. Don’t check the mail and toss it on the kitchen counter, sort through it while it’s on your mind so you don’t have the chance of building clutter piles. By making yourself do this and not procrastinating, you will greatly reduce stress.

In addition to being proactive, be tidy. When you are finished looking at a bill or a magazine, put it back where it belongs. Giving your paper items a home is yet another way to avoid clutter piles. By setting these boundaries and forcing yourself to make decisions in a timely manner, you are stopping clutter before it can accumulate.

Index with Paper Tiger to Get Organized

For those paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format, you would simply index the item name and keywords relating to those documents into Paper Tiger’s database.

One hindrance to filing is finding a hanging file folder and the tab insert where you would put the name of the file. Then what to name the file is another problem. Files can be named different things, so what do you name each type of file so that you can remember when you need to retrieve the file to reference it again.

Paper Tiger solves these problems because the software allows you to set up all hanging file folders in your file cabinets at one time using the numbered tabs that you print out from the software and they never change. They stay in numbered order for that location in your database. You type in keywords relating to each document in Paper Tiger’s database digital file location matching the physical file location.

Paper Tiger assigns the file number to the document or set of relating documents that you want to put in the same hanging file folder. You can give the document any name you want without any worry about finding it later. For documents that you want to add to an existing file, simply edit the Item and add additional keywords necessary for the new document(s), then drop into that relating hanging file folder. You don’t have to add keywords for every piece of paper in a file if the file name contains the only word(s) you would ever look up to find it. (ex: invoices)

Because the hanging file folders are already setup and waiting for your information, you eliminate the time-consuming hassle of having to find and create a file folder and insert tab each time you want to file something. Again, the software will assign an index number to each file you add to be put in the first available empty hanging folder.

After you’ve converted your filing system to Paper Tiger, you can file your paper files away, and no longer have to worry whether you will be able to find it again. When you need to find a file later, you simply conduct a Google-like search in the database for whatever keyword you’re thinking on that day to find where your file is located.

Not Just for Paper Filing

Paper Tiger is not just for filing paper. You can add other Locations in your database to organize other types of things. Some of these are described on our Not Just For Filing Paper page, which include but are certainly not limited to the following:

  • Bank Security Boxes
  • Books
  • CDs
  • Collection
  • Craft Supplies
  • DVDs
  • Inventory
  • Keys
  • Moving Boxes
  • Storage Containers
  • Storage Sheds
  • Wine

As you can see, you can get organized with Paper Tiger and reduce the stress of searching for the things you need, but also to clear away clutter.


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Are you someone who has lots of sewing supplies? Here’s something you may not know. According to holidayinsights.com, July 25th is Thread the Needle Day. This is a holiday dedicated to devoted sewists, sewers and seamstresses. Whatever name you prefer, on this day, people literally guide thread through a needle or work out difficult issues. Here at Paper Tiger, we’ll stick to the literal meaning and give you a few tips on organizing your sewing materials in preparation for this special occasion.

As you know, Paper Tiger Filing System Software is not just for filing and organizing paper files. You can organize and index various supplies, books, CDs, DVDs, inventory and even collections with Paper Tiger. Here is how Paper Tiger can help you become the most prepared for Thread the Needle Day.

Organizing Your Sewing Supplies

First you’ll need to gather all your supplies. You probably have sewing needles, thread, scissors, pins, fabrics and other items. The easiest way to store the aforementioned craft items is with storage containers, drawers or tubs, depending on the amount and size of your sewing supplies.

After you’ve gathered your supplies and figured out your method of storage for each type of item, you want to sort the supplies and keep track of them by indexing the items into Paper Tiger. Sort the supplies and place them in the various containers. Be sure to label the containers so that you can know where your sewing needles are and where your thread is. Numbering the containers is a good method.

Indexing Your Sewing Supplies

Now you incorporate Paper Tiger. The committed seamstress will have at least one or two containers of each sewing supply. In Paper Tiger, you will have a location named “Sewing Supplies”. Then for the Item Name, you type in the name of the supply or Box #, and then in the keyword section type in the specific item.

You can put your sewing needles in Box #1, which may be a storage drawer box. Your Item Name in Paper Tiger could be named “Sewing Needles” but you could also name this Box #1, and in the keyword section you have the option of inputting Applique, Embroidery, Leather, Beading, Tapestry and Darning for the different sewing needles that you have.

In this example pictured below, your Item Name could be Box # 1 to match how you’ve labeled the box. Then in this box, you could number the drawers 1-6. In the keywords section of Paper Tiger’s Item Name Box #1, type in the type of needles in each drawer and indicate Drawer 1: Applique needles, Drawer 2: Embroidery, Drawer 3 Leather, etc.

You have a plethora of thread, but you want your golden thread instead of the green thread. Paper Tiger can quickly tell you that your golden thread is in Box #2, drawer 1 if that is what you’ve input into the database to match the drawer location.

If you have your “Sewing Fabrics” in Box #3 and 4, in the keyword sections you could input Burlap, Felt, Faux fur, Flannel, Fleece, Quilting and Seasonal for the different fabrics that you have stored in each box.

By organizing these things with Paper Tiger, you’ll have quick and easy access to all your supplies and they are stored away reducing clutter. The beauty of Paper Tiger is that it can be shared. What if your sister wants to make a dress for you while you’re away in Vancouver? She can still surprise you! Paper Tiger can be used by more than one person and she can easily search for what she is looking for and still keep the supplies organized. To maintain this organization, be sure to place everything back where it came from after using it and index all new items to Paper Tiger. If you don’t remember where to replace an item, simply conduct a search in Paper Tiger’s database, and you’ll easily know where to put it back in its place.

Using Paper Tiger Filing System Software as an organization tool for your sewing supplies will guarantee that you are more than ready for Thread the Needle Day. Your sewing supplies will all be organized, clutter will be virtually nonexistent, and you will know exactly where each item is with a quick keyword search in Paper Tiger’s database to help you find what you need at the moment you need it. Happy sewing!


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This article from the blog of Denise Landers, founder and CEO of Key Organization Systems Inc. and a Paper Tiger Expert, offers helpful tips for getting organized and clearing your desk before going on vacation. She suggests that treating every Friday as if you were going on vacation might also be more productive for you. Denise also recommends Paper Tiger Filing System Software and Document Management for paper files in the office.

Treat every Friday as if you were going on vacation by getting organized.

If you were heading off for a two-week vacation this coming weekend, what would you have to do now to get ready? It is amazing how productive you can be in clearing your desk, in-boxes, and your calendar the week before a vacation. Of course, that often means you will be working longer hours each day until then, but the payoff is in sight.

Preparation by Getting Organized

You may try to complete your part of larger projects. You would probably want to clear away all those little details that you’ve been setting aside “until you have the time.” Home chores also need to be taken care of, such as making arrangements for any pets, notifying neighbors about your absence, and arranging for your personal mail to be held or picked up.

With the pace society is maintaining, it is no surprise that vacation time used has decreased over the past several years. As you strive to balance diverse activities, it can seem impossible to break from that cycle. You feel indispensable and worry about what will happen in your absence and how much will be piled up on your return.

Instead of being excited as your vacation date approaches, you might become anxious and more stressed. It can take two or three days after you leave to unwind and begin to relax.

Time Off

The ideal way to handle a vacation would be to have no contact with your office or business associates during that time, using your email and voicemail to inform people you are out of town and when you will be back. After all, that is fundamentally what defines a vacation.

However you may find that you worry more when you do not know what was going on. If you feel that you need to stay in touch, I suggest that you try not to respond to business calls on your cell phone throughout the day. Those calls can interrupt you during a pleasurable activity with family or friends and change your mood.

When you deal with business concerns, you mentally place yourself back in work mode, so limit those times. If some contact is necessary, try using email once a day and make phone calls in the same period. This way you have set aside a single block of time for business-related issues. Otherwise constant contact defeats the point of having worked so hard beforehand to get away.

Returning Back to Work

When coming back to the office, take a day to de-stress. Do not have a string of appointments booked. You need that time to process mail, catch up on the latest happenings, and return calls.

You may not have the luxury of a two-week getaway. U.S. employees tend to be more vacation-deprived than other countries. That does not mean that you should not take some time to relax. Even with a three-day weekend, try to limit your involvement with work-related issues during that period. By taking a break from the everyday stresses, you will find that you are actually more productive when you return.
Regardless of your vacation plans, proceed with this week as if you were going away. You will be surprised at how much you accomplish in clearing your desk during these next few days and how much better you will feel on Monday.  If you continue to do this, those extra hours you put in before your ‘vacation’ will decrease each week. For more tips on vacation preparation, read “5 Tips to Help You Relax and Recharge.”

Ask yourself, “What do I have to do today to be ready to leave for vacation on Friday?”


About Denise Landers

Key Organization Systems Inc.
Author of Destination Organization

productivity@keyorganization.com

Have you ever tried to “get organized” only to be frustrated after a day, or a week, or a month?  Destination: Organization recognizes that reaching your organizing goals is a journey, not a one-time event, as you develop processes to cope with daily demands that constantly change. For help, call Denise at (281) 397-0015

Denise shares her experience and expertise in developing effective, efficient systems to deal with daily workloads and to cope with periods of rapid growth, helping businesses and individuals accomplish more through effective office organizing systems. Her education background in human services lets her tie in the business aspects with individual personalities to produce a unique model for each situation.

Meeting planners may obtain a OneSheet about KOS’s training and speaking services or view demo videos of training topics.

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In the article below, Anne McGurty, a Paper Tiger Expert of Strategize and Organize, gives some tips to declutter collectibles so that your work space will be a more pleasing environment.  She also recommends implementing Paper Tiger Filing System Software to help you save time and money!

Strategize and Organize

Collections can look like works of art, or they can look like piles of junk — it’s all in the presentation and preservation.  Having a display is great if you have the room and your items can remain safe while presented well.

Strategize and Organize

Here are a few tips to declutter and organize your collection:

  1. Make a decision that you love what you want to keep.
  2. Ask yourself how you want to see the collection, ie., accessible, locked up, with back lighting, etc.
  3. Decide on a space to display the collection.  You may want to invest in a separate unit, a specialty cabinet or shelving.
  4. Accessorize or as they do in retail, merchandise it.  Use props, display stands, and by confining it to that area, you will prevent overload.
  5. For items that you don’t have room to display, you’ll need to decide if you will box and store them, or if you will give them away or recycle in some way. For items that you plan to keep and store, you can index the items from each box into Paper Tiger Filing System Software. Then when you need to retrieve something, you’ll be able to find it quick and easy….without a time consuming search.

With these few steps, you can declutter the various collections in your space and will be on your way to organizing your office.


About Anne McGurty

Anne McGurty is CEO of Strategize & Organize, a company devoted to training individual’s to be more effective with the tools and resources to be productive in their work environment.

If you like this issue, you’ll love Anne’s transforming productivity training and organizing products to help you organize your business — and yourself — ranging from productivity consulting for individuals and executives to small business coaching programs to keynote speaking and corporate training programs to improve efficiencies in the workplace and improve productivity.

While Anne is best known for her expertise in productivity and expert office organizing, her clients share that her biggest impact comes from her philosophy of “personalizing her programs to fit the needs of her clients so they can streamline more efficiently with existing processes” – ensuring to create a sustainable work environment. This, Anne says, is the most important key to bringing an individual to personal freedom with time and organization.

You can learn more about Anne at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com. For residential organizing services, please visit www.ResidentialOrganizing.com.

You can contact Anne at amcgurty@strategizeandorganize.com or by phone at 303 881-0174.

You can also follow Anne on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/strategizeandorganize
http://www.facebook.com/residentialorganizing


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Are you having a hard time parting with your clutter? Do you get an overwhelming feeling of dread when you think about starting to organize? If you feel like you are indecisive or simply just a hoarder, these questions will be helpful during organizing. Because Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management is not just for filing paper, using the software will also help you stay clutter free. You can ask yourself the following questions before you file with Paper Tiger.

  • When was the last time I used this? Whether paper filing or organizing other physical items, you will certainly find things that you didn’t even know you had. Chances are, you don’t need these things. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably won’t use it in the next. If you can’t bear to trash it, keep it for six more months. If you still don’t use it, you can get rid of it. Of course memorabilia and keepsakes should be treasured and stored or displayed appropriately.
  • Will I need this again? We all have things that we’ve “discovered” in our possessions. If you have to ask yourself when the last time the item was used, you’ll definitely want to figure out if you’ll need the item. There are some items that aren’t used very often but should be kept, but otherwise your best bet would be to trash these found treasures (or recycle).
  • What will happen if I part with it? Once you ask yourself this question, you’ll probably realize that the answer is the same every time; nothing. Sure you might make a mistake, but could you buy another one if needed? Could you borrow this item? If after you have considered these things and realize that your survival isn’t vulnerable, let the item go.
  • Why do I need this item? One common mistake people make is keeping items for future events that are really far into the future. If you can’t think of a specific instance when you might need this item then you probably should trash it.

Use these questions to help you figure out what you should keep or toss. Afterwards, use Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management to further organize by indexing the items so you can find what you need when you need it.

Anything that you can put a number onto, you can index into Paper Tiger. See some great ideas from our Not Just For Paper Filing webpage and see how much clutter you can clear!


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Getting a Grip on Clutter

With the trend moving towards making the home free from clutter, it can seem like it is still a bit of a confusing and overwhelming task. Keep in mind, the first part of the task is dividing up what you are keeping, what you can sell and what you should get ready to be donated, or what needs to be tossed or recycled. The next step is taking what you need to keep and giving it a “value.”

The value of your items is usually split up in the following categories:

  1. Use daily
  2. Use every so often
  3. Rarely use but must keep

If the point of the project is to try to stop collecting clutter, make sure category number three has as few items as possible. Of course, we all realize there are certain items that fall into the last category that must be kept. Now the trick is how to keep everything neat, organized and put away so that you and everyone in your family can find something if they need it.

One of the main reasons that homes get in a state of disorganization is that no one can figure out where anything is or where it goes. You leave an item out because you know if you put it away, you will never find it when you need it. Or someone in your household doesn’t put something away because they have no idea where “away” should be.

Putting a Filing System in Place

Implementing Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management that will allow you to index items, not just your paper files, is a great way to put an end to this vicious cycle that is keeping the average household cluttered. The best part is that once you have it in place, anyone in your home can use the system to find what they need when they need it, as well as know exactly where to return it once they are finished with it. The great news is everyone in the family doesn’t have to be in agreement for what exactly to name each item in the new filing system.

Let’s imagine you already have this system set up so you can see how easy it is to use. You need to find where exactly you have your antique silverware set because you’ve decided to host a fancy dinner party. By entering the search term “antique silver”, your filing system will give you results the same way an online keyword search would. The search results lets you know it is in the large plastic storage bin marked #3 and that this bin is in the garage.

If you set up your filing system with alternate keywords, anyone using the system can find the same thing. So if you send your husband to look and he types in “grandma’s silver,” or your daughter searches for “silverware,” everyone will still get the same answer and find the item. Not only that, but when it is time to put the item back, you can conduct a search in the database to find where that item goes so it always gets put back in its proper place. Avoid the confusion your household goes through when trying to organize clutter with the simple use of a filing system.

How to Implement Your Filing System

So you’ve sorted the items you are keeping and it’s time to decide a home for each item. Decide how you want to organize the items you plan to keep, then by indexing them into your filing system software, you’ll be able to retrieve them when you need them. An indexing system is a way for you to catalog all the items you put into a bin or box by adding all relating keywords for each item into the software database, and then when you need to find an item later, you conduct a keyword search and you’ll know where that item is located quickly and easily based on the information you’ve input previously.

For the example above with locating your silverware, you’ve stored your silverware in bin #3 along with other relevant items that you might need when you need your silverware, such as a lace tablecloth, napkin rings, candelabra, etc.

In Paper Tiger’s database, you might have a ‘Location’ named Garage. In this Garage Location, you would number your storage containers and enter the content information into your filing system to match each container. You might list your items such as in the example below, and of course, mark each bin to match the item number in Paper Tiger’s database:

Item # 1 in Paper Tiger’s database, Item Name: Bin #1, Keywords: Spring decorations, spring flag, bunnies, tablecloth and picnic items.

Item # 2 in Paper Tiger’s database would match contents in your bin #2, Item Name: Bin #2, Keywords:  might be Crafts, including the different colors of paper you have, types of paper (card stock, construction), and instructions for different projects, etc. You might also have other crafts in this bin that you could list.

Item # 3 in Paper Tiger’s database, Item Name: Bin #3, Keywords: silver, silverware, antique, vintage, grandma’s silver, lace tablecloth, candelabra, silver cleaner

Item # 4 in Paper Tiger’s database, Item Name: Box #4, Keywords: toys, spiderman, etchasketch, Mr. Potato Head, Operation game

Item # 5 in Paper Tiger’s database, Item Name: Box #5, Keywords: kitchen items, old crock pot, blender, extra bowls, mismatched plates

Later you can search for “silver” in Paper Tiger’s database the same way you type keywords to search the Internet on Google. Your indexing system will bring back search results that tell you what bin number the item is in and even where the bin is, and you’ll be able to see what other contents you’ve listed and put in that bin.

Below is another example for your CD’s, and can be used to implement the same concept for your books or any other physical item that you can put a number onto:

1. Name a Location CDs, with capacity of 100 (you can increase this later if you need to) Then print labels for the 100 items ready to affix onto each CD as you index it.

2. Begin indexing your CDs individually by adding a new item in this Location. I would name the item by the name of the movie or topic or singer of the CD, and continue with something like the following:

-Item Name: (name of the movie or topic or singer of the CD)

-Keywords: (actors/speakers, length, rating, brief description)

-If you have Professional or Pro edition, you will be able to apply a Category to the item. If so, add new category for either drama, fiction, comedy, historical, etc. (as info, the Basic edition does not have the Category function) If you have Basic, then you can add the category to the keywords section as well, then when you search for a specific category, Paper Tiger will bring up all of the CDs that you’ve indexed with that category, which is basically the same thing that would happen if you were to select the Category drop down box in Professional or Pro.

3. As you index each CD, affix the corresponding label to it and store in your new place. As you’ll see in this picture below, both the CD and the CD jacket are numbered so when you search Paper Tiger, you can go to the corresponding CD jacket number, and you’ll also know to match the numbers when replacing the CD.

Then obviously, you can go through the stacks of paper files, and index them into Paper Tiger as well. Index the contents of each hanging file folder in your file cabinet, so when you need to reference your insurance file, you’ll know exactly what file it is in without having to worry if you filed it under Insurance, Household, or the insurance company name.

So you see how implementing Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management can help you get organized and it is a filing system the whole family can use to keep the clutter and chaos to a minimum for organized living!



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The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping, that can only mean one thing: It is springtime and with the spring comes spring-cleaning and organizing. With people working from home and diving into self-employment, home offices are quite common. It has been said that at least one in four households have a home office. When is the last time you organized your entire home office (besides when you initially moved in)? If you can’t answer this question, it’s time. With clutter on the kitchen counter, dining room table and other areas of the house, this article in particular is designated to getting the home office organized.

We know this isn’t a task that can be tackled in one day, but with Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management, these tips can help you make huge strides.

Organizing Your Home Office

  1. Gather your Tools: Before you actually try to start organizing your home office, make sure you have plenty of trash bags, boxes, sticky notes and markers to label your piles. You may also want to have a vacuum cleaner or broom around, as things might get messy. Cleaning supplies and a shredder, if necessary, are also some tools you can have nearby.
  2. Sort Items: You can’t start to organize until you know what you have. Do you even know what is in that stack of papers on the corner of your desk? Have you opened that third drawer lately? Go through everything and decide what you need to keep and what needs to be trashed. The documents and things you decide to keep need to be sorted into piles and labeled so that you know what they are later. You might even think about your stacks such as: Action (things you need to take action on), Reference (things that you need to keep, but needs to be filed). This will be a great start in how to separate your stacks. And don’t forget a trash stack….
  3. Trash Items: If you don’t need it, trash it as you go! The more useless things you hold on to, the more clutter you will have. You have trash bags and the shredder nearby so you can get rid of unwanted things. If you think you can’t bear the thought of parting with your things that you could retrieve again by a simple search on the Internet, think about it again. What is your goal? Are you trying to get rid of some old clutter? If so, toss as much as you can!
  4. Use Paper Tiger: Here is where Paper Tiger fits in the equation. Once you have sorted everything, you are ready to file your documents. Simply itemize each file subject in your Paper Tiger database and drop these files into the corresponding hanging file folder number that matches the Item number in Paper Tiger. You can name them as you choose and add keywords to help you or someone else find the file easily. You can store the physical documents in the garage, or in your desk drawers, or any other place that is convenient for you. The main point here is that when you use Paper Tiger, you will be sure to find the file you need later without time-consuming searches.

Optional: Since you are cleaning out your office, you might as well make sure that you are not storing documents that you no longer need or use. Your organizing system needs to be organized as well. (Surely you remember how you can’t be clean on the outside unless you’re clean on the inside). You can print the Paper Tiger File Clean-Out Guide to help you clean out papers from existing files. Also use the Transfer Report to help you physically move documents from one location to another so that your physical hanging file folders match what you have in Paper Tiger.

These are just steps to help you get started. Of course, depending on how much and how cluttered your home office is, it might be quite difficult to clean out your entire home office in one day. Completing one of these steps a day (in order of course) can ensure a clean and tidy office in a week. Remember to relax and take your time when cleaning your office. Don’t get overwhelmed in organizing your home office. You’ll be so proud, you will want to go from room to room. Happy Organizing!


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