Here at Paper Tiger, we’ve figured out that organization also comes from within, and we believe that you can train yourself to be more organized. Before you begin to use Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management or Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs, you, try these ten tips that will help you form habits towards a more organized you.
Anne McGurty, a Paper Tiger Expert of Strategize and Organize, shares her top ten tips for using the Paper Tiger to get organized, work efficiently, and be more productive. Read on to see how a small investment in time implementing Paper Tiger Filing System Software can help you to simplify your life!
Did you know that the average executive spends six weeks per year retrieving or replacing lost documents? Naturally, it makes sense to create a system that is quick and easy so you can save that lost time. Here are some ideas to get it done now once you have Paper Tiger. If you don’t have Paper Tiger now, click this link to get started. Here are the top ten tips I recommend:
1. Look at the “hot spot of files”. You know the pile that seems the most urgent and makes your stomach churn every time you look at it. Take the paperwork and make a decision on each piece and separate into four piles:
a. Reference: those items you need, just not right now
b. Action: current projects, ongoing projects
c. Toss: you know where those are going
d. Timed: you need these on a specific date
2. When deciding on whether to file something or throw it away, ask yourself how difficult would it be to find this information again? Does it have any legal or financial ramifications if you were to throw it away? If you can live with the answer of throwing it away after those thoughts, let it go.
3. Set up the Paper Tiger Filing System Software and Document Management, an indexing system that works like a search engine for paper files to help you get organized and stay organized. It’s essentially creating an inventory for all of your files.
4. Use names that you will be able to recall easily. The obvious file names that you’ve used in the past. Then the interesting thing with Paper Tiger is that you will also be able to add keywords into the database so that any name you think of when you need to find a file, the software will be able to tell you where it is in seconds. So in the case of “Auto” the item name would be “Ford Explorer”, and in the keywords section, you would input the name of the company, i.e., “Vehicle, Car”, possible the name of the dealer, the service person’s name, etc., and you might use “Personal” in the Category section.
5. Oftentimes, people receive notices of an event and they never know what to do with the postcard. Set up a monthly filing system (a Tickler File) to keep track of when to throw them away. Create 12 hanging file folders, one for each month. As you rsvp or pull the information for “dress code” or directions. When the day rolls around, you can retrieve it for a reminder. This will ensure that you never miss an event or an expiration date on an rsvp or offer.
6. When sorting through paper files, make a decision. If you’re not in a decision-making mood, have a place set up for “unprocessed paperwork.” Then when you’re ready, if you need to take action, do it now or place it in the appropriate action file. If someone else needs to attend to it, give it to them. If it is something to reference later on, index the appropriate keywords into Paper Tiger and add it to the corresponding reference hanging file. Putting it back in the pile to address later is no longer an option for you as an organized person.
7. When you have a lot of tasks to do for the day, quickly sort the tasks in order of importance. Do what is most profitable or important to you first, then move on from there. Therefore, if you only have a little bit of time, you will be addressing the most critical issues first. All other tasks need to be scheduled for when it makes sense. This final step is critical, otherwise you’ll be starting a new pile.
8. Print out reports of what you have inventoried in your filing system, place a folder in the front of each file drawer, as appropriate, labeled “File Index.” Having a quick and easy reference when you don’t want to open your computer makes it easier to find quickly.
9. Get into a maintenance habit of printing out a ‘File Cleanout’ report of all of your files, quarterly or no less often than annually, and identify what you no longer need and purge or create steps to archive via off site store or scanning.
10. Finally, create a time management habit. Take 10-15 minutes every morning looking at your priorities, including your Actions within your Paper Tiger system and pulling files from your Tickler File. Do the same thing each evening by placing all documents collected through the day back into your systems.
Celebrate your progress, if you haven’t done it yet. Set up your Paper Tiger Filing System now and get started. As you go throughout your day, keep in mind the task at hand and focus on completing that one task. Remember that “things don’t clutter, people clutter”. When we make simple decisions and take action, we can improve the quality of our life at work and at home.
Anne McGurty is CEO of Strategize & Organize, a company devoted to training individual’s to be more effective with the tools and resources so they can 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.
Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd, and each year individuals across the globe participate in events geared towards environmental protection. Wouldn’t you like to get involved?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each year in the United States, Americans use about 71 million tons of paper and paperboard. Many organizations and individuals are making an effort to go paperless. A paperless environment is certainly good for the Earth as the amount of waste in the landfill is reduced in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and the energy used by printers.
Whether you are trying to go paperless or not, most of us still have some paper files, but we can still work toward less paper. Here are a few tips to help you be more environmental, and don’t forget to index the hard copy paper files into Paper Tiger filing system software for document management, so that when you need to retrieve a document, you can find it without having to print it again.
Here are just a few benefits of using Google Docs/Drive that can help you participate in Earth Day this year.
-Google Docs allows you to access your word processed files, spreadsheets and presentations. You can easily share these files with others. You can edit and work on these documents in the same location they are stored in. This can all be done without ever having a physical sheet of paper. The only time physical documents are involved is if you must first scan them into Google Docs. Sometimes you might need a hard copy in file, but also an electronic file. Using Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs, function in Paper Tiger Online Basic or Pro plan, will allow you to index the physical paper file into Paper Tiger and also search Google Docs for the digital file.
-Google Docs has one of the cheapest digital file storage available. This means you can create and store all of your files digitally without physical paper clutter while also saving valuable space on your hard drive.
-Worried about the safety of your documents? While Google Docs is very secure, you have the option to send automated backups to your computer and also synchronize through Google Drive.
You can easily do your part to reduce your paper footprint by rethinking how you work with paper files and digital files. These tips can help you do your part in keeping the environment healthy. Whether you have digital files or hard copy paper files, you can easily do your part by reducing paper use for Earth Day.
Now that Tax season is coming to an end, you’re probably going through your paper files. Whether it’s a last minute scramble to gather your tax information or an effort to file away this year’s information, you might notice how stuffed your file cabinets are. This raises an important question, “When should you shred your documents?”
Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management is a system that helps many organize their paper clutter. We all know that where there’s paper, there might be clutter; therefore a good shredding system also needs to be implemented along side Paper Tiger. Here’s a system that we find helpful from Ohio Mobile Shredding, who recommends six groups to categorize when to shred and what to shred. They are: Shred Now, Shred on a Monthly Basis, Shred on a Yearly Basis, Shred on a Seven or Ten Year Basis, Never Shred and finally Never Shred Until They Expire.
-Don’t you hate all the pesky credit card applications that come that you didn’t sign up for? Wouldn’t it be a bummer if someone ELSE applied for your credit card with your information? Be sure to shred those.
-Have you ever made a copy of your address, passport, SSN or other important information? Any piece of paper with confidential information on it whether a copy or original should be shredded. If you’re unsure about whether to shred it just ask yourself this: “How would I feel if a complete stranger saw this?”
-Are you still holding on to your expired identification cards, passports or bankcards? Be sure to shred any expired cards. This also includes employee badges and visas.
-Do you keep all of your credit card statements even AFTER you have paid the bill? Unless you are keeping these for other purposes, be sure to shred these.
-Do not hold on to cancelled checks and debit receipts after you’ve received your bank statement. Again, if you are not keeping these for tax purposes or warranties, they can be shredded.
-Do you still have your monthly statements from 2008? Any kind of monthly statement that also comes with a year-end statement can be shredded at the end of each year. This includes bills that are repeated on a monthly basis such as utilities.
-You really don’t need your Pay Stubs or 1099 Equivalents after you have settled your annual W-2 statements. These documents can be shredded on a yearly basis.
-You can shred any year-end bank statements every seven to ten years if you do not need them for tax purposes.
-Still have the deed to the old house from 1987? Any titles or deeds to property that you haven’t owned in seven years can be shredded.
-Married? Divorced? In the Service? Any vital documents such as marriage, divorce, birth or death certificates should never be shredded. These vital documents also include, military records, insurance policies, wills, social security reports, diplomas degrees or transcripts, medical records or any other important information. If you are unsure, do not shred it! Once it has been shredded it can’t be recovered.
Once these documents have expired. It’s safe to shred and replace them with the current documents.
-Still hold the title to that 1979 Cutlass Supreme? Any titles or deeds to property that you haven’t owned in seven years can be shredded after they expire.
-The lease or rental contracts on your current properties are not to be shredded until they expire.
-Where is your benefits package from work? Gym membership? Cable contract? Any active documentation should not be shredded until they have expired. This includes, your pet records, current credit reports, loan contracts, and maintenance records for your home or car.
Always check your governing tax office, as well for changes in how long you should keep certain records. For the United States Internal Revenue Service, go to www.irs.gov. For Canadians, check Canada Revenue Agency. Now that you know what you can shred and when you can shred it, Paper Tiger Filing System Software is the first part to the equation. Index your paper files with Paper Tiger to stay organized. Store your paper files in physical locations and use keywords to help you find files in Paper Tiger. If you feel like your paper files are getting out of control, use these tips from Ohio Mobile Shredding to shrink your paper mass.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 was National Organize Your Home Office Day, but here at Paper Tiger we like to designate the whole month of March for organizing your home office (besides, who do you know that can organize an entire office in one day?) 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. With clutter on the kitchen counter, dining room table and other areas of the house, this day in particular is designated to getting the 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, we have a few tips that can help you make huge strides.
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 matches what you have in Paper Tiger.
These are just steps to help you get started. Of course, it would be quite difficult to clean out an 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!
Tidy Tiger Solutions, Michelle Panzlaff, a Professional Organizer and one of our Certified Paper Tiger Experts, has found a way to combine 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.
If you’re a fan of these two powerful organizing tools and systems, you’ll be fascinated by this option. This kind of organizing of tasks can also be formatted to help your staff and team to manage tasks, especially if you are already using Paper Tiger to organize your information and paperwork.
Whatever task or list management system you may be using, this video may help you find new and effective ways to organize your lists. Watch now as Michelle demonstrates how.
Have you lost the ability to be creative, tired of losing important records, and is a growing list of demands getting the better of you, or those around you? Are you ready for a change and want to break the cycle?
If you are seeking some calm in your life and work, have piles of paper that need to be organized effectively, or even if you have some big projects you want help getting launched, you came to the right place.
Professional Organizers are here to help. You are not alone in your challenge to keep clutter and overwhelm from getting in the way of your higher purpose. You can have an effective work space and home you love.
We know that the world today is changing fast, and things are flying in at high speed. It’s no wonder that many of our clients are getting a little behind. There is no one to blame, as life is dynamic.
We all know that clutter can get in the way of success and happiness, and for those that want help to organize, we can help. We bring the know-how, the tools, the resources and the passion for the work at hand.
You, your staff, even your family can work less, earn more and be more productive. Enjoy a streamlined home and office so you can get back to taking care of what really matters.
Professional Organizer in Canada, Michelle Panzlaff created this video to provide you with more information and to help you achieve your goals.
Learn more about the 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.
Tidy Tiger Solutions
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
Thanks to Roberta Lile-Lindsey of Kentucky for submitting this article on how she uses Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management, and how much the software has helped her, especially since an accident left her with a brain injury. We wish Roberta continued recovery in her health and improved memory.
Read on to see how Paper Tiger has helped Roberta get organized and be able to retrieve what she needs even with long-term and short-term memory loss. This shows how important it is to get organized without delay while healthy, because you never know what tomorrow will bring in your life.
by Roberta Lile-Lindsey
I purchased Paper Tiger Professional 4.1 Desktop Version a few years ago after I got married and needed to consolidate all of my paperwork with that of my husband. My main use, of course, is for my filing cabinet, which contains active content and what I call ‘ancient’ archive content. You never know when you might need to use some of this ‘ancient’ content for present use; personal or business.
We were both very busy at the time I purchased Paper Tiger. My husband was working full-time and I was a full-time student and mother of two. We had just bought and remodeled our home. We did all of the work ourselves. So, you can imagine how busy and tired we were.
Using Paper Tiger was very easy and self-explanatory. I not only used it for my filing cabinet but I also have used it for organizing my closets that have both of our past memorabilia stored. All I have to do is open up Paper Tiger and I can find all of my important files or memorabilia.
I have always tried to be organized but what I did not know at the time of my purchase of Paper Tiger was how vital its use would become.
On August 13th, 2012, my husband and I were involved in a car accident. We were rear-ended by a teenage boy who was driving on a suspended license. That Monday was the first day of our vacation and we were only a few miles from our home when the wreck occurred.
The car sustained minor damage; however, I suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Whip Lash. Among other injuries, I lost my long-term and short-term memory. Needless to say, with the pain and memory loss, my everyday living was and has been very difficult.
Not long after the accident, I received a call from my daughter needing some important information that normally I would be able to tell her from my memory. I could not remember the information that she needed; however, I did remember that I had Paper Tiger on my computer. I told her I would have to look up the information, IF I had filed it and I would tell her what she needed to know.
Thankfully, I was able to open Paper Tiger and look-up the information that she needed, call her back and give it to her. I was so relieved that I had organized all of my important files and at-a-glance can find everything that I need in spite of my long-term and short-term memory loss!!
I have started searching my family history after the accident in order to improve my memory and cognitive skills and once I feel better, I plan on adding those files to Paper Tiger also.
I continually use Paper Tiger to find and archive paper files, memorabilia, photos, Christmas decorations and the list could go on-and-on.
Winning an Apple iPad at this point and time could really improve my chance for a full recovery, as there are many apps available for traumatic brain injury patients, such as myself. I follow brainline.org and there are some fantastic Life-Changing iPad apps for people with brain injury.
Daily life continues to be a struggle even after six months of recovery time. I am so thankful to have Paper Tiger to make my life more organized and less stressful!
During this webinar, Anne discussed the basic concept of Paper Tiger to organize both paper files and other physical items of which you need to keep track so that you can find them when you need them, and the concept of Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs to organize and find your digital files. She demonstrated how to use Digital Tiger more effectively for digital filing, in addition to the following to show how to use Paper Tiger with Digital Tiger, so you can get organized and be more productive.
Find Anything In Your Office In 5 Seconds or Less…Guaranteed! Watch the webinar to learn more.
As information, Anne is a professional speaker, productivity expert, professional organizer and author. If you want to learn more about Anne and her services, please visit her website at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com.
She may be in Colorado (and sometimes in Arizona!), but she’s nationally recognized as an expert and works with people throughout the US in person and virtually.
You can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303 881-0174.
See more information here on Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management
Q: What type of scanner does Anne recommend?
A: Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500 and we have more information in our knowledge base which you might find helpful at http://www.thepapertiger.com/support/articles.php?id=20240901&catId=20008411
Q: Is it difficult to add more items to an existing location after it is set up? For example, if I have 20 items in action location, then I need there to be 30, is this difficult to change?
A: No, not difficult at all. You would simply click the Locations box, then click to edit the Location that you need to increase the capacity, and you’ll be able to input 30 in the capacity box and save.
Q: I am a faculty member at a university and have many files that I use for multiple purposes or classes etc. I may have a file that I use for 2 different courses and 2 different writing or research projects. Any suggestions?
Q: Would I or could I keep the folder tab labels as is, in addition to the Paper Tiger labels? For example, my cell phone folder is currently “AT&T cell” – and so I would add whatever label Paper Tiger assigns – such as “Reference 1″?
A: You can keep both labels if you like on each hanging file folder, but yes you would need to match the label that Paper Tiger assigns when you index the file in Paper Tiger’s database. In your example, you would have 2 tab labels on your hanging file folder. One tab would be entitled AT&T cell and the second tab would be Reference 1.
Q: I have a couple of file drawers that “work” – that I want to keep more or less as is. I suppose I would call them reference files – they are mainly files that I file paid bills from our vendors, or keep correspondence from my office landlord, or to access (paper) forms/worksheets that we need every so often. Would I start by clearing this file drawer out, then enter them into Paper Tiger and file them back into the same drawer? Also, as I pay each bill, say my cell phone bill, I don’t want to have to enter that into the system or look anything up on the computer – I just want to file it. Can I do it that way or do I need to enter each bill as I pay it? (Am I over-thinking this?)
A: I think you are over-thinking this. Yes, you can index each file folder that you currently have in your file drawers. Depending on the location of your file drawers, will depend on if you need to take them out to index them. Base that decision on convenience more than anything. For example, if you’re indexing file drawers in your desk, you can just take it 1 folder at a time indexing as you go. For your cell phone bill, simply file it in the hanging file folder that you already have set up for your cell phone bills, and there wouldn’t be any reason to add anything to Paper Tiger at that point for the new bill you’re putting in file, unless you want to add a note about a specific month.
Q: Is there any recommendation for how often we should stop to print file tabs and create new file folders, i.e., as you need them or at the end of the day, etc.?
A: It is recommended that you print file tabs for each Location for as many as you want to have ready to be filed into. For example, you might print file tabs for 50 to begin with, go ahead and insert the file tabs in the plastic file inserts and affix onto the hanging file folders. You now have 50 ready to file into. When you have filed into 40, increase the capacity of this Location to 75 or 100, then print file tabs for 51-75 or 51-100. This way, you won’t have to keep printing and inserting tabs everyday.
Q: Is it recommended that the Paper Tiger filing system can be used for “organizing tasks” that aren’t paper-based and don’t require paper to be put into folders…just organizing “actions”?
A: Yes, you can do organize anything that you can put a number onto or just make notes in the database, which will allow you to search for the “action” later. We have used Paper Tiger for ideas, so it would work just as well for organizing tasks or actions.
Q: I love Paper Tiger, but find some of the moves are non-intuitive such as the use of confirmation to get rid of trash or to transfer.
A: You can choose to require a confirmation when using the Transfer function, or you can say No that you do not want to require confirmation. You would check the radio button to require confirmation while transferring the item.
Requiring confirmation will allow you to print out a Transfer Report prior to Confirming so that you can verify the location the item will be moved to or have your assistant physically move the item(s) by checking off the report, then check Confirm in Paper Tiger to affirm the job has been completed.
Q: Did you have to physically move the folder?
A: Yes, when you transfer an item from one Location to another in Paper Tiger’s database, you will need to move the physical item (the paper files or other physical item), to match the item number in Paper Tiger where it has been moved to in the database. So you take papers out of the hanging file folder and leave folder behind and it becomes open. Keep file folder in place. Otherwise what you’re organizing by indexing into Paper Tiger will be compromised, and when you search in Paper Tiger, the item will not be in the correct location.
Q: What if you don’t use hanging files, such as manilla file folders?
A: You would simply use the same concept of applying the labels to your manilla folders instead of the hanging file folder plastic tabs.
Q: What happens when you complete activity and want to move to another location
A: You would conduct a Transfer, Move function. See our knowledge base article at http://thepapertiger.com/support/articles.php?id=141137&catId=230
Q: Do you have anyone on your staff or are you aware of any clients who have successfully interfaced and implemented the concepts introduced in David Allen’s book entitled, GETTING THINGS DONE- The Art of Stress-Free Productivity? He puts forth a system for utilizing files and places to put things, etc.
A: Anne conducts a demonstration in this webinar, but we also have another demonstration by Michelle Panzlaff at Using Paper Tiger as a Getting Things Done (GTD) Task List Manager
Other comment: When I first started using Paper Tiger about ten years ago, I made too many locations and different files. In effect, I made more work for myself. It took awhile to simplify. I am now down to three or four.
Are you managing both paper and digital files? Feeling stressed?
How do you bridge the paper world to the digital world?
Or do you just need to get organized?
Call Anne at 303 881-0174 or email at email@example.com today to get on her schedule and take advantage of one of these specials.
Option 1 Only $99.00
A 1 3/4 hour session on how to use Paper Tiger
At the end of this session, you will be able to know how to use Paper Tiger proficiently.
Option 2 $175.00
Two 1 1/2 hour sessions on how to use Paper Tiger and integrate with Google Drive.
At the end of these sessions, you will know how to use Paper Tiger proficiently, how to use the Google Drive to store electronic files, how to upload from your current hard drive and how to synchronize files electronically.
Option 3 $249.00
Two 2 hour sessions on how to use Paper Tiger, integrate with Google Drive, and executive coaching to organize your life
At the end of these sessions, you will know how to use Paper Tiger proficiently; how to use the Google Drive to store electronic files, how to upload from your current hard drive and how to synchronize files electronically, and we will create a system to prioritize your projects each week and identify a process to be accountable moving forward.
Terms and conditions:
1. Only one offer per client
2. All training to be given over Skype or the telephone. If you wish me to come to your office, then please ask for a quotation.
3. Where more than one session, these must take place within 2 weeks of the first session.
4. For those that take up one of the above offers, future Skype/telephone coaching and training will receive a reduced rate from $125 to $75/hour for 2013.
5. Checks accepted. Payments made via PayPal are subject to an additional 5% processing fee.
Sherry Borsheim, a Paper Tiger Expert of Simply Productive, has offered some great tips on staying organized while traveling for business so that when you’re back to your office, you won’t have a lot of ‘briefcase drama’ nor will you have a stack of papers to fumble through. You’ll be able to index them into your Paper Tiger database, and file as you’ve already noted.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just returned from a business trip and your briefcase is bulging with receipts, meeting notes, business cards, travel documents and other essential paperwork. You’ll probably spend your first day back in the office just sorting through the chaotic mass of paper before you can even think about getting down to business!
Or, perhaps you travel all over the city attending one meeting after another. By the end of the day, your briefcase is a pile of to-dos with no particular order. Phone messages are scattered on various pieces of papers and you just know that an important message is hidden somewhere in the mess. Then there are the business cards you collected, some require follow-up, but you’re not sure where you put those important numbers. If only you had kept it in a safe place so you could remember where you put it.
At this point, all those good intentions to take action and follow-up on hot new business leads fizzle into frustration. But there’s no time to think about how you misplaced those essential items. The minute you’re back in the office you find there is a pile of emails waiting for your response, in addition to a large pile of papers on your desk begging for your attention. You dive right in to the emails and before you know it the morning is gone and it’s lunchtime. You work through lunch in order to attack the pile of paper on your desk. Then you realize you reviewed your messages, so you abandon the paper pile and listen to all your messages. It’s a never-ending circle of paper, email and voicemail, and you haven’t even cracked open your briefcase. You just spend the day reacting to emergencies and interruptions with no planned scheduled time to deal with the important issues that you had hoped to get to.
This continues day after day and you’re still dragging all those papers from your business trip in your briefcase and you’ve been adding to it during the week as you attended more meetings. Now you have no idea what’s what and it all melts together into one big mountain of paper begging for your attention. How long do you let this go on before you decide to take action? For some its days and other’s, its weeks or months. Those hot new leads you made on your business trip aren’t so hot now and the longer you leave it, the more you procrastinate on taking action. Eventually you take mountain of paper out of your briefcase and drop it on the floor by your desk and say you’ll deal with it later, because you have more important things to take care of in the office. Guilt sets in and it constantly nags at you to do something but you don’t. You know you should get your business receipts handled but you’re not sure where they all are and it ends up costing you money when you could have been reimbursed.
Here are some tips on how to put an end to the briefcase drama scenario after business travel:
1. Streamline and organize your briefcase so you know what the next action is on any piece of paper and business card while you’re out of town and when you arrive back at your office. Use plastic folders to batch similar tasks together. Remember, ease of access and functionality are very important when using any organizing product.
2. Label the file folders inside your briefcase with the next action you want to take – “Call, Data Entry, Discuss, Receipts, Meeting Notes/Agenda, Photocopy, Read, or Write”. Customize your files based on your specific action steps.
3. How to use your travel briefcase when outside your office. File meeting agendas under the file tab labeled “Meeting Notes/Agenda so when you get to the meeting it’s all together. If you collect business cards during your trip there are two things you can do with the business card: (1) enter it immediately into your Contact List, or (2) file it into your mini travel briefcase under “Data Entry”. When you return to your hotel or your office, any cards that you wanted to get into your Contact List are all grouped together. You can enter them yourself, scan them using an App or delegate the task to someone else.
4. Define the next action. No more putting it aside to deal with it later. This is what I call “deferred decisions”. Instead, ask yourself this very important question: “What is the next action I want to take on this piece of paper?
5. Schedule a specific time in your calendar to handle that next action. This is the key to getting things done. A pile or file labeled “To Do” is only an intention to do something, where as a scheduled appointment is a commitment to take action on something.
6. Use clear project folders to keep like papers together. Use these project folders to keep your agenda and meetings notes together in your mini-travel briefcase or keep them on your iPad using Evernote in a folder called “Agendas”. You may be attending several meetings and these project folders are sure to keep your papers grouped together. Do not use paper clips, they tend to attach to other pieces of paper and get caught on other paper clips.
7. 80/20 Rule – 80 percent of what we file we never refer to again. Therefore, ask yourself, “What is the worst possible case scenario if you tossed this piece of paper away?” If you can live with the results of your answer to this question, then toss the piece of paper.
8. What to file for future reference. If you decided to keep the information on a piece of paper, ask yourself: “If I want to retrieve this information again, what trigger word would you think of?” Write the trigger word on the upper right hand corner of that piece of paper and file it in your briefcase under “File”.
9. Transferring papers when you return. When you return to your office after the business trip or day of meetings, everything that you’ve gathered during your time away from the office is grouped together by the next action. Instead of a mountain of paper spilling out of your briefcase, you’ll be ahead of the paper chase game, because you’ve already defined the next action. All there is for you to do is to schedule time in your calendar to handle the actions in your mini-travel briefcase. Some of the actions like Data Entry, File, and Expense Reimburse you can delegate to your assistant if you have one. That feeling of guilt and shame won’t be there because you’ve handled what you said you would do when you returned to your office. For those papers that you need to file, you can enter the ‘trigger’ word that you’ve already written on the file into your Paper Tiger database, add additional keywords if necessary, and drop the document(s) into the corresponding item number hanging file folder.
Business Travel tips:
Implementing the business travel briefcase will dramatically decrease your stress level and increase your productivity when you return to your office. You’ll turn piles of paper into valuable resources instead of deferred decisions and guilt. Instead of reacting to emergencies, you’ll be proactive on your commitments and follow-up.
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.
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The start of a new year just passed and many people vowed to get organized. Why is organization such a big hurdle for people? Below are what we believe to be the top nine reasons people ask for help. In addition, we’ve given clues as to how Paper Tiger can solve each of these problems.
1. Overwhelmed: Have you ever felt so bogged down by clutter that you felt a spout of claustrophobia coming along? Clutter can most certainly become overwhelming, leading to depression and other gloominess. Paper Tiger is the perfect tool to defeat clutter. Instead of watching the papers and documents pile up, Paper Tiger allows you to file away each document and keep track of the exact location while relieving all stress. You won’t have to worry about finding a file again, because you’ll be able to search by any of the keywords you’ve input to find where you’ve filed the document. And Paper Tiger is not just for paper! You can index anything that you can put a number onto, and be able to get organized and clear the clutter.
2. Unawareness: There are always people that wish to get organized, but get hung up because they don’t know how to do it. While some people are natural organizers, others wouldn’t know where to begin. Paper Tiger’s indexing system is so simple to use, anyone can become organized! Filing paper in its original form, you don’t have to worry about the 1 or 2 words that you’d put on the hanging file folder tab because you can add as many keywords as you can think of into Paper Tiger’s database for the documents in your hanging file folders. You can search for whatever keyword that you’re thinking for the file you need to retrieve, and Paper Tiger will let you know where it is in seconds.
3. Lack of Resources: Some people don’t know that there are professional organizers and tools such as Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management to help them get organized. Some jobs require help from others, and these professionals can advise you in just the right tools you need for the way you work and what you have to get organized. Getting organized is surely no easy deed, but knowing what to do, how to do it (a process), and the right tools to use can be what you’ve needed all along. With Paper Tiger, it’s as easy as setting a location, filing documents in that physical location, indexing or naming the items with keywords, and finally searching for the document in the search box. With the stroke of a few keys, Paper Tiger tells you the exact location of your document.
4. Tackling Organization: Many of us may want to start organizing, but can’t figure out what the next step should be. Maybe trying to start with your entire office isn’t the best move, perhaps try to clean the desk first or the bookshelf. Tasks that are too big take us back to being overwhelmed. Paper Tiger can make breaking larger tasks down much easier. Once you have accomplished smaller missions, tackling larger tasks will be a walk in the park.
5. Lack of Time: Time is always the enemy because it stops for no one. We all have busy lives with working each day, cooking dinner, and taking the kids to soccer practice, but we have to make a little time to prevent the accumulation of clutter. Paper Tiger is the best tool for time management. It takes no more that ten seconds to enter the database, file the document in a location and name it! Later on, when you go to search for that document, it takes even less time to type the keywords and let Paper Tiger reveal the precise location.
6. Motivation: Do you need a coach or guidance to help you get organized? Again, there are professional organizers who have been trained in how to do things more efficiently to help others be more productive; and can help you do this by setting milestones and regular check-ups with you. Paper Tiger can also serve as the motivator. Once you use it once and find that the document you filed six months ago is exactly where you left it, Paper Tiger will become your new best friend.
7. Surrounded by Clutter: It’s an awful thing when you tidy something and someone else comes right behind you and creates a mess, isn’t it? Some people get discouraged from organizing because others around them are jumbled. The real beauty of Paper Tiger lies in the keywords. You call it “Nissan car note”, he calls it “car bill” but if all these keywords are saved in Paper Tiger, both parties can find documents with ease. Getting others around you organized will be easy because everyone can still find the documents.
8. Health Concerns: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other disorders can definitely bring organization to a screeching halt. Getting lost in thought and starting tasks but never finishing them can be very frustrating, due to no fault of their own. Attempting to declutter one stack at a time is a great milestone towards getting organized. Paper Tiger allows those unfinished tasks to be filed away for safe keeping until they are ready to be worked on again.
9. Change: We all go through changes. Marriage, new baby, our children will pack up and leave for college or we’ll move. Whatever the case may be, these transitional periods often call for reorganization. Paper Tiger is the perfect tool to help overcome these changes and stay out of the realms of clutter. Use Paper Tiger with storage bins to keep up with items that aren’t needed for immediate use. See just a few things that Paper Tiger can help you organize on our Not Just for Paper webpage at http://thepapertiger.com/tour#4
The struggle to get organized is one that can be conquered with the help of Paper Tiger and/or professional organizers. Virtually any obstacle one encounters when trying to get organized can be solved with Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management. Next time you hit a snag when trying to get organized, think about how Paper Tiger and other organizing resources can help make organization easier.
This article from the blog of Denise Landers, founder and CEO of Key Organization Systems Inc. and a Paper Tiger Expert, is helpful as it relays the benefits of getting organized. It’s not a minute too soon, as many people wish to get organized for the new year. Denise also recommends Paper Tiger Filing System Software and Document Management for more proficient organizing to control stress.
“Will Work for Food!” You have probably seen signs like this as you drive to and from your office. Reality is that everyone is working for food unless they are independently wealthy. In the hierarchy of needs, food and shelter are among the first elements you require. A benefit of working is that you are able to secure these comforts. You can then reach higher and attain other benefits.
The start of the new year is a good time to consider the benefits of getting organized:
Take this time to reflect on how becoming more organized will benefit you. Being organized means being ready. Being ready means:
If you’re running as hard as you can right now, how will you add in the extra work that a new situation or opportunity would create: promotion, relocation, new baby, remarriage and merging of households, downsizing? Even though these things may be positive changes in your life, they still rank high on the stress index.
Stress can lower your immune system and be responsible for many of the physical ailments you deal with, from common colds to heart conditions. With daily schedules overflowing, when one of the above situations occurs, you often struggle to cope. Not only do you feel stress, but those around you are also affected by the pressure on you.
If you start from an organized position, that stress is controlled. When you are starting from a disorganized place, you multiply the amount of related stress.
You are also better able to cope with disasters. No one likes to ponder all the negative occurrences that may arise. However you cannot read the papers without being beset by news of natural disasters affecting millions of people every year: earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. At some point, no one is immune. Advance preparation can help to mitigate resultant trauma and frustration.
Many people claim they are creative and therefore organizing would restrict their creativity. Yet look at a painter’s tools and see how well organized those are, or study a fisherman’s tackle box. There is no job that does not benefit from being organized.
Reflect on the areas in your workday and in your life where becoming more organized would benefit you. Ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?”
Apply this question to each of your daily tasks. Some of your chores may not be specifically for you. You might be running errands for your spouse or participating in an activity with your children. However if the end result ties in with your long-term goals for family life or community involvement, then that is a benefit for you.
If you instead find that you have overextended yourself through volunteering or “being volunteered” and there is no direct benefit for you, it is a good time to reconsider your commitments. With so many worthy causes, you must be selective. Cull your To-Do list. Be sure your “yes’s” and “no’s” are aligned with your long-term goals.
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
Each year we hear the same new year’s resolutions over and over again, “I’m going to exercise more this year” or “I’ll be nicer to my family this year” but sadly most of us drop these resolutions within the first ninety days of the year. One of the most popular resolutions that people make is to get organized. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) caught wind of this and named January “Get Organized Month” or “GO Month”. They started this initiative in 2003 to help people with organization and productivity. According to NAPO, the bulk of their clients request help with organizing their home offices. It’s safe to assume that clients are referring to paper clutter in the office. Paper Tiger Filing System Software is the perfect tool to get 2013 started off on the right foot if you were planning to be more organized this year.
- Efficient: Paper Tiger can help one file and organize all paper and digital files. Once you really catch on to the concept of indexing paper files and setting up locations in your database, you won’t know how you were able to organize without Paper Tiger. And since Paper Tiger isn’t just for paper, imagine all the other rooms of the house that you can organize. Paper Tiger’s basic concepts will help you master the software in a matter of minutes; bringing your organization troubles to an end, making it easy to keep your resolution for the entire year.
- Versatile: Paper Tiger not only helps you to organize and actually find paper files, but with Digital Tiger, powered by Google Docs, you can also find digital files! Using Google Docs as your digital file storage location, you can access scanned documents such as PDFs and also other types of documents. Google Docs gives users five gigabytes of storage free to store your digital files that you want in the cloud. Using Google Docs allows users to easily share digital files and even access them from mobile devices. Digital Tiger is a free add-on with a paid Paper Tiger Online Basic or Pro account for now, and is the function that connects your Paper Tiger Online account to your Google Docs/Google Drive account, then you will be able to search from Paper Tiger to find your paper/physical items that you’ve indexed into Paper Tiger’s database and your digital files that you’ve created, scanned or uploaded to Google Docs format through a Gmail or Google account.
- Practical: Paper Tiger may be one of the best investments ever as far as time is concerned. How much time do you think you waste on average looking for something? Each year people waste hours and entire days looking for something. Experts estimate that people waste 150 hours per year searching for lost items. Calculate your cost of disorganized here. A small investment in Paper Tiger will save not only time but also money. How many times have you paid a bill late because you lost it? Every time a document is filed and indexed into Paper Tiger, you can feel sure that you will be able to find it again quickly and easily. The days of trying to figure out where a document was left are over! With Paper Tiger’s search engine like feature, a few keywords will help you find exactly the document needed.
If organization was at the top of your New Year’s Resolution list, look no further; Paper Tiger is here to help. Its resourceful system will be so easy to use, it will be hard to stop organizing! The ability to organize both digital and paper files will not only clear up clutter on the desk but also inside the computer.
During this “Get Organized Month,” take advantage of the expertise of one of the productivity consultants that are Paper Tiger experts who can help you work more efficiently in every area of your life. They will work with you either virtually or in-person, whichever you need, and will help you to get organized and create a customized system for the way you work.
Finally, all the time and money wasted from disorganization will be returned on your simple investment in Paper Tiger, and you’ll be able to keep at least one new year’s resolution.
Whether you’re just starting a new business or you’ve been in business for years, you will always office organization. Often times, new gadgets come on the market that business owners get talked into purchasing, and these gadgets aren’t really useful in the long run, so money has been wasted. Then, there are other ideas that are helping business owners save heaps of money. One of these ideas is Paper Tiger Filing System Software for office organization, which is being used in companies of all sizes, ages and types. Employees won’t be wasting time searching for paper files when they could be doing things that are much more productive, thus saving companies money while increasing productivity.
Paper Tiger allows companies to maintain their paper files that they need to keep in hard copy format. Keep your paper in its original form (you do not have to scan it), but simply index your paper files into Paper Tiger’s database and use the power of the computer to quickly and easily find the information when you need it. Paper Tiger can index anything; it’s not just document management! Some things just can’t be scanned, i.e., passports, contracts, binders, books, CDs, DVDs, etc. That cannot be done with systems that require scanning into an electronic file. The beauty of Paper Tiger is that keywords allow everyone to find the document that might have been named many ways by many employees.
No matter how large or small a company, time management is a must. After all, when people are wasting time, they aren’t being productive, and the company is not making any money. Searching for files is a huge waste of time, especially when there is Paper Tiger to make the job faster and easier. The less time one has to spend searching for files, the more time can be spent doing things that are actually fruitful. The better you and your employees are at managing time, the more efficient your company. When documents are saved, various keywords are used, granting anyone who has permission easy access just by using certain keywords.
If you want to keep up with the times and make sure that your company is using the most modern paper management techniques, then you need Paper Tiger Filing System Software for office organization. Of all of the office supplies you pay for, this software is one of the most important. In addition, Paper Tiger will virtually return the investment when the time wasted is put towards working! Allow Paper Tiger to help with your office organization to cut back on time and keep your profits up where they should be.
This article by Michelle Panzlaff, and one of our Certified Paper Tiger Experts, challenges you to review your current system of organizing and offers some simple tips to evolve that system. Of course, Michelle also recommends using Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management as a part of your organizing system to make your life easier.
To keep a system working well for you there is one key ingredient: ‘You’!
Keeping up your system just requires a few practical and simple ongoing behaviors. You must be consistent in your application and use, your information and projects need to be current and up to date, and you need to keep tasks in view by the appropriate context of when and where they need to be done.
Review these tips and your current ‘task and time management system’ to see if there is anything falling through the cracks that may call for an adjustment or two.
Keep your task reminders in one consistent place.
It might be on pieces of paper, sticky notes stuck to your screen, or in your PDA. It doesn’t matter where, it’s more important that it’s easy to use and you have access to it whenever you need it.
You may keep certain types of reminders on paper and certain others on your computer for example, and that’s ok, yet be as consistent as possible in defining those parameters and stay in the lines of what you have decided.
It’s far too confusing to have reminders about the same kinds of to-do’s in many different places. It makes processing of task items difficult as it hinders making fast choices and quickly putting things where they need to be before you are scheduled to act on them.
Consistency is not enough to keep a system running well. It also needs to be up to date.
Otherwise you won’t be able to trust that you have the most important stuff in front of you, and you may get caught up having to resort and re-evaluate everything you are managing.
This will put stress on your psyche as you look at your list and some part of you knows it’s not all there. You’ll end up not trusting your system, trying to keep stuff in your head again, and eventually lose the motivation to maintain your system all together.
Organize your action list by where the reminder needs to be seen in order to work on it, rather than by project.
Your projects should be kept together by topic, yet the reminders of the very next actions you need to perform need to be seen when and where those actions need to take place.
Keep your task reminders in such a way that you are likely to see them when you need to.
Original article posted at ‘Making Your Organizing System Work’
Tidy Tiger Solutions
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