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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.

Filing systems and document retention is a living, breathing, evolving science. Each year brings changes and new challenges in the needs for document filing and retention requirements and guidelines.

Governments, organizations and businesses struggle to keep up with the ever changing flow of paperwork. Paperless systems are implemented and on average fail, because systems are not followed by everyone. Some people just have to print! Fear of loss and over taxed workloads hinder progress as the paperless war wages with the influx of scanner systems. The looming questions of what to retain and for how long, continue to consume untold resources for both paper and digital files.

With the onset of electronic communication, even more retention guideline planning is becoming necessary. Everything must be backed up from fragile devices to even more fragile devices and possibly backed up to a cloud-based back up system. Record retention guidelines need to be determined for electronic or digital files, as well as paper files.

Where do you begin to determine how to implement a system of document retention guidelines?

First you have to decide what paper files to keep and how long to keep them. Begin by determining the purpose for retaining each document type. From the IRS website: How Long to Keep Records. The IRS (or your specific country government tax related organization) has updated information regarding how to keep records and how long to keep them for tax purposes. You can use this information as a guideline when planning your policy for document retention and how long to keep records, however you should always consult your accountant before getting rid of any financial records and consult your attorney before getting rid of any legal records for advice on the length of time specific documents are legally required to retain.

After the legally required time has been determined to keep each type of document, guidelines need to be documented so that everyone can follow the policy that has been set. You won’t have to guess every year what can be tossed or what has to be kept. It is important that everyone strictly follow the company guidelines, which should be determined by the legal requirements as stated above, because it can be just as legally damaging if a document is kept past the required time period.

With a simplified filing system such as Paper Tiger in place, this becomes an easy task. Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management can help you get your records in order and then be able to find them when you need them! You can use the Action Date function to remind you when you need to take action on records, including when you need to move them out of the current year’s hanging file folders to an archived location, and then when you can purge them out of your files altogether. You can also note in Paper Tiger’s database how long you need to keep each file even if it is indefinite. Paper Tiger also has a report entitled File Cleanout Report that is helpful when moving documents from file cabinets to an archived location. Decision should be made when files are archived as to if and when they should be destroyed. Archived boxes should be marked as to when they should be destroyed.

According to N&K, CPAs, “The answer varies depending on firm policies and the type of files. Generally, the files should be kept as long as they serve a useful purpose or until all legal and regulatory requirements are met. Businesses often base how long they keep files on the length of the statute of limitations for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and professional liability claims. The statutes, of course vary with each state.”

And here is another example of a record retention guide published by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs: http://www.cpa.net/resources/retengde.pdf

Even more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document_retention

Litigation

With lawsuits and public scrutiny becoming increasingly popular, the need to substantiate actions with physical proof has grown dramatically. Notes and emails, which were once discarded, are now needed to prove the validity of corporate and government decisions. Subordinates should consider retaining any correspondence from superiors that may point to the rationale behind their decisions.

Client Records

Many businesses base their customer retention on superior customer service. This includes maintaining easy access to copies of client records. Clients, just like the businesses that serve them, have the same problems as large corporations with document retention, and often find it simpler to request another copy of documentation from its source than to keep it on file, or to locate that file. Determining which documents are most often requested, as well as their age, will simplify the process of creating client record retention guidelines.

Financial Documentation

Financial documentation is retained for a multitude of reasons, taxes, efficiency, profitability, growth, tracking, accounting, etc., guidelines as to their storage location must be determined. Financial documentation must often be reassigned a new location with the passing of time. While this may seem futile, an indexing system such as Paper Tiger filing system software makes the process simple.

Accountability

Almost all documentation falls under the category of proving accountability. Once the purpose of accountability for each document has been determined, it will be easier to decide on its association and to create a retention guideline. The value of accountability proof of many documents is not worth their retention; however, they may have many other uses.

Once the retention purpose for each document type has been established, its retention life and location can be determined. While document retention and creation of guidelines may seem overwhelming and even futile, an innovative indexing system such as Paper Tiger, allows companies to maintain their hard copy files and achieve near paperless efficiency, while providing the ability to adapt with the ever-evolving science of document retention.

It isn’t necessary to discard old files to implement an updated filing system, however with the motivation to get organized after determining a document retention guideline specifically related to how you work, you might find yourself clearing some clutter from your file cabinets. By implementing the perfect indexing tool of Paper Tiger filing system software, a higher level of filing efficiency and document retention can be achieved, and you’ll also be able to find what you need, when you need it!


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This article by Meggin McIntosh, “The Ph.D. of Productivity”™ and a Paper Tiger Expert, will help you think through steps to purge your filing cabinets and get your filing system under control! Meggin also recommends Paper Tiger. Click here to check out Meggin’s webinar that will help you better understand Paper Tiger Filing System Software for document management to be able to use the software more effectively and see how you can get organized in every area of your life — not just paper filing! Meggin does an awesome job in showing you pictures of all of the different things she has organized and relating those items back to what she has indexed in Paper Tiger.

Meggin’s Tips for Managing & Purging Your Filing Cabinets

Are your filing cabinets overly full?  Below are some tips that Meggin sent to a consulting client who had incredibly (overly) full filing cabinets. Don’t forget to update your Paper Tiger database to update the items indexed to match what is in your filing cabinets, and you might think about using the File Cleanout Report to help you. (see example of File Cleanout Report below)

1.  Choose one drawer to start with and just start with the very first file in that drawer. Do not start working on another drawer until you have gone through all of the first place you started.

2.  Set aside a certain amount of time everyday, for example, 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, and go through as many files as you can in that time.

3.  Just take the one file out of the drawer, put it on your desk, and do the following:

  • Get rid of anything that you don’t need to keep (either toss or shred).
  • Put in archival storage anything that needs to be kept, but not kept in your office.
  • Leave the items that belong in the folder there and put it back in the filing cabinet. Note: before placing the folder back in the filing cabinet, this would be the time to edit the item in your Paper Tiger database to make sure that the items in your hanging file folder matches the Item Name and Keywords. For example,
    • If you’ve tossed or shredded everything in that folder, you would want to ‘Toss’ the item in your Paper Tiger database.
    • Or if you move the documents from that folder to an archive location, now would be the time to ‘Transfer’ the Item in Paper Tiger to the new ‘Location’ in the database.

4.  If you come to any files that are falling apart, have one of your assistants put things into a new file. It’s frustrating to pull files out that are just falling apart or frayed.

5.  Just keep working through one file at a time…and my guess is that you will toss, shred, or archive half of what is currently in your office.

Remember….everyday, go through folders until you are down to the bare bones of what you need to keep in your filing cabinets.

And for more strategies and tips like these, you will want the  Top Ten Productivity Tips – the Collection! which is available for immediate download!

Example File Cleanout Report from Filing Cabinet Indexed in Paper Tiger

Published with Permission (c) 2013 Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D. | The Ph.D. of Productivity(tm) | http://www.meggin.com

About Meggin McIntosh

Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., “The Ph.D. of Productivity”(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh supports smart people who want to be more productive so that they can consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.

Phone: 775.853.5510

And to keep moving forward on your goals for more peaceful productivity, join others (worldwide) who receive Meggin’s weekly emails, and see what is available for download at no cost at any of MEGGIN’S WEBSITES:

http://meggin.com (Primary site)

http://GetaPlanGuides.com

http://KeepingChaosatBay.com

http://TopTenProductivityTips.com

http://JustWhelmed.com

http://OwningWordsforLiteracy.com

http://PumpernickelPublishing.com

http://StayingPositiveinaFreakedOutWorld.com

http://LifeofEs.com


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A Filing System Will Help Teachers, Parents and Students Get Organized!

Teachers are preparing to open the doors to their classrooms and parents are scrambling to purchase last minute school supplies. We’re sure these teachers wish that preparation for the new school year was as simple as purchasing pens and pads, but unfortunately it is not. However, Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management can make maintaining organization in the classroom a little easier for them.

Think about all the paper files that you have to keep track of and be able to find when needed. As a teacher, you are likely to teach many different students and subjects, and most of the time alphabetical order isn’t enough. Here are some of the things that Paper Tiger can help you with:

  • students’ assignments, handouts & tests
  • attendance records
  • lesson plans
  • appointments & meeting notes
  • worksheets, etc.

Of course, parents and students can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of papers, handouts, homework assignments, project instructions, etc. that is hard to maintain in an organized way if a filing system software is not implemented.

Paper Tiger Filing System to Organize Paper Files

With Paper Tiger’s flexibility, the files can be organized in a way that fits your personal workload. You would simply input the name of the items and keywords related to each file in your Paper Tiger database. (Hanging File Folders = Items) When a file is needed, a simple search can locate any file in seconds.

You can use the aforementioned categories such as attendance records and student assignments and the keywords would include the specifics such as the class, the grade, the year, the class period etc. Replacing the endless paper piles on your desk, Paper Tiger not only reduces clutter but it saves time. You will no longer have to worry about losing an assignment to hand out, creating it again and making twenty-five copies only to spot the original on your desk.

Gone are the days of excessive sorting and taking stacks of miscellaneous paper home every night. With Paper Tiger, all of your paper files can be neatly organized in your file drawer(s) and you don’t have to worry about being able to find them later. This eradicates losing paper files as well. This type of system will also benefit your substitute teacher. Life sometimes gets in the way and we have to miss work. If your substitute teacher can easily find your organized files, (s)he will be able to find what she needs with a simple search in your Paper Tiger database. You can feel confident that your students won’t be disrupted in their lessons because you have implemented a system that keeps you, and your substitute teacher, organized.

Have you ever had a star student that you make an example of in the next school year? You can set a location for “exemplary work” and also know where your past students’ best work is. The same type of thought process can apply to parent teacher conferences and future lesson plans.

By implementing this system, teachers are not only becoming more organized and efficient, they are being responsible. Imagine if your students were going on a field trip and you can’t remember if Joseph brought back his permission slip or you’ve misplaced it. By organizing these types of documents, you will always be able to find them when you need them. You will always be able to retrieve the documents in a timely manner.

The same principle applies for parents and students. Decide what paper files need to be kept, then index the keepers into Paper Tiger’s database. When you need to retrieve an old project paper, you can search the database and you’ll know exactly which hanging file it was placed in. Also, each child could have one file for archives (reports, etc.) that should be kept and one file for stuff that can be tossed out when it’s no longer needed, to avoid having to sort through the files on a regular basis.

An example Location in Paper Tiger’s database for each child might be:

Location Name: Susie’s School Files
Item Name: English (with keywords for any projects and when they are due, along with keywords for other paper files that will be included in this hanging file folder and updated when papers are added)
Item Name: Math (with keywords for any projects and when they are due, along with keywords for other paper files that will be included in this hanging file folder and updated when papers are added)
Item Name: History (with keywords for any projects and when they are due, along with keywords for other paper files that will be included in this hanging file folder and updated when papers are added)
Item Name: Archives (with keywords for all paper files that will be included in this hanging file folder and updated when papers are added)
Item Name: To Be Tossed (set a date to toss these paper files, which could be at school end)

But Not Just for Filing Paper!

Paper Tiger is Not Just For Filing Paper! If you teach a younger group of kids that use a lot of educational toys, this indexing system will certainly keep them organized. You can use and label storage containers to store these larger items. Younger children have shorter attention spans and won’t be patient while you figure out if the flashcards and toy numbers are in the same place you had them last year. By numbering the storage containers to match the assigned indexed number in Paper Tiger, then input the contents into the keywords section, you’ll know exactly where the state puzzles are when you need them without searching through every container.

Paper Tiger helps to eliminate clutter, so teachers, parents and students will be more organized, and each will have more time to spend with their families because they are not wasting time always looking for things.

This indexing system can benefit teachers of all grades, classrooms, and students. As you prepare to welcome your students in the next few weeks, think about using Paper Tiger Filing System to make school a much more rewarding experience for both you and your students.


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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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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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Working from home spares you a few daily frustrations, such as rush-hour traffic and inconsiderate coworkers. But, it’s still work, and it still comes with its own set of challenges. Let’s take a look at the latest technology that can help you thrive while working from home:

Thrive: Be Kind to Your Body

Working long hours helps you build your empire, but they’re also rough on your body. Extended sitting has been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, and looking at a computer all day puts you at risk for developing ”computer vision syndrome,” WebMD reports.

Try some body-friendly technology to help avert these conditions. A treadmill desk gets you up and moving while you work, and Gunnar computer glasses are designed specifically to reduce eye fatigue and minimize eye damage.

Thrive: Make Money, Get Paid

Working from home demands having some source of payment. While PayPal and other online services might suffice, having the capability to accept credit card payments on the spot gives you more power over your business. This is where the Square gadget and service comes in.

Link your Square account to your bank account, plug the Square gadget into any iPhone or Android mobile device, run a credit card and the money is uploaded to your bank account in about two business days. Since cards can be keyed in, even online businesses that don’t see physical credit cards can use the service.

Thrive: Keep It Secure

If the equipment you need for your livelihood is on site, it’s time for a household security upgrade. Automatic outdoor lighting, security cameras and an alarm system with a security service are vital to protecting your investment. You can explore the different security services available to you at www.SecurityCompanies.com.

While you hopefully have property insurance for your home or office, make sure it covers all those cool gadgets you’re adding to your business arsenal. Expensive equipment, like video cameras and instruments, often require insurance riders to be fully covered.

Thrive: Keep Your Ideas in Order

If you seem to get your best ideas while you’re making lunch or halfway out of your clothes and into the shower, a USB voice recorder saves you that frantic trip back to your desk. The compact device requires no additional connectors. Just plug into a USB port and pull your digital files onto your computer.

For those who prefer the old-school style of jotting ideas down as they flow, Ideapaint is wall paint with low VOC content, meaning you won’t be breathing in excess chemicals as you roll the paint onto the wall to create your own full-wall dry-erase board.

Thrive: Get a Grip on Paperwork

Stop messing with mountains of paperwork and ineffective filing systems. Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management helps you organize your entire office. Use it to index your hard-copy paper files by entering the relevant keywords into your Paper Tiger database. No more time wasted or hair-pulling while you try to remember where you placed what—you’ll be able to easily find the documents you need with one quick search.

The best way to declutter your home and your home office is to use Paper Tiger, which is not just for paper filing and document management because anything that you can put a number onto, you can index into Paper Tiger to help you get organized and to help your business thrive!

About the Author:

Brian Kane Brian is a computer science geek who loves to write about new programs.


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If you have a filing system in place and are filing your paper documents, but you still feel unorganized, you may be making one of six crucial filing mistakes that deter you from maximum organization. With Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management, you can get the ball rolling quickly by indexing and filing the physical documents. Read on to find out what not to do when organizing your filing system.

  1. Overstuffing – Are your file folders tearing at the edges? Every once in a while, you may need to go through your files and get rid of any files you no longer need. An overstuffed file will only overwhelm and complicate your filing system. The easier it is, the more organized you will be and the more you will maintain. Overstuffed file cabinets will also deter you from filing, so your stacks of files look as bad as your filing cabinet. Read our article To Shred or Not to Shred to help you determine what you should or should not get rid of. Use Paper Tiger’s File Cleanout Report to help you decide what needs to be tossed or moved to an archive location.
  2. Hoarding – Do you find a way to file EVERY piece of paper that crosses your path? According to one of our Paper Tiger Experts, Sherry Borsheim, eighty percent of what we file, we never refer to again. Therefore, really think about how much you need to keep a document before filing it. Before filing ask yourself, “Why will I need to refer back to this?” If you can’t answer that question, shred or throw the paper away.
  3. Using Paper Clips or Rubber Bands – Paper clips can leave a tangled mess of paper work and clutter instead of organizing when the clips catch on other files in the same folder, and they take up more room than necessary. Have you ever seen what happens to an old rubber band? Either the temperature, light or oxygen over time will cause the rubber band to break, essentially defeating it’s purpose! To keep papers together, staple them instead. If you have more papers than you can staple, consider downsizing or separating the stack.
  4. Creating a Miscellaneous File – This “to-do” file or random file should always be avoided if possible. As a matter of fact, this file is likely to be mostly trash anyway if you aren’t sure what to do with it or where to place it. You can always create a new file for some of these documents if you think you will have other related documents. Take the time to create a new file, find a file to place the miscellaneous document in or trash it; simple as that. With Paper Tiger, you never have to worry about what to name a file, because the keyword section allows you to input as many ‘file names’ as you think you might need to be able to search and find the document again.
  5. Using Broad Categories – Are you really going to remember that you created a file entitled, “Car”? Which one? Paper Tiger Filing System works perfectly for categories because you create keywords in the database that help you remember. When filing physical documents, use these same keywords from Paper Tiger to help you. Find the balance between too simple and over complicated when creating these files.
  6. Not Filing – Not filing is a big mistake. Building ‘project stacks’ can get overwhelming! If you’re like most people, the projects keep coming, and if you don’t take time to file, the stacks will keep building. Then it’s out of hand, and will take even longer to file than it should. Experts tell us to take just 15 minutes at the end of every day to file away what needs to be filed. You will have less clutter, and you will know what you need to work on the next day. You will feel more organized and so much better.

By avoiding these filing mistakes, your organizing system paired with Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management will keep your files organized and help you find exactly what you need faster.


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Home Office Needs 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.

Sometimes 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.

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, and once you have your Paper Tiger database set up with your paper files indexed, you can print the File Clean-Out report 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 the documents in your hanging file folders match what you have in Paper Tiger.

These are steps to help you get started. Of course, depending on 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 less time than you think. Remember to relax and take your time when cleaning your office. Don’t get overwhelmed in organizing your home office. You’ll feel so accomplished and proud, you will want to go from room to room, and maybe even tackle organizing the garage. Happy Organizing!


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Strategize and Organize

Are you being as productive as you can? Want to reach your full potential? Anne McGurty of Strategize & Organize and one of our Certified Paper Tiger Experts, offers a few tips to help you reach your full potential of productivity. A few of these tips, when combined with Paper Tiger Filing System Software can help elevate productivity even more.

Tips to Maximize Your Productivity

  1. Do the hardest thing first.  When you arrive at the office, you may be tempted to first check your messages, rifle through the day’s mail, or plow through some easy administrative tasks. Instead, try doing the hardest, most challenging (or least enjoyable) thing earlier in the day. You’ll be attacking it when your energy level is high and your mind is clear.
  2. Plan for tomorrow at the end of today. Take 15 minutes at the end of every day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. This habit of planning will give you the gift of focus, allowing you to get a jump-start the next morning. In a sense, you’re creating a map for the following day.
  3. Download all ideas, actions, and goals onto paper.  Clear the clutter out of your brain by taking pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and allow to-dos and brilliant ideas to become more concrete.
  4. Use your email effectively. Stop scanning emails and leaving them to deal with “later.” Instead, schedule time just twice each day to check and manage emails. Read each email message thoroughly, then act, file, delete, or pass along.
  5. Take a lunch break every day. You may not think you have time for one, but make the time. Poor diet on the job is costing countries (and their businesses) up to 20% in lost productivity!
  6. Become an expert time estimator. Most unpleasant tasks don’t take as long as you think they will. And most pleasant things tend to drag out a bit longer than you’d expect. Use a timer to get an accurate gauge of the real time it takes to accomplish a variety of routine responsibilities.
  7. Create an effective work area. The average office worker spends 2000 hours per year at their desk. Make that space easy to use by gathering items that you use most frequently and storing them within easy reach of your usual seated position.
  8. Manage paper effectively. Resolve to deal with your papers on a regular basis. Whether first thing in the morning, at the end of the day, or somewhere in between, set aside 30 minutes each day so you don’t end up with overwhelming piles. Then act, file, toss/shred. If you file it, don’t forget to enter keywords into your Paper Tiger Filing System Software’s database, so that you’ll be sure to find it when you need it again!
  9. Be more productive by avoiding interruptions. Use your lower-energy hours as your open office hours so you don’t waste peak productivity periods with interruptions.
  10. Know the benefits of being organized. Getting organized goes way beyond having a neat and tidy space. By becoming more organized, you’ll not only help your business run better, but you’ll reap multiple personal rewards as well.
  11. Stop procrastinating.  Break tasks down into realistic-sized chunks and jot them. Each day’s successes will give you the drive to keep going.
  12. Learn to say “no” and delegate. Take control of your time and tasks by making a list of all your responsibilities, both daily and special projects. Even if it takes a little more time on the front end to train someone else, it may pay off by giving you more time to focus on larger responsibilities.

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 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.

You can learn more about Anne at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com.

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



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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.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate. Why put off what you can do today for tomorrow? Instead of waiting, do things right now. After a long day at work, opt to sort through the mail instead of tossing it on the kitchen counter. At the end of the week, you’ve now avoided that overwhelming mess of an endless pile of mail. If you start doing things as soon as you notice them, it will become a habit.
  2. Make Time. Of course, you’ve got to prepare dinner, take the kids to soccer practice and do laundry on Tuesday afternoon, but you’ve also got to set time aside to make important phone calls, pay bills, etc. If you have things you must do, give yourself 20 or 30 minutes each day to complete these additional admin type tasks. Stick to these appointments as if they are business meetings.
  3. Trash the Unnecessary. Sometimes you just have to sit down and go through all your clutter. One room at a time, piece by piece, trash all the things that you don’t need anymore. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” If it has been longer than a year, trash it. Or if it is something that you can give away, decide who or where you will give it. If you are having issues parting with certain things, create a tentative pile so that you can go through them later.
  4. Break Large Tasks into Smaller Tasks. How overwhelming is it to clean the entire attic? Tasks like this are simply too large, but if you decide to clean the left side or the back corner of the attic, the goal is more attainable. In lieu of breaking a large task into several smaller tasks, you can also set a timer. If you spend 30 minutes each day tackling the attic without distractions, you will surely make progress.
  5. Differentiate Between Important and Non-Important Documents. Do you know what papers should be kept and what shouldn’t? Chances are, you’re holding on to a lot of excess clutter that you may not necessarily need. See our article To Shred or Not to Shred for more information on what to keep and how long it should be kept.
  6. Keep Essential Information Accessible. Before you even begin to index your paper files with Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management, they must be separated and sorted. Sort and label your information and make sure that the most important documents are always handy. Having everything in one place will save you a lot of time in the long run.
  7. Set Deadlines. As mentioned earlier, it can be a bit difficult to part with certain items. When you set aside these items and put them in a temporary location, simply put a date on the pile or box. Set the date for three or six months in the future. If you haven’t reach into the box for any of those items before the date, get rid of them.
  8. Stick to it. When you make plans, be sure to stick to them. For example, if you have planned out the entire dinner menu for the week, don’t change it. These changes bring about redundant trips to the grocery store, duplicate ingredients and spoiled food. Aside from food preparation, its best to stick to other plans especially related to activities that require a bit of planning. It can be quite frustrating and challenging to try to get reorganized for the family trip next month.
  9. Everything Needs a Home. There should be a place for everything. Whether you’re using boxes or crates, be sure to label everything and put in a location that you can access when needed. Plastic storage containers work well for storing things. Don’t forget that you can use Paper Tiger for indexing items in storage containers. Anything that you can put a number onto, you can index into Paper Tiger!
  10. Don’t be Hard on Yourself. Learning to be organized isn’t something that can happen overnight. We’ve all heard the phrase, “It takes 21 days to form a habit” so be patient and stick with it. After you’ve been organizing for a while, both Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management and Digital Tiger will be perfect tools for you. Happy Organizing!

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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!

Strategize and Organize

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:

Get Organized, Work Efficiently and More Productive

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 and get started now. 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

About Anne:

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.

You can learn more about Anne at www.StrategizeAndOrganize.com.


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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.

  1. Print on both sides of the paper. Admit it, we’re all guilty! Most of us print on only one side of paper, however we can reduce our copy paper count annually by printing on both sides of the paper.
  2. Recycle. Instead of throwing your paper files in the trash place them in the recycle bin. There are a multitude of products that can be made from recycled paper such as egg cartons, car insulation, hospital gowns, paper money and masking tape.
  3. Think before you print. Before you even print documents ask yourself, “Is this something I really need a hard copy of?” If the answer is no, simply don’t print. But if the answer is yes, preview the document for errors that may cause documents to be reprinted. Print only the pages you need. If you have a meeting, print the correct number of copies instead of extras.

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.


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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.

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.

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!


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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!


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