Paper Tiger Blog


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

Regardless of whether you are running a business, clearing the clutter in your home or office, planning your family vacation, searching for a new job, or preparing for a move, getting organized is key. Juggling your life activities can be overwhelming, but  Paper Tiger Filing System software is a great place to start with your quest for getting organized.

Think about the following questions for a minute:

  • Are you working a lot more than usual or busy with so many different things that you feel guilty because you’re not taking care of yourself?
  • Are you frequently overwhelmed?
  • Do you frequently start new projects, but have a hard time finishing anything?
  • Do you have more “to-do’s” than you have time for and you’re discouraged with your progress?
  • Do you spend more time than you care to admit on things you dislike to do?

Getting organized and being able to maintain a certain amount of organization is so important to your quality of life. Of course, you have to answer what ‘quality of life’ means to you, but you might find the list below helpful in getting to your sweet spot. Implement the steps that apply to you, and see how much stress is relieved by just doing one thing to help you work less and accomplish more!

  • Set aside some time to identify what really matters to you in life, and create a vision for what you want to accomplish. You should schedule this time on your calendar. Yes, make an appointment with yourself! Go to a relaxing place where you can unplug for a while. Give yourself an opportunity to think without all the distractions. Create a vision for your life and write it down. Decide what steps you need to take to get to your vision.
  • Think about what it is that you do best and spend the majority of your time doing it. Do you know your strengths? Are you struggling trying to do projects that you’re not suited for? If so, you might try an assessment to help you identify your strengths and talents. One that has been highly recommended is VIA Institute on Character. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses could help you to surround yourself with people that are more suited to do the functions or projects where you are not suited. Continue to ask yourself, “is this the best use of my time?”
  • Make your office a place where you can get things done. Organize your office in a way that works for you. No two people are alike so there is really not a right or wrong way; it just needs to work for you. If you need help getting organized and setting up a system that works for you, consider hiring a productivity expert. We have several certified Paper Tiger productivity experts listed on our website for you to choose from. This will be a small investment compared to the amount of time and money you’ll save when you can find things when you need them, as well as learn to work more productively and efficiently.
  • Use technology tools to help streamline your life. I’m sure you’ve heard that ‘half of any job is using the right tool’ and ‘using’ would be the keyword here. You have to use the tools that are available to you to help your workflow, help you maintain organization, and/or time-management. On the other hand, trying to use tools that just don’t work for your lifestyle is also a waste of time and money. Can you find anything in just a few seconds or do you waste time and energy searching through box after box, or file drawer after file drawer? Or maybe you have stacks all over your office. Do you waste time searching through stacks and stacks of paper files? Are you afraid to file an important document in its place because you might not remember what name you filed it under? Paper Tiger can help solve many organizing problems, and it’s definitely the right tool for indexing your paper files and other physical items that you need to keep track of so that you can later find what you need.
  • Organizing is a way of life, not a destination. Organizing is a continual process of reassessing what you like, does it work, and then change it if it doesn’t work. Start with rearranging the top of your desk so that everything is more convenient for how you work.
    • Remember today’s mail is tomorrow’s pile, unless you have a plan or system in place to handle what is coming in everyday. We recommend that you begin with the papers on your desk and index them into Paper Tiger’s database. Then take one stack at a time, indexing into Paper Tiger and file what you need to keep, tossing or shredding what is not needed, and put actionable things in a daily or monthly tickler or follow up system.
    • Put like things together. In Paper Tiger, you can create separate ‘locations’ for personal papers, active projects, CDs, clients, books, etc. See this article for more help on creating locations: Customize Your Filing System with Paper Tiger’s Indexing Method
    • You also need to think about a clean-out plan for tossing what is no longer necessary to keep. See this article for more help on creating a record retention policy for document management.

Trying a different way of filing or getting organized overall is sometimes a stumbling block for people, but we have so many that tell us they couldn’t live without Paper Tiger Filing System software. Some say that Paper Tiger has changed their lives. Don’t worry about making mistakes; just keep organizing and index what you can into Paper Tiger. You’ll be surprised the next time you need to find something and you’re able to search in the software and actually find it in seconds!

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This Paper Tiger webinar hosted by Meggin McIntosh, “The Ph.D. of Productivity”™ and Paper Tiger Expert, 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. Watch to learning more about the way Meggin has been able to file & find paper files, notebooks, boxes, etc. for over 13 years.

“The Ph.D. of Productivity”™

Are any of these the reasons why you have some files sitting around?

1. Not sure what to name the file (Car Insurance; Insurance – Car; Insurance – Automobile; Honda Car Insurance – Allstate).

2. Not sure what category it belongs in and whether it should be in a colored folder – and what color that should be.

3. Not sure whether the material in the file should be cross-referenced somehow with other files.

4. Not sure how to be reminded of where this file is when you need it – especially if it has a time commitment related to it.

5. And, hmmm, you’re not sure if this should even be filed at all?

Meggin has some solutions for paper management and getting organized in this webinar. Watch now:

Click here to download Paper Tiger Handouts by Meggin McIntosh mentioned in Meggin’s webinar.

P.S.  Readers of the Top Ten Productivity Tips ( & Keeping Chaos at Bay ( have been asking Meggin for years to teach this class.

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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.

Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.

Phone: 775.853.5510

MEGGIN’S WEBSITES (Primary site)


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We all know that clutter can get in the way of success, peace of mind and happiness. Whether you can get it done yourself, with family members, or with an expert, getting organized and getting rid of clutter, can be accomplished.

What To Do With Paper FilesHave you lost the ability to be creative? Are you tired of losing important records? 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? You are not alone in your challenge to keep clutter and overwhelm from draining you of time and energy.

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, professional organizing and productivity experts can help. You can have an effective work space and home you love.

Recognizing the Problem

The experts we know often say there is a direct correlation between stress and clutter.  Recognizing that clutter is significant in the way you feel about your home and office can be a great start to your feeling less stressed and overwhelmed. Psychology Today has a great article you might find helpful, “Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies”.

In WebMD’s article, “Clutter Control: Is Too Much ‘Stuff’ Draining You?”, it states, ‘Professional organizers who are called to cluttered homes and offices say their clients use the same words, over and over, to describe their reaction to the mess: their energy is drained, they can’t find things, and it’s beginning to interfere with crucial parts of life — such as getting to work on time or navigating staircases.

‘They become overwhelmed, nonfunctional and nonproductive…’, says Lynne Gilberg, a professional organizer in West Los Angeles, CA.

The key is to start small: Tackle one room or even one bookshelf at a time. Cleaning the clutter from drawers? “Don’t dump the whole drawer,” says Gilberg, “it’s too overwhelming.” Instead, take out items that can be thrown away, then things you can donate.’

Make Decisions and Take Action

Clutter happens because you’re not making decisions when you need to. You’re putting off or procrastinating because you don’t want to deal with it. If you really want to have less clutter, make the necessary decisions. Decide to decide what needs focus, what can go, what should be kept. Take one room at a time or one section of a room.

  1. What is your vision for the area? What is your goal for this space? Write your vision down for the area you want to focus on first, and make a list of things needed to accomplish that goal.
  2. Once you’ve made that determination, you can decide what needs to be cleared from that space, and where the items need to go….either in the trash, donated, recycled, or put away in a better storage area.
  3. Finish one area, then move to the next area on your list.

Don’t de-clutter alone. Get your family involved. Chances are, it is the family habits that need to be rethought. It’s most likely not just one person that causes all of the clutter.

When you’ve cleared the clutter, you’ll need to switch to maintenance mode to ensure the pile up doesn’t happen again. When there is a place for everything and everything in its place, then it will be easier to maintain.

Are You Afraid of Putting Things Away?

If you have clutter because you think you need a visual reminder…if you put it away, you’ll forget about it or where you put it, then Paper Tiger can help. You can index anything in Paper Tiger that you can put a number onto. See our article Work SMART! Getting Organized Doesn’t Have to be Hard! for helpful steps to sort, make decisions, file papers, and index other things you can organize and put away, so that not only is clutter no longer a problem, but finding things you put away is no longer a problem.

You, your family, and your staff, can work less, earn more and be more productive. Get started today with just one area. If you need help, ask one of the productivity experts that can also help you implement Paper Tiger so you can clear clutter, and be able to find things quickly.

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Getting organized saves time

It’s no secret that there are multiple reasons we choose to get organized. More often than not, we connect being organized with being successful. The truth is, however, that one of the greatest benefits of being organized is time management.


Benjamin Franklin said,

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”


If you’re constantly searching for things, you are wasting time and energy. When you are organized, you’re more efficient and productive, which in turn helps you to:

-Save time

-Be more focused

-Be less stressed

-Appear more professional

-Able to meet deadlines

-Advance your business or career

-Have more free time

Of course, good time management is important both professionally and personally. It helps us accomplish what we need to do by the end of the day in order to begin the next day fresh and new. Above all, it enables us to have more free time to spend with our friends and family.

How Does Paper Tiger Help with Time Management?

Experts tell us the average person wastes 150 hours every year looking for lost information. Without an organized filing system in place, you can’t accomplish what you need to in a timely manner.

Using Paper Tiger Filing System software helps you with time management because you can always find what you need with little or no effort. This indexing system can be used to organize almost anything that is composed of multiple items, because anything that you can put a number onto, you can index into Paper Tiger. For example, you can use Paper Tiger to organize:

-Work documents, paper files, hanging file folders


-Bills and expenses

-Family medical records

Of course, it is not just for paper filing and document management:

Paper Tiger can also help you organize and inventory:

-Sports memorabilia or other treasured collections

-Holiday decorations

-Book collections

-DVDs, CDs

-Contents of storage bins, boxes

These are just a few examples to give an idea of the wide variety of things Paper Tiger can help you organize. The possibilities are endless, and the potential to get organized will be so beneficial.

Paper Tiger Filing System software can save you time and help you to be more efficient. Implementing and maintaining Paper Tiger’s database for everything you need to organize becomes the ultimate time management tool. You can stop wasting time searching for the things you need because you’ll be able to find what you need, when you need it.

Go ahead, implement Paper Tiger today! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much time you will save and how much more productive you’ll be.

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Strategize and Organize

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.

  • Get started with Paper Tiger Online.
  • Created a Database, created a Location, created Items, and print labels for items.
  • Demonstrated a work-flow example by filing items from her inbox.
  • Discussed the importance of the file Cleanout Report and how to use it.
  • Demonstrated searching in Paper Tiger, and how easy it is when you need to find something, whether paper or digital files.
  • Demonstrated indexing other physical items.

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

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 or by phone at 303 881-0174.

See more information here on Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management

Filing System Q&A from the Webinar

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

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

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 Ready to Get Organized?

Need help getting organized?

This FREE webinar will help!

Register Now!

Click here to choose a webinar date.

Is this you?

  • Do you often wonder where the time went?
  • Does your to-do list keep getting longer, even though it feels like nothing is getting done?
  • Have you totally given up on keeping a to-do list?
  • Do you have trouble finding what you need?
  • Do you feel like you’ll NEVER catch up?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Kathy Paauw, of Paauwerfully Organized, can help out by teaching you some powerful techniques that will help you increase your personal and professional productivity. In fact, don’t be surprised if you can add an hour or MORE to your day EVERY DAY.

Imagine what you would do with an extra hour each and every day. That is an additional 365 hours or over nine 40 hour work weeks of extra time. Think of this next time you make the statement, “I wish I had more time”.

Here’s what you’ll be able to accomplish when you attend Kathy’s upcoming ‘Buried in Paper’ webinar and put what you learn into practice:

  • Set your priorities and focus on what matters most (do this and you’ll be amazed at how fast you can start crossing things off your to-do list).
  • Remember important follow-up tasks BEFORE rather than AFTER… (wouldn’t that save tons of stress not to mention embarrassment?)
  • Efficiently handle mail, filing, returning phone calls and other repetitive tasks so you’ll have more time to do the things you LOVE to do.
  • Streamline information management and communications (no more time wasted on information that’s “interesting but not relevant” to what you need NOW).
  • Relax and enjoy a less cluttered environment.

Register now for a FREE monthly
90-minute webinar, taught since 2003.
(Kathy keeps teaching it because it is so popular!)

Buried in Paper:

Learn a simple five-step process to help you eliminate paper pile-up forever.

Click here to choose a webinar date.

About Kathy Paauw

Kathy founded Paauwerfully Organized in 1995, and offers three primary services: productivity consulting, business and personal coaching, and training.

Kathy says, “Organization for the sake of ‘being organized’ has no value, but it is a vital tool to help you accomplish what is most important to you. Organizational skills and effective systems can improve productivity, reduce stress, and improve the quality of your personal and professional life.”


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” or “I’m getting organized this year”, but sadly most of us drop these resolutions within the first thirty days of the year. One of the most popular resolutions that people make is to get organized. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) named January “Get Organized Month” or “GO Month” in 2003 with an initiative 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 help you be more organized, as well as be able to actually find things this year. Afterall, it is not enough to get your paper files and other things organized, but you also have to be able to retrieve what you need when you need it.

It’s all about taking the first steps to get started. The first step is making the commitment so that your life will begin to be less stressful and more productive. Before you know it, you’ll actually have more time for yourself.

Paper Tiger can help you keep your new year’s resolution to get organized in 2014!

Eliminate the frustration you experience every time you try to locate an important document and cannot find it amidst the disorganized mess acting as your “filing system.” We receive calls and emails all the time from people telling us that they have stacks and stacks of files that is causing more stress than it’s worth and need help getting organized. Paper Tiger Filing System software helps companies, non-profits, government agencies, professionals and individuals all over the world get control of something they hate…filing the paper on their desk & in their office, and can help with the life-cycle of document management. And since Paper Tiger is Not Just For Filing Paper, imagine all the other rooms of your home and office that you can get organized. 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.

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 or what name it was filed under are over! With Paper Tiger’s search engine like feature, type in a few keywords when you file documents, will help you find exactly the document needed with a quick search when you need to retrieve it.

If getting organized 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 paper files and other physical items, will not only clear up clutter on your desk, but also anything that you can put a number onto.

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.

Reduce the stress and anxiety you are probably feeling without even realizing it from having your home or office in disarray. Make this year the year you completely organize your life. 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.

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Get organized now starting with just one challenge

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

Organizing Challenge

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

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

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

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

Learn more about the organizing products and services provided by Michelle Panzlaff and Tidy Tiger Solutions by visiting 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
Michelle Panzlaff

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

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

Phone: (778) 866-6942

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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) |

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: (Primary site)


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

Read on as Sherry gives advice for busting clutter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, keep it simple and be organized!



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

Contact Sherry so you can get 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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This article by Elaine Quinn, the Solopreneur Specialist at Smart Solos, and a Paper Tiger Expert, offers helpful tips to break the self-destructive procrastination habit. Getting the project done instead of procrastinating can obviously be more productive for you, but you’ll see that you have more time in the long run. Elaine also recommends Paper Tiger Filing System Software and Document Management for getting organized.

Elaine Quinn, The Solopreneur Specialist

Does Procrastination Rule Your Summer?

Ah, summer – that lazy, hazy time of year when everything slows down. Summer is supposed to be leisurely and unhurried. It doesn’t take much for me to persuade myself that the project I need to be working on right now can wait until tomorrow… maybe even the day after, when they say it’s going to rain. Summer is short; I deserve to enjoy it. Besides, don’t the self-care experts warn us to treat ourselves well or we won’t achieve work-life balance and inner harmony? It’s not good to work all the time. It’s very good to just sit here in the shade. Or maybe take the family someplace fun. Anything but work on that project…

Recent studies indicate that as many as 95% of us are prone to procrastination, with 20% being chronic procrastinators! Procrastination is one of the most universal of human flaws.

Why do we allow ourselves to put off what we should do right now? Even when we know (because we do it regularly) that the anxiety of a looming deadline and a job not done will make us regret our procrastination? The easy explanation is that the temptation to postpone an unwanted task in favor of an immediate pleasure is irresistible. But if it were truly irresistible, nobody would ever get anything done.

The fact is that procrastination is a habit. And like most habits, the more you indulge it, the stronger it becomes. Each time you manage to finish just under the wire, that habit is reinforced. And, like other forms of gambling, sooner or later your luck will fail. You’ll have a furious client, a damaged reputation, or some other disaster on your hands.

If you’re in business for yourself, you can’t afford that kind of risk. There are too many alternatives for customers to turn to. Word gets around, and nobody wants to do business with someone who doesn’t deliver. Or delivers a product or service that’s rushed and substandard. Especially when it’s their own fault! Worse yet is trying to blame someone or something else for your failure.

If you’re in the habit of procrastinating, you’ve got to do something to change that. It’s just a matter of time before something bad happens. Plus, the repeated stress and anxiety of last-minute fixes is no way to achieve inner harmony. Why would you do that to yourself!

Here are four strategies you can use to break the self-destructive procrastination habit:

1.   Get started as soon as you land a new project – even if you don’t feel ready do much at that point. The minute you take some kind of action, your brain starts analyzing and problem solving. Ideas come more easily and you’ll have a structure in place to capture them. It’s far easier to keep a project moving that’s already underway, than to overcome the inertia of procrastination.

2.   Break projects down into the individual steps required. You’ll be better able to arrive at an accurate estimate of the total time required when you have figured out how much time each step will take. You won’t mislead yourself into thinking you can squeeze a three-week project into one week!

3.   Allow extra time. If your project is due on the 15th, aim to finish by the 10th. If you run into a snag, or your attention is called elsewhere for an emergency, you’ve built in a bit of wiggle room. Plus, it’s always helpful to set a “finished” project aside for a few days, then give it another look. You’ll likely spot a few areas for improvement.

4.   Give yourself an incentive to finish before the deadline. Promise yourself that afternoon in the shade or that outing with the family. Carve out time for those things, like the self-care experts advise – after you’ve taken care of business. Having completed your work without the unnecessary stress of procrastination, you can enjoy genuine work-life balance and inner harmony!

What is your opinion about procrastination? What tips do you have? Share your perspective on the Smart Solos Facebook page.
About Elaine Quinn
The Solopreneur Specialist®
312-520-3935 (Chicago)

Elaine Quinn (a.k.a. The Solopreneur Specialist) lives with her husband and two cats in Chicago where she shares her expertise in all things Ancient Egypt with visitors to her home city’s Field Museum. She is most known, however, as a “Coachsultant” who rescues successful solo business owners who have grown their businesses beyond what one person can handle. An internationally-recognized organizing, time management, and productivity expert, Elaine writes, speaks and provides training and consulting services to solo professionals in all industries. She helps small business owners and solopreneurs address and overcome the demons of disorganization, procrastination, loss of motivation, personal conflicts, social isolation, and competitive pressures.

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

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

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

Preparation by Getting Organized

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

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

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

Time Off

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

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

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

Returning Back to Work

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

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

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

About Denise Landers

Key Organization Systems Inc.
Author of Destination Organization

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

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

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


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

Strategize and Organize

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

Strategize and Organize

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

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

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

About Anne McGurty

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

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

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

You can learn more about Anne at

You can contact Anne at or by phone at 303 881-0174.

You can also follow Anne on Facebook:

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In the article below, Anne McGurty, a Paper Tiger Expert of Strategize and Organize, relays the benefits of getting organized. Think of it as a small investment in the long-term events of your future. Do you think it’s a waste of time to get organized? Read on to see the benefits of being organized. She also recommends implementing Paper Tiger Filing System Software to help you save time and money!

Strategize and Organize

Are you ready to get organized, but stalling because of a lack of time, money, or motivation? Don’t despair! A professional organizer is just what you need! Make an investment in yourself that will provide amazing advantages for years to come.

Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to once you get organized:

Getting Organized Can Save Money

Once you get organized, you’ll know what you already own, eliminating the need to buy duplicate items. You’ll also be able to buy what you need when it’s on sale, rather than buying at the last minute. Your professional organizer can also help you find the perfect organizing products for your space and lifestyle, so you can stop wasting money on containers that just don’t work.

Getting Organized Will Help You Be More Productive and Efficient

A professional organizer can create order and structure out of chaos. You’ll receive systems that work for your dominant learning style, your lifestyle, your needs, your challenges, and your dreams. Whether at work or at home, you’ll increase productivity once you have an organized and efficient schedule to keep you on track. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done in shorter amounts of time. And by focusing on your priorities and goals, you’ll be able to finally move ahead toward reaching them.

You’ll Have a Positive Self-Image and Ditch the Shame

Once your home or office is neat and tidy, you won’t feel embarrassed to have guests visit. The guilt will fade away as you take pride in your surroundings. Your organized office will allow you to present a professional image to co-workers, clients, and superiors. Your organized home and new-found habits to keep it that way will set a great example for your children and/or spouse.

You Can Create a Healthier Environment

Physical and emotional clutter obscures your surroundings. A clutter-free environment is simply easier to manage. A professional organizer can help you clear out your space so you can see that your surroundings in a better light and easier to maintain.

Your Stress Level Will Decrease Dramatically

When you can find what you need, are on top of your to-dos, and arrive on time for meetings or events, you’ll feel calmer and have more peace of mind. No more feeling overwhelmed by life — you’ll be in more control and feel less stressed.

You’ll Discover More Time for Yourself

When you’re organized, your days go as planned, and you get a lot done. That leaves more time to indulge in a little “me time.”

Your Energy Will Shine

Clutter is a mask. A professional organizer can help you take off that mask and let people see your vibrancy! Once the clutter is removed, you can showcase your talents, skills, and personality and have the life you deserve.

About Anne McGurty

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

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

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

You can learn more about Anne at

You can contact Anne at or by phone at 303 881-0174.

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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

You can contact Anne at or by phone at 303 881-0174.

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