Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back-To-School Helps Stock Your Office

Aah... It's that wonderful time of year when newspapers & TV ads start being flooded by back-to-school specials while inserts tout "huge savings" on office supplies. Although we're still about two and a half weeks away from North Carolina's annual tax-free weekend, during this ritual of back-to-school shopping, a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils could easily replace roses, carnations or tulips, and those of us in the business of organizing workspaces start to drool over great gadgets & gizmos that'll increase your efficiency with incredible savings. It's no coincidence I just wrapped up a public presentation of "Go From 'Where'd I Put That?' to 'Here's What I Need' In No Time Flat", where I was able to utilize props to represent many of those fabulous office supplies that help to quickly locate what you need when you need it. These days, there are so many fantastic options to equip your workspace!

When addressing your need for a functional filing system, the list of necessary office supplies will often start with a DYMO LetraTAG Labelmaker, which enables a mobile solution for easily adding labels to each file folder. Speaking of file folders, I recommend 1/3-cut file folders that are a darker color on the outside and a lighter color on the inside. Color drives behavior so having a task that you don't like too much in a color that you do like a bunch will make that particular task a lot less unbearable; then, having the inside be ligher than the outside will increase the odds that the piece of paper you are attempting to file actually ends up inside the file folder you had envisioned as its destination. As you start to assign homes to each item that must be filed, start with big categories; assign one color AND one tab position to each big category, trying to keep each file folder label general enough that you don't have too many folders but specific enough to provide a home for each item to be filed. For example, all far-left-tab, green folders might be for FINANCES while those individual folders include FINANCES - Budget as well as FINANCES - Reimbursements. Likewise, all middle-tab, yellow folders might be for CLIENTS while those individual folders might be CLIENTS - John Doe as well as CLIENTS - Jane Smith. What naming convention do you use for your files?

Meanwhile, as you continue taking advantage of back-to-school savings by stocking your office supplies, please keep in mind that square or rectangular boxes, baskets and bins provide excellent options for containing related, loose items, including accessories for your tech tools, but you may also want to consider Cocoon's GRID-IT accessory organizer. In addition, clipboards provide an option for client forms or event-related checklists, and document sleeves can help organize meeting agendas, travel documents and reference items, including instructions for company-wide tools or specifics for how you are able to use your business' logo.

Above all else, though, make sure to add an Inbox on or near the entry to your workspace. Giving those individuals bringing items to you a place in which those items can be placed will empower you with control over your workspace, enabling you to address each of those items when appropriate and minimizing distractions from the important work on which you are already working.

What tools do you have in your office that assist in quickly finding what need when you need it, knowing what you should be doing at any given time and getting more done in less time? Please share in the comments below.

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