Filing systems:everything in order?
“Everything in its place” – who doesn’t know this saying? Most people only notice how necessary this is when they are desperately looking for important documents on their desk.
A good filing system is therefore essential for working smoothly.
A clear view ahead
Anyone who arrives at their office in the morning and has the feeling they’re entering a battlefield every time is definitely doing something wrong. No one can think clearly in an environment with untidy papers strewn all over the desk and yellow post-it notes stuck to the computer and on every tiny free surface. Create yourself a space to work! Only materials used every day like pens, notepads and diaries should be close to hand. Everything else belongs in sensibly divided drawers, filing cabinets or hanging files.
Avoid being a note merchant
Are you one of those people who first write everything down on a piece of paper, which you then disperse on your desk? Then you probably need far too much time to find an important note or telephone number. To prevent drowning in a chaos of notes, keep a notebook, in which you collect all your important information. Tasks you still need to do are best entered into a follow-up file. Then you always have everything to hand.
Throw out things you don't need anymore. Banish the thought: “I might need that again some time”. Regularly empty your drawers and trays and go ahead and use the waste paper basket more often. Create a logical structure on your computer and in your mail programme that will help you to find information again quickly. This means you won’t have to print every document and keep all your emails.
If you're unsure whether you will need the occasional email again, create a test bin. If after a certain period of time you realise that you haven't used the information you've saved there, then you can delete the entire folder.
Create order systematically
Organise your work. Create a to-do list at the end of every day for the next day and prioritise your tasks. Completed tasks can either be filed away in the appropriate file or thrown away immediately. To do this, create folders for specific projects, and structure these according to content using dividers. Precise labelling on the spine of the folder is also important so that you can quickly find all the information you need again.
The day is finally over
Before you go home, along with your to-do list, you should also leave behind a tidy desk. Put everything back in the right drawers, put away pens and notebooks, and put files back their cabinets. If you do this, you’ll not only be happy to arrive to a tidy office, but the cleaning staff will also finally be able to clean again properly.