I’ve been having an email exchange this morning with a woman who is looking to keep her desk organized while she works, which is especially difficult because she has a significant amount of physical paperwork she has to manage. She works in human resources and paperwork is unavoidable in her position. Accountants, billing managers, and anyone who works with hand-signed contracts likely have similar paper management concerns.
The paperwork she processes can be organized into groups, although most of those groups are regularly changing. For example, she’s constantly receiving resumes, but the jobs she is collecting resumes for change as openings for positions do. Having erasable file labels or a label maker will help folder identification change as the file needs change.
Having quick and easy access to those files is also important. I like working with tiered or separated desktop file organizers. My favorite is an expanding metal file organizer that adjusts to meet your size needs:
Individual papers that don’t belong in groups, can always be suspended from clipboards, paperclips suspended from a piece of twine tacked to the wall or a bulletin board, or a restaurant ticket order holder:
As part of this paperwork management, it’s also important to shred, recycle, or file into an archived filing system papers and files as they are no longer being circulated. Be sure to schedule 10 minutes twice a week to review all the active papers and files to make sure you’re keeping inactive items out of your active system.
Do you have a constant flow of active papers and files crossing your desk over the course of a day? What products have you discovered to help you manage your work and keep papers and files from overwhelming your workspace? Share your suggestions in the comments.