Do you have a cluttered desk? Do you need at least an hour to find a single document from your desk? If so, read on.
Unless we are highly organized like a robot, we would have had a overflowing desk at least once. Sometimes we clean it weekly or bi-weekly. But when we are on a high-priority project, we tend to miss out on our weekly cleaning spree, ending up with a pile of clutter big enough to drown us. Literally. If you are currently into such situation, we can help you organize better. This may sound cliched but it's a fact, organization leads to better productivity. So let's get organized to be productive.
- Sort out documents: First of all, sort out all the documents lying on your desk. Make three piles: keep pile, toss pile and recycle pile. However, if you believe in going green, make only two piles: keep pile and recycle pile. While sorting out, do away with all the documents, pamphlets and brochures that do not serve any purpose. If you are having years old brochures as a memory, it's time to do away with those too. Destroy the recycle file in the office shredder.
- Categorize documents: Once you have your to-keep pile ready, categorize the documents according to their need and priority. For example, you can categorize the documents according to your daily needs, weekly needs, conference needs and archives. You can also categories the files according to projects. For example, if you belong to the communication department, you can sort out your documents according to internal department communication, client communication and marketing communication. However, always categorize the documents in a way you can remember. Categorize according to your logic rather than following any set procedures.
- Storing documents: Once you have sorted and categorized the documents, you need to store them into files and folders. For weekly documents, files will work great; but for daily needs, keep folders as the movement of documents would be quite high. There are various types of folders available, including hanging folders and desktop file folders. If you want the folder handy, desktop file folders would work great. Hanging folders are convenient for cramped desk space. Also, while storing your documents in folder, usage of clips and staplers is a good idea to keep the related documents, such as 3-page correspondence, together.
- Labeling: One of the most important aspect of organizing is labeling. What's the use of sorting and categorizing documents when you can't find it when needed? Labeling will make sure that you know the location of your every file. For labeling, you can use portable label maker. You will also need to differentiate your file from those of your colleagues. You can do so by keeping colorful files and folders, or by marking your file in a unique way.
Unless you are working in a law firm, you will only have handful of files. However, if you have more than 5-7 files, it's better to have a file cabinet around. That way you can protect your important files without much fuss.
Once you have cleaned your desk, do remember to follow the set organization. Otherwise, you will be again buried under the mountain of documents within few weeks!