How to Organize Paperwork
Step 1: Gather Your Papers Together
In Step 1 of how to organize paperwork (the unclutter step), gathering
up all the papers and sticky notes and piles helps you get your arms
around what you've got.
Most people have pieces of paper in many different
places in their office and their home...mail and invitations
bills pile up
on the desk, post-it notes accumulate on the computer,
and articles and projects end up on the credenza, in piles on the
floor, and stacked in the closet.
However, when you have papers all over the place, it’s much harder to
of what you have going on.
Loose papers and post-it notes also create a lot of mind clutter.
started out as a good intention of putting something 'right where
you'll see it' ends up doing just the oppositive...it becomes part of
the background noise of all the other papers sitting out 'right where
you'll see them' and creates a surprising level of stress and clutter.
Our first activity in how to organize paperwork for good is to
all that loose paper up and have it in one place.
- Create (and use) one "incoming paper center" in your office
- Get an inbox that you really like and will use
- Gather up all of your loose papers
Once you have designated
your paper center and got yourself an
inbox you love, the next action is to QUICKLY gather up all of your
loose papers and put them in your inbox.
your office and your home, gathering all of the loose
notes, napkins with writing on them, stray business cards, invitations,
the loose papers and put them in your inbox. You might find that your
inbox gets pretty full...that's OK! During our next step, we'll start
quickly sorting through your inbox so you can see what's really in
When you're done with Step 1 of how to organize paperwork, move on
to the next step: Sort
Your Papers Into Categories