As we continue full steam ahead into the new year, now is the perfect time to evaluate the office organizing systems we have in place – or perhaps the systems that we don’t yet have set up. What is working? What isn’t? When systems are in place, we know exactly which steps to take next. This ultimately increases productivity in the workplace. Here are 5 office organizing systems that this Professional Organizer recommends you use this year.
Incoming paperwork. What do you do with the paper coming into your office? Where does it go? When and how do you process it? Set up an inbox, tray, basket or similar container for collecting all new paperwork. Otherwise this new paperwork will get mixed in with the papers, files and piles already on your desk and you may or may not ever see it.
Office filing. This system is important because without a plan in place, paper clutter will end up devouring your entire office. First, you need to store your files in an easy to access location. Next, your filing plan needs to include easy to recognize categories with clearly labeled files. If you don’t know where to put a document, you’ll end up leaving it to pile up on your desk. Finally, schedule time to file. Five minutes at the end of the work day will clear your desk and allow you to quickly find whatever you may need the next day.
Computer processes. Much like office filing, you also need to have a system in place for your computer files. Use clearly labeled folders with specific categories so that you can keep forms and documents organized. While you are evaluating your computer organizing systems, take a look at when you are backing up files and performing routine maintenance, like ensuring your antivirus software is the most current version. Schedule time as part of your plan for computer upkeep.
Email management. Instead of spending valuable work time hopping in and out of your inbox during the day, create a system for how and when you check your email. Schedule time to process emails, and have a plan in place to store necessary information that needs to be saved. Clearly labeled folders for storage and an action file for emails that you need to respond to should be part of your plan.
Information systems. This category includes things like your Standard Operating Procedures for tasks and projects, your contact information for your clients and staff, your disaster preparedness plan, and any other plans and procedures pertinent to running your business. This information needs to be easy for your staff to access, and easy for you to share as needed.
Staying organized at work this year begins and ends with the office organizing systems you have in place. For more hands on strategies and help creating systems that work for you, reach out to this Professional Organizer in NYC!