Organizing The Information
Putting a piece of paper in a file folder is easy; finding it again is the hard part. There are ways to make your files easier to use and your papers easier to find. Invest in a sturdy, four or five-drawer file cabinet. Spend the extra money it takes to get quality and durability.
You'll spend more money replacing a cheaper file cabinet a few times than buying a reliable one in the beginning. You may not have enough files to fill the cabinet now, but believe me, you'll need it in the future.
Before you buy additional cabinets, weed out unnecessary files. The natural tendency is to buy more cabinets to hold the papers you've accumulated. The more filing space you have, however, the more tendency you have to keep unnecessary papers.
Keep the number of hanging file folders you use to a minimum. Rather than putting only one interior folder in each hanging folder, group three to five interior folders in each one and label the hanging folder with the main category.
Minimize your paper files by using a scanner to store them electronically. There are hand-held, sheet-fed, flatbed and optical pen scanners available. You can even use a scanner to enter business cards into a contact management software program.
Designate one place in your office for magazines, newspapers and any other publications you don't need to read right away. Select another place for papers that need to be filed. Stacking bins'they're larger than stacking trays and have legs'keep papers to file and papers to read separated, yet in close proximity to each other. You could also use wicker baskets near your desk to hold these materials. The point is to keep this inactive information off your desk and keep you focused on more important tasks.
You don't have to spend a fortune or a lifetime organizing your home based business. Take the time to select the right location for your home office and evaluate whether your current furniture and setup is meeting your needs. Then design your office so you can find information quickly, and create a filing system that reduces the time you spend searching for important papers.
Disorganization can cause lost time and money and eventually may cause you to lose sight of the reason you started your business in the first place: to enjoy what you do each day.
Copyright 2004 DeFiore Enterprises
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