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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Managing Paper Electronically

Despite what the experts predicted when computers were introduced, we are still a long way away from "the paperless office." I actually read somewhere that the amount of paper used in offices over the past 25 years has increased by approximately 600%. Although there are steps we can take to reduce the usage of paper, the fact is that we can't eliminate it altogether.

Of course, the more paper you have, the more challenging it becomes to keep track of it, but you can make it a little easier by letting your computer do the work.

There are software programs that you can buy that are especially designed to manage paper files, including Find Every File and Taming the Paper Tiger, which is available in Basic, Pro, and Network versions. These systems are great for people who don't think in clearly defined categories (or who tend to over think such things) because instead of labelling file folders with specific names and filing them alphabetically, file folders are simply numbered, and you enter keywords into the database to identify the contents of each file. When you need to file or retrieve a document, you just type in a relevant keyword and the software tells you the appropriate file number.

If you don't want to invest in single-purpose software, you can create your own indexing system using Microsoft Excel. All you need to do is create a column for the file numbers, and a column for your keywords. When you need to find a file number, simply click on "Find" and type in your search term. To make your system even more valuable, add a third column for the file location so you don't have to go hunting for that particular file when you need it.

Consider hiring a virtual assistant or professional organizer to help you set up the system, if you don't have time to do it yourself. The service will more than pay for itself in the time you'll save down the road.

posted on: 2/14/2008 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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