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Blog: Use Your Space & Conquer Office Workflow
Mail Workflow - 3 Main Steps

If you work from home, you need to define a mail process or workflow. You should establish a flow for the mail from the point it comes into your home, until the point it leaves your home.  Focus on these 3 main steps of mail process.
Mail Coming In
Ideally, mail it would be processed immediately, but this is not always realistic with the complexities of our fast paced lives.  Also, working from home mean a multitude of people could potentially "bring in the mail."  In defining your workflow, think about who brings in the mail and what their habits are.
If you do not process the mail immediately, it should be placed in one central incoming mail tray.  Everyone who brings the mail into the home should know that it goes in the tray.  You want to prevent small droppings of mail throughout the house.
Mail Being Sorted
Ideally, you would sort the mail in the location where you need to take action on the mail.  For example, you should process the mail where the bills are paid, letters are written, invitations receive responses and information is read.  This is difficult in many homes because often people like to sort the mail on the main floor of the home, but pay bills or have their office on a different level.
If you sort the mail on a different level then where you take action on the mail, you should sort the mail into a mobile system that allows you to categorize the mail.  Popular categorizes include Pay (bills), Respond (invitations), Read (newsletters), and File (paperwork).  Please note: it is best to file paperwork immediately, but a File category is fine if your file system is on a separate level of your home then where you process the mail.  You also need the trash support tools at hand which include a trash can, receptacle for recycled paper and a shredder or a temporary location (e.g., folder or bin) for items to be shredded.
Mail Going Out
When a paid bill or a business invoice needs to be mailed, you don't want the stamped envelope lost and forgotten about on your desk or in your home.  Give outgoing mail a designated tray on your desk or a designated wall pocket near your office door.  In your home, you may also need near the door to outside an outgoing designated tray, wall pocket, or holder on the doorknob.

posted on: 1/10/2011 8:30:00 AM by Heather Cocozza
category: Business

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Use Your Space & Conquer Office Workflow

by Heather Cocozza

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About Heather:

Heather Cocozza, PMP, CPO® is a Professional Organizer who organizes and designs tailored home and office solutions. She is on the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)-WDC Board of Directors 2009-2010 and is the owner of Cocozza Organizing & Design, LLC. Prior to her organizing career, Heather Cocozza worked 13 years at IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers as an ERP Project Manager and at times traveled extensively while her "virtual" twins were between the ages of 0 to 3.

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