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     When Your Office Is On The Run


When your office is MOBILE, it has to be efficient. Use these simple organizing tips from to keep papers and supplies at your fingertips!
WHERE DID I PUT MY PEN?!

Whether you work out of your car or from airports and hotels around the world, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find a pen or paper clip when you need it. Here are some tips for creating a portable office SUPPLY organizer:
  • clear cosmetic bags or small Ziploc bags are great for storing SMALL supplies -- such as pens, pencils, Post-its, paper clips, scissors, and a glue stick


  • if you need to carry larger supplies or equipment with you on a regular basis, consider specialized CASES for these items


  • if traveling by air or train, invest in an expandable BRIEFCASE -- store your traveling office supplies in it until time to hit the road


PAPER, PAPER, EVERYWHERE

It can be a real challenge to keep paper in ORDER while you are on the road -- storing action items where you can find them, making sure you have enough paper supplies, and keeping it all from spilling out of an overstuffed briefcase. Here are a few suggestions:
  • use a portable file BOX, filled with your current project and client files, to keep papers corralled -- make sure to have extra folders and labels so you can create new files on the run


  • always bring company PROMOTIONAL materials, including extra business cards, just in case


  • keep an envelope or expandable wallet file to gather expense RECEIPTS -- they will be easier to organize when you get back
TAKING TO-DO'S WITH YOU

It's always a good idea to take a few things with you to keep you busy during "down" periods -- when you are waiting at an airport, have some free time in the evening after a meeting, or when your 4:00 appointment is running late. Here are some tips for keeping those ACTION items organized as you travel:
  • always have a box of thank-you notes and envelopes or business stationery on hand to WRITE on the go -- also include postage stamps and return address labels


  • keep READING material together in one file -- when you find yourself waiting for an appointment, take that opportunity to catch up on the latest industry news


  • if you have a few free minutes with nothing to do, you can always clean out your BRIEFCASE while waiting for the train or plane
PLANNING AHEAD

The key to a successful "mobile" office is planning -- knowing what you are going to need, and then deciding on the most EFFECTIVE way to carry those items with you. Try these tips on your next business trip or day working around town:
  • if you have a laptop computer or handheld organizer, store as much INFORMATION on it as you can -- phone numbers, calendars, client information, etc. -- to limit the hard copy materials you’ll need to lug around


  • always pack your supplies in the same area of your box or bag -- that way you will never have to guess if you've accidentally left something BEHIND


  • create a LIST of items you will need to take as you travel or work from your car -- before you leave, give your briefcase, supply cases, and paper files the once-over to make sure nothing has been left out

 

Sara Pedersen — AKA The Marketing Fairy — is a small business marketing specialist based in St Paul, Minnesota. She invites you to visit her website to learn about her Facebook for Small Business Owners How-To Guide, Purposeful Website Planning How-To Guide, Publicity Rocks! How-To Guide, and 50 Bright Ideas to Marketing Your Small Business Tip Sheet. You can also sign up for her FREE "Marketing Made Easy" e-newsletter and find helpful how-to articles at www.themarketingfairy.com.


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