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What is a Pivot Box??

A Pivot box is a virtual box of treasures for you.   I collect useful scraps of information.  I throw them into boxes or files and then return to them later and enjoy the bits of wisdom Iíve collected.

So Iíve put together one for you - a box of treasures - in virtual form - to help you stay on top of your paper avalanche..

Need help with keeping your paper organised?


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Someone asks for a copy of that document. Where is it? 


You know you have the information for that presentation somewhere. 


Or maybe you are fighting a losing battle to make sure the bills are paid on time, or your children go to the right performance on the right day.  Can you find that information?  Can you keep control of what has to be done when?




Are you having difficulty finding documents when you need them?  Are the stacks of paper getting out of hand?  Do you find yourself apologising for your untidy desk?


Then itís time to cut through the paper Ė blitz the problem.  Too busy, you say, to even think about it?  Let me reassure you that the time we save by not attending to it right now is being wasted in looking for that document, shifting stacks of paper to make room for more and in explaining or maybe justifying, why things got out of hand.


So letís start with these:




Your desk means a lot to you.  It may be the place of your greatest creativity, or your most decisive business decisions.  It may be the place that is the hub of your home management systems. It may be a sanctuary, an engine room or a creativity generator.


But if it is covered in piles of paper and other bits and pieces; if it is overflowing and ugly, then all of that creativity, efficiency and productivity is jeopardised, stifled and just plain difficult.


You know that, I know that, and we also know that the solution is to tidy it so that we can find things; make it attractive so that we are motivated; and to implement systems so that it stays that way. 






For more help with keeping your paper organised


Sign up for our free email mini-course.


The Noguchi filing system

The filing system proposed and used by Noguchi Yukio is worth a look. To employ the system, you'll need to discard many conventional notions about how to store paper documents. Here's how it works:

You need a set of A4 (letter)-sized envelopes and some way to mark the outside of the envelopes. If you want, you can color-code them with markers.

Take every document and store it in an A4-sized envelope with the flaps cut off, as shown here.

Mark the title and date of the document on the side of the envelope, as shown, and the envelopes are stored vertically on a bookshelf.

Don't attempt to classify documents. The color coding is optional, and only there to help you find documents more quickly.

Add any new document to the left end of the "envelope buffer." Whenever a document is used (i.e., the envelope removed from the shelf), return it to the left end of the bookshelf. The result of this system is that the most recent and frequently used documents move to the left, while documents that are rarely or never used migrate to the right.

Over time, some of the files on the right side of the shelf will be classified as "holy files" which you will retain indefinitely. Remove these from the shelf and store them in boxes. If a "holy file" is in use, it is part of the working file group at the left. Thus, holy files are really dead files which you cannot part with. Get them out of sight into a box.

When you need more space, throw away any documents that you consider "unnecessary."

Read more on Noguchi's system in this article by William Lise, or on Noguchi's website.

How do you feel about wastebaskets? That's right, you read that correctly - your attitude toward your wastebasket will have a
profound and  - yea verily -- mystical impact on your paper clutter.

Do not - I repeat DO NOT - think of your wastebasket as an evil enemy who gobbles up all your important data.  It is your sweet
and kind, loyal and true friend who needs to be nurtured and fed. 

So feed your wastebasket.