Receive a FREE
when you subscribe to our newsletter
"Be the best you can be"
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?
Sign up for our free email
asks for a copy of that document. Where is it?
you have the information for that presentation somewhere.
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
FILE IT TO FIND IT Ė CREATE A FILING SYSTEM THAT
WORKS FOR YOU
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
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
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.
DESK TO WORK FOR YOU
For more help with keeping your paper organised
Sign up for our free email
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
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
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.
IN PRAISE OF WASTEBASKETS