Wednesday, August 26, 2015

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Organizational Tools Everyone Needs Regardless of Style

Photo: Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Wait just a minute. I've spent the better part of a year trying to convince you that organizing BY style is the way to go, and now I want to give you one-size-fits-all advice?

Not at all.

Each of these three keys is an important piece of an organizational plan. How you incorporate each one will depend on your styles. In my opinion, everyone needs:

  • A to-do list (to manage tasks). The length, location and specificity are up to you. I like having a master list as well as a day-by-day list that I keep on my calendar.  
  • Containers with room to grow (to manage stuff). Every container should have a little bit of empty space in it to allow for new additions. I'm not talking about twice the size of what it houses -- just enough room that your whole system doesn't fall apart when you need to add to it.
  • A filing system (to manage paperwork). No matter how much we tout "going paperless," nearly all of us need hard copies to some degree.
    Fold 'n' File from
    Thirty One Gifts*
    And where there are hard copies, a filing system is necessary. Whether it's a file cabinet loaded with with color-coded, labeled folders, a clear file bin with an equally clear lid, or a lidless box that lets you see the contents at a glance, it's a filing system. If you can easily put things away and retrieve what you need in less than five minutes, it's working. I have more than a half dozen of the fold 'n' file bins (at right) on shelves in various rooms of my house, each dedicated to a specific type of paperwork. As an I need to see it person, I love that this bin is open on top and that it comes in various prints so I have a visual cue of what's where.
Truly paperless? I'm impressed. Chances are you have an online filing system. Just don't forget to back it up regularly.

Organizing by STYLE means the systems may be similar, but their elements work best when personalized. Keep in mind that the purpose of bothering with this whole organization business is to be able to find what you need when you need it.

And if you can be stylish in the process, so much the better.

*Full disclosure on fold 'n' file: I'm a Thirty-One consultant, so I might be a tad biased.

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