Everytime Mary had to find a file on her computer, she always had great difficulty. And it was no wonder why. Every file had been saved under the folder "Mary" and that was it. There were no other categories. Consequently every time Mary searched her folder she spent ages sifting through all the documents.
Now Mary is a real smart cookie. She's the Marketing Director of a very well known organisation. She knows her 'stuff'. She is fortunate to have her own personal assistant. However Mary still has to type many of her own letters and prepare a multitude of documents in relation to her demanding role. She also receives around 60 emails a day, most of which contain relevant information to the variety of projects she works on.
In Mary's situation, other team members in her organisation occasionally are required access to her electronic files and in the past they wasted unnecessary time sifting through them
Just like many other businesspeople I have worked with, no-one had shown Mary how to handle the basics of organisation, including how to organise computer files so they are stored logically and can be easily accessed.
So how do you store your computer files?
In my opinion they should resemble the same categories as your paper filing system. If your paper filing system is a disaster, then take careful note of the points made and make changes as soon as possible (today).
Before you do anything else, delete all old or obsolete files.
Write down the categories of information you need.
Note: Always have a general area to cover anything else.
Create folders for each of these areas.
Now work out if you need to expand these categories.
Brown & Co
Create sub-folders for #3 if required.
Transfer existing files to the appropriate areas.
By the way the same applies to emails, the same folders can be set up to store incoming and outgoing email. It will be up to you to decide what will work best for you. And of course you have to be mindful of specific procedures which may be in place in your organisation. Just make sure you keep everything simple and take action.
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including "How to Survive and Thrive at Work!"
To subscribe to her free ezine visit www.office-organiser.com.au
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