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Low tech tools to manage your paper piles

low tech tools to manage your paper pilesThis is the first of a three-part series called The Paper Chase – How to conquer the paper piles in your workspace.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only three weapons to defend yourself from the paper monsters that inhabit it, which ones would you pick?

Let’s face it, while you live in a highly digital world, you still do battle with these insidious sheathes that infiltrate your office space. Before you know it, you’re surrounded and if you don’t address the issue, soon you are drowning in it.

Here are three must-have weapons for your arsenal so you can do battle and win against the paper beasts that stalk you.

1.  In-tray

This is a low-tech as it gets. The In-tray typically sits on your desk and is used for daily, short-term containment. This is the landing spot for all paper that makes its way into your workspace. Use it as a place to organize papers that require action, response and documents that must be filed or scanned.

2.  Filing Containers

There are some paper documents that you must keep, such as your birth certificate, passport, business license, etc. That’s why you need to have a filing container of some type. It could be a cabinet, an accordion folder or a plastic filing tub.  You decide which is best, depending on your space and the amount of documents you need to store.

3.  Shredder/Recycling Bin

Once you’re finished with your paper it’s time to get rid of it in an environmentally friendly way. Shred any document that contains confidential information (social insurance/security number, address, financial data etc.). All the other paper can go straight into the recycling bin.

While these are low-tech tools, they are highly efficient. Once you get into the groove and develop a flow of how paper moves through your workspace, you’ll be in control in no time.

Remember, paper piles represent delayed decisions. It’s time to take action.  Tweet that!

Next week The Paper Chase continues with Part 2: Tech tools to help you conquer paper chaos.

P.S.  Want to join me in my battle against paper? On May 27, I’m hosting a free virtual Get It Done Day. I’ll be spending my time fighting the paper piles in my office. What will you work on? To sign up, click this link.

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