Paper may eventually go the way of papyrus,
but for now, it's here to stay. Paper bills, taxes, receipts, school work,
business cards, not to mention, your overstuffed mailbox: dealing with paper is
a part of the day-to-day. Tired of watching papers pile up? Read on for six
tips for taming that paper tiger.
The Circular File: Open mail over the trash. Discard junk mail,
catalogs and envelopes. You'll be amazed at how much paper you cut out.
Buh-bye Unread Mags: Do you have magazine or newspaper
subscriptions you never get around to reading? Put an end to the wishful
thinking and cancel those items. Likewise, cancel the catalogs that fill up
your mailbox. Online sites like catalogchoice.com will help you fend off unwanted catalogs.
Watch your recycling pile shrink.
Create a Mail Station: Keep envelopes, stamps, pens and a checkbook
handy in one central location so bills can be paid quickly, without building
up. Consider going digital with as many bills as you can.
Once a Day: Just as you empty your sink of dirty dishes each day,
commit to a daily review of incoming paper. By spending even a few minutes a
day managing the paper flow, you ward off the massive paper pile ups that cause
stress and disorganization.
Get a System: You don't need to have an OCD filing system to
successfully manage paper. Sometimes a system as simple as Act Now, File for
Action Later This Week, and Archive is all that's needed. Just be sure to
develop a system that doesn't have you hanging on to every slip of paper than
enters your home. Which brings us to our
Let Go: Not everything needs to be
saved. Work hard to distinguish what's important from what's not. If you don't
reconcile your ATM slips with your bank statements, why are you holding on to
those paper slips? Are you truly keeping each piece of children's art? Choose a
few to hang in a rotating art gallery in your kitchen and get rid of the rest.
Not sure what to keep, what to purge? Our past post File or Toss? A Handy Guide
for Assessing Your Paperwork helps you decide.
Do you have any tips or tricks for managing
the paper flow? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.