Wherever I look I see piles, so I was delighted to receive a sample of this awesome paper organizer, originally designed to help students become organized with their schoolwork by founder and learning specialist, Stacey Lowenberg.
To give you an idea of how it works, I'll show you how I am planning to use My BFF to organize the mind-boggling quantity of papers that form piles all over my house.
First, I have chosen names for the color-coded hanging files in the desktop At-Home Filer Box as well as for the accordion file and the dividers in the loose leaf binder:
Life Goes Strong (notes and clippings for articles)
Confessions of a Worrywart (notes and clippings with ideas for my blog)
Book Publicity (notes from conversations with publicists and others about my upcoming book)
Book Publicity (notes with ideas for book talks, contacts, social media, etc.)
Writing Group (comments on my articles and my book from my writing group)
Articles of Interest (notes and article ideas for blogs, newspapers, magazines, future books)
Pending—Long Term (invitations, brochures, and other papers to be reviewed every week or two)
Pending—(bills and other papers that need attention within the week)
Next I am using the three-hole puncher that comes with My BFF system to organize papers into the loose leaf binder. These papers are documents I want to refer to while I work. (The divider tabs in the binder are coded with the same colors as those in the hanging files.) When I no longer have use for a document, I can file it in the desktop hanging file box.
Because the binder comes with an accordion file attached, I'll always have a place for papers I'll need to refer to when I travel, go to meetings, or go to an office to work.
In addition to a hole puncher, the binder includes a planner pocket for to-do lists, assignments and the like as well as a pouch for pens, pencils, and other supplies.
Organizing tips from Stacey Lowenberg:
Take time to properly put something away.
Factoring that extra five minutes into your work time, SAVES TIME, so that you won't waste time looking for things.
Make sure you are coming up with good TITLES for files.
Use broader terms rather than specific ones. Say you label a hanging file "Interviews." Use a manila folder within the hanging files labeled with the name related to each interview.
Have handy all the materials you need.
For example, keep a power cord both at home and at office. Order extra ink for your printer before you need it. Keep pencils sharpened pencils. Be prepared and have all the tools you need before you start any kind of project (the same way you would amass all the ingredients for a recipe),
Labeling things is important.
Use a label-maker; when things are neat they are less daunting and your mind will be clearer.
Avoid Information overload.
Seeing too much at once can be anti-productive. If it makes you anxious to have all of your papers out of sight, keep a list of what is inside each folder.
Moms, writers, students, and anyone who has paper in his or her life (tax records, anyone?) will find a new best friend forever in My BFF Organizer.