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Article: Conquer Desktop Clutter with Action Files Related Resources

Conquer Desktop Clutter with Action Files
© Jan Jasper; 2001-2005

Action files enable you to unclutter your desk yet still keep reminders and current papers close at hand. Also known as working files, these files are usually separate from -- and in addition to - client, project, or reference files. Action files are for current or pending activities and miscellaneous things you must act on.

Action files must always be within easy reach-- ideally in a small desktop file holder that holds the file folders upright so the tabs are clearly visible.

For added peace of mind, make a note in your calendar or scheduling software to remind you of important dates. This combats the "out of sight, out of mind" worry and lets you clear your desk without fearing you'll forget something important.

    Suggested categories for Action Files:
  • phone calls to return
  • agenda for an upcoming staff meeting
  • expenses to submit
  • bills to pay
  • papers to file
  • business development ideas
  • good ideas to try someday
  • papers to photocopy
  • current departmental & administrative matters
  • pending health insurance claims
  • your upcoming business trip
  • tasks to delegate to your assistant
  • conferences to register for
  • matters to discuss with co-workers
  • errands to run, gifts to buy, sale coupons
  • things to discuss with your child's teacher or doctor
  • pending (for example, letters you sent for which you must receive a reply)

It's not necessary to use every category listed here, and feel free to add any others that suit you.


About the Author:

Jan Jasper has been training busy people to work smarter, not harder since 1988. She helps clients streamline their systems and procedures, form optimum work habits, use technology efficiently, and manage information overload. Her specialty is helping people who've already worked with professional organizers and coaches and are still not able to get it all done.Jan is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press). She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. In 2001, Jan was the office productivity expert for staples.com. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print.Jan is currently on the board of the Tri-State Chapter (NY, NJ, & CT) of the National Speakers Association.

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