Remember when they promised us the paperless office?  Ha!  For most of us, things have actually become worse.  It’s time we made a stand and took back control.

First, try heading it off at the pass.  Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.  Arrange to receive bills online.

Secondly, think before you print.  Make a note of receipt numbers on the bill instead of printing the whole receipt.  If printing is absolutely necessary, reuse once-used paper.

Thirdly, consider what papers you keep.  Unless required for tax purposes, paid accounts can be tossed once payment is confirmed.  There’s no need to file them for the future.

And finally, for those papers which must be kept, set up a really user-friendly filing system.  And remember, the user is you.  Make file names that make sense to you.  Make them logical and they’ll be easy to retrieve.

This post first appeared as an article in The Creating Order Chronicle, a free monthly e-newsletter, with articles, tips, competitions and special offers.  You can subscribe via the button on the home page.

  1. Karen Wallace 16 years ago

    Ahhh, I remember those promises of a paperless office. I for one wouldnt be happy that way – I love pen and paper to write with, and often when searching for inspiration or motivation I sit with a nice pen and smooth paper to let the thoughts flow more easily.

    I need these tips, as mine is a constant battle with paper… most of it in my office thankfully.

    I’d love further tips on your final point – ie a definition of ‘user friendly’ filing system (or at least some examples). To me, it’s a contradiction in terms (and why I always had a PA in the corporate world – to not only file, but retrieve the stuff when needed!!)

  2. Avatar photo Author
    creatingorderfromchaos 16 years ago

    You’re right, Karen. There is something special about a fresh piece of paper. I guess that’s why mind mapping doesn’t generally happen via keyboard.

    As for more tips on user-friendly filing – your wish is my command. Stay tuned as the next part in the Dealing with Paper Clutter series will be on that very point.

  3. Autumn 15 years ago

    I think one of the best general piece of advise I have for organizing is that every one will be different and you truly have to do trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t. I went through an older filing box and threw out most of the things in there, realizing I never referenced these items I have an easier time throwing like items out, or refraining from printing them. Having a shredder in your office helps too, if you haven’t switched to online billing.

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