Archive for Organization Basics

Are You Over Organizing?

Sometimes in your quest to be organized you dive too deep and actually over organize.

Though I see this most often with virtual files, I had a recent occurance of overorganizing in the offline world.

sorted nuts

I like to keep notebooks of thoughts, ideas, tips or whatever about various topics.  Sometimes I convert the information into digital files sometimes I don’t.  In an effort to be “Organized” I would put all my notes onto small scraps of paper – and then put them in the “proper” notebook later.

As you can image this led to tons of scraps of paper on my desk and several notebooks with different topics, all over my desk too.  On paper this seemed like a great idea to me, but the reality was that I had too many pieces of paper and I would loose them or forget what I meant before I was getting them into the “proper” notebook.

One day I was listening to a webinar about time management and in that presentation, she suggested the one notebook system.  Lightbulb moment for me  – I was trying to to hard and over organizing.  My one notebook is always on my desk and I write everything into my notebook.  About once a week I look back over the notebook and see what actions I need to take.  This has been working great for me…and then.

I was listening to a recording and instead of writing in my notebook, I grabbed a small pad of paper – about a quarter the size of a full sheet of paper – and began taking notes.  No idea why.  And the next day, I used the same small pad of paper for some random ideas I wanted to remember – stuff that usually goes in the notebook.

Then I realized I had all these little scraps of paper on my desk – of course I knew they “should” be in the notebook – so I stopped right then and tranferred them into the notebook.  I’m back on to my awesome one notebook system.

Before the one notebook, I was trying too hard and making myself more unorganized – the opposite of my desired goal.  Are you trying to over organize your office or those wonderful files on your computer?

If you need help or have questions, you can sign up for a planning session here.

I would love to hear how you overcame your over organizing ways in the comments below.

No Plan = Bad Habits

I know that I harp on this idea of having a plan, but you must have a plan.

We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t plan to fail, you fail to plan.”


Okay, so you fail if you don’t plan, but not only do you fail, you have very likely created habits that will lead to additional failures.

If you want to organize your office and keep it organized you will need a plan.

Your plan may need to be changed as you go on but you must have a starting point. And the easiest starting point is your current clutter (which is really just the result of a bad habit). If you have clutter, you have a problem area – define the problem, brainstorm possible solutions, implement the best possible solution.

Simple right? Yes it’s simple but it takes commitment and action.

Okay what do I mean when I say define the problem, when we’ve already determined it’s a pile of clutter. I want to know more about your clutter. What is in that pile? How old are the items in the pile? Do they have a “home” or do they need a desinated “home”?

By digging deeper (pun intended) you will find the “real” problem and a real, lasting solution.

What is Your Organizing Style?

Do you need to have the whole plan in place and complete the whole makeover in one fell swoop?

Or are you more of a pick a little at a time organize this pile? this drawer? this corner of the desk? this folder on your desktop?

Knowing how you work best will help you have more success as you tackle your home office.  As a business owner you have probably spent time learning the most productive time of day for you to work, and defining what your strengths are and what your need to outsource, but rarely have you given your organizing style that kind of consideration.

Well, today I want you to give at least some of your attention.  person sittting on bench looking at water

Personally, I like to see the big picture and then tackle the projects in bite size chunks.  But I can’t just do a little here and little there if I don’t have a clear end result in mind.  If I don’t have an clear end result in mind I might as well just be picking up the same pile of laundry and carrying from room to room – I accomplish nothing.

I do think most people benefit from having that end result in a physical form – not just in your head.  Put it down on paper or on the computer, create a 3-D model if you really want, but don’t just rely on your own brain.  It has been proven that if you use pen and paper it actually stimulates creative centers of the brain, but if you see what I actually draw on paper you might think it decreases artistic ability 🙂

Your design doesn’t have to be perfect or even well done.  I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, but I like to draw the room if I am planning a physical space and since I am not actually making the walls it doesn’t matter what my drawing looks like, it only matters what the plan is.

So now you know some of my little quirks – think about yours and let me know in the comments below what you think your design style is.