When working on your desktop organization system not all of your paper should be stuck away in a file drawer. Those items that are accessed regularly must be kept handy. With this in mind you don't want a disorganized stack just sitting on your desktop or counter. How do you go about your desktop organization project with a sense of balance? What you need is a fingertip file!
What is a Fingertip File?
A fingertip file is exactly what it sounds like - a place to store papers that you want to keep right at your fingertips. You know the kinds of documents I'm talking about - those things that you tend to need at a moment's notice (possibly even several times a day):
. Phone and contact lists
. Printed schedules and calendars
. Directories and rosters
. Cheat sheets and important memos
. Pricing, product, and vendor lists
. Blank forms you use all the time
It doesn't matter whether you're a mom trying to keep track of your kid's classmates, soccer schedule, and PTA activities or if you're struggling to stay on top of your company's products, vendors, customers, and staff. You need a desktop organization system for it all! Fortunately, you have several options.
Keep Items in Sight
If you're one of those people who likes to have things in plain view, consider keeping important pages in translucent poly project jackets tacked to a bulletin board or placed in a tiered wire rack on your desk. Another option is the new Smead Stadium® File. The 12-pocket Stadium® File is ideal for clearing clutter from your workspace or countertop. You can turn piles into files with this tiered expanding file that lets you see everything at a glance.
Color-code your paperwork by using a different colored jacket for each item (ex: price list in green, department directory in yellow, vendor contacts in pink) to make it easier to locate information quickly.
Organizing Everything in One Folder
If you prefer to store your reference sheets out of sight when you don/t need them - you may consider a flip style document organizer. Just get a sturdy pressboard classification folder with fasteners at the top of each divider, and attach each page to a divider (one front and one back). For more reference files you might also try the Smead Project Organizer Expanding File for optimal organization. Keep track of project process, contacts and notes with 10 expanding pockets.
Binding it all Together
You can also accomplish the same goal with a ring-binder and poly translucent slash jackets or project jackets. Just slip each reference item into a different colored jacket. You should be able to easily access any piece of information in seconds.
Creating Reference Categories
What if your fingertip file doesn't contain a collection of loose pages, but a number of larger documents? The answer is simple - set up an expanding file or set of hanging folders in a file rack, and assign a category to each section.
You can organize your paper by the area of your life it relates to (ex: extracurricular activities, upcoming events, accounts payable), or the specific document being stored (ex: order forms, phone lists, memos). Again, color coding and labeling each section takes the guesswork out of locating a specific document.
Sometimes the fingertip items you need to store are too large to fit in a file. Examples include product catalogs, professional journals, magazines, etc. You can either store these in magazine holders that sit upright on a bookshelf (one holder for each title). You could also consider using box bottom hanging folders to store your publications spine-up in a file drawer.
The trick to desktop organization is creating the perfect fingertip file. By paying attention to what documents you use most you can easily accomplish this. For the next few days, every time you touch a reference item, put a small dot or a sticker on the back of the sheet. Those items with a large number of marks should be included in your fingertip file. Then all you have to do is choose the system that best matches your work style and the type of paper you are organizing. You now have your desktop organization done and it was easy as pie!