Saturday, February 27, 2010

ADVICE: Is your desk always tidy and orderly?

....MINE SURE ISN'T!! (although MUCH better than the desk to the left!)). But, I do try: I file things, I put them away, and then MORE mail comes in, more bills arrive, MORE information from groups I belong to comes in, MORE paperwork I have to attend to....and then there are the seemingly millions of little Post-its with phone numbers or messages, information I've taken from a call or off the know, the little papers that are always in your way until you need the information and then you can't find it anywhere?

I HAVE GOT THE CURE: Regarding the bulk of that paperwork we all face, I can't offer much advice other than to say FILE IT. (of course, don't file it too well or you'll never FIND it when you need it, if you're like me). BUT, a friend recommended a 1 TO 31 FILE....31 pockets, one pocket for each day of the month, all there for things you need to do whatever day you choose. File them on the day you need to write that check.........file a letter that needs answering next week in a pocket for next week........file anything that has to be done on a certain date in that large 1-to-31 file on that certain date and there it will be. Remember to look into that file every morning so you DO the work you've thrown into that particular day's pocket. Good, huh? I hope it helps.

But, the best suggestion I got from this same friend is this: THINK SPIRAL NOTEBOOK (yes, she bought me a purple one!) Get a spiral notebook and keep it on your desk. In that notebook, take all the darned sticky notes from all over, like the ones you've got stuck to the side of your computer right now?, and write the information IN that notebook and THROW AWAY THE STICKY PAPER! Next time a phone number's given to you on that phone on your desk, write it in the notebook until you have a chance to transfer it to your phone book. Next time you have a bit of info you want to keep but don't know WHERE TO KEEP IT, write it in the SPIRAL NOTEBOOK. Get the picture? My spiral notebook is sitting here with numbers and information SAFE until I use the info or transfer it to where it should stay. You can also keep a "TO DO" list in there if you like. This is THE best solution to the tiny Post-its I have ever heard and it's working great!

So, I thought I'd pass that on to you.........THINK SPIRAL NOTEBOOK, BUY SPIRAL NOTEBOOK, USE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK. I promise you won't be sorry and your desk will be FAR neater! Let me know how it goes! This has been a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT :-)



Beth said...

Good suggestion! Those sticky notes aren't cheap, either. And I do try to make To Do lists, because it feels good to cross things off when done!

beamish said...

I'm just good to know which pile something not pressingly important to keep track of is in.

My worst habit is phone numbers. I'll jot them down, but forget to assign a name to them, so later I don't know who's phone number it is.

BB-Idaho said...

The guy that invented 'sticky notes' also invented the root canal and the colonoscopy. Just sayin....

shoprat said...

I am as unorganized as they come at times and am by nature a packrat. I am actually good at organized but poor at staying organized.

I obviously have internet access again.

JINGOIST said...

Z, that desk looks like my work truck. LOL! I've had customers tell me that if my truck was too neat and orderly, they wouldn't trust the quality of my work or the quality of my crew.

I'm not sure how that works, but...

JINGOIST said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JINGOIST said...

Z, have you heard anything about this:

It seems that the government is laying the groundwork (VERY quietly) to seize people's retirement incomes. That's right, 401k's, IRA's, you name it. Time to clean your weapons folks...

I'm writing a blog post about this today. Come give it a look later on!

Z said...

Jingo, I looked through and it sounds like Boortz is jumping to conclusions but it surely is important to really check it out and STOP IT if he's right...I'll be eager to read your piece.
I'm gone much of the day, pls come back and remind me :-)

Beth, you're right about those post-its$$

Beamish, I've had "12 lunch" written on my calender and no idea who it was WITH, have you done THAT? heh I used to sit in my office and be surprised when whoever it was showed UP. Previous to that, I'd be praying I wasn't supposed to be meeting that person somewhere other than my office! (many were sales reps who'd pick me up)

BB-Idaho...good point. Would that we could rid ourselves of the need for the post-its as easily as the disgusting need for root canals or colonoscopies, right?! glad you're back on the 'net.

Jingo "a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind" is a sign I had on my desk when I had my company!

Anonymous said...

My office looks like the bottom of a wastepaper basket. I've considered putting a sign on the door identifying it as La Poubelle. (Z will know what that means ;-)

I have no idea what's sifting around all over two desktops, stuffed in file cabinets, and stacked on shelves. Doubtless archeologists and anthropologists will wonder too what it was all about thousands of years from now when they dig through the petrified remains of my household.

I'm pleased to say, however, that the rest of my house is kept ready for inspection and fully prepared to march on full dress parade at a moment's notice.

Yagotta have SOME place where you can let your hair down, be as disheveled as you like, and otherwise let it all hang out.

Isn't that what offices are FOR?

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Ft..ya, but so much important stuff comes from THE DESK.
It's almost a RISK not being better organized than I (and I guess, you!) are!
All other parts of my house are pretty presentable, too!
But the accountant needs information somewhere in all this stuff, there's important insurance stuff, retirement information, letters needing response, cards needing acknowledgment........bills needing payment.
The desk is SO IMPORTANT!

Z said...

you're right about the house being easier to keep up.
If we could just VACUUM our desks, NO PROBLEM!!

beamish said...


I at least know where I'm at and where I'm supposed to be (even if those aren't always the same place or time, heh) I just don't know who to call back, or at least which number is theirs LOL

Thank gawd for Caller ID. Now I can at least call back people who call me first...

Anonymous said...

Well, Z, I cheat a bit. I pay most of the bills online, and always sort the mail when it comes in. Any important stuff (not much) I put on the piano. Personal letters I try to read right away, and either save or dispose of as warranted. Don't get many of those anymore anyway. All the ads and promo stuff gets put in paper recycling bin in the garage.

We should all pay our bills, then separate and file insurance policies, bank statements, etc. right away.

But all the REST of the stuff -- bits and pieces of info, those post-it notes you mentioned, half-baked attempts at creative writing, and stuff I mean to get to "someday" and never do make a BLIZZARD all over the office.

I plan to commit suicide if the IRS wants to audit me --not because I'm guilty of anything, but because I might be tempted to murder one of those bastards. Best to sidestep BIG trouble. ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting at my desk as I type. The computer's on our desk. I'm looking around here, and it's not too bad.

I'll stuff online receipts in a drawer. The top middle drawer is loaded with 3x5 cards with email addresses and notes on them.

Any appts. I write right away on the large calendar hanging up in the kitchen.

My telephone/address book is stuffed with loose cards, envelopes or any paper near me for notes, phone nos. or info, from a phone call. When I'm feeling ambitious, I'll enter the phone nos. in that book. At least I know where to look in the meantime.

I don't make grocery lists. That's my last stand on exercising my brain to depend on memory, relying on going down every aisle in the market. I'm getting older, and my memory banks need practice. Ha, Ha.

FT, our house is seldom ready for inspection. Mr. Pris ls a collector of sorts. You know what George Carlin said, "we need a bigger house for all our stuff". In our case, that ain't happenenin'.

Jingo, I did read something about that. It seems the politicians have this brilliant idea of offering a govt. retirement, in exchange for those 410ks and IRAs.

Don't they mean what's left of them? It's enough to make me a conspiracy theorist. First make sure they're worth less than before, and offer pie in the sky money for them.

I think that used to be called Social Security didn't it? We all know how well that's going to work out don't we?


JINGOIST said...

Pris writes:

"Jingo, I did read something about that. It seems the politicians have this brilliant idea of offering a govt. retirement, in exchange for those 410ks and IRAs."

YEP! But first they have to use the IRS and the upcoming census to fish for information about where you have your money. Make no mistake, these people are NOT giving up.

Anonymous said...

"YEP! But first they have to use the IRS and the upcoming census to fish for information about where you have your money. Make no mistake, these people are NOT giving up."

They won't give up until they're out of power. It's up to us to see that happens sooner rather than later.

As for the census, they have the right to know how many people live in our house. That's it.


Z said...

there is no way I could keep up every day, I'd be lasso'd to this desk half the day every day.
So, I have to keep things and get to them later, with focus, all in one afternoon, etc etc...
Would that I had a bill and a letter to read! I get TONS AND TONS of stuff over my desk!

But, it's getting better....I'm organized in everything BUT THIS ....and all the insurance paperwork associated with my Mr. Z's passing AND my having totalled our car 2 wks before he died only added to the piles and piles.
Now I have home title changes, my tax stuff, etc etc........if I file it, it'll be not attended to; I'm better with everything lined up on my desk..

Pris, as for this "the politicians have this brilliant idea of offering a govt. retirement, in exchange for those 410ks and IRAs." THEY CAN KISS MY................

Z said...

BY THE WAY...what MONEY is our government going to pay RETIREMENT TO US with? ARE WE INSANE?
I know THEY are.

Anonymous said...

A clean and orderly desk is the sign of a deranged mind!!!

Beamish, I somehow find comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one who finds phone numbers with no name all the time... duh!!!! You all are really making me and my ADD addled brain feel much better! :-)


Anonymous said...

Here is how I have used my spiral notebook system for the past 20 years. It is very easy.
Basically it is a system of,

Phone Messages on the RIGHT,

Notes on the LEFT
It is a telephone and note log.

When the book is OPEN....
All telephone messages are
written on the RIGHT page.

All notes about returned conversations, and things to do-

additional notes or additional phone numbers AND messages to myself ...

are written on the LEFT page

I date the top of the page just
above the phone messages for
that day.

I make a small cirle at the beginning of each phone message and note the time received.

I make an "X" through the
circle when I have returned the call.

I write the date of my RSVP on
the LEFT page, and also an arrow to whatever notes were taken about that call..on the LEFT

Post It Notes and other notes taken on small papers are taped onto the LEFT page.

I draw a line across at the end
of each day's messages, and then date the next day's messages.

This is in order to SEE each day more clearly.
I keep these notebooks for about
five years. I read through the current year's book for anything
I may need to remember, before
it goes on the shelf.

My life is very busy with a great deal of communication about my

This system has kept me sane, by having a running written record
of all messages in one place.

I can also take it on the road, which has proven useful.

Hope this system helps someone.

Anonymous said...

"Pris, as for this "the politicians have this brilliant idea of offering a govt. retirement, in exchange for those 410ks and IRAs." THEY CAN KISS MY................"

Z, My sentiments exactly!


MK said...

Good advice Z. It's amazing how much you can get done once you get organized and start keeping track of things.