Organization is important when it comes to school and work. About 57% of Americans claim they judge their coworkers by their cleanliness and organization. There are several ways to keep ourselves organized, especially now that we have computers and smartphones to keep track of our schedules and lives. But there is something to be said about the old school way of doing things (remember those printable sticker labels?). We still have to deal with physical documents and other potential clutter, after all (the average office worker will go through 10,000 sheets of copy paper annually). And all that time spent searching through that clutter costs corporate America an estimated $177 billion each year. Yikes!
So what are the best ways for students and office workers to stay organized? Back in the day, before smartphones, laptops, and tablets, people took notes with good old fashioned notebooks and organized papers and documents in folders and binders. Businesses used (and some still do use them) laser printer labels to mark all the important areas and objects of the office. Let’s look at the advantages of sticking with these basic organizational tools.
1) Let’s Get Physical
It might seem like a contradiction to try to reduce clutter by introducing more physical objects into the mix, but there must be a place for all those files that can’t just be stored digitally. Folders, notebooks, and even small 3 ring binders keep all those loose papers together in a way that is easy to classify and find. You can organize these folders or binders by color or one can use laser printer labels to mark them.
Digital storage is clean and handy, but can be deleted, corrupted, stolen, or lost in the abyss of technology. Keeping track of things physically isn’t foolproof either, of course, but the only way to lose these items (aside from them being disorganized to begin with), is to have them physically stolen.
2) Don’t Get Distracted!
If you’ve ever tried to write a paper or take notes on your laptop or other device, you might have at least once found yourself suddenly scrolling through cat videos or pictures from your best friend’s vacation. The internet is as distracting as it is helpful. This is why it’s a good idea to separate office or school work from the digital realm whenever possible. This can be done by using a pen and paper instead of a keyboard and word processor. The internet will always be there for research, email, etc., but it will be less of a distraction when you’re trying to focus solely on work.
3) Recyclable and Destructible
Things can get lost in the endless maze of computer files and take up storage space even when you have no need for them anymore. With organized, physical files and documentation, unneeded items can be shredded and recycled, out of your hair for good, and turned into something new for someone else to use. You’ll save a ton of space on your computer and other devices, while continually keeping your work space clutter free and up to date!
If your work area is becoming hard to look at, let alone work in, try getting organized the old fashioned way. Use laser printer labels to mark things, folders and binders to classify documents and notebooks to take notes and write memos. You might just find a new and better way to keep yourself organized.