May 28, 2007

Filing with color coding I have received some emails triggered by the series on File Drawer Organization. Essentially you are asking, "What about color coding my files?" For most people I recommend using 1 color of folders - all the same - usually manila. This is because Manila folders are readily available in every office Having one type of folder keeps office supply management simple One color looks clear and vivid to most people, and There is a secret way to color code manila folders, if you must That said, here a few circumstances when color coding seems to make sense: When you have personal and professional folders in the same drawer When you have business management folders and client folders in the same drawer When you have vendor and client folders in the same drawer When you have active and inactive folders (that you want to revive soon) in the same drawer You see the pattern - where there are 2 subjects in the same drawer it might be okay to color code. In the cases where color coding does make finding folders easier there is the decision to color code the inside folders - or the tabs on the hanging folder - or both. (Already you see why this is a more complicated approach because of these decisions.) If you want to use just the manila folders, use a permanent marker to make a line along the top of the folder tab to give it color. Then, apply the label (previous article on using a label maker here) and you've got a convenient, inexpensive, and versatile system for color coding. For those deciding to color code the tab on the hanging folder here are a couple quick and effective tips: Use the label maker for easy-to-read tabs Stick the label on the outside of the tab - skip the fuss of the little paper insert Use a permanent marker to color code the tab
Productivity & Lifestyle - synching up Part 3 - Divest, downsize, simplify We've been discussing synching your lifestyle (home ownership) to productivity. In the initial article four options for decreasing the amount of stress related to home ownership were proposed. In Part 2 I overview hiring help. Today let's approach something people rarely do until 'later in life'. That would be to reject the American Dream of owning a good-size house on a good-size lot and to redefine a great lifestyle as one with housing that is enough - but not too much. That means not too much maintenance, too much overhead, or too many responsibilities. For you it might mean divest, downsize, and simplify. Sell the big house, buy a small house, and consider a condo or community with a homeowners association that cares for many of the exterior upkeep. Clearly a big property - actually any property - requires a lot of things to be taken care of in a big way. That yields a long list of things to do, projects to track, and work to have done. And that's not your occupation. But, it might be occupying a lot of your mind share. With the aim of re-writing the American Dream to write YOUR OWN dream you might consider starting with the minimum you need. Those who have traveled overseas and to any big city have insight into this because one sees people living well in smaller spaces and with less stuff. Similarly residence in the prime areas of California find 1,100 sq. ft. homes perfectly adequate space, perhaps because the price will be $800,000, Meanwhile suburbanites in eastern suburbs want at least 3,000 sq. ft. and a three-car garage for their $800k. What do you need to live? The next step and layer answers the question: What enhances my quality of life beyond the minimum I need? Is it related to your passion such as your Harley? your horse? your library? or the lawn, the pool, and the three extra bedrooms? Probably the former items represent what came to mind because we hardly value the later - we just have them. Remember the apartments on the tv show Friends? Studies determined that it would take all 8 of the friends pooling their incomes to afford just one of the apartments they each 'lived' in in NYC. We are subtly set up to desire more than we can afford in time or money by seeing the extraordinary as...

Susan Sabo

I am a tool-loving productivity specialist who gets things done so I can travel the world, bicycle our country, spoil my friends & colleagues, and show you how to do the same.

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