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July 2006: Tips for the Home Office

Keep work and play separate. If you are lucky enough to have a room that you can use as an office that is ideal but if not, then designate a space – a kitchen or dining room table – rolling cart or a desk that you can close up at the end of the day. Keep business and personal/home files separate as it’s easier for tax/expense purposes.

Use one calendar for business and personal. This is the only time I recommend mixing the two and that is because you are one person. This avoids conflicts between business appointments and personal commitments. Put all appointments in one agenda or personal device assistant so you will know when making a client meeting that your daughter has swimming lessons that day/time. It helps keep you on track.

Bulletin boards are a great place to keep tickets or invitations. FIRST put all information in your calendar and then keep directions, address, etc. on the board and you’ll always know where they are when you need them.

White boards are great to keep to-do lists and write down ideas.

The In-box should be used strictly for sorting and then each piece of paper should either be acted upon or filed or recycled. Don’t forget about a paper shredder for any document that contains any personal information.

Purge files often or archive them and keep them separate from current files. This way instead of buying a new filing cabinet you can save the valuable space for current projects/files. Use banker’s boxes or bins clearly labeled with contents and dates and keep a copy in a file and/or on your computer.

Tickler files are a great way to organize as they can be used to pay bills or keep a project on track. They can be numbered from 1 – 31 for the days of the month or they can be set up with the months of the year.

Use the one touch rule and put papers where they belong so you are not searching for them. Remember a place for everything and everything in it’s place.