Getting Organized, Part III


So, I’m using Outlook Tasks more frequently and setting my daily Top Five priorities.

But it all comes down to the binder.

In the past, I’ve walked around the office from meeting to meeting with a notebook and a couple unorganized folders of handouts. I had most of what I needed, but it was desperately unorganized. Within a meeting, I often had a hard time finding exactly the document or information I needed. My notebook was great, but it along with a couple folders was a lot to manage. That, plus information was always in several different places.

Not now, not with the binder. Here’s a quick description of what I’ve done.

It’s just a small, one-inch binder, but it’s got everything I need.

The front and back cover have a plastic sleeve so that I can slip paper inside. The front cover of my binder features my calendar for the day, with a sidebar that features my top five and “first of five” for that day. The back cover is my task list, so that it’s easy to reference at a quick glance.

Inside the binder is an opening for loose-leaf handouts I might receive throughout the day. Those handouts are destined either for a folder in my office (if they likely won’t be referenced often) or for a special place inside the binder itself.

The binder features eight dividers – each corresponding to an important, long-term initiative or business I’m focused on. Well, six of the dividers are devoted to this. The seventh is for personal business, and the eighth is for miscellaneous items.

In the front of the binder, I’ve three-hold punched a few pieces of copy paper. That’s my new notebook, and is where I take notes and hand-write to-do items through the day. Important notes might be transcribed later, and to-do items are added to my Tasks list eventually (unless they’re quick to-do’s, in which case they’re taken care of before I leave for the day).

That’s it. It’s not fancy, and cost me all of $12 bucks at the local OfficeMax, but it’s made me far more organized and productive when away from my office during the day.