I recently started a work from home job and have vowed that I would keep a neat and organized office. On top of this I am applying to graduate school for a doctrate program and I am a Director of Mentorship for a non-profit angency. I am looking for organizational ideas for a small office. In particular I am looking for ideas for day planners. Thank you in advance.

Hi Kristin! Wow you’ve got a lot on your plate! But there are lots of ways to keep your office organized:

1. Distinguish Between Papers that Require Action and All Others: If you do nothing else, separating the things that require action from those that are simply for ’safekeeping’ will cut your headache in half. All you need to do this is a durable, portable folder or plastic sleeve for those items requiring action and a sturdy ‘inbox’ that will hold those items you need to file away for safekeeping.

2. Stick to the Fundamentals: Make your base classification as simple and broad as you can. Naming conventions based on purpose or function (e.g. ‘Insurance: Home,’ ‘Child 1: School,’ or ‘New Business’) will make it a snap for anyone to find the appropriate file later. Write down your entire list of file categories/names before you actually create them, so you can check for redundancies and inconsistencies before putting pen to folder. If you don’t have time to create a complete system on the first day try to add one or two new folders to your system each day until you have finished the set and keep extra supplies on hand so that it’s easy to add more later.

3. Establish a Habit: Commit to filing for six minutes each day (2 at the start of the day, 2 at lunch and 2 at the end of the day). You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly those piles disappear. In addition, take the action-item folder with you wherever you go and whittle away at its contents as you have ‘down moments’ throughout the week.

As for thr Day Planner, we hand tailored our Weekly.agenda, available at www.franklinplanner.com, to handle crazy days, jam packed with all sorts of “To Dos”. We’ve gotten a ton of amazing feedback on it and to help you out, if you email me at ash@getbuttonedup.com I’d be happy to send you one just for supporting Buttoned Up!

Thanks for your inquiry and best of luck!

Kind Regards