It's not necessary to use every category listed above; feel free to add any others
that suit you.
Action Files are organized by concept, so they're different from
We tend to leave papers on the desk if we're not
finished with them or we're waiting on someone else to get back to us.
Understandably, it seems premature to file them away. The problem is, before long you've got a lot of
desk clutter, adding to your stress and making it hard to concentrate.
The solution to desk clutter is action files. These let you unclutter your desk, yet still keep reminders
and current papers close at hand. Also known as working files,
these files are usually separate from - and in addition to
- client, project, or reference files. Action files are for
current or pending activities and miscellaneous things you must
act on. They are not for long-term storage of papers you're finished with, but didn't
get around to filing.
To be effective, action files
must always be within easy reach - ideally in a small desktop
file holder that holds the file folders upright so the tabs
are clearly visible.
peace of mind, make a note in your calendar
to remind you of important dates. This combats the "out
of sight, out of mind" worry and lets you clear your desk
without fearing you'll forget something important.
for Action Files:
phone calls to return
agenda for an upcoming staff meeting
expenses to submit
websites to look at
bills to pay
papers to file
business development ideas
good ideas to try someday
papers to photocopy
& administrative matters
pending health insurance
your upcoming business
tasks to delegate to
conferences to register
matters to discuss with
errands to run, gifts
to buy, sale coupons
things to discuss with
your child's teacher or doctor
pending (for example,
letters you sent for which you must receive a reply)