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Chapter 10. A Crash Course in Getting Or... > What to Do with All That Paper Jazz - Pg. 99

A Crash Course in Getting Organized If you get a decent filing system set up for the first time in your life (and use it and keep it in good order for the first time ever), be-ware of getting carried away with your newfound organization. You might be tempted to save every piece of paper you come across just because you now have a place to put it. Resist the temptation. Only file things that need to be kept. 99 7. Keep it for reference.Some things, such as documents or notes you've made, don't require immediate action because they're related to pending projects, not current ones. But you might need to refer to or use them in the near future, so they shouldn't be buried in a file somewhere. Now that you know the seven things to do with paper (not including making paper airplanes and origami), you need to know how this system works on a day-to-day basis. First, you need to set up stacking trays so that you can sort papers according to these seven action categories. Then you need an easy-to-use filing system to store documents and a good calendar/appointment book sys- tem to keep track of the action you need to take on some of the items in the stacking trays. Ode to Stacking Trays If I were stranded on a desert island, I would want to have with me some strong sunscreen, Revlon's Apricot Fantasy lipstick, and a set of stacking trays. I might not get any mail to put in those trays, but I could use them to sort palm leaves and seashells. Maybe I'm a little weird, but stacking trays are quite handy items; in fact, I'm not sure I could live without them. Stacking trays are those plastic, three-sided, rectangular boxes that hold 8.5" × 11" documents. (You can also find fancier ones that are made of wood or wicker.) Some people know them as in- baskets, but they're much more than that. If you have just one or two trays in which you dump everything that's going in or out of your office (or household work area), you won't be very motivated to do the stuff that's in them.