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Getting Organized: The paper version

Let's talk about office supplies.

I love great organization! This branches into two areas: digital and paper.

Digital organization

I'm always excited about trying new digital tools and programs. I'm signed up if it is easy to use, useful for my business or activities, and at the right price.

Items I like right now:

Trello - I love that this is basically a digital kanban product. Being able to move cards around and use the calendar feature is excellent.

Zapier - I'm still new to this, but it connects different apps I use. I just connected my Wix website and Convertkit!

Google Drive - This is my go-to for organizing my documents. I try and minimize my use of paper until absolutely necessary.

reMarkable2 - This is a paper tablet that I have been enjoying. Gone are my many paper tablets and notebooks. I now have a distraction-free tool to manage documents, notes, content, and a calendar.

But I want to talk about office supplies!

I love heading to the office supply stores. Getting my favorite pens, highlighters, folders, and journals are my favorites.

I have found that Etsy provides an outlet for office supply shopping for stickers for my journal and fun, digital products, and new organizing ideas.

In fact, I've written about bullet journaling. I started using this when I couldn't find a planner that fit my needs.

There is something satisfying about being able to write down my thoughts and plans.

All of that is just the tip of the process. The tools are great. Office supplies can be fun. But without a plan for using all of them, they are just stuff.

Essential tips

Save your money and time with these tips when organizing your business.

  • Determine what you absolutely must have printed on paper. This might be for legal or financial reasons. These items should be kept in a secure place.

  • Decide on a filing system. Your file organization should have a system in a filing cabinet or in the cloud.

Main topic - (Employees, Vendors, Taxes, Clients, etc)

Subtopic folder - (Full Time/Part Time Employees)

Sub-subtopic folder - these are more granular and might include specific names or years. Consider a coding system if there are privacy issues.

  • Get rid of what you don't use. Make it easy for yourself. Don't use lots of color or methods to organize. Find one or two that works for you and keep going.

  • Donate your extras! Have extra pens, paper, or other useful supplies. Declutter and donate to your local schools or nonprofit organizations. Call first to be sure they can use it.

Finally, have a backup plan for the important stuff. This might be a paper copy of a digital document or a digital copy of a paper document. Whether using a cloud service or your hard drive, back up your files regularly. And consult with your lawyer or accountant on what items need to be saved and for how long.

Having a successful business or nonprofit starts with having your basics set up well.

Need help getting started? Contact Madrina Consulting today.


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