Organize Your Office In No Time

Organize Your Office In No Time

by Monica Ricci


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Are you jealous of the neat and organized cubicle next to you? Do you look at the files and folders and papers piled around you and wonder if you'll ever be buried alive? Now you can turn your organizational nightmare into a dream come true with the help of professional organizer Monica Ricci and Organize Your Office In No Time. By using step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow to-do lists, Monica shows you the best ways to tame a messy desk, overcome an impossible schedule and take back precious time in your day. This isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, either. Monica helps you find the type of organization that works best for your personality, work style and needs, and then she recommends specific products to help you get on your way to organizational bliss. Get the tools that you need to take back your space with Organize Your Office In No Time. An organized office and more productive day is just a book away!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789732187
Publisher: Que
Publication date: 08/24/2005
Series: In No Time Series
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Professional organizer Monica Ricci helps people simplify their chaotic lives through her company Catalyst Organizing Solutions in Georgia. She teaches people how to simplify their lives by de-cluttering their homes and streamlining their office spaces. She has been showcased as the expert organizer on several episodes of HGTV's MISSION: Organization. Monica has been a speaker at National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) conferences and moderates two popular online forums. As a motivational speaker, she presents seminars on time management, overcoming procrastination and getting organized. Some of her clients include Earthlink, Longhorn, US Court of Appeals, and GE Capital.

Table of Contents



1. Determining Your Work Style.

The Work Style Quiz

Scoring the Quiz

The Speed Demon

The Ponderer

The Scarlett O'Hara

The Visual

The Aesthetic

The Combination


2. Creating Your Office Vision.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin

Determining Your Work and Information Flow

Identifying the Information You Receive and Sorting the Information You Have

Applying Logic To Workflow

Deciding Where Your Information Should Live

Keeping Files for Later Reference

Keeping Information Long Term

Setting Up Zones in Your Office

Identifying Zone One

Identifying Zone Two

Identifying Zone Three

Setting Priorities


3. Creating Your Office Framework.

Choosing Your Primary Furniture

Choosing a Desk and Desktop Storage

Selecting the Right Office Chair

Using a Scale Model to Lay Out Your Office

Measuring and Creating Scale Drawings

Creating Furniture Cutouts

Laying Out Your Furniture

Choosing the Right s For Your Office

Understanding the Importance of and Lighting

Experimenting With Schemes

Choosing Floor and Window Treatments

Considering Your Flooring Options

Adding Window Treatments

Choosing Office Lighting

Adding Plants and Office-Appropriate Pets

Adding Personal Items

Projecting the Right Appearance

Finding and Maintaining the Right Balance

Establishing the Habit of Decluttering


4. Time Management at Work.

Choosing a Planning Tool

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Paper and Electronic Tools

Using a Combination of Paper and Electronic Planning Tools

Handling Interruptions

Managing Human Interrupters

Minimizing Phone Interruptions

Handling Email Interruptions

Overcoming Procrastination

Understanding Why You Procrastinate

Strategies to Combat Procrastination



5. Selecting a Filing System.

Understanding Direct Versus Indirect Access Filing

Using an Alphabetical Filing System

Maintaining and Using an Alphabetic System

Comparing Advantages and Disadvantages of Alphabetic Filing Systems

Using a Numeric Filing System

Straight Numeric (Sequential) Filing

Terminal Digit Filing

Decimal Filing

Setting Up and Using a Topical Filing System

Determining Your Primary Classes

Creating Categories and Subcategories

Comparing Advantages and Disadvantages of Topical Filing

Using an Electronic Filing System

Paper Tiger Electronic Indexing System

Using FileWISE


6. Choosing Filing Storage and Supplies.

Choosing File Storage

Choosing Filing Cabinets

Open Filing Shelves

Using File Boxes

Rolling File Carts

Hanging Folders

Letter or Legal?

Specialty Hanging Folder Products

File Folders

Other Filing Supplies and Tools

Hanging Wall Bins

The Ins and Outs of Desktop File Sorters


7. Putting Your Filing System in Place.

Using in Your Filing System

Labeling Your Files

Hand-Written Labels

Using Computer Labels

Electronic Label Makers

Creating a Filing Schedule

Matching Your Filing Schedule to Your Work Style

Getting Help with Filing Chores

Staying Flexible with Your Filing System



8. Tackling Paper.

Using the F.A.I.T.H. System of Paper Management

File It


In Progress


Hand Off

Handling Incoming Mail Using the F.A.I.T.H. System

Setting Up a Sorting Station and System

Using Your Mail System

Using a Tickler File

Storing Reference Materials

Reducing Paper Clutter: Creating a Document Retention Policy


9. Organizing Your Computer.

Organizing Your Computer Desktop

Choosing Wallpaper

Creating and Using Shortcuts to Save Time

Organizing Your Icons

Storing Electronic Documents

Backing Up Your Data

Backup Options

Choosing Your Backup Plan

Managing Email

Using Contact Management Software


10. Staying Organized on the Road.

Choosing and Organizing Your Briefcase

Organizing Your Briefcase Contents

Choosing the Things You'll Carry

Traveling with Your Computer

Laptop Cases and Sleeves

Protecting Your Laptop and Its Data

Traveling with Paperwork: Filing Organizers

Making Use of Travel Downtime

Making the Most of Your Hotel Stay

Using the Hotel Concierge

Using the Hotel Business Center



11. Using Vertical Space to Organize.

Sizing Up Your Free Space

Thinking in Terms of Cubic Feet

Working with Vertical Space

Choosing and Using Tools for Vertical Storage

Using Bookshelves to Add Storage

Using Wall-Mounted Shelves to Stay Organized

Using Wall Bins, Standing Racks, and Storage Cubes

Using Hooks and Door Racks



A. References and Resources.

Groups and Organizations

Product Retailers

Laptop Bags

Filing Supplies and Software


Organizing Tools, Furniture, and Accessories

Internet and Mail Order-Only Retailers

Product Manufacturers

Suggested Reading

Internet Learning Resources and Services

Stop the Junk

Online Data Backup Services

Antivirus, Antispyware, Antispam, and Firewall Providers




Whether you work in a plush, high-rise corner office, in a cube, or out of your home, chances are you spend a great deal of your life in your office. Creating a work environment that fosters productivity is important. If you find yourself overwhelmed, procrastinating, mired in paperwork, ineffective, unproductive, and not nearly as successful as you know you could be, office chaos has taken over. You're not alone, however. Many business people complain of feeling the same way you do and disorganization is a common challenge that crosses all boundaries.

What Organize Your Office In No Time Can Do For You

The In No Time series of books is designed to help you tackle any challenging task, using a step-by-step approach to accomplishing your goal. I've written this book in a straight-forward, simple style, and I've included plenty of photos, illustrations, and specific recommendations so you can move through the process of organizing your office quickly and efficiently. Organize Your Office In No Time will help you determine what kind of office organization will work best for you, how to quickly customize your office to match that organization, and how to keep it organized without sacrificing your day to maintenance. You'll get simple, practical solutions without being told that there is one "right" way to organize your office. And I offer you several organizational options, so you can choose the ones that best fit your personality and work style.

This book will teach you

  • How to identify your own organizing and working style
  • How to choose the organizing methods that work best for you
  • How to take the overwhelming feelings out of organizing your office by approaching the task in small, manageable chunks
  • Fundamental concepts and organizing principles you can apply in other areas of your life
  • Techniques to help you make faster decisions to keep your office organized
  • How to maximize the storage space in your office
  • Simple maintenance routines to keep your office organized
Who Should Read This Book

Many people say, "I wasn't born an organizer", which might be true, but you weren't born knowing how to walk, either. Like walking or any other skill, the ability to organize is something you can learn. And like any other skill, parts of it will come easily to you and some other parts might not, but in the end, you will have learned something new and valuable. This book is for you if

  • Your office environment is so chaotic you just can't focus on your work.
  • You frequently miss meetings, lose important information, or find yourself re-creating the same documents over and over again.
  • You know you could be so much more effective if you were more organized.
  • You have lost a job or a promotion because of your lack of organizational skills.
  • Your disorganization has eroded your self-confidence.
  • Your disorganization is causing problems in your relationships with your boss or colleagues.
  • You are busy and you think you don't have the time to get organized.

You might already be effective and productive at work and have organizational systems in place that work for you, which is terrific! Even if that's the case, however, chances are you have a few areas where you know you could improve and you just need some ideas to get you there. If so, this is the right book for you, too.

How This Book Is Organized

To help you quickly find the areas you need most, Organize Your Office In No Time is divided into four main parts.

Part I, "Getting Started," is a 30,000-foot view of your organizing project. Taking this big-picture, overview approach in the beginning will help you create a plan to work from that will ultimately result in your creating the office you desire. You'll learn your primary work style, decide your goals for your office space, learn how to create the framework for the space, and some time management tips to increase your effectiveness.

Part II, "Organizing Your Files," teaches you how to store, retrieve, and manage information—both paper and electronic—to keep you organized and in control. This section will also give you a range of filing system ideas and product reviews that will not only give you a jump start before you purchase, but will reduce your research time considerably.

Part III, "Organizing Your Desk," explores many viable options for organizing your desk, computer, and email; managing your contacts; and staying organized when traveling. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to use technology to become and remain organized.

Part IV, "Simple Storage Solutions," delves into helping you find the overlooked but useful storage spaces in your office, such as the vertical space on walls, doors, and furniture. You will also learn how to make effective use of offsite storage facilities for archival records and nonessential items and information.

How to Use This Book

This book won't take you long to read and you should feel welcome to skip around to the chapters that interest you most. It is designed so you can use the table of contents to pinpoint the areas you are most interested in learning about. I do recommended that you read Part I so you can have a starting point to create your organizing plan. However, if all you need are tips on filing or email management, you can certainly single out those sections to read first so you can get right to work and see results quickly. In addition, each chapter in Parts II and III of this book is a self-contained unit of information, so if a certain topic doesn't apply to you or you already have a handle on that part, there is no need for you to spend time on that chapter.

When you organize one area of your life, other problem areas often improve on their own. For example, when you unclutter and organize your space, you might find that your time management improves because you don't waste time looking for things. And when your time management improves, you're better able to focus on your priorities because you aren't so rushed. And when you focus on your priorities, you become more productive and effective! And when you're more productive and effective at work, you can be less stressed and more happy at home. So you can see how improving just one area of your life can directly affect other areas in a positive chain reaction.

Also, when you begin to organize one area of your office, your results motivate you to continue the process.

You can certainly read this book from cover to cover, but what I really want you to do is use it as a how-to manual for organizing the various aspects of your office. You might find that after you read Part I, have determined your primary work style, laid out the overview for your office, and begun thinking about the end result, you are so excited that you just want to dive in and get started before reading any further. Go for it!

Special Elements and Icons

I've done my best to arrange the material in this book so you can zero in on what you need. So, I've added some special elements to help you spot information:

  • Some sections begin with a You'll Need list. This list will let you know whether you should have any supplies on hand as you read the section. If you have what you need as you read the chapter, you can complete the recommended steps right away, and you won't have to come back to do them later. To-do lists at the opening of many sections step you through the major steps of the sections' tasks.
  • I've highlighted some information as tips. Tips indicate ideas, tricks, simple things you can do, or new ways for you to think that will help you as you move through the process of organizing your office.
  • There are also cautions that give you a heads-up on what to watch out for in certain situations.
  • Notes give you little tidbits of interesting information about the topic being discussed in the main body of text.
  • At the end of each chapter, you'll find a chapter summary that summarizes and puts the major ideas of the chapter into a nutshell for you.

I've also included four special icons to help draw your attention to specific types of information:

  • The Client Success Story icon indicates a real-life story about a client with a particular organizing challenge and how it was solved. Just as in that old television show, all names have been changed to protect the innocent.
  • The Fundamental Concept icon precedes any reference to a key piece of information that can be applied in many areas of your life. For example, grouping like items with like items is a fundamental concept that applies whether you're organizing your kitchen, toy room, or office.
  • The It's Your Style icon indicates a special note that offers a suggestion or idea for one of the four specific work styles identified in Part I.
  • Staying organized for the long haul is all about maintenance. The Maintenance Tip icon appears next to examples of how to maintain systems, create habits, or make things run smoothly for the long term.
Our Goal

I know that if you are reading this book, you are probably overwhelmed by your current situation. This book is designed to help you get over the stumbling blocks that have been in your way until now.

  • If you've tried various systems without success, this book will show you how to take control of your office space and organize it so you can be productive and feel successful.
  • If you think you're too busy just getting through the day to find time to organize your office, that's a clue that you really need to! If you had extra time, you'd probably already be more organized.

My goal is to change your situation from harried, stressed, and drowning in paperwork to focused, organized, and more productive than ever!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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