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Being organized means controlling the paper, the e-mail, the reading material and the inputs into and out of your office and your life. Organization is your ability to sort, filter and process all types of information effectively. It’s how tidy your office and your home look, inside and out. It’s how in-control you look and feel, inside and out. Being organized will give you more control over your life and your time. You MUST find the time and the self-control to achieve organization through proper systems.

Organizing your life is complicated by the fact that everyone uses a different system: everyone has a different personality, and everyone faces different work situations that are conducive to different methods. Indeed, there’s no one correct or one-size-fits-all method of organizing. Some of it depends on your preferences, some of it depends on your job, and some of it depends on whether you travel or on the availability of technology. Your choice to use paper-based systems, electronic systems, or some hybrid method combining these two systems will depend on several factors.

Let’s begin with an assessment to better determine where you lie on the paper-toelectronic continuum. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and really think through the following 18 questions. Answer Yes or No to each:

  1. Do you work primarily at a fixed office desk during the day?
    – If you do, you might have access to your computer more frequently. If you don¡¦t, it’s not going to be as easy if you’re leaving your computer on the desk when you need to look something up.
  2. Are you constantly on the go?
    – If so, you might need something portable that you can take with you easily, so you can always gain access to your information.
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