Sometimes out of the blue, a client's organizing dilemma prompts me to resurrect a solution I haven't turned to in years. A couple of months ago, while working with a long-term client of mine, we did just that. Over the last few sessions we had focused on her array of one-offs: the active papers on the desk that seemingly had no peers and absolutely had no home. Having tried wall pockets with only mild success, we needed something fresh that didn't involve file folders, or god forbid, file drawers. An idea came to me in an instant: "that plastic folder thing that's actually lots of folders that are wire bound." In spite of my poor description, she understood my scramble of words, and even had one in stock!
Low and behold, it does have a name and can be purchased here. Here's how we used it:
We did a simple sort job to group like with like. The following 7 categories were placed into individual pockets:
- 5 Minute To-Dos
- Statements to File
- Health Claims to File
- Packing Slip Returns
- To Do for Kids
- To Give to Kids
I recently followed up to ask if it was still working. Here's what she had to say:
"Yes, the multi-pocket folder notebook is excellent and works really, really well. OK, true confessions first: I still do have to muster the willingness to actually place each day's paper in the proper place and sometimes I get horribly lazy. But even then, when I am finally disgusted and ready to deal with the small pile accumulating, the notebook is a masterful solution. Rather than having to make a new file, or get up, open the right file drawer and look for the right file, it takes me 2 seconds to slip the item in the right pocket. The health insurance claims pocket has been especially great since those little slips from PT or the pharmacy would often get lost on my desk. And when I'm ready to file a claim, everything is in one place. The only thing that would be better is if you stopped by once a week and organized everything!" - Vicki in Virginia
What one-off documents are cluttering up your desktop? What actionable papers are getting buried? How would you use a folder like Vicki's? Was this post helpful? Please let me know in the comments below!