How to Keep Your Business Organized with Binders
There is a fabulous little Tumblr that is all about photos of home offices. While I love looking at other people’s writing spaces, it doesn’t do much to boost my spirits. My office doesn’t look a thing like any of those. At all.
I have a nice office. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it even affords a lovely view of ivy, a tree, and frolicking birds. It was intended as a bedroom, so it has plenty of room and a full closet.
There’s tons of storage space which, as someone who has to move around every couple of years (I’m a military wife), is pretty darn useful. The closet is full of boxes of things that we have not been able to bring ourselves to part with – even though we haven’t used any of that since we got here.
I have a wooden bookcase that nearly spans the entire height of the wall it rests against. There’s room for my husband’s desk and mine.
Unfortunately, there is also room for a whole slew of other things.
There’s a giant Everlast punching bag with a stand, more boxes of books, boxed swords, containers of yarn, a bunch of bags and backpacks (I have a problem), and a whole bunch of other things.
So, how do I keep organized among this nest of…stuff…?
Why Should You Use Binders?
Sure, there are tons of other options for organizing my important files. I mean, my laptop is full of documents. Still, nothing quite compares to having hard copies of everything in my binders.
Just a few of the many reasons binders are awesome:
· They’re portable. They’re easier to move than file folders which, if you don’t hold the pile of them just so, will spill everything all over the place. They’re lighter than my laptop, and I don’t have to worry about someone trying to steal it from me when I take it places.
· They’re versatile. I can store them in a whole bunch of different places, which makes organizing really convenient. I have some binders in the big drawer of my desk, and some lined up neatly on the bottom of my bookshelf. I also have some in boxes, just waiting for their chance to get used.
· They’re affordable. Binders are really cheap, and you can generally find packages of two or three for just a few dollars.
· They make it easy to stay organized. I use color-coded tabs, sections, page protectors, and folders within my binders. I can easily find what I need, and flip between pages without worrying about everything getting jumbled up, wrinkled, or otherwise damaged. If I decide I want to move my papers around, or change the order of my sections, I can easily do that.
I may keep a messy office, but my desk and everything related to work is ridiculously organized…
Thanks to binders.
Using Binders for Organization
Binders are definitely my best organization tool. They come in all different sizes, colors, and types. This makes it easy to designate a binder for each different topic you have.
First, go a get several large 3-inch binders, binder divider tabs, and clear sheet protectors.
If you have business cards, index cards, or other such pieces of paper, you may want to also get card holders. (The type that holds Pokemon cards, MTG cards, baseball cards, etc.)
Next, figure out how you want to organize your binders.
I have about five that hold older papers, certificates, essays, and documents.
I also have a GIANT one that is strictly for things related to my website and freelancing.
Additionally, I have a big zippered planner with notebook paper – but, that’s for a different post.
Now, figure out the categories for your binders. This is for you, so do it in a way that makes the most sense for you.
I have: Business Papers, Calendars, Earnings, and separate sections for each of my main clients, and then one section for General Clients.
I keep my copies of contracts, email correspondences, invoices, and the like. If I need to refer to something quickly, I can just open the binder to the right section and there it is.
I also keep my laptop organized in a similar fashion. As I mentioned, my office may very well be messy, but everything related to my work is ridiculously organized.
Finally, put the most important documents into sheet protectors, and then place them in their designated section of each binder.
Some papers can just get hole-punched and put into the binder as they are.
Label the spine and cover of each binder.
Put the binders on your shelf, or line them up neatly on your desk, and you’re good to go. This will make your workflow easier, and helps make sure your office looks more like a Tumblr photo.
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