I’m a sucker for neat, organised spaces and spend my weekends labouring over my storage spaces. My mother, a perfectionist whose cupboards are always immaculately arranged, doesn’t need to do this as often as I do and I find myself constantly running to catch up with her. I think I’ve finally found the solution: storage boxes and containers. I recently invested in a whole bunch of storage trays to keep my spaces uncluttered.
The obsession for orderly spaces extends to my work space as well. I need a neat and tidy work space, so quite obviously I have spent a fare amount of my weekends arranging my documents in folders – the pretty plastic/paper ones and the virtual ones as well. Working as a teacher and a social media freelancer for various organisations, I have documents of all kinds and if I don’t keep them in systematic manner, I won’t ever find anything on time.
A few lessons I’ve learnt on this journey to the perfectly organised space:
- Label stuff – develop a system that speaks to you. I prefer using color codes in the kitchen and elaborate names for documents and folders to track the content, author and versions. Here’s an example: B2_ExamenFinal_CO_Doc1_20102015
- Categorise and store stuff in files and folders. The document I just cited as an example is in a folder named B2_ExamenFinal_2015. Don’t forget to hierarchise so that’s it’s easy to find stuff that’s more important / you use more often.
- Use the cloud. Changing and updating computers has been a no-brainer ever since I started saving documents on Google drive and Dropbox.
- Save important documents in multiple places – on your hard drive, in a USB drive and on the cloud. You never know what will misbehave when. I’ve had times when the Internet has failed at work and I’ve been unable to access an important document saved in my Dropbox folder.
- Don’t feel shy to use applications to up your efficiency quotient at work:
- Quip: to collaborate with colleagues on documents, spreadsheets and checklists.
- Slack: for real-time messaging with your team members and keeping an archive of all communication and file exchanges.
- Wunderlist: to create personal / professional to-do lists and discuss them with others. Feedback always helps!
- Hootsuite: to plan and organise your social media posts in advance. Once you’ve scheduled the posts on Hootsuite, you can do other stuff and never have to stress about publishing on time!