The Most Exciting Article You’ll Ever Read About Filing

Posted September 6, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

You are being judged. For everything. At work and in your personal life. That’s just how the world works. And in case you didn’t know, your desk is being judged. When your boss walks by your desk and sees papers piled all over the place, notebooks with three pages written on, and everything askew, you are being judged harshly. Trust me. You might think, “There’s a method to my mess.” But the fact of the matter is, a messy desk doesn’t bode well for your reputation at work.

When you put your most organized foot forward, you come across as confident, capable, and trustworthy. So take the time to become organized, which is why we’ve written for you our best tips on filing and keeping your desk organized. Here they are:

  • If you’re cleaning a huge mess, start by making a huge pile. Pile every paper on your desk in one stack. Then, start separating them into separate stacks. Once you’ve created those separate stacks, make folders for them and file away.
  • Make yourself three bins/large folders on your desk labeled REVIEW, ACTION and FILE. When something comes across your desk, trust me, it needs to go in only one of these files. You either need to review it, take action on it (in other words, it’s a task of some sort) or you need to file it for reference.
  • Here’s the most important thing. Build in 15 minutes at the end of every single day to go through these three file/bins. Every day, file what’s in the file folder, add the action items to your to-do list, and review what’s in the review box if you can at that time.
  • Consistency is key. Doing one big purge, and then implementing this filing/bin system will only work if you’re consistent from day to day. So set aside the time. It will save you time in the long run.

Make your desk a reflection of your trustworthiness in business. Can you really be trusted with that important document when you can’t even see the surface of your desk? Certainly not. So make room for the important things, and subtract from judgment.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."