Staying Organized

I’m currently involved with tons of different projects, and staying organized is a task all unto its own. After years of trial and error, here are my favorite ways for staying organized in different areas:

DAILY TO-DO’s:
Favorite method: Sticky Note Chain.
I’ve experimented extensively in this area, and nothing comes close to a sticky note. I’ve tried Palm Pilots and computer calendars to no end….but nothing beats the sticky note.

Instead of setting my day hour-by-hour, I just write down TASKS. This way I can easily compensate for unexpected new tasks. If I don’t finish the list, I don’t sleep.

Alternate Methods: Outlook Calendar, AT Notes.

TAXES:
Favorite Method:
Binder with transparent folders in conjunction with the spending cork board and Excel. When I have a tax write off I need to remember, I put it in the binder at the end of each month. Receipts are extremely important in this area.

EXPENSES:
Favorite Method: Cork board coupled with month end closeout on Excel.
When I get a receipt or incur an expense, it goes up here. I tabulate at the end of every month the total amount. This also gives you a real time visualization of your spending habits.

EMAIL:
Favorite Method:
Outlook. I used to hate Outlook for a while, then was told by a mentor to start using it. I begrudgingly did so, and now I would never leave Outlook. As much as I hated it tying all my accounts into one, I now view it as a godsend.

For example, I used to view House Of Rave emails only when I got a chance or felt like it. Now with Outlook integrating all my email accounts in one place, order problems and customer inquiries get answered almost right away instead of in hours or days. This obviously improves profit and customer satisfaction which tends to = $$$

Outlook also allows me to sort all mail into different folders for future reference. I honestly don’t know how I was running my businesses without this earlier.

Business Cards/Contacts:
If I am handed a business card, I almost always snap a picture of it with my camera. I then upload the picture to the Buinsess Cards folders on my computer. I also enter the persons information into Outlook.

My list of organizational techniques is always changing, but for now these are most efficient ways that work for me in particular!