Creating and maintaining an organized office gives you much more than bragging rights.
Whether you work in a traditional setting with 20+ employees, or a home office where it’s just you and the dog, an organized office space will help you save time, work more efficiently, and focus more of your energy on generating leads and converting those leads to sales.
The first step toward increasing organizational efficiency at the office is collecting the proper tools. Office supplies used to include Post-it notes, files folders, printer paper, and buckets of White-Out.
Today, the most crucial supplies for any organized office are digital. Productivity apps help savvy SMBs go completely paperless, and put new systems in place to help them stay that way.
The Magic Envelope
Everyone has to start somewhere in their quest for a more organized office. Here at Shoeboxed, we think getting rid of paper clutter is a great first step, and will allow you to finally begin implementing all of the snazzy digital technology everyone’s raving about.
But first thing’s first: let’s get rid of those stacks of paper that keep cramping your style!
Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope is the fastest and easiest way to eliminate paper clutter. Whether it’s piles of old receipts or stacks of business cards, simply toss the entire mess into the Big Blue Envelope and watch as your organizational cares are whisked away to our scanning facility.
Each document will be sorted, scanned and filed. From their you’ll have access to searchable data, which can in turn be exported to your tax professional or accountant. How easy was that?
There’s no need to print when you can collaborate with other document users directly online, and in real time.
Instead of wasting paper and marking up spreadsheets and Word docs with red ink, use Google Drive to view, edit, and brainstorm with clients and colleagues.
See who’s viewing the document as you are, watch what changes they make, and revert back to former versions of the document at any time.
An organized office is situated in a way that makes every task more efficient. How are you supposed to maintain a motivated work flow if you can’t for the life of you find the scissors?
Get a Pegboard
If you’re a visual person, invest in a large pegboard to place above your desk. In addition to hanging easy-to-lose tools like scissors and tape, you can post important reminders, upcoming events, and perhaps most importantly, inspirational images, colors and quotes that will remind you of your company’s mission and purpose.
Give it a home
Next, make sure every item in your office has a proper home.
The more organizational apps and cloud-based software you use, the less physical tools you’ll need.
However, for the tools that remain, make sure they all have a home to call their own. From the stapler to your drafting pencils to your receipt scanner, each item should be able to be put away in its own place. This not only reduces office clutter, it saves oodles of time by preventing you and your employees from embarking on massive search parties every time you need to perform a basic task.
Your workspace should feel inspiring and energizing. If you crave natural light but are working in a dark, windowless corner, of course it’s going to be hard to stay organized.
Move your desk next the window so you can alternate between looking at the computer screen and taking in inspiring natural vistas.
If you can’t be near a window, or if the view from your window is of the parking lot, invest in some beautiful photographs or inspiring art.
A strong reminder of why you’re working so hard is a fantastic way to maintain an organized office.
Laying the foundation for an organized office is essential to your success, but you also have to cultivate ongoing habits to maintain your organization long-term.
Be a mobile bookkeeper
Incorporating mobile bookkeeping into your workday is a great way to save time and prevent clutter.
Instead of letting piles of receipts build up on your desk or in your car, use the Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker to scan individual receipts as you get them, especially when you’re on the go. And forget tracking mileage on post-its! The app uses your phone’s GPS to accurately and effortlessly track your trips for reimbursement or tax deduction purposes.
Once scanned, each receipt is automatically beamed to your Shoeboxed account, freeing you to recycle that pesky paper scrap before you make it back to your car (or hotel room, or cubicle).
Do 5 minutes a day
Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of each work day to organize your office.
Since you’re scanning receipts as you get them and putting things away in their proper homes, there shouldn’t be a whole lot of clutter left over!
That being the case, you should still leave yourself a few minutes each day to account for unexpected items that may have popped up because of co-workers, clients, deliveries or purchases.
Use this time to
- Create new homes for new items
- Reevaluate the best places to house certain tools
- Clean up your computer’s desktop
- Delete old emails in your inbox
An organized office is deceptively important; while it may not seem as crucial as cultivating strong customer relationships or closing the deal, it’s actually what frees you up and allows you to function more efficiently in all areas of your work.
With the time, energy and money you’ve saved by organizing your office into an inviting space that flows effortlessly, you’ll be able to focus all of your attention on the things that truly matter to you and your business.
What’s the most effective organizing hack being used in your office right now?