Friday, February 01, 2008

Organising interesting articles, files and reports

I received an email about a really interesting and very common problem so I thought I'd post.

Hi Marcia...

Do you have or know of an article about how to get rid of files that - not mainly waste space but - waste time and energy, because they clutter up your mind? I tend to archive and save lots of files and interesting things and end up not knowing what I have, checking files regularly to see whether they are still interesting. I don't throw them away, because I think they might be of interest eventually. I'd be interested in any ideas and articles about that. - - David

I certainly relate and I know a lot of you do too. We surf websites, download stuff, free ebooks, reports, articles and keep them all on our computer (or printed and stuck in a file somewhere) for the elusive ONE DAY!

Here's what I wrote to David...

Hi David

Thanks so much for writing.

With regard to computer files, I used to suffer from exactly that problem – downloading and saving everything and anything that looks interesting.

1. First of all, make a quality decision to only download files and save articles that you need right now to reach your goals.
E.g. when I first started my business, I saved EVERYTHING to do with sales, whether direct sales, internet, etc. Since I actually don’t do direct sales, I have since deleted all those ebooks, reports and articles on direct sales and only kept SOME of the internet marketing ones that relate to marketing as a service professional.

2. Then, I suggest that you start implementing a one in, one out rule for those files. Everytime you keep something new, something old must go.

3. Also make time on a regular basis (either 10 mins a day or 30 minutes a week) to go through and read all these things you’re keeping. Then, if they are really WOW and you must keep them, fine – file accordingly. Otherwise delete.

Since I started making regular reading time (about 10 - 15 minutes a day while I eat my lunch) to get through my own saved computer files, I am actually…
1) getting through my ebooks
2) cleaning out my computer
3) learning what I intended when I first downloaded the files ;)

I have a whole ebook dedicated to offices, papers and computers called 7 easy steps to organise your office which you can read more about at Otherwise, I send out a weekly tips ezine which you might also be interested in – go to to sign up.

Hope that helped you!

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