Marie Kondo wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the book some refer to as the bible of decluttering. It’s created a movement and it is hard to avoid references to it while online. Her followers swear by her method of only keeping things that “spark joy”. But here’s the rub, while some clothing, jewelry, books and figurines may “spark joy”, paper clutter doesn’t reach that level of excitement.
I've always been a fan of David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) and I faithfully read his original book (2001) at least once a year. While many technology systems have been created to deal with paper clutter since it was written, the book is still my bible for a refocus and a clutter "reset". His workflow practice of "do it, delegate it or defer it", works whether you have the latest organizational apps and technology or are still using paper files.
The "Weekly Review" is a major component of the Getting Things Done method and I use a combination of technology and old school practices. My weekly review happens each weekend as I take the time to assess my action item lists, emails and calendar. I also sort through the loose paper I have accumulated during the week. I utilize a combination of Google Keep and Bullet Journaling for my action list, Google Calendar for appointments and Google for my email. I rarely use paper file folders anymore as most of my filing is done by scanning into online folders in Dropbox. Evernote is my tool of choice for event planning and to save articles I plan to keep long term. I’m a big fan of Pocket for articles I want to read later, and I sort through those about once a month to be sure I still consider them keepers. Google Drive is my go-to for collaboration on projects. And yes, I do use a single wicker basket inbox on my desk for paper to be processed. I have a pretty good mix of old school/new school workflow.
Since not all scanning or paper organization needs to be done immediately, I have a small shelf above my ScanSnap iX1500 where I collect materials for scanning during my weekend review. Although much real estate business is now completed with electronic signatures, reducing the need for paper contracts and addendums, I still accumulate a lot of pesky paper comprised of research, meeting notes and client resource materials. Scanning them and digitally filing them have become very easy with ScanSnap iX1500 and I love the fact I can easily find them by searching key words.
David Allen has written a few other books since 2001 plus he sells numerous products to help with Getting Things Done, but I always come back to his original book to "clear my mind" and my desk.
About the Author: Linda Davis
Linda Davis has sold real estate in Ledyard, CT for over 40 years. She has been a Broker with RE/MAX Realty Group since 1985 and has received that company’s Life Time Achievement Award. She has spoken on Social Media and other real estate technology solutions to real estate professionals around the country at regional real estate conferences as well as Inman Connect, CRS Sellabration, the RE/MAX International Convention, and The Triple Play in Atlantic City.
Linda has been blogging since September 2005 and currently writes and maintains several blogs. “Simply Ledyard” , tackles real estate, land use issues and even local politics, mostly with a sense of humor. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman of the Ledyard Town Council.