Ask anyone who has known me for the majority of my 32 years and they’ll tell you I’m a Type-A, organized person who loves her systems and processes.
My parents could regale you with tales of me “hiding” papers when I would clean the house when I lived at home and finding me skipping naptime to clean out my closet.
My bookshelves are filled with organizing books and the rest of the shelves are nicely organized by genre and size.
It’s who I am! But there’s something that most “organized people” will never confess and it’s really important to understand if you look around your office or at your computer and think “I’m a mess today!”…
Even the most organized people have chaos someplace in their lives.
For me it was easy enough to organize physically stuff like paperwork or a closet and gave me the chance to buy all manner of labels, boxes and baskets which is always fun.
But open up my computer and – OH BOY! – it was like the entire internet threw up on my hard drive.
I can blame most of this on 2 forces: lack of teaching and becoming an entrepreneur, but I totally own my mess.
No one teaches how to organize your life, files or digital crap.
I mean, I’m super glad that we memorized the bones of a frog, and I can’t tell you how often I reference the Oregon Trail in my day-to-day life, but how can no one in the history of 12 years of school + 4 more in college ever share how to organize papers and files online?
Even non-entrepreneurs have things like bills and birth certificates, maintenance records, and receipts in their lives.
How do you adult all this paperwork?
The computer age is not making this easier, by the way, if anything it’s harder.
True story: last year I took all my dog’s vaccination records, organized them by year and scanned them to my computer before shredding the originals. Go paperless, go! And now? I cannot find them on my computer, backup drive, or in the cloud.
Ever download something and then when you go to find it in that folder feel your soul start to die? If you’ve ever re-purchased something rather than sort through hundreds of horribly titled downloads to find it then you feel my pain.
Not only is no one teaching us how to manage our computers, physical files and the intersection between the two, if you’re running a business it’s twice as bad.
Trying to organize personal + business files is like having twins: somehow it feels like more than twice the work. And you can’t ignore one for too long while you tend to the other or disasters will happen.
(All my experience with twins comes from nannying twin toddlers in my teens. Let’s just say it was effective birth control!)
Do you ever go to the mailbox and then sigh in frustration because you have to deal with all the junk? Shredding credit card offers or sorting through mass mailings just to make sure you don’t lose something important? You can’t just ignore the mailbox for weeks at a time and then there’s all the business stuff.
You’ve got screenshots which were important at some point, downloads you meant to do something with, drafts from your team whether for copy or design, projects you started working on but had to table for some reason or another and then there’s all the old stuff – how do you keep it all organized in case it becomes important again?
I won’t even start on video footage, audio recordings, worksheets and content you’ve purchased from others.
All the digital files and physical paperwork was piling up and overwhelmed me, holding me back from doing basic tasks in my business.
Do you ever feel so overwhelmed that you want to hide under your desk until it’s all cleared away? Or just go take a nap?
That’s exactly what I was experiencing before I got my organizing juju back and tamed it all.
It didn’t happen overnight, or even in a fortnight, but slowly I began to have control over my computer, incoming papers and the huge backlog of “stuff” that needed to be sorted.
Every entrepreneur who I talk to about their own files can relate to the mess and disaster; few have found a solution.
And for the past several months I’ve been working closely with a team to distill what I’ve learned over years of running a business and managing the constant influx of files that goes along with it, for you.
Stay tuned, it’s coming on May 8th and I can’t wait to share it with you!