Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
As much as we have become an electronic society, paper still abounds.
One of the hardest things about having young children in schools is dealing with all the paper they generate. Between art projects, homework, tests, certificates and notices, it is possible to amass a 50-page pile of paper per week, just for one child. Add a few more children to the mix and you can quickly find yourself swamped in paper.
Even if you don’t have children at home, there is probably still piles of paper that comes in that needs to be dealt with.
Let’s talk about simplifying paper.
The first thing is I eliminate as much paper coming in as possible. Using services like PaperKarma, I have been able to get off of many catalog mailing lists.
Still, there is going to be paper…
When my daughter was young, I used a date stamper to mark the date on the back of her art projects. This gave me an idea of when the project was done, and how old she was at the time.
I still stamp everything that comes in. That way I know when I have received it, and there is no question about when it came in.
There are a few things that you will need to do with paper items: pay them, file them, delegate them, or discard them.
Discarding is easy…toss the paper out.
Action Stamp It
For the other actions, I use action stamps. A trip to the office supply store yielded stamps for pay and file, and I found one that says, “WTF?” For delegating, I found a pad of sticky notes indicating what needs to be done with the item (respond, investigate, deal with it).
By indicating what needs to be done with the items, even if the piles of paper get mixed up, I can still see what has been looked at and what needs to be done next.
By using some things found at my local office supply store, I have been able to streamline the processing of paper in the house.
What tricks do you use to make processing paper easier? Share below.
Photo by quinn.anya. Licensed under Creative Commons.