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Tickler File

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Time Management - Tickler File

I might be interested but not right now

Do you ever find that there are bits of paper and memos that arrive on your desk and you feel that they might be interesting to keep but you have no way of organising them? They then end up either in a pile on your desk or in a file you never look at. Then when you are clearing up you find the special offer or the invitation to a special event and you are upset because you really wanted to go to it.

Time sensative information is very difficult to organise and what you need is a way that you can quickly organise it without having to spend lots of time on it.

I've seen many suggestions for ways of doing this but for my money there is only one that really works.

Enter the "tickler file".

The idea is to have a file that will remind you of any time sensitive stuff (or papers etc associated to a time sensitive event) which don't go in to the "normal" filing system.

You could be looking at:

  • Tickets to an event
  • Invitations to an event
  • Adverts for something you are interested in but not yet(special offers etc).
  • Papers etc which are related to an event but which don't go into the "normal" system
  • etc - use your imagination

You will need:

12 files for each month - label with month names

31 files for each day - label 1 to 31

Build the filing system

Organise the files so you have 31 day files at the front (this is the current month) and the 12 month files behind. At the front of the month files should be next month and the current month should be at the back (this in effect becomes the current month next year).

Now put everything for this month into a day for this month (obviously not every month will have 31 days but you can leave the spare days empty). If you have stuff that doesn't have a specific date then give yourself a date for review.

Use it

Now at the start of every day you can empty your current days stuff into your inbox for dealing with. If you are going to be out of the office for a few days then make sure you empty the files for those days into your inbox the day before you are out of the office (e.g. Friday include Saturday and Sunday files).

This will make sure that you don't miss any thing again.

Obviously a system is only as good as the person who uses it so make sure you use it. I always encourage people to get creative with their time management so use you imagination to make this sytem work for you.

I also recommend that you do your best to make a system easy to use and fun to use. The easier and the more fun the better!

Copyright Christopher Brown 2005 All rights reserved


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