Getting and staying organized can be one of the most profitable and simplest things you can do in your business. If you know how! My articles tackle real problems and real questions from my clients and newsletter subscribers. In this article, I'll discuss how to manage the growing piles of stuff on your desk so the important stuff doesn't get "lost."

Question: How can I handle the piles that grow on my desk? I am afraid to put stuff away because then I will forget to do it.

Signed: Linda

Answer: I find that most people feel as you do. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind and will get "lost."

Therefore, the way to handle the papers and piles you're afraid to lose is to have some sort of system for remembering them.

An old-fashioned tickler file can be perfect for this. You can still buy the 1-31 file to use for this purpose. However, to update an older system you will need 12 hanging files and 31 file folders. Place a tab on each of the hanging folders labeled for the months, January through December. On the tabs for the file folders, label them 1-31. Example: The current month is April and today is the 3rd so the 3-31 folders would be put in the April hanging folder. And folders 1 and 2 would be put in May.

Put the files and folders in a drawer, out of sight. File away the papers according to when you need them. Make sure to allow time to do the project. For example, if your deadline is April 30 and you have work to do before the deadline, file it in the date that gives you ample time to do the work, not in the '30' folder.

Another option, which works for some of my clients, is to 'calendar' the items to be done. You can file everything away knowing you have it on your calendar and therefore, will not lose it.

When you remove things from your files, a great product to use to be sure things get put away, is the file flag. It will mark your place loudly and clearly and for not a lot of money.

There are other options but these two are probably the most used. Remember, however, they require the discipline to check the tickler file or calendar daily. If you need help with that until it becomes a habit, place a post-it note with a reminder on it somewhere you're sure to see it.

Happy Organizing!

Author's Bio: 

Beth Flarida is the owner of Get It Together, a company which has been providing Professional Organizing Services for businesses since 1991. Beth is a Certified Professional Organizer and a member of NAPO, the nation's leading and most prestigious organization for professional organizers. Visit Beth on the web at and sign up for her free weekly newsletter, Answers From The Organizer®. Ready to get started right now? Claim your 20-minute "Problem Solving Strategy Session" and jump start your organizational goals!