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Of all the misconceptions I hear from people, this is probably the one that has the most basis in a real, genuine problem.  

There is indeed a segment of the population that is highly visual in the way they process information. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” was probably invented for them. As a result, when they need to work on something, or remember something, it has to stay out. If it’s in a drawer, it’ll be forgotten.  

I know all about it, I’m one of those highly visual people myself. Yet my desk is very organized...  

You see, there are many ways to organize the papers you need in the near future on your desk without resorting to random (or not-so-random) piles.

For instance, my desk has two step sorters with colored files, all labeled, to remind me of the things I need to do. I also have a large clear deskpad on the desk, under which I organize the little post-its and notes I need to do something about. It all works beautifully, because nothing is out of sight, yet everything is organized. And if I can do it, you too can have a desk that is organized even to the lay person and that serves your needs.  

As for those drawers, you still can use them. They‘re ideal for two things:
- the papers that you refer to often in relation to another task, such as form, information, etc. You won’t forget to look at them, because something else will trigger your need to look at them.
- your files: the papers you are no longer working with can safely be put in drawers, there will be another trigger than the file itself to remind you to look at them in the unlikely case that you need them again 

Final installment of the series: Q&A. I most likely haven't addressed every single challenge to getting your papers organized that you have, so it's the ideal time to ask your questions... I'll send a post to remind you about it! And don't forget that [Link Removed] is also there to give you all the tools and skills you need to become a Paper Master.  

Yours in Daily Mastery,

Karin, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maryann Rhodey wrote Mar 18, 2010
    • Like your ideas.  Could you possibly post a picture of your desk with the organization system you use?  I don’t mean this to sound flippant but I am very visual and need to have a picture to see what you mean.  

      Thanks for the advice.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Mar 18, 2010
    • I have to get a desk first, I’m using a cardboard box!  

      What I can’t do is hide stuff like people do when they‘re expecting company and attempt to straighten up the place. I have to be totally conscious of what it is and where it’s going in order for me to remember where it is when I need it.

      Love the advice, Karin!heart heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karin Vibe-Rheymer-Stewart, Ph.D. wrote Mar 19, 2010
    • Hi Maryann,  

      You‘re asking to peek behind the curtain. estatic
      For you guys, I’ll do it:  

      This is my control center for Daily Mastery (and everything else in my life).  

      There are two versions of the vertical desktop sorting I was talking about in the back left and right. I used one for reference and money papers before I’ve processed them, the other one for current projects. Under the clear desk pad are my visual cues/triggers: Things to check out, items to enter in database, projects, random to-do’s, my to-do list for the day, and a sheet with the timeline for a project I’m working on. It’s all right there, accessible if I need it, yet organized and protected.  

      Does it give you a better sense of what a visual desktop paper management system can look like?  


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