Organization Tools To Improve Productivity By Linda Chu

Posted on November 17, 2013

If you’re losing the never-ending battle against paper and clutter at work and at home, don’t lose hope. For those with shoeboxes of receipts and thousands of unread emails, Linda Chu (@OutOfChaos) provided some great organizational tools, tricks and tips to help increase productivity at mSummit Conference on November 16, 2013! Reclaim your workspace and put order back into your busy schedule with my key takeaways from the session.

How to increase productivity?

  • Manage your workspace so you know where everything is
  • Focus your time on your highest priority tasks
  • Get on top of the paper chase

Create filing systems by separating documents into categories:

  1. Priority action files – urgent and time sensitive
  2. Business files – administration, records, operational records, finance, equipment, staff, project, sales, client, inventory, business plan, marketing
  3. Reference files – interesting info, not operational, something to refer to, something to read
  4. Permanent /Archival files – historical documents

Put everything you need to use on a daily basis within reach of arm’s length, then put less important documents a short walk away from your desk, but documents you never need to refer to should be put away and out of sight. 80% of the time, you only use 20% of what you have.

Information isn’t power if you can’t find or access it!


How to keep your to do list short and email inbox clean:

  1. Discard – Make quick decisions to delete or archive emails right away. Don’t feel bad about saying no to people, it’s not a bad thing. You’re choosing to say yes to something else.
  2. Delegate – Pass responsibility to others. Ex. If someone wants to have coffee with you, have them email you and set it up.
  3. Do (anything that takes less than 2 minutes) – You’d be amazed at how many 2 minute activities there are. If you get them all done very quickly, your to do list will be cleared.
  4. Document (reference / library) – If it takes longer than 2 mins, document it (on your to do list).
  5. Defer it – Does this really need your attention right now? Do you really need to do it at all?

Delete or file 50%, delegate or finish 30%, leaving only 20% deferred or added to task list.

Linda always uses Fridays as the day to figure out all her to do lists for the weekend, next week, and even next month. This way, she knows exactly what she can say no and yes to on Monday morning at work.

Want to go paperless?

Entrepreneurs have a lot to track… expenses, time, income, etc. So, here are some great smartphone applications that can allow you to go paperless and organize all of your data. Keep in mind, when tax season comes around, CRA has the right to demand the original copy of the receipt during an audit but normally, they do accept scanned. Receipts must have a break down for tax for GST, it cannot be the credit card charge copy. You should record date, amount, and payment method of the receipts. Organize receipts by month, or go by month and income/expense.

Financial Applications:

  • FreshBooks
  • Receipts by Wave
  • Expensify

Business Card Apps:

  • CardMunch – Take picture, information is typed up, shows you the LinkedIn profile with option to connect with them. Or click to send an email. Or add their number to your contacts
  • CamCard

Mileage – You could use a calendar and mark the km’s and where you went or use an app:

  • Milebug Lite
  • Trip Log
  • Paybyphone

Check out my other session recaps:

What Others Are Saying

  1. @ModWorkingWoman November 19, 2013 at 2:25 am

    RT @salinasiu: Just finished my second recap for #mSummit! Organization Tools To Improve Productivity By Linda Chu @OutofChaos…

  2. @reinventingm November 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    RT @salinasiu: Just finished my second recap for #mSummit! Organization Tools To Improve Productivity By Linda Chu @OutofChaos…

  3. @tpowlas November 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    RT @salinasiu: Just finished my second recap for #mSummit! Organization Tools To Improve Productivity By Linda Chu @OutofChaos…

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