November 09, 2005
The following are some organizational methods that help to keep me somewhat sane: 1) Never handle a piece of paper more than once. In other words, if you find something in your mailbox that requires a response, respond. Don't put it on your desk to deal with later. Those things tend to pile up and get forgotten. 2) I use the calendar feature of email for everything. It gives me pop up reminders of meetings, paper work that is due, appointments and the like. 3) I create spreadsheets on Excel for my record keeping. Once you have created a few, you'll have templates that can be reused. I use them as checklists for myself. I also keep a phone log so I won't have to try to remember calls I need to make or ones I have made. 4) I do almost everything on the computer -- nothing by hand. It is faster, neater, and I can save everything. I make folders on my computer of forms, documents, and the like. That allows me to reuse them when possible. It also makes it possible to quickly access them if I need to see what I wrote, make changes, or update them. Forms can be created to streamline many of the mundane things you have to do like lunch orders and attendance. 5) I keep colored pocket folders in my book bag for various types of paperwork. I am a SpEd teacher so I have ones labeled IEPs, Child Study, Eligibility, Plans (which is divided into long term and current), and Student Info (addresses, phone #'s, etc). I also have ones that say: office (things I need to take there), copying (items I need to Xerox), Me -- pressing (must do items), Me -- non-pressing, Sue (items for my assistant). Having such a filing system means that I am not digging through papers figuring out what needs to go where.