Where Will You Home Office Today…?

Create & Run Your Biz, The New Entrepreneur
June 28th, 2009 1 Comment »

OK, so Charles Darwin's home office has more charm than mine. But ours are equally personal. (Roger Rapoport/MCT)

OK, so Charles Darwin's home office has more charm than mine. But ours are equally personal. (Roger Rapoport/MCT)

I work at home. From a bona fide, tax-deductible and dedicated home office tucked into an erstwhile bedroom, where the closet is used exclusively for office supplies, books, folders, tech-stuff, a file cabinet (similarly used exclusively for, um, files related exclusively to work).

I came across a story on Charles Darwin’s home-based workspace, and it got me thinking about mine. And yours. What makes your space unique? What gives it charm, character, quirks?

My desk is for business. My computer is for business. My two-line phone with my Plantronics headset both are for business.

Yep. This place passes the IRS’s litmus test for use “dedicated and exclusive” to the pursuit of business.

But I also work from my bed. Read More »

Got a Home Office Mess? Three Steps to Organizational Finesse

May 5th, 2009 No Comments »

The Bee3 is one component of an organizational strategy. Folders - and a shredder - should be, too.

The Bee3 is one component of an organizational strategy. Folders - and a shredder - should be, too.

The home and home office can be scattered with stuff from a busy life. It’s a snapshot in chaos, an abject lesson in disorganization, a case study for some Dysfunctional Support Group.

In my own home office lives and breathes this organizational maelstrom. I have kids’ projects and corporate files strewn about. Home-related documents and client projects litter my desk and file cabinet.

It doesn’t help that when the boss-woman is on a household cleaning frenzy, anything she wants filed but cannot find a home for in her own organizational system goes to Default – meaning, my home office.

So much paper and folders in the home and home office — so little organization.

Keeping track of all the stuff in the home office takes organizational finesse. It’s like a muscle that has to be exercised — a use it or lose it body part that will atrophy into oblivion if used too infrequently.

Home officers know this is especially true if you have a home office for your home-based business or even your telework / telecommuting job.

Between the files and docs related to running the household, and those required to run a business, stuff gets cluttered.

The solution: File folders and a label maker. Read More »

Devilish Details, Part III: Franklin’s Answer to Data Overload

Organization, Productivity & Efficiency
March 15th, 2009 No Comments »

Some use pixels and digital devices. Others use pen and pads.

And for some, organizing the flood of information that flows into the home office or small business each day is a matter of using… more paper.

In this final look at tools that help manage the dribs and drabs of data that flows into the workspace, we’ll review strategies that incorporate spiral notebooks and long appreciated systems.

Read More »

Devilish Details, Part II: The Home Office Trusted System

Organization, Productivity & Efficiency
March 13th, 2009 No Comments »

When those voicemails, e-mails, conversation notes, Twitter threads, or even grocery lists and other must-do to-dos get too burdensome, people find a way to handle the devilish details.

For entrepreneurs, teleworkers and employees alike — in home offices or traditional businesses, the assault of unrelenting and often unrelated data is enough to drive them to drink.

How can they all be handled — efficiently and correctly? In this recurring series, we’ll look at the “Trusted System.” Read More »

Devilish Details: Small Biz, Home Office Data Management Tips

Organization, Productivity & Efficiency
March 11th, 2009 3 Comments »

Bruce Turkel's presentation to the Illinois Governor's Tourism Council was transformed into a MindMap by

Bruce Turkel's presentation to the Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism was transformed into a MindMap by

Voicemail, e-mails, conversation notes, Twitter threads,? and must-do to-dos.

Entrepreneurs, teleworkers and employees alike — in home offices or traditional businesses — are besieged by an unrelenting and often unrelated flood of messages, contacts and clips of information.

All must be handled. But few actually need a place in the file cabinet or MyDocuments directory.

So what to do with drips and drabs of data…?

People are data-overloaded and time-starved. Many lament – only half-jokingly – that their poor memories are a result of adult-onset ADD. Three quarters of consumers complain they lack the time to do what they need to get done, noted a survey from Yankelovich Inc.

“People have so much stuff that they are saying their lives don’t make sense,” said Susan Ford Collins, a Miami organizational consultant, and co-author of the book and online course, “Shifting Gears: How you Can Succeed and Lead in the New Workplace.”

“They have to get above the piles of junk and stop to think, ‘How is this relevant to me?’”

Over the next few days of blog entries, we’ll explore how organizing these clips and bits is critical to staying focused and successful – in business and life. A combination of tools and insights – called a “trusted system” by organizational consultant and author David Allen (Getting Things Done), improves organization, boosts data retention – and can bring clarity to chaos.

How do people manage the flood of information? Here some business people show their strategies… Read More »

Learning to Organize Your Home Office Space & Life

Productivity & Efficiency, Set-up / Design & Organization
October 23rd, 2008 1 Comment »

www.richardcleaver.comI have shelves in my home office. I have a closet that’s tricked out pretty effectively to organizational stuff. Even the back of my office door is home to a shoe rack that holds dozens of electronics, adapters and accessories that otherwise would clutter my home-based workspace.

No one said balancing work and life would be easy. Heck, I don’t recall my parents ever using the word “balance” in any discussion of adulthood at all. Like a snake learning to hunt or a bill coming to the mailbox, some things just happen.

It seems to be that way sometimes in the home — and home office. The fine art of organization was never a course I saw in four years of college syllabi. Yet you get out into the workplace, and — Eureka! — organization is a strategy you’re either expected to know, or it becomes a practice you’d better pick up in short order. Read More »

The Shoebag Solution to Home Office Organization

Productivity & Efficiency, Set-up / Design & Organization, Uncategorized
July 27th, 2008 1 Comment »

Entangled in your home office? Then organize your gadgets, gizmos, cables and other accessories with a few simple tools – starting with a common shoebag, and the back of your door. Ahh, another use for that power tool of the home office — the door that closes.

Avoid Accidental Home Office Organization

Set-up / Design & Organization
June 30th, 2008 No Comments »

One Organized Firetruck I was at an event recently, when I came across a firetruck. And I immediately thought about my home office. (an obvious connection, to be sure)

I was struck by the deliberate organization of the vehicle’s storage cabinets. If firemen needed bolt cutters, they were clamped tight, right beneath the pair of 36-inch axes. Various crowbars were in place, as were spools of air hoses in the lower enclosure.

Can the same be said of your home office? Are your supplies where they belong so you can find and access them quickly? Are your phone, broadband, printer and other peripheral cables organized to keep them neat and relatively untangled. Read More »

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