Where do I put things?

THANK YOU for the training, it is very helpful and while my office looks like a 2-year old was left alone for too long.. but I have hope as I am going through the training. 

I have a question on keeping track of things:
Where do you keep track of things that you might just need for reference? 
For example: 
1. The electronic notes from a phone conversation, (I am using Toodledo to create a task.. but then don't know what to do). 
2. The e-mail I finished processing but want to keep for record (using Goodle apps) 
3. The note I made for myself (on computer) that I want to keep (I also use Evernote). 
4. Coaching notes 
I am trying to go paperless as much as possible and have a ScanSnap  
It seems that I have too many places to put things, but really need all of them. 

Thank you for giving me a great start. 

Comments

  • Anybody interested in giving it a stab????
  • I'm the coach that helps with these issues. Sorry for the delay, a long-needed family holiday (Disney World:-)) and hurricane Sandy slowed this answer down!

    As you go through the TRO training you learn TRIAGING, which naturally sifts your incoming stuff into tasks (in your task lists) and resource items.

    Some principles for resource items (from the TRO training) are:
    • Resource items get filed in consistent, consolidated places.
    • Everything should only be as organized as necessary, no more, no less.
    • You can have many resource files as long as they give you rapid access to what you need, when you need it.
    • Things you need frequently get filed nearest at hand (A-Z file; be sure to read the whole lesson about how the A-Z file works, it's really the backbone of your entire filing system).
    • Things you use infrequently get filed farther away.
    • Papers/documents that support tasks are placed in the Deferred tray(s)/folder(s) until you work that task/step.
    • When possible, "pile file" things that can be quickly looked up by keyword search or chronologically. Outlook 2010 has brilliant searching capabilities--just put it all in one pile file. This works great for processed emails, and it's the premise behind Gmail--you should never have to delete your old email. Even the Outlook Deleted Items folder works for this as long as you don't auto-delete the items permanently too quickly (check your Autoarchive settings for Deleted Items). Another example of a good pile file: rough chronological files for receipts, processed bills, etc.
    • "Pile filed" emails don't need further special organizing if they support tasks. You can search them up instantly when needed.
    • Notes should be taken in a single location if possible--or two locations if you have written + electronic notes. Put a checkbox next to action items when taking notes, but dump all the notes in a single place. Triage those notes by gathering out the tasks and checking the boxes when the task in in your task list (NOT when you actually complete the task). When all the checkboxes are checked, the notebook becomes a chronological record of all notes on all subjects. File it in a resource file for old notebooks for a year or so, to refer to if needed.
    • Use Burn Boxes to slooooowly throw things out you think you may not need. (See the training section on the Five Flavors of Garbage.)
    • Old piles (and reference items) are junk piles. Dump old resource items when they are no longer pertinent. Financial records: keep no more than 7 years in USA per laws. 
    Using those principles, you should be able to answer these questions and more. :)
  • Thank you for your help, and I am glad you got a chance for a little vacation (with detours). I will continue my training and just have changed over to donedesk. I am looking forward to having it sync with I phone :)
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