How to set up an Action File

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Nikki works with Elizabeth, the Professional Organizer | 0 comments

How to set up an Action File

An Action File holds what you need to accomplish a task, or to remind yourself to do something. Action Files can be set up by the type of task that needs to be done, such as “bills to pay,” or as a daily tickler, or reminder file.
Nikki and Elizabeth, her Professional Organizer, are beginning their work to file everything that was sorted into boxes by category. They are starting with the Action box because those items are the most pressing. Nikki is using the FreedomFiler® system so these files will have grey labels.
The daily tickler file system intrigues Nikki. Elizabeth explains that this method is made up a series of files numbered 1 – 31 and a file for each month. Tasks are filed under the date they need to be done. For example, if a bill is due on the 15th the bill is filed under the 14th if it will be paid online, or the 10th if it will be mailed. Each day the appropriate day’s file is opened and the tasks accomplished. Using this system requires that the file be opened every day and the tasks completed at that time. As Nikki and Elizabeth discuss this method, Nikki realizes that her life is too hectic to remember to open the file every day in a timely manner. She laughs as she observes, “If everyone would just answer their phone at 3am when I open the file and remember I need to call them, this system would work fine.”
Another way to organize Action files is to group tasks together, such as, “Calls to Make” or “Bills to Pay.” Nikki thinks this would be a better way for her to file things because then she would know exactly where to put the unpaid bills and things that need follow up. She likes the idea of having a place to keep all the paperwork related to things that are “in process.” However, Nikki is concerned that the task files will just become another way that she will forget things because they will be “out of sight – out of mind.”
Elizabeth tells Nikki she can have the best of each action file system by combining the task files and her calendar. To make this system work Nikki will write each task on her calendar on the day she plans to accomplish it. The key to making the system work is writing everything on the calendar. Nikki writes a note on the outside of the files reminding herself to enter things in the calendar as she puts them in the file.
The next thing Nikki does is post a note on her bathroom mirror reminding herself to check her calendar.

Next post: Nikki and Elizabeth file tax information

Learn along with Nikki as she and Elizabeth, the Professional Organizer, get the house organized room by room.
Copyright© 2013 Elizabeth Tawney Gross, Organizing For Everyday, LLC

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