Make Your Reference Material A Reality

Since I write so much about productivity and have tons of incoming information about the topic, I had to set up a system many years ago for collecting the content and creating categories. There was no way I could keep up with the constant influx of material.

Are you also deluged with information, texts, message apps, newsletters, missives, reports and jokes on a regular basis?

Do you create your own problems by cutting, ripping or tearing information out of papers, books and magazines (yes, some people still do that.)

Or do you print everything out in the hope of getting to it “sometime?”

There are more ways now than ever before to receive communication and it can be extremely overwhelming. You are left with an overflowing email or paper inbox that can sap your energy without even realizing it. You may have papers and files all over the office or post-its and ripped paper corners stashed on shelves.

I am, of course, referring only to reference material that does not have to be instantly accessed. The key to coordinating this influx of reference material is to put common things together, a basic organizing principle. You certainly do not want to read each item and categorize it one at a time.

Time Saver Suggestions

You can save yourself tons of time by following some simple suggestions:

Ask yourself if you really have to subscribe to everything. We can only retain so much information so pick and choose what you need and actually have time to read. Unsubscribe from the rest.

Obviously reading each item at the exact time you receive it is not an option. Use automation or even your paper inflow system to pass on that information to an email “reading” folder for future accessibility.

Use your technology and rules such as Organizing Tools in Outlook or Google to immediately redirect all reference information to your reading folder. You do not even have to view it in your emails. You can also choose to immediately print out the information to store in your briefcase or reading file.

Plan regular times on your calendar to read the information from that folder and/or file. Once a week during a slow time would work best.

Determine if the information will be useful and if not immediately delete, destroy, shred or inform the sender that you do not wish to subscribe, receive or be inundated with their requests.

Save pertinent information that you want to keep and create separate folders for that content in your computer or use an app like Evernote to automate all that information. Highlight important points or use an app such as Fireshot to gather parts of the document you wish to retain.

As for those little bits of paper that you tear out of newspapers and magazines? Create a storage area (box or a file) immediately for them and access during your reading time. Decide what to keep and scan it into the folders in your computer.

A successful business person will have some type of accessible system for their research. Find one that works for you and is easy to use. It will save you tons of time and effort and make you even smarter than you are!

Looking to find like-minded women in business?

♥ JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP: Productive to the Max-Transform your Business into Action A safe space for women entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, offer advice and encourage one another. You are not alone.

I know that many, many of us business owners are struggling both personally, professionally, emotionally and even physically with this pandemic. In my everyday coaching, I find that many are unmotivated, sad, lonely and just feeling really down, especially at this time of year.


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