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Want to Save Time? Get Organized!

By Deborah J. Sparks

Do you often waste time hunting down a file, searching for an email, or finding information about a particular product or client? Do you find yourself drowning in paperwork during the tax season?

These seemingly small inefficiencies add up, and can be a killer for any organization. They waste time and money, decrease productivity and can have an affect on customer relations. Here are a few tips:

  • Use an Access database that allows your employees to quickly look up customer transactions, track inventory, sales history and track service calls, etc. through a simple form.
  • Make sure your electronic filing system is well-organized and efficient. Create folders and sub-folders that make finding files a snap. Monitor your system and update it on a regular basis. Don't forget to create an efficient filing system in your email program as well.
  • Use flags, colour-coding, customized views, message rules and the Categories feature in Outlook to stay on top of emails, contacts, appointments and tasks.
  • Create customized toolbars to avoid hunting for menu options.
  • Execute repetitive tasks with the click of a button by recording macros.
  • Save time by creating and using templates instead of constantly "reinventing the wheel". Make sure the templates are distributed company-wide.
  • If you're repeating a tedious task and thinking, "There must be a better way", there probably is! We can help through file analysis and process improvement.
  • Instead of tedious and time-consuming manual entry, scan receipts, business cards and more, even when you're on the road. One popular product, NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner, is compatible with Outlook, Excel, and a variety of accounting programs. (This product is available at Costco, Best Buy and Staples/Bureau en Gros and you can find out more by visiting

Getting and staying organized and providing your staff with the tools they need to effectively get their work done will pay off big-time in increased productivity, more efficient customer service and facilitated information retrieval.

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© 2009 DJH Training & Application Solutions Inc.

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