How to Organize Project Papers (Part 5 of 9 Paper Clutter Series)

How to Organize Project Papers (Part 5 of 9 Paper Clutter Series)


Hi, everyone. I’m Alejandra from Alejandra.TV and in this
video, I’m going to share with you how to organize all of your open project papers. But first, if you are just getting started
with decluttering and you have stacks of paperwork to go through and piles have accumulated on
the countertop or the desktop and you’re having a hard time getting started, there is a link
below to offer support and give you accountability if you think you can benefit from that. Okay. So when it comes to organizing all of your
project papers, it’s all about keeping them nice and organized, keeping them nice and
accessible so you can find what you’re looking for when you need it in order to stay productive. Here is the project organizer that I have
on my desk. It has all of my open project papers. If there’s a file folder in here, that means
that the project is ongoing or it’s still active, it’s still being worked on. Once a project is closed, it’s done, it’s
finished; all the papers, they go in the shred bin, the recycling bin, or they get filed
away into my inactive filing system. So let me just share with you what this looks
like. Anytime I start a project, I, most of the
time, most of the time, not every time there’s paper, but most of the time I will start a
folder just like this. This is an interior file folder and I will
just start accumulating paperwork inside this file folder. Now, once I accumulate enough paperwork that
I have to shuffle through the papers and find what I’m looking for, then I will begin organizing
the documents. For example, if I’m working on a contract
or a draft or something and there’s multiple versions, what I’ll do is I will just begin
stapling together all of the versions. All of the older versions are in the back
and the latest version is on top. So version five is on top, version four, version
three version one is all the way in the back. I will highlight it, make note in the upper
corner, so all of the versions stay together, all the drafts are together and I can find
the latest one nice and easy. Something else I do is sometimes for projects
that there’s a lot of details, there’s a lot of things to remember, I will create a separate
project to-do list for this specific project. Then I will staple it on the inside of the
folder or on the outside of the folder, and then just work from this to-do list since
I have all of the papers right here, nice and easy and accessible. If you have smaller papers for your project,
like a business card or note cards or sticky notes or something and you’re finding that
they’re falling out of your file folder, if you have a lot of those, you’re probably using
the wrong tool. Switching your file folder to something different
may be helpful. But what you can do is grab one of these adhesive
pockets, put it in the back and put all of your small notes inside there so they don’t
fall out. They also make file folders with edges. They’re are more limiting to taking papers
in and out, but it is an option as well. When it comes to labeling your tabs at the
very top, so I don’t know about you, but I always reuse my file folders because they’re
in great shape and stuff, but once you label the tab with a marker or something over the
label maker, the next time you go to reuse this thing, you have to cross off your label
or you have to label on top and then it gets really thick eventually or you peel off your
label and it peels off the paper as well. So one thing you can do is you can put a removable
label on your file tab before you label. It gives a nice clean surface. Then you can just put a label on top, and
then once you’re done with this file folder and you need to change your label, all you
do is you just peel this off just like this and it’s nice and clean, and it’s so easy. Now, I can just reuse this file folder and
have a nice fresh start. You can find removable labels in a kitchen
section at an organizing store or you can create your own by taking packing tape and
putting it on top. Maybe you put a fun color underneath it and
we have a nice removable label. Now, if you find that your papers are accumulating
and you have a lot of paperwork and this folder is getting really thick, it may be time to
switch your organizer to something that offers further organization and a little bit more
space. So let me show you a couple options. You could go to something like this. This is basically, it’s kind of like five
file folders in one. It’s an accordion organizer and it offers
sections, you just label your sections as opposed to shoving everything into one folder. If you need something a bit larger, you can
go to a larger accordion organizer. So this has, I think it’s 13 different sections
and it fully closes. You can do something like that as well. You would just label all of your sections. You can label the outside. So if you need something on-the-go that you
want to fully be able to zip up and has handles, you can do an accordion organizer that fully
closes, has handles. This is great for medical documents that you
want to bring to the doctor, bring to the hospital or just isolate some kind of files. If it’s not a project, maybe there’s important
files to isolate. This is great for that. Now, if you’re finding that you want to stick
to the file folder, but you need to travel with it, maybe go in the car or you’re flying
somewhere, you can get one of these mesh pockets. They are water resistant, they have sides,
they have a nice zipper and all you do is take your file folder, you put it inside here,
use zip it up, you can put a pen in here, you can put a journal or something and it’s
just so great for traveling. I use these things all the time. They are so lovely. Then finally, if you have a really large project
and you have a lot of paperwork, the last thing you can consider is moving to a binder. Binders offer so many options for getting
organized and they’re really great if you have a ton of paperwork. When we renovated this house, totally had
a binder because there was so much to stay on top of, so much that had to be organized. So those are all of your options in terms
of organizing your project papers. Well, there are more options out there, but
these are just some of the options. Decide when you get started, how large your
project is going to be. Use what you know at the time to make that
decision. Obviously, there are unknowns, but do your
best. Have some kind of project organizer nearby. This is a desktop project organizer, sits
on my desk. If your horizontal space on your desk is limited,
you may want to consider a wall project organizer, like a wall, like a vertical magazine rack
or something like that. So again, if you have stacks of paperwork,
piles of documents that are accumulating on horizontal surfaces, and you’re having a hard
time decluttering, making space so you can set up systems like this, there is a link
below to help you begin where I offer support and accountability. Thank you for being here. I hope you enjoyed this video. I hope you found it helpful and I look forward
to seeing you in an upcoming video. Take care. Bye-bye.

49 thoughts on “How to Organize Project Papers (Part 5 of 9 Paper Clutter Series)”

  1. hi Alejandra. Nothing to do with this video but i'm hoping you'll answer because i'm going crazy trying to find that iphone timer app you used in previous videos with huge numbers. I really want the same one so i can see how much time i have left while speed cleaning. Thank you !! This video is sooooo helfpul. I'm so glad you are back. I've really missed your positivity, your smile, your lovely voice, but mostly your amazing tips. I discovered you in 2013 and your organising tips and courses have changed my life. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. This is such an amazing video. I have been watching your for years now. I am 20 years old now and still watching. Love organizing myself. Thank you for your guidance and tips!!!🙂🙂🙂

  3. Thank you over the years I always go back to your ideas when things get out of hand and your optimistic and encouraging attitude makes it so much more obvious and easy

  4. Hi Ma’am how are you? I’m glad u come back.Waiting for your new home organizing videos which I’m eagerly waiting to watch.Ur organizing videos r amazing & helpful for me to organize everything in right place & right way.Ma’am Thanks for coming back lots of love & wishes 👍 for you.

  5. This series is already half over. 🙁 I'll be sad when it ends. I'm really enjoying it. Thanks so much for the great tips and ideas!

  6. 💛The accordeon organiser is very cutting on the borders. I mostly use simple envelops made of plastic that are transparent to see through. They are easy to clean, no texture, no color, just plane simple.💛

  7. Hi Alejandra!! I’m really enjoying this Paper Series. Can you do a video on long term, short term, school paper work and important documents? How do you organize all of that. This would be so helpful please. Thank You for sharing.

  8. Wow! I didn't know there were all these options. Love the one for reusable labels and the clear, travel pouch with zipper. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  9. so you have 3 diff ways you organize your papers.. I really just want 1 (as I think prob most people do) which would you rec.. scanning.. binders or files?? Im half way doing files now BUT I am first to admit I don't keep up with it.. I like the idea of scanning and then getting rid on the paper but I also admit im not the best when it comes with setting things up etc

  10. The removable labels!!! 😱🤯🤯🤯🤯💡💡💡💡👊👊👊 One of my favorite organizers is like the black and orange one you showed except its wider on the bottom and has an elastic closure. It's very easy to file because it's open on top, but good for travel because of the elastic closure. It's under $10 at Target and I believe made by the Up and Up brand. I've used it to organize the crafts I made each month with kids at my job for the YMCA. I also used it while student teaching to keep all my materials for different subjects at the ready, so I just had to pull out the book, worksheet, etc. before the next class period. Alejandra……!!! 💡💡💡 We teachers would LOVE a teacher organization series around summer for back to school!!! Love you, so glad you're back!!

  11. Alejandra, Your videos are so so helpful and I wanted to say Thank You so much!!! Where is your white organizer on your desk from? And what color is your nail polish? Have a great day!! Hugs, Robyn

  12. Love this video. I’ve used so many of your videos to get my home office organized. Any thoughts about using the Levenger Circa system?

  13. Hi Alejandra, just want you to know, whenever im lazy to do anything in a day, but i want to do so many things, whay i do is watch your videos first. That way,my mind is convincing me already to get up and get things done and organize! And it , never fails. My home is organized and clean. My home is easy to maintain and clean whenever everything is stored on their respctive homes.. hehe.. so, Thank You! You are one of many influencers i look up to. 😍😍😍😘😘😘

  14. Hi my lovely friend! Thank You for so many beautiful ideas! I'm still drowning in paperwork, but I love the idea of using an accordion file folder at least for the most important things. Many Blessings!☕💎❤❤❤❤ Love ya!TFS!

  15. Hi my lovely friend! Thank You for so many beautiful ideas! I'm still drowning in paperwork, but I love the idea of using an accordion file folder at least for the most important things. Many Blessings!☕💎❤❤❤❤ Love ya!TFS!

  16. Thank you for making these videos. I am a teacher and I can see that the information in this video can be useful to teachers and students as well.

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