Organizing information is as important as organizing the items in your home and office. You need to be able to access information on any given day for a variety of reasons. This requires that you have information systems. Organized systems aren’t random lists and notes with pieces of information. Systems are structured, readable, and categorical. As Professional Organizer consider questions such as:
- What types information do you need?
- What is the best way for you to store it, paper and/or digital?
- Do you have the information backed up?
- How often do you update the information?
Recently I’ve been blogging about organizing before surgery because in that particular circumstance you and your support team will need to have access to current and important information. The types of information that you want to include are: important documents, contact information, and medical information.
Organizing information | Important documents
Organizing information such as important documents will be invaluable. It will enable you to share the information with a friend, family member, and your medical providers. Let a friend or family member know where your Will, Advanced Care Directive, passwords and account information are kept. Ideally, give them a copy of each of these documents if you are going to have surgery, traveling for an extended period of time, or live in an area that may be prone to natural disasters (assuming they don’t live in the same area).
Organizing information | Contact information
Organizing information also includes your contact information. Likely you have all or most of it on your smartphone. It’s helpful to create a separate list of the names, emails and/or phone numbers of your family members and close friends. Share this list, with permission, with everyone on it. After organizing contact information I set up a phone tree. Following surgery 1 person contacted a small group of designated people with the results. Each of those people agreed to contact 1-2 other designated people on the list and so on. The benefits of organizing information in this way were efficiency, time management, and stress reduction for all of us.
Organizing information | Medical information
Organizing information before travel or surgery should include current medical information. Do this for yourself as well as your family members (especially aging parents). Creating and maintaining a medical information/history binder will be invaluable. Disseminate a printed list of the names and phone numbers of your surgeon, primary care physician, dentist, and the name and address of the hospital where your surgery will be performed. The more information that you organize beforehand will lessen what you need to remember when under stress or time constraints. As your Professional Organizer I wish you an organized, clutter-free life!
August 1, 2013Listen carefully, do you find yourself saying, “I never have enough time to (fill in the blank)”. Do you look at your schedule on a daily basis to plan and prioritize, or do you simply hope to get things done when you have time? Are you waking up in the middle of night worrying about ... Read more
July 30, 2013As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Specialist I want to share tips that will help you: Meet your goals and be productive personally, professionally Recognize how to use a system to make choices, balance your time Downsize your stuff, upsize your life I love the comparison that expert, Julie Morgenstern makes between the cluttered closet and the cluttered ... Read more
July 25, 2013Not all emergencies fall into the category of natural disasters. What about man made events, contagious illnesses, and the spread of infection? As someone who coaches people about time management and productivity I thought that it was important to remind you that taking a few minutes to focus on prevention, will likely save you from ... Read more
July 19, 2013Are you as confused as some of us about whether to store important information, documents, or passwords in the cloud? If this is new or scary for you it begins with doing the research. Here’s an article to start with: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing/files-safe-in-the-cloud.htm Read more
July 15, 2013This month I’m sharing tips and resources to help you organize your family, home, and business in order to be safe and prepared for possible emergencies. Take a tour of your home and identify areas that: are overcrowded – prevent objects falling & people tripping are too dark – replace light bulbs, apply stick-on lights at entryways ... Read more
July 12, 2013Natural disasters may occur anywhere in the world. Have you organized your important documents, health/medication records, and passwords? Do you have a safe deposit box? What about keeping duplicate items with family or friends who live in a different area? #1: Start with a specific plan of action. #2: Use a checklist to make preparation less overwhelming. #3: ... Read more
July 11, 2013Summer is a great time to catch up with all of those tasks you said you would get to, right? Emergency and disaster preparedness obviously has to be organized before an actual event. Being prepared means protecting yourself from theft, including your identity. Here is an article with tips from the IRS that you will ... Read more
July 11, 2013Whether you are traveling, or preparing your household or business for an emergency, knowing what to keep and for how long is critical. Once you have this information you can decide whether it can be kept in hard copy and/or scanned. Talk with your accountant and attorney about specific financial and legal requirements. Here is ... Read more
July 3, 2013It’s not about living in fear, it’s about thinking ahead and using that opportunity. Here’s a great article for family organizing: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/what-emergency-supplies-keep-in-car Read more
July 2, 2013What types of natural disasters might you encounter in the area that you are living? Do you have a plan of action in the event that one occurs? Do you have the supplies that you might need at home and in your vehicle? There a number of online resources that can provide you with helpful checklists ... Read more