Category: Blog

Category for Blog Posts

The Origin

My first job in the nonprofit sector was with a large, national charity. On the first day, I was being trained by the person whose job I was hired to fill. I asked about a magnet I saw which had another charity’s contact information.

“Oh,” she replied, “we get a lot of calls from people in the community we serve asking for support groups, which we don’t offer. So, I refer them there.”

“They provide support groups; I didn’t know that.” I said.

“I don’t actually know if they do, but the person in this role before me told me that’s what she did, so I did as well.”

Well!” I thought to myself. “How irresponsible! Couldn’t you at least call and find out? That is one of the first things I will do.”

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Storing, Retaining, and Deleting Files

Should it stay or should it go?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the management of files. We’ve looked at how to organize them and what to label them. Now let’s turn to storing them.

A record is a file, photo, video, -anything that captures information. Sometimes they matter and sometimes they don’t. Knowing what to keep is an important part of a well-organized filing system, which is essential for not duplicating work, improving organizational memory, organizational knowledge, and being able to tell the complete story of a project, event, program, or system. 

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Miscellaneous is not a category

Last week’s blog outlined six steps to organizing a desktop. The steps begin by identifying the different themes of your work. Each theme is a category. When each category has been identified, two things must be true.

  1. Each category must be mutually exclusive. That means it only contains the information about one subject. It must be exclusive from the themes of other folders.
  2. Each category must be collectively exhausted. That means that every file belongs somewhere. If there is a file that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere, then there are not enough categories.
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The Ambiguity Effect

When something is ambiguous, we avoid it. Things that are hard to tackle seem overwhelming. This can be true in life with the big decisions and the small tasks. It can also be true of your desktop and inbox.

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Planning through a Pandemic

2020 is a different kind of year, and that takes a different kind of planning.

In the past ten years, I have had a lot of simultaneous priorities. Getting derailed and having to switch gears drastically seems to be my only constant. Back in March, I felt almost prepared for that massive upheaval we all went through.

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