Transitioning from Paper Filing to Digital Filing in “The Cloud”

Going paperless can feel like a daunting task, but making the transition is easier than you might think. With today’s cloud services options, it’s an inexpensive and effective solution for your business.

The Cloud

But what, exactly, is “the cloud”? The cloud refers to an independently hosted storage area that can be accessed by you from any place on the planet with Internet access. It means that you don’t have to wait until you get back home to access a document. You can have all of your information at your fingertips no matter what time of day or night.

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Paper vs Digital

Paper filing is a traditional, solid method of keeping track of your business. It comes with limitations, however. With the cost of ink and paper, printing costs are overhead expenses your business doesn’t need. Finding what you need can be daunting, especially when you have multiple people filing papers or if you’ve gotten behind in filing or organizing your paperwork. Digital filing, on the other hand, comes with a search toolbar at your fingertips – allowing you to quickly find any document by doing a simple search. Both paper and digital files allow your files to be organized, categorized and filed in the same place. Reorganization of your digital file system is also a lot easier since you can drag and drop files wherever you need them. In addition, digital filing takes less physical space, leaving you with more room to help your business grow.

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Cloud Storage Options

When it’s time to organize your digital files, you’ll want to consider a system that offers the most versatility, ease of access and use, and cost-effectiveness for your type of work.

When shifting to the cloud, I would recommend any combination of these four options: OneDrive, Google Docs, Dropbox, and Box. We won’t mention Apple’s iCloud Drive because it’s not available for Android. Having that type of restriction for your digital filing system may severely limit you in the future. Because of that, we’re going to focus on universal storage systems for organizing your digital files.

OneDrive
OneDrive is a Microsoft product, but it can be used by Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows phones users. It offers 5GB of free storage and a limit to the files size of 10GB. You can’t earn extra storage with this system, but the paid plan is $2 a month for 50 GB of storage. If you’re a Windows 8 or 10 user, this is already built into your operating system. It has a desktop app for all other options. There’s even an app for the Xbox.

You can store any type of file in the service and it organizes them for you. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps have automatic photo uploads so that any photo you take is automatically saved to your account. It also allows you to collaborate in real time on Microsoft Office apps if have an Office 365 subscription. It’s easy to open and edit files for Microsoft’s other applications and signing up for OneDrive gets you a Microsoft account. One downside is that it’s automatic file organization doesn’t always put files in the proper folders.

Google Docs
Google Docs (Google Drive) is another option that many cloud users have relied on for years. It offers 15 GB of free storage and a 5TB file size restriction. Google docs are a word processing option within your Google account that lets you work online in a collaborative, real-time manner. There is a drive app you can download that has unlimited storage capability. You decide what gets uploaded to the drive. With its built-in office suite and additional third-party apps (like one that lets you send faxes or sign documents), it’s the most versatile of all the options. It’s easy to use and set up. All you need is a Google account. Keep in mind that your drive shares the storage space with your Gmail, but the upgrade cost for storage is the lowest of all the services.

Organizing your digital files is as easy as dragging and dropping them into the folders you create. You can also adjust the file folder color and icon as needed for your storage solutions. When you use the Google office suite apps it makes a Google version of it. Keep in mind that you’ll need to export those files in the proper format (.doc, .docx, .pptx, etc.) to use them in other programs. Other than that, it’s an excellent solution for going paperless.

Dropbox
Dropbox is a unique storage solution among the others. It allows you earn 250 MB by completing the Getting Started tutorial. If you turn on the automatic photo upload feature on any of the mobile apps and you’ll get one time upgrade of 3GB of extra space. For every friend you refer to Dropbox, you’ll get 500 MB for each friend. This is limited to 16GB total or 32 referrals. Paid plans are $10 a month for 1TB and support Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire. It is the most versatile of all the options since it’s available for so many platforms. It’s also a huge favorite because it’s easy to use, a breeze to set up, and super reliable. This also lets you upload any file types and synchronizes automatically across all your devices. The biggest downside is that it doesn't let you control how your files are displayed. This is an excellent storage option for simple sharing, but also doesn’t work for real-time collaboration.

Box
Box offers 10GB of free storage, but it has the largest restriction for file size upload (250MB for the free plan and 5GB for a paid personal plan). For $10 a month, you can get 100 GB of storage, but it’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. This system was built specifically for business and IT users. Box also takes collaboration to the next level by allowing you to share files with colleagues, assign tasks, get notifications when a file changes, and leave comments on someone’s work. Like Google Drive, you can control the privacy of your files and determine who gets access to what file. Box takes it a step further, however, by password-protecting individual files and set expiration dates for shared folders. Organizing digital files can’t be simpler. Other business apps like NetSuite and Salesforce can connect to Box. It comes with a host of tools for businesses. It is a much more complicated system than you need if you’re using the service for personal storage, but if you have teams of employees working together or need a place to securely share documents with multiple people, Box is a fantastic choice.

Whatever you decide, make sure you keep your logins and passwords to yourself. Most of these options allow you to collaborate with others, so they can set up an account.

Organizing your digital files is a task you can start today with scanning receipts and saving digital copies of bills into appropriate folders. Most companies allow you access that directly and even offer perks for going paperless since it costs them less in print cost and postage. Take the first step today!

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, sign up for our FREE newsletter by emailing info@getreorganized.com.

___________________________________________________________________________
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Ergonomics in the Office

Office Ergonomics: What is it? Why is it Important? How to Implement it at Your Desk and in Your Office.

Ergonomics is the art of designing anything people use – workspaces, equipment, furniture – to best minimize the risk of injury or harm. Why is it important? According to OSHA, MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorder) cases accounted for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases in 2013. Many of these injuries could have been avoided through proper office ergonomics.

Healthy work habits can help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number and severity of work-related injuries. Examples of such disorders include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, muscle strains and lower back injuries. In addition, office ergonomics can help avoid other costly incidents, such as falls and accidental injuries.

As a business owner, you are responsible for creating a safe and healthy workplace in order to do your work and meet your objectives. Here are some tips for making sure all your ergonomic needs are met:

Develop an ergonomic plan. You should have written guidelines in place that you can check regularly as a reminder of the importance of office ergonomics. The goal is to be able to identify ergonomic risk factors, quantify them, and then make measurable improvements.

Things you may want to include in your ergonomics plan:

  • Keep work areas free of debris/clutter to avoid trips and falls
  • Make sure back and neck are supported – sustained awkward postures can lead to injury
  • Invest in ergonomic-friendly furniture and support devices as needed
  • If you use a phone often, purchase a headset to avoid repetitive use injuries
  • Make sure the computer monitor is at the correct height to avoid neck strain
  • Take micro-breaks/stretching breaks to help relieve muscle strain
  • Keep frequently used objects, such as your mouse and keyboard, close enough to avoid excessive reaching
  • Posture is important – The right desk and chair will help but a conscious effort to sit up straight is key
  • Be good to your eyes. Take regular breaks by looking away from your screen, control screen glare, and positioning the monitor far enough away to avoid eye strain

Schedule regular assessments. Office ergonomics is most likely not going to be top of mind for you, or your greatest priority. Schedule regular times to read through your guidelines and ensure that you are still following the best practices you have set for yourself. Quarterly is a good time to do this.

Be good to your body. Getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and taking stretch breaks will do wonders for you – especially if you spend the majority of your day sitting behind a desk. While these activities seem obvious, we tend to neglect our own needs in favor of getting things done. However, you will be amazed at how productive you become and how much better you feel when your basic needs are being met.

While ergonomics can be applied in a diverse number of jobs, they are often associated with an office environment. With the average adult spending 50-70% of the day sitting down at work, healthy habits and practices are the best prevention against future pain and discomfort. Office ergonomics will increase your comfort and efficiency, as well as help to reduce stress. Taking ergonomics into consideration is easy to implement and will ultimately make your business a more profitable (and comfortable!) place.

To learn more about proper body mechanics at your desk, watch this video by Certified Ergonomic Assessor, Ashley Greninger and visit her website at: www.lotusheartposture.com for more info.

Hiring a Professional Organizer is about more than just clearing off your desk, it’s about making room in your space (and your mindset) to bring in more motivation and productivity than ever before. It’s also an opportunity to create a process for organization designed specifically for you and the way you function.

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, sign up for our FREE newsletter by emailing info@getreorganized.com.

___________________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
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5 Really Good Reasons to Work with a Professional Organizer

As a business professional, it may feel like you are juggling many tasks at once, all the time. While being more organized would certainly help you feel more productive (while preserving some sanity), you probably struggle with finding the time to get it all done. Am I right?

In order to free up your time to focus on the more important things in your life, you’re going to need to call for reinforcements. Here is a breakdown of benefits you might not realize you’ll receive by hiring a Professional Organizer to come in and save the day!

1. Experience & Training – A Professional Organizer is a professional, not a hobbyist. While most Professional Organizers are naturally gifted with the ability to be organized, there is more to this professional than just innate talent. A Professional Organizer is a business person, and as a business person, will have experience and training that extends beyond their natural ability to plan, sort and declutter. The ongoing training and experience a Professional Organizer gains over the course of their career enables them to be more effective in helping clients achieve their varied and personalized organizational goals.

2. Non- Judgmental – A Professional Organizer is non- judgmental. As a Professional Organizer, we know that life happens and therefore disorganization happens. Any Professional Organizer that is a member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) has been diligently trained in ethical best practices per the NAPO Code of Ethics, which you can read more about HERE. It is also important to note that as a Professional Organizer, all client information remains confidential between client and Professional Organizer. Tell that little voice in the back of your head to calm down, hiring a professional doesn’t mean enduring judgment.

3. Identify YOUR Unique Organizational Style – Being organized is not a one-size fits all. There are no hard and fast organizational rules that apply to every person or situation. While there are general guidelines that Professional Organizers follow to help direct the organizing process, a Professional Organizer will also have familiarity with different learning and organizational styles. A Professional Organizer will help you identify what your unique organizational style is and leverage that style to help you get organized. Feel confident about speaking up regarding what does (and doesn’t) work for you and trust that your Professional Organizer will be able to create a plan or environment that suits you and increases your productivity.

4. Customization – In addition to identifying your unique organizational style, a Professional Organizer will work with you to develop customized solutions specific to you or your business. Whether a Professional Organizer is working with you in your home, or in the context of a professional practice, they will leverage their skills, experience, and understanding of individual and group needs to customize solutions to achieve your specific goals.

5. Skills Transfer – While a Professional Organizer can come in and aid in the physical work of getting you organized, it is also their intention to teach you how to maintain organization moving forward. After identifying your organizational style and implementing a customized system, a Professional Organizer will teach you how to use this system to prevent backsliding after the session is over. They may point out potential pitfalls and encourage you to develop new habits or company-wide changes.

Hiring a Professional Organizer is about more than just clearing off your desk, it’s about making room in your space (and your mindset) to bring in more motivation and productivity than ever before. It’s also an opportunity to create a process for organization designed specifically for you and the way you function.

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, sign up for our FREE newsletter by emailing info@getreorganized.com.

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
Be #InstaOrganized! Follow us on Instagram!
A pin a day keeps the organizer away! Check out our boards on Pinterest
Tweet us and follow our Twitter
Like (or love) our Facebook Page
Prefer the professional approach? We’re also on LinkedIn
Learn more about Professional Organizing at www.GetReorganized.com
Stop the procrastination and BOOK A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION

What Do I Do With This?? Decluttering Guide Cards

When decluttering a room or a closet it helps to have some options about what you should do with your stuff.  It's not always easy letting things go, or knowing why and when to let things go. These Decluttering Guide Cards will help you identify what to do with items as you declutter your closet, garage, attic, or office.

1 4 3 28 7 6 5

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, sign up for our FREE newsletter by emailing info@getreorganized.com.

___________________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
Be #InstaOrganized! Follow us on Instagram
A pin a day keeps the organizer away! Check out our boards on Pinterest
Tweet us and follow our Twitter
Like (or love) our Facebook Page
Prefer the professional approach? We’re also on LinkedIn
Learn more about Professional Organizing at www.GetReorganized.com
Stop the procrastination and BOOK A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION