It is so frustrating when you get an important business call and you can’t find what you need to write on. To make your life easier, and sound more professional on the phone, always keep pens and paper near your office phone. If you use a cordless or mobile phone, have the pens and paper near the base station or charger. If you tend to use lots of sticky notes for your phone messages, which then get lost, a phone message book with duplicate pages offers a simple solution for having all phone messages in one place.

When locating the phone, pens, and message book on your desk, consider which hand you answer the phone with and which hand you write with, so that each item is within easy reach.
I am often out and about when I get my business voice-mail messages, so I also carry a small notebook and pen in my purse. That way, when I am out of my office, all of my messages get written down in one place.

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10 Minute Office Tidy Tip 15: Sort a Desk Drawer

by shannon on November 9, 2014

Ok, you have 10 minutes, pick a desk drawer and take out what doesn’t belong there. Perhaps you have old candy or gum in your top desk drawer. Throw away pens that don’t work, highlighters that are dried out, or random keys you haven’t used in a year. If you have more than 5 pads of sticky notes, consider returning the rest to your office supply area so that they are not cluttering up your desk.

One of your desk drawers probably has extra cords, wires, and electronics in it that you no longer need. Assess what you really use on a regular basis. Decide what you no longer need, and either recycle or donate what you don’t want. Tip 45 suggests a number of places you can recycle or donate unwanted electronics.

What other items are taking up space in your desk drawers? Old stationery? Old software? Decide if you will really use them in the next year. In these 10 minutes, remove whatever seems unnecessary so that you have space to create more order in your desk drawers. offers a great variety of desk drawer organizers to keep your clutter sorted.

If you have file drawers in your desk, the chapter on Reference Materials will describe how to sort your files.

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Time Management

October 27, 2014

Whether you choose a paper or electronic calendar, it is so important to keep and maintain one calendar that incorporates both your business and personal activities. At this point, the smartphone technology has become easier to learn and use, but for those of you who still appreciate the kinesthetic anchoring of writing things down, be […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 16: Responsible Scheduling

October 20, 2014

Most disorganized, overwhelmed people I know want more balance in their lives. I believe that it is just as important to schedule time for self-care as it is to schedule all your business appointments. Remember to put both your business and personal appointments into your calendar so that you have a balance of both professional […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 17: What Can You Delegate?

October 13, 2014

How good are you at delegating? Is there someone in your office that you could ask to help you? Perhaps there is a friend or family member that could take on some of your tasks. Even if it takes you 10 minutes to think about what you can delegate to whom. This may save you […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 18: Share Your Calendar Updates

October 6, 2014

Once set up, it only takes a few minutes to share your calendar updates with people at home or at work. Families may want to sync their calendars so that appointments don’t get missed, and coworkers may need to share calendars to keep up to date on project deadlines. gives you step-by-step instructions on […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 19: Most Important Tasks First

September 29, 2014

This seems obvious, doesn’t it? And yet we all want to do the easiest tasks first to have a sense of accomplishment. It is so easy to develop a routine of coming into your office, checking your voice-mail and e-mail, and having that decide what you should do today. Creating the habit of deciding your […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 20: Automatic Bill Pay

September 22, 2014

Paying regular bills automatically is the ultimate time saver. Not only is it very safe and secure to do online now, it saves you on checks, stamps, and time. Depending on your monthly cash flow, you can either try to have all bills due on the same date or to group them so that they […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 21: Productive Meetings

September 15, 2014

Oh, so many meetings, so little time! Doesn’t it feel that way some days? Try to make meetings more productive whether you are leading them or participating by following these simple steps: • Decide if you really need to be there. Could you get this information later or from someone else? If you don’t need […]

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10 Minute Tidy Office Tip 22: Making Phone Calls

September 8, 2014

Phone calls can be interruptive to your workflow. They are also often very necessary and important. Here are some suggestions for being more efficient on the phone: 1. Have a phone message book, ideally with duplicate pages 2. Get all relevant info first: name, phone number, date, issue, or subject of call 3. Have a […]

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