Organizing Projects

Dear Kathi,

I work with several projects at a time in my home based office. Typically, each project is in progress for 3-4 months. In the beginning, each project is easy to manage. As it grows, the project becomes extremely large and squeezes into every empty space available and gets mixed in with my other pending projects. Knowing where one begins and another ends is a challenge. How can I keep each project in it’s own space?

Miles, Leucadia


You have a few options. Choose the method that best reflects how you function on a daily basis.
If you are a systematic project developer and usually work in sequence, try organizing each project into a filing system. Keep each project contained within it’s own file drawer.

Develop a file folder system and create the same tabs for every drawer/project. For example, each drawer can be divided into separate hanging folders labeled project outline, pending, research, resources, and completed. Use whatever headings clearly define the stages of each project.

If you work visually, a file system might not be the best way to organize your projects. Visually oriented people tend to rebel against filing folders into drawers. Out of sight, out of mind is a reality for visual thinkers.
Try this option: contain each project in a basket or small bin. Each bin can have separate dividers, folders or envelopes similar to the file cabinet system. These bins will enable you to see each project as it develops without the necessity of opening a drawer.
Both methods are effective. Choose the one that best matches your style and work process.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

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