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What are your tools for keeping organized, and just plain keeping up?

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Question: "Any tips on how to organize my day to be most effective? Also, how do you keep abreast of new changes in the admin world—tasks like how to fold letters for envelopes or how to place your initials on correspondence—the kinds of general administrative duties we all have?" - Angela, Administrative Assistant to an Associate Dean for Academics and Student Service Specialist

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tesstarosa April 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

I disagree with Mark — I find using the Task organizer very helpful in making sure things get done. I put all my recurring tasks on there with the date I need to start working on the task (depending on the task – 2-5 days ahead of time) and the date it needs to be finished as the last date.

I also converted email requests into tasks — all the information in the work request email is in the task.

Any task that I write down in a meeting gets transferred to the Outlook task list.

All of my tasks are in one place. And, all of the tasks show up on my calendar as well.

This also gives me a historical list of work I have done and a simple place to look if I need to do a similar task again.


Mark April 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

I use Outlook religiously. Nothing goes into Tasks; everything goes into the Calendar. (This is a great tip I learned from someone else.) Tasks have a habit of just staying there undone. However, if I assign a specific day and time to the item, it is much more likely to actually get done. Since doing this, I accomplish much more than I did when I had a task list. In addition, keep plenty of “free” time in the calendar since there will always be things that come up each day. A calendar that is booked from opening time to closing time is sure to fail. Allowing for unexpected things eases that stress.


Frida April 1, 2015 at 2:15 pm

I think it’s absolutely necessary to start the day with 10 minutes of totally uninterrupted time to organize yourself. I sit in the quiet with my coffee and write down on paper what I need to do. I do this even before I turn my computer on, and before I’ve even said good morning to anyone.


Grady March 27, 2015 at 9:42 am

Believe it or not I actually stopped trying to organize my day. The important stuff always naturally rises to the top at the time it needs to. I found that I don’t have to get organized as much as I have to stop doing things that are just time-wasters.

I agree with joining IAAP, or any other professional organization for admins. That’s like having someone keep their ear to the ground for you. Also join LinkedIn and subscribe to admin groups and you can see what people are talking about and get answers to any question you can think of.


SANDRA March 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Use your Outlook calendar for better organization. It is an excellent tool. To stay updated join your local IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) or BPW (Business and Professional Women’s Organization. Both are excellent professional organizations and stay abreast of what is happening in the business world and offices.


Lisa - !! March 26, 2015 at 4:06 pm



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