|"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." Mary Pickford 1893-1979, Actress and Producer|
Saturday, October 18, 2008
By: Bean Jones
I recently cleaned up my apartment (for real) and I was amazed at the amount of paper I had accumulated in a little over a year. Though I'm a big fan of paper products, the frightening sight of three garbage bags loaded with paper got me thinking about going paperless.
Sometime ago, Microsoft bigwig Bill Gates caused a fuss when he declared that his office was 90 percent paperless. In the same Fortune magazine interview, he emphasized that losing the paper trail had a "great impact on productivity."
I may have dismissed his anti-paper drive when he first came out with it, but I'm checking out his tips now:
1. Make room for your desktop. Gates claims that his actual desktop is free of clutter. How does he do this? Well, he's got his workload segregated on three computer screens. According to John Peddie Research, Gates' multi-screen technique increases productivity by 20 to 30 percent--as having multiple screens saves you from window switching and resizing.
Then again, not everyone can afford having multiple screens on their desk. In lieu of actual computer screens, you can do it better than Gates by using virtual desktops that segregate work into different workspaces. Sounds complex? Not at all. Just download Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop Manager (Windows XP) or VirtueDesktops (Mac OS X).
2. Use email to get things done. Utilize the free online storage space that comes with your email to keep important documents handy wherever you go. Likewise, you could get rid of the avalanche of Post-Its by using your email as a virtual calendar or planner through free web-based services like Yahoo! Calendar and Windows Live Calendar.
3. Make your email sift itself. Gates is all for filtering emails. We oftentimes receive emails less important than others. These less priority mails steal our attention from the task at hand. They can be filtered to be read at a later time so that our focus remains on the task we have at the moment. For Yahoo! Mail, for instance, there is the filter management page.