Opening Statements

Taming the Beast

Posted Mar 1, 2009 10:40 PM CDT
By Jill Schachner Chanen

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Courtesy Carolina Academic Press

It’s just about time for spring cleaning, and a good start is getting your office organized. According to Kelly Lynn Anders, author of The Organized Lawyer, the bulk of law­yer disciplinary problems stem from office chaos.

So if you are guilty of breaching the duty of care to your office, here are Anders’ top tips for getting organized:

1. Take control of your e-mail. Create an electronic filing system that uses simple terms. Spend five minutes a day working on inbox maintenance.

2. Tackle your personal paper. Create a color-coded filing system for your personal files. It will help you locate what you need more quickly and efficiently.

3. Spend one day a year weeding through your paper and electronic files to determine what to keep, toss and archive.

4. Ensure that everything on your desktop is useful, functional or decorative—in that order.

5. Avoid junk drawer overload. Buy inexpensive trays to keep your desk drawers tidy and prevent loose items from moving around.

And remember, take it one step at a time, says Anders. The decision to become more organized is a personal one that will net many professional benefits, but it takes time, care and commitment.

The Organized Lawyer, $20 at theorganizedlawyer.com.

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