I ran across this site while desperately looking for a way to organize my work station at work. I was thrilled to see others out there like me who actually prefer the paper and pen method as I do.

I work for a huge company who barages us with not only emails on an hourly basis (updates on the customer service process) we are also baraged with the same updates on paper dropped at every desk.
Personally I like the paper drops which do serve as a reminder of these updates..but I'm sure as you have probably guessed by now...these papers turn into piles that sit on my desk and eventually are never looked at again. I have loads of piles on my desk and when I need to find something strangely enough I usually can..but it is always that one IMPORTANT paper that I seem to need all the time and I can never find that particular one. Go figure. I've tried binders which in turn ends up to an accumulation of many many binders with no rymne or reason to them. I've tried a filing system and turns out that in my fast paced info on the spot type of work that I do I don't have time searching through files. It seems when I file something I never look at it again. I've tried to compile info on larger index cards..but I don't have much off the phone time to do this type of thing. I am the type of person that needs to see it and have access to it right in plain sight. Strange, I know. Hence the messy desk.

Anyway, this is only part of my problem. I am starting new job in the same company where I will be doing highly complex orders on the computer but these orders will not be finished via the system. They will be put in a hold type of status and have to be looked at/worked on/etc again in a few days,weeks, or whatever the situation calls for.
I am trying to devise some kind of paper system where I know the jist of what the order is doing..any problems or issues with it...and the biggest problem is remembering to follow up and do what I have to do down the road to that order so that it is able to complete through the system. My biggest problem is remembering to go back and look at the orders on whichever day it is I'm supposed to be looking at it or re-working it...and if I need to re-work it again..or do more to it down the road...follow up again when I need to without overlooking anyone's orders so that their services are in and working when they should be.
I also need to prioritize some of these orders because some of them I'm certain will be worked and then worked again until everything is in place for the customer.

I was thinking about a color coded system with possibly little containers to hold a 3x5 card (or larger) and label them according to what or when I need to look at the orders in the bin. The biggest challenge for me is not to lose, overlook, forget etc about any of these customers because after awhile most of these orders look the same and it is very easy to just simply forget that I was suppose to be working on something, or I promised a customer I would get back to them on a particular day about an issue needing to be resolved etc.

I was also thinking of systems along the lines of order dates..or follow-up dates..possibly also incorporating color coding into the mix. I really do better with small cards in bins than I do with big notebooks..but I had also thought of something like using a notebook..problem with that is if I have to follow up again on the order I have to re-write everything about the order and transfer it to another page on the notebook for a follow up date.
I really am at a loss as to how to do this efficiently and would be so thrilled if one of you had an idea or two for me for condensing and organizing on paper daily updates and also my biggest problem of all which is keeping track of orders and following up on them all via a paper method.
I am so sorry about the long long post!
Thanks for listening!

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Add a tickler file?

Have you considered adding a tickler file to your system? Simply a set of file folders, one for each date from 1 to 31, plus one for each month.

So, once you've written your index card and filed it in your box, simply write a short note on a piece of paper, something like "work on Murphy order" or "call Bill about Henderson account", and drop that piece of paper into the appropriate folder.

Each morning you need to look in the file for that day and pull out the notes, then get the matching index cards from your bins and get to work.

As long as you are meticulous about putting a note into the ticler file, you shouldn't 'forget' about any pending item.

I Love My Tickler

I just added a tickler file to my system this week, and I have to say that I LOVE IT. Throughout the day, while working with my hPDA cards, I will attach a small post-it with the simple note "tickle to ___" and toss it into my "to be filed" folder. The next time I land in my office, I simply pull out the folder full of "tickle to" notes and distribute them into my tickler. It's like mailing a reminder to myself.

As for the actual tickler I use, I considered getting a couple of accordion files, but decided against it when I couldn't determine what horizontal surface to place them on, i.e no room on my desk. Instead, I have set up the 43 folder system (12 months, 31 days) using pendaflex hanging files in a desk drawer. Each day I pull out the appropriately numbered file, plus the next day's folder to review what's coming up.

It works great!

You Have Come to the Right Place...

Hi Donna, worry not all papery life is here. May I suggest you start by looking at the hPDA V3 Perhaps a calendar (there is a selection to choose from) combined with Notes and the Waiting For Template will be just the ticket. There is a piece by Doug on cross referencing which maybe of use. Bins or planner? With the hPDA V3 you can use both... Finally (and before I delete myself for sounding too much like spam ;) ) take a look at Setting Up a GTD-Based Hipster PDA.