The purging of the office

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been doing what is sure to become an annual event: the purging of the office.

First I did something that’s been languishing in my to-do list for six months: I got all of my client data out of Excel/Word and wherever else it was hiding and into one single database. That was an enormous relief. I’d been looking for a CRM that would let me add an unlimited number of fields so I could enter info about URLs, logins, passwords, software installed on the server, IP addresses, domains, etc. and had never found anything that worked the way I wanted.

A few weeks ago I finally found the one true customizable DB platform for me (Filemaker Pro) and learned how to use it. Yes, I’m a PC user and yes, I do have Access on my desktop – but I don’t like it. I’m not an Office-basher because I love Word and Excel, but Access is not for me. I got Filemaker to do what I wanted in about 1/5 the time I spent screwing around with Access.

So anyway now I have a great-looking little DB form with tabs for all of the pertinent categories and all of my client data is in one compact place. Wonderful!

Second, I went through my file cabinet and discarded anything that could be trashed. I reorganized all the tabs on the folders so I could actually see them without them overlapping each other. I consolidated a few folders and made some new ones.

Third, and I just finished this: I went through all the dogeared design and web and IT magazines stacked in various places and cut out the articles I wanted to save. I made new folders for the file cabinet for all of those articles, probably 40-50 of them. And the magazines are going out the door.

My office is in much better shape now. I feel really good when I open that file cabinet and see all those tabs neatly arranged and also that the big stack of magazines beside the printer is, for the moment, no more. It’s a ‘working-with-your-hands’ feeling and I’m pretty satisfied with the results.

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