Reduce Stress, Improve Your Archives

Return to June 2010 eTalk: US edition | Canada edition

As the old saying goes: “Elephants never forget.” Of course, elephants never had the pressure of remembering a month’s worth of meeting notes, key action items, follow-up phone numbers, and driving directions.

We’re a bit busier than the typical pachyderm, that’s why we archive.

I often say that not being able to access and recall your planning info is equal to not planning at all. Having a dependable process for storing and indexing your data is vital to any good planning system. It organizes the clutter of pages currently stored in your day planner, and better yet, it allows you to stop relying on your memory when needing to access past information. Reduces stress and de-clutters? Sign me up.

Here are a few tips for organizing your planning data: 

  • Process planning data weekly, don’t let months of info pile up
  • Place a checkmark in the top right corner to designate a processed page
  • Use symbols to differentiate tasks, key notes, phone conversations, and appointments
  • Create a monthly index for notable events
  • Avoid redundant re-writing of data whenever possible
  • Index meeting notes and other lengthy notes by topic and date
  • Separate project-specific notes from daily records, store in folders for frequent reference
  • Label archive containers and folders consistently, keep in same location

Your archival process may differ from someone else’s, but the main objective is to create a system that offers you consistent steps and reliable results. How do you archive? Please share your ideas by commenting below.