Listen to show #160 – How To Organize Paper So You Can Find What You Need.
Catch up by reading Step #1 – The Inbox, and Step #2 – Processing the Inbox Using 3 Questions and 2 Secrets (free printable) and Step #3 – Creating an Action File. All have videos included.
“What is a tickler file?” you ask.
Tickler is a term used for a system that “tickles” your memory in order to remind you to get things done at a certain time. Dustin Wax explains it nicely on his Lifehack post Back to the Basics: The Tickler File.
Here is an example of the tickler file that we use available for purchase at Staples.com.
The tickler file has one set of 1-31 tabs representing each day of a month. It also has Jan – Dec (12) tabs representing the months of the year.
When you have something that needs to be done on or by a certain date you drop the paper into the correct tab.
- You have a wedding invitation that you RSVP to and add to your calendar. What do you do with it now? If the wedding is in the current month on the 22nd drop it behind the 22nd number tab. On the day of the wedding you can pull the invitation out and you have everything you need.
- You go to the store and purchase some greeting cards. One is for the wedding on the 22nd, one is for your mom’s birthday on the 31st and one is for graduation for your niece next May. Drop the wedding card in to 22nd tab, drop your mom’s birthday card into the 27th tab (you will mail it the 27th and it will be on time) and drop the graduation card behind the May month tab.
- You want to keep the plant you just received alive. Write “water plant” on an index card or sheet of paper and drop it behind the number tab three days from today. That morning when you check your number tab you will see your reminder to water your plant. When you finish watering the plant drop the paper in three days later. Continue reminding yourself like this until you form a concrete habit and your plant is flourishing!
In order to remember to check your tickler file you need to tie it to a habit you already do daily. Most of us brush our teeth every day (hopefully). Write a note and stick it on your bathroom mirror or right on your toothbrush holder. Every night while you are brushing your teeth be sure to check your file for the next day. Pull the papers out and place them in order that you will do them.
Wow! Watch your productivity soar!!!
Watch the video: Step #4 – What’s a Tickler File
Math notes: I do know that if my cable bill is due the 15th and I want to pay it 4 days in advance that I would put the bill in the 11th tab. I was just making sure you were paying attention!!