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  • Writer's pictureLorenzo Colombani

What's frequency-based organization? (in 2 min or less)

Updated: Apr 15

When it comes to organizing yourself, most people generally follow simple rules:

  • Accounting stuff goes with accounting folder (themed organization)

  • The NewCo stuff goes in the NewCo folder (client/customer/etc. organization).

The problem is that it creates clutter. When searching for a bill from last week, what's the point of having the accounting folder from 2015 next to it? Or let's say you are working on that project for your client, NewCo. Do you really need the whole client folder within easy reach?

No. What you need within easy reach is what you're going to use, and only that. Let's say you're at the (home) office. Why has that OldCo folder sitting on the far-right side of your desk for two weeks? Why does it take precious space? Are you even going to use it in the next month? The quick answer is no.

Frequency-based organization is putting stuff you need frequently close to you. The least often you need it, the farthest and less accessible it should be. If you're working on this quarter budget review, then by all means, leave it in your closest drawer, take it out to work on it and put it back when you're done. But if you're not working on that project that comes up once a year, then I don't care if it brings 50% of your income -stash it away and set a reminder for when it's due.

But why the hell would you switch to frequency based organization? Well, you're going to answer that yourself. Just try and time the hours spent a year looking through irrelevant piles of paper to find that one item you wanted.

FYI, the same holds true for computer files. Turns out, for the sake of this piece, it's easier to visualize actual piles of paper. But that's a story for another time.

It's easy enough to do it yourself. But if you don't have time, well, I'm here.

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