businesses help others get organized
clutter with a low-tech organizer and online catalogue
by Alan Zisman (c) 2005 First
published in Business
1-7, 2005; issue 797; High tech office column
Get Organized for Success (www.gogetorganized.com
suggests that with better organization, you can offer your customers
better service while having less stress and getting more time off. The
company promises that you are just a few steps and a day away from a
better-organized, more productive office. To get there, they offer the
One Day Office Organizer Toolkit ($139).
The kit includes no computer software, but an audio CD, a printed
guidebook, and a financial filing system (available separately for
$25). The filing system includes a set of labels to organize the bulk
of most small business owners' financial needs. A deluxe $229 version
of the toolkit adds a set of various-sized sturdy baskets and a file
holder, for instant organization.
The Toolkit doesn't claim to organize what's on your computer, but
instead is designed to help you organize the bits of paper clutter:
business cards, receipts, memos, letters and other random-seeming
important bits of paper. It also helps you end up with an office that
works for you. You start with a list of supplies to help you get
organized, ranging from containers, to office supplies, to cleaning
supplies (yes, you might as well clean up your workspace while you're
organizing the clutter), to the snacks needed to keep you going. (Yes,
you'll need to get organized in order to Get Organized.)
On your designated Get Organized day, you (and designated helper) will
start out dealing with the obvious trash, followed by a quick clean up,
then making piles of everything on your desk and shelves. Next, a round
of "basket therapy" makes a first run at organizing. Once the clutter
is out of the way and the surfaces are cleaner, consider making your
office layout more efficient. After breaking for lunch, put in a couple
of hours sorting your papers. Your goal: get at least 80 per cent of
the clutter sorted. Now you can start putting things back in their new,
better-organized homes. A final walk-through reviews the location of
your files and helps to reinforce their new location.
Get Organized's founder, Tami Reilly, chairs the Vancouver Women
Business Owner's Association and was twice named B.C. Entrepreneur of
the Year by Toronto's Raymond Aaron Group. She promises that after
spending a day getting organized, you'll be able to find any needed
piece of paper in ten seconds or less.
North Vancouver's sPearWay (www.spearcat.com
produces sPearCat software, which easily creates customized Web-based
catalogues that reflect company branding and enable merchants to
quickly update content as needed. Along with displaying products, the
software can handle commercial transactions while creating invoices and
calculating tax and shipping costs. sPearWay founder Pierre Frisch
notes that while these catalogues can be used by retailers, most
current clients are wholesalers and importers, who can use the software
to keep an up-to-date catalogue of an ever-changing inventory.
The Web-based catalogues can be modified using any Internet browser
without having any background in the HTML code that underlies Web pages.
sPearCat supports multiple languages and currencies, and can support
multiple prices, with different discounts for dealers, distributors or
retail customers. Shipping costs can be set to vary with customer
location. Catalogues can show customized pages depending on log-in.
Pricing varies depending on whether catalogue design is done by the
client or by sPearWay, and whether sPearWay or the client hosts the
catalogue. Frisch notes that design of a paper catalogue can cost $100
to $200 a page. Vendors can supplement a print edition with a more
easily updated online version, requiring fewer expensive reprints. As a
result, most clients see a return on investment within six to 12 months.