Managing Paper in the Office

paper systemA lot of interesting comments in this thread on paper in the workplace. Especially fascinating is the post by Martin Ternouth (search for it on the page) detailing his elaborate and long used workflow for managing papers at his desk:

“Twenty years ago I was in a job that combined three competing timescales: Corporate Planning, which was looking ten years ahead; several large systems projects that required operational planning and monitoring over eighteen months; and a payroll department paying 15,000 staff — any one of whom could turn up very angry without notice and insist upon seeing me. My desk system had to have all operational information immediately to hand, but in such a form that it could be cleared instantly: either to receive a hostile visitor complaining of a mispayment, or to substitute the paperwork for another complex problem totally unrelated to the last. To serve these functions I devised a paper-management system that has remained substantially unchanged for the last fifteen years.”

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