Office Organizing Disaster!!

bouncingpigMarch 21, 2006

Ugghhh!! Remember how we were trying to decide how to organize the office we are setting up in our sitting area of our bedroom?! Well, last week our friends that we bought the business through came to town. Since they have been doing it for two years, I decided to ask her to help. I made the mistake of leaving her alone for most of a day. As she was also downloading some programs for me, I also gave her access to some passwords. Anyhooo, long story short, she majorly messed up what had been organized files on my computer, lost many emails and set me up with a filing system that requires I touch all papers a zillion times. It is awful. I have spent days trying to undo what she did. The lesson here is never, never assume others have a better way simply because they have done it longer. She is wasting so much time doing it the way she does. I khow she meant well but I nearly died when I realized what she had done. It is like stepping back to the 1930s or so. She majorly overstepped her boundries and did much more than I asked. I mostly wanted ideas. Grumble, grumble . . .


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Had you seen her in action before and maybe thought she knew something you didn't? Just curious, since I know every business has some different needs when it comes to filing.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Oh Brenda, I'm so sorry for you. That must have been awful! It's not like you have so much extra time for all that mess, either. Now you know you are more organized than you thought.In my new job I am finding out that people who have been here for many years are not necessarily all that organized at their jobs either. Hope you can clear up everything quickly.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 5:19AM
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That must be very frustrating! Good luck getting things back to normal. It always amazes me how people can manage to complicate things like filing systems. I once worked at an office where three copies of each invoice had to be filed when printed. One went to the head of the accounting dept.; she put it in a notebook & noted the check # & date on it when paid. The other went into an open accounts receivable file in my office. The last went into the customer's file. Then, when payment was received, the copy in the open file had to be transferred to a "paid" file. Talk about extra work! When I pointed out them that we didn't need three copies of the same invoice to file different ways, they told me that was the way it had always been done. I finally managed to convince them to get rid of one copy.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:48AM
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I'm sorry you've ended up grumpy w/ your friend--that's an uncomfortable situation to be in.

And big cheers, I agree, to the realization that you're much more organized than you feared. oh, ye of little faith!

a lesson for all of us (and thank you for being the one to actually suffer for learning this lesson, bcs now I won't have to, LOL!), if we need to give someone our password, we need to watch what they do the whole time. That's what a password does--slows things down so other people don't rumple your stuff all about. It's really not so much, for us at home, about keeping other people from seeing stuff, etc.; it's about making it hard to disarrange things.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 10:20AM
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I agree, passwords are to keep people from ulitmately taking down your system. Brenda, did you have any backups or can a computer specialist return your PC to it's former state of affairs?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:25AM
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Oh Brenda, my sympathy too.

I learned a valuable lesson on 'loaning' anyone my computer a few years ago. My sister and BIL were visiting and he was so bored I let him web surf my computer. Since he literally is a rocket scientist (works for NASA programming satellites, has a PhD in physics) I assumed he knew what he was doing and couldn't possibly mess anything up. Well,he decided without even asking me to change my background picture. Whatever he did, it absolutely destroyed my machine. The entire hard drive had to be wiped and reinstalled, and even the tech wizards couldn't figure out how the he** he got it so impossibly scrambled.

Since I work a flex/reduced office schedule I depend on that computer so like you Brenda, it really put a crimp in my work system. I hope you get everything cleared up fast.

Oh, and lesson learned for me--I NEVER let anyone near my computer now!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Overall, this actually has been a good lesson. First of all, no one but DH will ever know any passwords again. We have already changed them all again since her visit. Secondly, I learned that I know more about simple organization of an office and filing system than I thought I did, after seeing how complex she makes it. I still want to take a class on going "paperless" but I am finding what works for me or not as I go. I spent most of today sorting through old personal fils that are really not needed anymore.

A while back someone posted a list from an internet site of how long to keep certain records. Does anyone know where to access that list? I really want to only keep what we have to and purge the rest. If nothing else, this "disaster" jump started me to get things better organized in this office with both personal and business records.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 7:45PM
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My MIL got a computer and took several classes to learn how to use it. We even bought her a greeting-card printing program. Then she showed it to another elderly friend, who looked at her desktop and said it was "messy". She then clicked all the icons and moved them one on top of another. She also sent a lot of MIL's private stuff to the recycle bin and deleted it. Funny thing is, MIL didn't even notice anything had changed. Her son, my DH, had a fit when he saw the "new improved" computer.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 11:04AM
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If you have a (recent) Windows computer, all you have to do is a System Restore to the day before your friend messed it up. It's like going back in time. I don't know if it would have recovered emails, though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 2:32PM
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I googled this:

'keep records time'

First hit was from the IRS with the info.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 7:10PM
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Trouble is for business records, there is no statute of limitations on fraud. DH has mostly been self-employed as a CPA, so we pretty much keep all of the returns forever. That's why we really wanted to go paperless as much as possible for documentation. Will be just our luck the programs will be totally outdated and we can't retrieve the information.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Going paperless is fine, saves time,space and money BUT be sure to keep good backups of your files including the programs you used to file them. My sister wanted to go paperless then couldn't be bothered to backup anything (her excuse was -had no time, disks cost money, computer is not on internet ) A borrowed disk brought a virus to her computer which almost wiped out everything, only some fancy footwork by my husband saved her.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 8:40AM
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cheryl, the backup system was the first thing in place before attempting anything else. Backed up nightly to a separate hard drive and the backed up to off site monthly, so that (heaven forbid) the house burned down we would not lose client data.

One of the services the independent IT guys are doing here is coming to the home office, or whatever, making sure the back up and off site is completed, cleaning up the systems if needed, etc.

It will truly never be paperless. We still pay for a small storage unit for those files we are needing to keep for years and years.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 4:17PM
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