30 Career Management Tips — Have a Digital Reference System

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 25

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Have a digital reference system.

If a pundit were to come up to you and tell you that there is more information out there than we can effectively handle, you’d shake your head, walk away, and wonder why they are paying money to an idiot to report this obvious stuff.

It’s not so much that there’s a lot of information out there — that’s a given; what we need to do is have an effective system for managing our tasks as well has have a digital library for storing the critical documents we need to support our work.

How many times have you been asked for information that you know you’ve seen but can’t remember where it is located? How many times have you had paper copies of something that your manager asks to send electronically? How much time have you wasted asking for people for information that they said they would keep and they can’t find?

In this case, the best defense is a good offense. Design a system of storing data digitally that makes it easy for you to find.

It will save you endless time, lots of grief, and frustration.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • This is a tip/technique, which I use everyday and helps me enormously.

    Have a filing system (can be digital) with 31 sections – one for each day of the month. Then file the paperwork in the appropriate section for the day you need it. Each morning just make sure you check that day’s section – easy.

    I also use this with my staff. I have a section per member of staff. Anything, which I want to keep and raise with that member of staff, is filed away in their section. It saves so much time. When I next meet with them or interact with them, I’ve got all the relevant paper work in one place.

    Simple, efficient and it maximises your time.

    Andrew

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Hi Andrew,

    What you are describing is, to me, more of a tickler file, which can be part of an overall reference system. (The 31 days and 12 months is how the 43-folders blog got its name!).

    Beyond this, there still needs to be a good reference system in place. For example, all the iterations of your goals with management, presentations you have done, budgets and their iterations that need to be stored.

    A tickler system is part of the overall referencing and what you have described is not only simple, but effective.

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