by Loren G. Edelsein | May 01, 2010

In an increasingly digital world, many of us are still buried in paper at work. What's the best way to get organized? Barbara Tako, a business consultant and author of Clutter Clearing Choices (O-Books), has plenty of advice to offer via her book, website and blog ( Some tips:

Tackle the piles.
Pick your thickest folder or tallest paper pile. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Repeat up to four times a day until you have completely purged your filing system.

Sort it out. Separate what needs to be shredded, recycled, acted upon and filed. You'll also need a "make new folders" pile for the stuff that doesn't yet have a place of its own.

Make decisions.
Not sure what to do with something? Decide to decide. If you need to ask someone, make a note on your to-do list to talk to them about the item.

Toss liberally. Remember, 80 percent of all the things we keep and file, we will never use again. So think twice before hanging onto it.