Ever feel inundated and overwhelmed by all the documents—paper and virtual—that you have to keep track of? To regain control, focus on these three questions:

  • What do you have to keep? There are two types of documents: records and resources. Resources typically threaten to grow out of control, so apply the adage of “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • How long do you have to hold on to them? Try to schedule document purges at least once a year. But since many organizations have different requirements for keeping records, make sure you’re complying with them.
  • Where and how should I keep them? Develop a filing system that works for you—and will be easy for others to use in your absence. The best filing systems are simple, flexible, and growth-oriented.