Implementing the PAPERS™ Method

Technique #14: Use the PAPERS Method Daily

The PAPERS method will help you process and make decisions about any paper you touch, every single day. Whether it’s office paperwork or the mail, this system will help you take control of document flow and eliminate the paper chaos.

How the PAPERS Method Works

P: The first P stands for Process. You must process all paperwork—which requires at least one if not more of the following steps.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “only touch a piece of paper once.” I don’t agree with this advice.

Any piece of paper you have requires making a choice about the information contained on it. The first step involves making a decision about the information. This may be that you can’t do anything further with it at the time, so you need a place to temporarily store the material until a later date. Keep in mind that the nearest horizontal surface is not that temporary place. An excellent location for a temporary storage place may be in your daily action center, as discussed in Chapter 11.

A: The A stands for Action. Can you act on the information immediately, or do you need to defer action to later? If so, you will need to store it in a temporary location until you have time to take action. You’ll want to make sure that the location is close by and not in an out-of-the-way area, or you run the risk of forgetting about it.

P: The second P stands for Pass it on. Don’t hesitate to forward the information to someone who’s ...

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