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Use a Brought Forward Folder

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It's hard being prepared for meetings when your desk continually looks like Casanova's doormat on February 14. So why not take a leaf out of Outlook’s book?

The Brought Forward Folder is a system for storing all the bits of paper floating around your office that are related to either a diary entry or an upcoming task.



 
What exactly is a brought forward folder?

It’s a folder (real, not virtual) with month and day tabs, mirroring your Outlook appointments and tasks.

It sounds almost too simple but it’s surprising how many people in business have their paperwork strewn around the desk, briefcase or filing cabinet. Then, when they need it for a meeting, they don't know how to find it.

How to use a brought forward folder

For example, if you have a meeting on 12th June, for which you need to produce and distribute a report by the end of May, you might open a task in Outlook called 'produce report' and put the start date as 25th May and the due date as 29th May.

Any paperwork relating to this task should be filed in your Brought Forward Folder under 25th May so that when the task needs to be started you can immediately find the paperwork relating to that task.

You can do the same when you are due to meet a client, when you may be expected to turn up with an agenda, minutes and other papers. Just file them under the date of the meeting. That morning, you open the folder, pull out the papers you need - and go!