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Staying organized when your car is your office

Do you spend a lot of time in your car and frequently need to take materials to client appointments or business meetings? When your vehicle is an extension of your office and you conduct business at numerous locations, having a system for transporting documents and supplies and keeping your car well organized is critical for making sure you arrive at your appointments with everything you need.

Files on the go

If you need to transport paper files to meetings, a briefcase or tote bag that can hold several hanging files or a portable accordian file holder can be good solutions for keeping documents organized and easy to find. One section can be used for meeting handouts, another for marketing materials and a third could contain office supplies you frequently need such as name tags, thank you cards, envelopes and stamps. You might also need a file for expense report records, or you could use a plastic envelope to keep your receipts.

The small things

In addition to documents there may be other items you frequently need that would be good to have organized in your car. A pencil box, pouch or other small container keeps pens, paper clips, sticky notes, flash drives and other small office supplies organized and easy to find. Transparent pouches like the kind sometimes used for cosmetics are particularly handy since you can easily see the contents; these also work well for small electronics and charging cables. I also keep a pouch in my glove compartment that contains a toothbrush/toothpaste, bandaids, aspirin, chapstick. stain remover packets, and a stash of energy bars for those days when there is not time to pack or eat lunch. If you aren’t using an electronic notes system on your smart phone or computer, a small notebook kept in your car tote or vehicle console is helpful for noting mileage, expenses or other short notes.

Plan ahead

A key aspect of being well organized is good planning. When your day involves driving from one meeting to another, planning the night before to make sure that your car tote is well stocked with everything you’ll need will save stress in the morning when you are busy getting ready to leave.

A checklist will help you remember to pack everything you need:

  • Have you printed all necessary meeting handouts or presentation materials?
  • Do you have an adequate supply of brochures/flyers/business cards?
  • If you will be using a whiteboard do you have dry erase markers, eraser and marker remover?
  • If you will be using a computer or laptop to give a presentation, have you copied the presentation to your laptop and backed it up on a portable flash drive?
  • Do you have your laptop, mouse, smart phone, headset and charging cables?
  • Do you need to pack a lunch and water bottle?

Consistent habits

Along with good planning, maintaining daily habits helps you stay organized. With your “mobile office” or car tote, bringing it inside at the end of each day and restocking any documents or supplies that are getting low right away will help prevent a last minute rush to print or find something when you are on your way to your next meeting.

Thanks to mobile technology we can get a lot done while we’re on the road. In this short video Debbie Rosemont shares more tips about how to keep your car well organized.

If you could use help creating organized systems for your office, business or home, contact us for a free consultation.

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