View Full Version : How to Sort A Scary Stack of Paper


ADDarkD@y
06-25-13, 06:01 PM
Uh oh....You glance warily at the mountainous stack of boring office documents (or bills, etc) piled menacingly on your desk. The stack stares back, hungry, waiting....you both know how this ends...Gulping hard, you pull up youtube for another 30 minutes of life-prolonging procrastination. The stack waits...he can wait all week if need be...

Lol, we've all been there. Never Fear! Here is a method for sorting stacks of documents efficiently WHEN YOU HAVE ADD/ADHD.

This method I call "linear combination", but please feel free to give it a less stuffy name if it helps you. The method assumes you are starting with documents all with the same type of destination. For instance, you are putting ALL the files away into billing folders, or project folders, or employee folders, etc.

1. Write a code on the top left (or right if you prefer) of each document in the stack. Be consistent. The code could be the date of that document, the account #, an alphabetical name, etc. Whatever it is make it simple and easy to immediately perceive. It is much easier to sort a large number of items on one single feature such as a code then to try and figure out the information you need by looking at the document itself every single time. Different documents could have the date in different parts, for instance.

2. Divide the stack into min-stacks each no more than about 10-15 documents. Layer the stacks on top of one another cross-hatched so that the first mini stack is facing let's say vertically, the next horizontally, the next vertically, and so on. This way you can grab each mini stack very rapidly.

3. Sort each mini-stack by the code you wrote on the documents. When you are finished you should have a number of mini-stacks piled up in a cross-hatch "big" stack, and each mini-stack should be sorted by the code (date, account #, last name, etc). The order of all stacks should be lowest to highest, or highest to lowest.

4. Now do linear combination. It is important that each stack is sorted in the same order (lowest to highest, or highest to lowest). Don't start before that. If you have everything sorted properly, then to begin grab two mini stacks and place them next to one another with enough space in between for a third stack to go. Then, if your mini stacks are lowest to highest (referring to the code) take the lowest EXPOSED document from EITHER of the two stacks and put it in the middle. If the stacks are highest to lowest take the highest exposed document. There are only two exposed documents at a time which are at the top of each stack. Repeat. You will end up with one single stack all in order. If your mini stacks were highest to lowest, your final stack is now lowest to highest, and so on. Perform the "linear combination" procedure repeatedly until all of the stacks are eliminated and only one stack remains

I will include a picture explanation later today or tomorrow.

sarahsweets
06-26-13, 05:09 AM
I usually resort to a lighter and lighter fluid.

SquarePeg
06-26-13, 07:31 AM
yep and what about the miscellaneous papers of which there are also loads?

ADDarkD@y
06-26-13, 01:51 PM
I usually resort to a lighter and lighter fluid.

Hahhaha :lol:

ADDarkD@y
06-26-13, 01:51 PM
yep and what about the miscellaneous papers of which there are also loads?

Hey peg, I will post a solution to that problem next, but you're not going to like it ;)