For administrative assistants, project management is a big part of the job description. And in order to be successful, you need to establish good systems for organization – whether you’re supporting the project or taking the lead.
There are several components you may want to include in your overall project management system, such as:
- Project management software
- Calendar tools
- Documents (e.g. forms, templates, and checklists)
- Binders and tabbed dividers
You don’t need to get too elaborate with your project management materials either. In fact, you probably already have everything you need within an arm’s reach! Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Individual Projects: Creating Your Administrative Procedures Binder
A procedures binder showcases your value to your executive and company, makes it easier for others to fill in for you when necessary, and allows you to delegate tasks when your own plate is full.
For this project, you need a sturdy three-ring binder (Avery Heavy Duty View or Ultralast® Binders work perfectly), tabbed dividers, sheet protectors, a list of office duties, and a good procedures documentation template. With these supplies, creating your administrative procedures is a simple project that you can organize and easily maintain.
When choosing dividers for organizing your binder, here are a few things to consider:
- If you’re looking for a way to easily add a cover page to each section of your binder, the Avery Print & Apply Pocket Dividers with Index Maker® Easy Apply™ Clear Labels work well. You can insert a cover sheet with important details or a list of section contents into the clear pocket and include the section name on each divider tab.
- If you want the ability to quickly add sections and reorganize your binder without having to reprint your tab labels each time, the Avery Customizable Table of Contents Dividers with Ready Index® Section Titles Pages and Sub-Dividers are an excellent option. They come in a variety of numbers, letters, and colors.
Team Projects: Marketing, Sales, H.R., and more!
Not every project is as easy to manage as creating your procedures binder. The more team members you need to collaborate with, the more difficult the project becomes. As your projects get bigger, so does your need for organization.
When I worked for an insurance company, my team developed life insurance policies for the banking industry. We were responsible not only for generating the products, but also creating the marketing materials, making sure they remained compliant, supporting and training the sales team, and supporting the banks as they began to implement the products.
When I coordinated human resources duties for my company, I needed to maintain several different binders for things like attendance, benefits, new hire orientation, training, personnel files, etc.
Even if you do use project management software for these types of projects today, you still need a system for managing the paper materials that cross your desk. This typically means plenty of three-ring binders, tabbed dividers, and detailed forms and checklists.
When choosing dividers for bigger projects, here are a few tips to consider:
- How often do you need to update or add to the binder contents? Avery Customizable Table of Contents Dividers with Ready Index Section Title Pages are fantastic because you can keep adding sections without having to reorganize the entire binder.
- Do you need extra space for graphics, logos, or want to include colored text? Avery Big Tab Printable White Label Dividers with Easy Peel® are an excellent choice. These work nicely for marketing materials or compliance projects because they provide the extra printable space on the tab, making it easy to find what you’re looking for at a glance.
- Do you need a quick, hassle-free option for throwing a project binder together? The Avery Clear Easy View Plastic Dividers are the answer. They have no tab inserts or labels – just a single sheet of paper with the section names that gets inserted in a sheet protector at the back of the binder. And they’re durable enough to make it through long-term projects without having to be replaced.
Big projects require effective systems. With systems in place, you can share them with others so they can benefit, too. It makes life at the office a lot less chaotic and keeps your projects running smoothly throughout.
© 2017 Julie Perrine International, LLC
Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.
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