There are only four decisions you can make about any piece of paper:
- Delete – Throw it away.
- Delegate – Hand it off to someone else who can handle it.
- Do It Now – Deal with the paper immediately to get it out of the way.
- Define the Action – Place it in an appropriate “action file.”
Make decisions on paper as it comes in. Put papers that require action into “Action Files.” Papers you may never need, but are afraid to throw away, go into Reference Files. As Reference Files become old, they become Archive Files, or can be tossed.