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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.