Paper and The Professor- Keeping It Under Control

In a world gone paperless, their are still many jobs that are paper heavy. A College Professor is one of them. Due to research, teaching classes, and publishing demands, there is always a multitude of paper! It just keeps piling up. I have worked with several college professors in an attempt to get their paper under control.

The first step is to identify what categories that you need to have files. Here are some thoughts.

1. Conferences that you have attended
2. Class info from classes that you have taught
3. Research articles on topics for your scope of interest
4. Department correspondence
5. Publishing Projects
6. Book Projects
7. Student information
8. Presentations/Speeches

Most of the colleges that I have worked at, have been very generous at giving files cabinets to their professors. Space doesn’t tend to be the issue, its keeping all the paper together.

Lets start out with classes. I always suggest that my clients have a drawer for class notes and information. Class schedule and syllabus are two must have files. Then notes, copies of tests, ect.

If you are on an advisory board for a PHD candidate, then you need to have a file on those students. This should include meetings, timelines, and drafts of their dissertation.

Then we have the conferences. Most professors attend a few of these a year. They tend to come with list of attendees, and general information about classes and speakers. These can be beneficial and should be filed.

Depending on what college you work for, there might be publishing requirements. If you are working on a book or a paper to publish in a journal, you need to keep your information handy.

And what about scanning you ask? I think in certain cases, scanning could be beneficial to a professor. Things that I would suggest scanning are:

1. published articles
2. past class information
3. teaching contracts
4. past presentations/speeches

For the most part, I find that a lot of the research/articles tends to be bulky and it seems easier to put it in a clearly labeled hanging file then scanning the information.

In the end, there should be no piles- just files!!

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