Eliminate Business Chaos
Eliminate Business Chaos


BottomBackground Blue 1

ec_grey-square-business - for web.png

Newsletter Border Bottom
Newsletter Border Top
December 2017

A True Story of Wasted Time and Money

When Malia and I were talking about topics for this newsletter, Malia, our Sr. Productivity Specialist, told me the following story I want to share with you. I share this with you to demonstrate how much time and money is wasted when you don’t have a centralized repository at work for digital files or the proper access for those that need access. I also share this information because there are things you can do to ensure this does not happen to your company or organization you volunteer for.

With “Get Organized Month” just around the corner in January, I’d like to suggest that you consider the “lessons learned” in this article so you can start 2018 in an organized and efficient manner.

Malia volunteers her time for her son’s Robotics team. Malia and another volunteer were tasked with the following GOAL: Establish a new relationship with a “local” vendor who could print t-shirts for three robotics teams.

Sounds like a simple task that won’t take much time, right?


In the past, the Executive Director (ED) of the team used an “online” printer where she uploaded various team logos and other artwork from a variety of storage locations. The locations included:
• A shared Google Drive
• Google Docs
• Dropbox
• OneDrive
• And more

WOW! That is TOO MANY locations to store files, images and more. How does one even know where to begin to look for anything? This was the question Malia had to answer – and it wasn’t easy, or quick because the ED sent only a link to her shared Google Drive – stating that “everything they needed was on this drive.”


Oh, and after the ED sent the Google Drive link to Malia where she “thought” everything was stored, she left for Australia for 18 days! It was up to Malia to solve the mystery of where the logos and artwork were stored.

Malia and her team member had 4 weeks to get the shirts printed; which at the onset of the project seemed like plenty of time to accomplish their Goal.


The first search to find all of the appropriate artwork took over THREE hours to try to match up to what was on the current t-shirts and unfortunately it could not all be found.

Malia sent an e-mail to the ED asking if there was any other possible location where she could find the rest of the artwork and logos and she was ASSURED by the ED that it was all in the Google Drive. After spending more time searching and not finding what she needed, she jumped on SLACK to ask some of the teams if they had any of the files she needed and was able to obtain some more of the artwork, but not a logo for the third team.

With time ticking, (or shall I say time-wasting), they were running the risk of not meeting the deadline to have the shirts printed for all three robotics teams in time for their competition.

In fact, they couldn’t even get a proof of the t-shirt because some of the artwork provided was in the wrong file format and the size of the images were too small for printing!


They decided to incur $150 in graphic design charges with the new vendor in order to print the t-shirts by their deadline, yet at the end of the day, they STILL did not have everything they needed to print the t-shirts for all three teams with the new vendor.

$150 may not seem like a lot of money, but to a non-profit organization that did not have this in their budget, it is a lot of money.

Let’s also think about the COST of Malia’s time – that is where the DOLLARS really ADD UP!

As mentioned, Malia volunteers her time to the organization, so they aren’t paying; instead, Malia is the one that payed dearly with her lost time; time she will never get back.


With the deadline looming, and shirts needed for competition, Malia had no choice but to go back to the former “online” vendor and inquire if they could meet the deadline. They could, but at a cost of 40% more to expedite the shirts they needed – all because they wasted so much time trying to find the correct artwork and logos – in the correct format and sizes needed.


When the ED returned from her 18 day vacation to Australia while other scrambled to meet her goal for the volunteers, the ED realized that she had stored the rest of the digital files in Dropbox – of which Malia DID NOT HAVE ACCESS TO!


• Well over 10 hours of lost time
• $150 in graphic design costs (thankfully this work can be used in the future)
• 40% expedited fees for shirts and printing
• Much unnecessary aggravation of volunteers


• Standardize on ONE location to store artwork and logos – where those that need access, have access
• Ensure this location is backed up
• A folder called Artwork or Graphics should have been created
• Inside the Artwork or Graphics folder, there should have been THREE folders – one for each team
• In each team’s folder, ONLY the CURRENT artwork and logos should be stored
• The names of each of the digital files should contain the name of the artwork or logo and the size so it’s clear to ANYONE needed the file

For Example: Team 1 Logo in Color for Website.png
Team 1 Logo in Color for T-shirts.png
Team 1 Logo in Color for Print.png
Team 1 Logo in Black and White.png
Team 1 Artwork Front of Shirt 400 x 800.png
Team 1 Artwork Back of Shirt 200 x 300.png

You get the idea…..


Had the example above been in place prior to the 18 day vacation to Australia, it would have DRASTICALLY increased the efficiency and effectiveness of accomplishing the original goal in a timely fashion.


While this may seem small and insignificant, I challenge you to think about how this affects your own business or the company you work for.

How much time and money do you and the company you work for waste every year, looking for file (digital or non-digital) because there is:

In some organizations it costs thousands of dollars in salaries – I know, because we’ve worked with companies to streamline their digital files so they could take control and stop wasting time and money.


If there is anything our team of Productivity Specialists and IT Specialists can do to help you regain control and time, please give us a call. We can work with you in-person or virtually.

Here’s to an EFFICEIENT and PRODUCTIVE 2018!

~ Making You More Productive - so you have More Time for Life®

Warmly,lauraleist small 600 px.jpg

Laura Leist, CPO, MOS
CPO = Certified Professional Organizer
MOS = Microsoft Office Specialist

Newsletter Border Bottom
Newsletter Border Top

New Year - New Newsletter Format in 2018

We are excited to bring you a "new" newsletter format beginning in 2018!

If you've taken our advice over the years and created an "Outlook Rule" to automatically forward newsletters to a folder - you know, the one you never have time to look at - you will want to edit that rule.

Beginning in 2018, this newsletter will become a video newsletter you won't want to miss.  We'll cover a variety of different topics, including tips on the productive use of Outlook(R), OneNote(R), Productivity Apps, Digital File Organization, Paper Management, Office Organization and more.

If you want to submit a request for a topic, please leave us a message on our Facebook Page.

See you in the new year!

Newsletter Border Bottom
Newsletter Border Top

Productivity Programs for Your Office - In Person or Virtually

Microsoft Outlook Programs
Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks
Increase Your Productivity Using Microsoft Outlook
10 Tactics for Improving Follow Up and Closing a Sale Using Microsoft Outlook

Productivity Programs
10 Techniques to Increase Productivity
5 Techniques to Increase Productivity

Microsoft OneNote Programs
OneNote:  Data at Your Fingertips, Anytime, Anywhere & From Any Device

Office Organization Programs
Eliminate Chaos at Work:  Simple Strategies for Organizing Your Office
Eliminate Chaos at Work:  Simple Strategies for Managing Paper and Electronic Information
Eliminate Risk and Gain Rewards Using Technology:  How Savvy, Success, Small Businesses Operate

Call our office at 425.670.2551 and let's talk about your specific needs and how we can customize one of these programs for your employees.
Newsletter Border Bottom
BottomBackground Blue 1

Customer Service: 425.670.2551 or 877.342.8592
Twitter Facebook Youtube Linkedin

Copyright© 2000-2017 Eliminate Chaos LLC

You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit:  © 2017 Eliminate Chaos.  Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. 


BottomBackground Blue 2