How much time do you waste looking for things?


If you spend just 5 minutes per day looking for things–on your computer, in paper files, on your desk–over the course of a year you’re wasting more than 20 hours.

Non. Billable. Time.

How can you reclaim some of that time?

I do my best to organize files logically so I can find things by drilling down through file category but documents are still filed in multiple directories and use different naming conventions so I still “misplace” things.

So, I use a program called “Everything“.

According to the site, “‘Everything’ is search engine that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows. Unlike Windows search “Everything” initially displays every file and folder on your computer.”

I’m sure there are similar tools for other OS’s.

For notes, I use Evernote and Workflowy, both of which have robust search capabilities. I search by tag and/or keyword to find names, dates, emails, phone numbers, and project-specific keywords.

I also make sure to add details to my notes that I might otherwise not record, so I can search and find what I’m looking for when I recall only random snippets of information, e.g., the client drove a Yugo and used to live in Paraguay or opposing counsel wore bow ties.

Paper? Physical files? Not anymore. But if I did, I’d set up a digital index that told me which file, which drawer, which box, contains the document or information.

How about you? How do you find what you’re looking for?

Asking your secretary or assistant to find it for you doesn’t count.

Check out Workflowy; use this link to get extra space

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