​​​​​​NEATNESS COUNTS
  • Arranging documents and other communications in an easy-to-follow, useful manner
  • Identifying and properly labeling data, information sources and assumptions
  • Organizing work in a methodical and tidy fashion, free from irregularity

COMMENTARY:
Have you ever tried so hard to find something that you are 99.8% sure that you have it somewhere around the house, in your email, in a file cabinet, or maybe even on your desk? Well I know I have been there plenty of times and it drives me crazy when I cannot find what I am searching for. My 8-year-old daughter has an old cell phone that she plays games on and occasionally takes with her when she leaves the house. There have been a few times (or more) where she cannot locate the cell phone, so of course, we all do a little searching and try to spark her memory by asking questions, where did you have it last? Where were you at? etc. So, I told her when she is done with the phone, place it in the same place every time so it is easier to find, it won’t get lost, and we don’t have to have a search party for a cell phone.

It’s can be the little things that we do to make sure Neatness Counts. Like establishing methods, setting criteria, and organizing things in an easy to follow order. It’s a big deal for my colleagues and I to be neat when arranging documents received from our clients. There’s established procedures on how we retain and name information regarding E-rate. Prior to and during the filing window it is a high priority we label the documents we collect so that when we receive, Program Integrity Assurance review (PIA), Bear Invoice Reviews, and Selective Invoice Reviews, we can respond quickly to USAC reviewers. If you have been part of the E-rate program for some time you know very well how important it is to retain bids, contracts, invoices, and other documentation as these can be requested at any time. It’s also important for the client to maintain an easy system for document retrieval, because it allows clients to submit reviews quickly and prior the deadlines.

Keeping things in a neat and orderly fashion can alleviate stress and keep you from wasting valuable time. I get it, some people are just better at organizing than others. The key is to come up with ways that will help you become better at organizing, keeping things neat, and arranging items so that they are easy to find. Below are a few ways to help with making sure neatness counts:

1)    Create file folders on your desk or desktop computer that you can get to easily and quickly.
2)    Put things away sooner rather than later or you may be likely to forget about it. If that doesn’t work, try setting aside a specific time daily or weekly to put things in the correct place.
3)    Label items so that you know exactly what they are, to eliminate guessing.

These are just a few ways to help and if you search the internet you will find countless ways to organize things, it’s just up to the individual to find out what works best for you. Keep striving to stay organized and make Neatness Count.
 

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Key Words and Phrases
Precise; Tidy; Methodical; Fastidious; Free from irregularity; Systematic; Arranged orderly; Admirable.

Opposite Terms
Disorganized; Sloppy; Messy; Disheveled.

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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