View Full Version : Organizing physical stuff in IT office
06-23-2008, 12:21 PM
There are lots of books, websites etc. on how to "organize" your office or home office etc. Does anyone know of a book or website that offers information more specific to an IT office? IT offices have different challenges in regards to physical organization, so much product packaging, manuals, software disks, cables, old equipment, dead equipment that you may need parts of later, all sorts of odds and ends. What are the best ways to catalog stuff, file stuff, pile stuff, document stuff etc etc.
I just started working part time in my office in the IT area, and I'm the only IT person "onsite", someone else runs most of the network stuff, but does it as a side job - dropping in when necessary. I will now be more of the physical presence of IT in the building. So I've inherited a bit of a mess, since the Network IT person just comes in, does what he needs to and hasn't spent much time organizing anything. I'm drowning in software disks, manuals and piles of old floppy disks!
06-24-2008, 08:48 AM
I'm drowning in software disks, manuals and piles of old floppy disks!
May not be much help, but I'm thinking if you're the only one organizing then it ought to only make sense to you (you train the drop-in) ;)
Might try keeping a record of what makes you search for something. You can file things according to what your mind first thinks of. My rolodex has some duplication because I will put in the plumber's company (for example) but I also put in a card under Plumbers, see ______.
Do you have a budget for any supplies like box bottom file folders, or plastic see-into bins that you could label? Those are handy for thick manuals, extra cables, etc. The last ones I bought have expandable sides so when I lift the whole folder out, the CDs don't fall out of the sides.
06-24-2008, 02:06 PM
I don't know of any resources, but I was good friends with the IT guys at my last company. Here's what they did:
They got a bunch of large shelved cabinets and filing cabinets. Software went into the filing cabinets, in appropriately-labeled folders (alphabetized by software name, I think). Hardware went onto the shelves in the cabinets.
The cabinets were allocated according to that office's supplies and needs; they only needed two shelves for cables, for example. Each shelf was labeled ("CAT5 Cable", "Backup Drives", etc.), and each cabinet was externally labeled with the contents of each shelf label.
If it were me, I'd put software media and any associated licensing information in the filing cabinets, and everything else in the shelved cabinets. I'd start by just getting everything onto appropriate shelves, then start re-organizing based on what's most commonly access. The stuff you never touch can go into out-of-the-way cabinets.
06-24-2008, 10:29 PM
A place for everything, everything in its place and with labels. Even at home I have a Brother P-Touch and label drawers, binders, storage boxes, etc. It saves me the stress of having to open three drawers to find what I am looking for. At work we don't have filing cabinets, but the software is still organized in a shelved cabinet. As Brent suggests "externally labeled".
I also have a desktop organizer for pens and Post-its. The company would not buy it for me, so I bought it myself. It is worth having less stress. If the company won't/can't buy you "small" stuff consider the savings in stress if you buy it yourself.
I installed a Wiki both at home and it work. When I need to make notes to myself It is either via email or Wiki, depending on the context, short or long-term, etc.
Get yourself a bunch of small cardboard boxes for the floppies. If you don't need them all that often, store them in a closet. I put a lot of my old floppies in envelopes by product and version. They are labeled so I can quickly see what they are. When I see a package of floppies from a version that is 3 years old, I can quickly decide to toss the entire envelope without opening it up.
We also have loads of "plastic see-into" boxes which are labeled, as well. Many are only 1/4 full, but it is worth the reduced stress not to mix things up.
Don't pile! I toss things in boxes, so that they are out of the way, even if I do not organized them. I find it easier to manage than a pile (although its really a pile-in-a-box).
Put the things you need most often closest. This may mean things are not complete organized. For example, we have to print out and sign a daily firewall report for each of our customers. They are then put into respective binders. The current binders are easy to access, while the "archive" is somewhere else. That means a given customer's binders are in two places. This is more or less what Brent send with "re-organizing based on what's most commonly access".
I also agree with Elena. Any organization needs to make sense to you. If there are others in the office (as in my case) come to a consensus. You might want something on one shelf, but someone else says it should go somewhere else. Even if you do it like the other person, there is a logic/organization that makes find and storing easier.
06-25-2008, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm definitely going to be using a lot of labeler tape! I also like the idea of plastic bins, but I'm not sure how many they'll let me buy. I also have to take it somewhat easy, as even though I'm the only onsite person, and have to "live" in the area, the off site person is the one in charge of it all, so it also has to make some sense to him.
For software, would you keep the disks and toss the boxes? It would take up a lot less room, but I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do.
06-27-2008, 07:45 AM
I'd keep the disks and toss the boxes.
Don't worry about what "they" will let you buy. If it makes your life easier, buy a couple bins yourself. It'll be worth the money if it'll let you breathe easier, right?