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In her Motion to Organize weekly column, lawyer Jennifer Gumbel talks organization, productivity, and more.

Call me Milton. I enjoy a good stapler. My favorite one in the whole building is the one in my office and yes, it’s red. It snaps in a flash, takes on dozens of pages, and works even as I sling it like Tom Cruise tending bar.


I have a thing for office equipment. The paper cutter that cleanly reduces the will cover to fit neatly in the client folder…the three-hole punch that eats through a stack of pages…the set of highlighters that span the rainbow to keep track of real estate parcels on a map…these are a few of my favorite things.

It isn’t just for looks, as well-designed and well-made equipment that functions well can keep you focused on the important stuff: providing the value to your client.

You have that stapler sitting around the office. I know you do. It’s everything that Milton’s is not. Sticky, jammy…the staples come out all bent up on your documents. But you don’t throw it out. It’s like out of a sense of economy, we can’t seem to get rid of these things. Even things that makes tasks harder, not easier, to get done. And so, it just sits there, waiting for its next victim.

How much time do you waste pulling out misshapen staples? Or punching short stacks of a lengthy document? Let me offer you permission to throw your Sticky-Stapler out the window and upgrade.

Malfunctioning equipment side tracks you. It turns your otherwise go-getter attitude into a rage-y office worker ready to haul the offender to the nearest baseball diamond. It doesn’t just slow you down. It stops dead an efficient flow.

So toss it out already and upgrade. And whatever you do? Don’t walk off with my stapler.

Jennifer Gumbel

Jennifer Gumbel is an estate planning and probate lawyer in Austin, Minnesota. She takes her morbid nerd-dom to another level by talking about how to organize your after life, with the website An Organized (after)Life and the podcast, An Organized (after)Life, which you can find on the website, Spreaker and ITunes. You can also find her on Instagram with pics on death organizing and small town Minnesota life at the handle @jengumbel.

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