I listened to your presentation this summer at the NAESP conference. I’m going to admit, at the time I was just kind of in there listening with no intention of getting a whole lot from your presentation.


During your presentation I thought a couple of times, “Well, yes that’s probably a good idea,” but I didn’t feel any amazing flash of enlightenment.


However, in the weeks following I found myself ordering a lovely set of teal hanging file folders and matching manila folders to set up a Tickler File. Then I started reducing my email inbox, every day I ended with fewer emails than I had the day before until it was magically down to just a dozen and then seven and then none.


I briefly marveled at whatever subliminal power you must have possessed, but thought, “Ha! We’ll see what really happens when school starts!”


Well school has been going almost six weeks. My desk is still clean at the end of the day and my email inbox is empty when I leave. The most crazy thing of all, is that most nights I am leaving 40 minutes earlier than I did last year while getting into more classrooms and having time during the week for some professional study. What did you do to me?


Belinda Ross
I was clearing sticky notes from my monitor when another colleague popped in to share information about an upcoming PD. I had my Tickler File open transferring all of my notes into their proper place. She asked what I was doing so I told her about my new system and she just burst into laughter. She had never heard of a Tickler File and wanted to know more.


After our talk, she had written the title and your name down saying she too would order it tonight and begin reading it. I’m sharing this so you will know how truly impactful this book has been. I’m sure others will inquire too.


Yes, people have asked about the changes I made, and I told them about the book study. I have to say, I’ve worked hard, but the changes and the improvements I’ve made have definitely paid off.


I wish I had taken this book study years ago. I’ve gone to many summer workshops, including Making Middle Grades work. I’ve learned a great deal from them, but I feel like this was one I was needing the most.


Mike Brisco

I attended your session at TEPSA in June. I had almost 1500 emails at the time. It was a vicious cycle. I would spend a day during Christmas break, Spring break, and at least one day during the summer going through and deleting emails.


After attending your session, I set up my email the way you suggested. I am proud to say that I no longer have thousands of emails! I no longer keep an email in the inbox as a place to save it. Additionally, paper clutter on my desk is a continuous issue. I think the tickler file will be extremely beneficial.


My Superintendent will be absolutely astonished if this works for me. Thank you for sharing your organization techniques. I have read so many books, articles, etc and your ideas are ones I can finally implement and feel that I can keep doing them. BTW: I can’t wait to get my digital task list set up!


Vonda Farmer
Texas Principal

This was a fantastic interview. When I reflect back to our time together, you influenced me to try a new way of organization. While I was very organized, I was plagued by lists and being overwhelmed. The simple change of scheduling the tasks into the future gave me permission to forget about them. The system has served me well and I’m grateful for knowing you.


Deborah A. Coviello The Drop in CEO
Thank you for providing an outstanding workshop on “Organization Made Easy.” You are such an amazing presenter! Your presentation was organized, focused, and easy to follow. You made everyone feel comfortable and at ease asking questions. I really appreciate the time you spent talking about Google calendars and certificates. Every moment of your workshop was productive and helpful.


Thank you for providing an A+ workshop!  I look forward to a follow-up session soon!
Tinena Bice
School Counselor
Dade Elementary School
Dr. Buck’s workshops are incredible. I was able to attend one in Washington, and I am still benefiting from his easy to use tools. They are simple, easy to apply life hacks that pay off big time. I am more efficient and organized!


Thank you, Dr. Buck!


Frank Buck is a legend. Every time I hear him speak I feel inspired and that I have learned something.


Thanks Dr. Buck!
Brenton Nash

Effective Time Management for School Leaders

In today’s world, the amount of information that we have access to is unlimited. This information leads to increased communications, data, and accessibility. As educators we can easily become overwhelmed, and that is why it is important that we “Get Organized!” Dr. Frank Buck has done a fantastic job in creating a functional read to help all educators get and stay organized.


While Get Organized! Time Management for School Leaders is a relatively quick read, it will instantly become your go-to manual as you look to increase your most valuable resource in education: Time.


When I began planning this book review, I decided that I must put Dr. Buck’s thoughts into action first. I felt that I could not do this book justice if I did not implement the strategies that Buck spells out in Get Organized!
Being an assistant principal, I am currently in full swing with evaluations, 504’s, IEP’s, and various student activities. While I feel that I am “relatively” organized, putting Buck’s plan into action has allowed me to identify areas where my time is wasted and gives me a plan to recover that valuable time.


As administrators, we always wish we had more minutes and hours to work with kids and staff. We know that we are not getting any more time, so we must be more effective with our practice. Dr. Buck’s Get Organized! will give you those tools to become more efficient and allow you to target more of your time where it has the most impact: working with kids. Where can we “find” time?


Buck begins by pointing out the obvious: clean out your clutter. A clear desk allows for clear thinking, and the author provides insight on how to accomplish a well-organized, productive desk space.


Initially, I was skeptical of reading a book that starts with cleaning a desk, but after implementing the “tickler file” and limiting the clutter on my desk to only the essential items he suggests, I quickly realized that an organized desk truly allows you to be more productive in educational matters.


Once you have cleaned the clutter, Buck guides you on how to stay on top of what needs to get done so you can be productive. Using his “signature tool,” you will become efficient in using a suite of resources that give us “command over our commitments.” I am sure that everyone uses a calendar, task list, contacts, notes, and email, but in Get Organized! Buck walks you through how to use them for maximum efficiency and productivity within the school day. (Check out this signature tool post at his website.)


Currently we are going through a transitional time in education. Technology is overtaking the educational landscape, but not every educator has made the commitment to the transition. I would argue that for some educators this is not due to their unwillingness to change but to a “lack of time.”


Frank Buck both provides “low tech” and “high tech” ways to become organized. I find this powerful because if we can get educators organized and free up their time, they will have a better opportunity to commit to the technological shift. Teachers, administrators, and even kids are more likely to take educational risks when their stress levels are lower. Getting organized is the quickest way to relieve this stress. What can you expect?


Get Organized! Time Management for School Leaders is a rich resource written in a clear, easy-to-implement manner. The following is a list of just some of the key concepts that Buck will help you tackle in your day-to-day operations as an educator.
  • Utilizing calendars, task list, notes, contacts, and email
  • Implementing a paper flow system
  • Handling repeating tasks
  • Managing a flood of information
  • Handling multiple projects
  • What to do with paper?
  • What to do with digital content?
  • Implementing Evernote
In 121 pages, Buck can put you on track to becoming an organized, efficient school leader. The benefits of accomplishing this will have a resounding affect amongst your staff. He could not have said truer words: “The reality of school leadership is that we have much on our plates. We need tools to help us stay on top of it all.” Get Organized! will provide you with those tools to get your time back and “make today count.”


My implementation of Dr. Buck’s system

People who need help getting organized do not have the time to read an ineffective book about getting organized. That is why I wanted to put Get Organized! into action as a part of my book review. I wanted to see the actual effect that this book would have on my day-to-day operations as a school leader.


After implementing many of the systems in this book, I have found that this truly is a valuable resource for ALL educators. My biggest finding is that it streamlined many trivial processes for me. In areas where I thought I was efficient with my time (tasks, email, and processing new information), I actually was very inefficient.


A big example for me was using my email. By following Buck’s imperative — “delete it, schedule it, do it, delegate it, or save it” — I have been able to not only reduce my inbox daily to zero emails, I have been more effective in completing tasks in a timely manner with successful results.


Our time is so valuable in education. Every minute counts. I am a firm believer that as school leaders we MUST be in the classrooms with our teachers and students. The only way this will happen is if we are efficient with our time as we complete less rewarding but necessary tasks. Dr. Frank Buck has provided school leaders with a GREAT resource to get some time back so we can shift our focus from paperwork and emails to the most important thing in educations: OUR KIDS.


Michael Janatovich


Easy Ways for Educators to Get Organized

I remember a time when my principal came into my classroom and said, “Oh, I see you’re a spreader,” referring to compositions and books spread out on my desk. I noticed he noticed, and although I always met every deadline assigned to me, I did my best to have a neater desk for when he came in again. But I wish I had had this book to help me.


I am glad that Frank Buck includes teachers, even student teachers, in his definition of school leaders because teachers need organizational skills as managers of their own classrooms just as much as school and district officials do.


Also, if you’re an organized teacher, you will most likely become a more organized administrator. How to manage your time, files, desktop, e-mails and more is a subject not normally covered in education classes, however, and Buck’s book is both practical and needed. It’s never too late to start!


A total organizational system


Buck provides a total organizational system for a busy leader, and doesn’t assume that you have an administrative assistant. His ideas cost nothing or very little, and the reader can start immediately. Digital strategies for our Information Age are also included. Buck himself has served in many instructional leadership positions and is now a consultant to both schools and businesses.


The author announces that we all have the same number of hours in our week, a gift of 168 of them. How we use them determines how successful we will be – and becomes our legacy. He also points out that if our jobs are more manageable, they will also become more enjoyable and less stressful, and we will be clearer, more confident thinkers. And some of what we do might not need to be done at all.


The essential tickler file

Chapter One introduces Buck’s main technique, which he learned from his attorney father. It became a system the author never abandoned: the “tickler file.” The file is the first step to a clean desktop.


All one needs to implement this system is 43 folders and a desk drawer. He shows how to label your folders and how to rotate them each day and month. When you read about his system, you will want to go out and buy your folders. He shows specifically how it works “in action” and gives a starter list for what to actually place in the folders and what to do with incoming papers. After your folder system is in place, Buck tells you what you need for your desk drawers, including one ruler (not six).


This system alone served Buck well for many years, and although we still deal with a great deal of paper, now that we are in the digital age we need another tool introduced in Chapter Two: a “Signature Tool.”


Based on the premise that “when you can see all of your choices, you make better choices,” this tool should be the one place you keep appointments, tasks, and email communication. This used to be our paper planner that we carried with us everywhere. In this chapter, Buck explains why you should go digital, what every task needs to have, how to sort and identify repeating tasks, and how to use a “Note” section.


Digging in as new administrators

The third chapter coaches us on how to think things through one time only. He shows how “the devil is in the details,” and how you shouldn’t have to rethink them once you’ve completed a project once. Schools are places where most tasks are repeated over time, so keeping track is especially important.
Buck’s “Sample Repeating Tasks for Summer,” etc. will be especially useful for the beginning administrator. He gives tips on how to handle the manuals stored from year to year that sit in isolation. Also learn about the “Art of Delegation,” which he discusses separately for elementary and secondary schools, and even how to delegate to students and why. (There is a special section on saying “No”!)


In reading this book, you might realize some of the habits you have developed are not all that useful or productive. For instance, Buck will help you “get rid of the sticky notes” and other messy habits and put in place systems that will make your life easier. He will show how to break projects into small steps and keep related information with that project.


This author comes through as someone who cares about his reader and wants to help him or her build a reputation as somebody who is always “on top of things.” He will help you see that it’s not information that’s the enemy, but the lack of a system for handling it.


The digital life
Chapter Seven deals more specifically with transferring your paper system to your computer desktop and folders. He recommends three folders for everyone: Temporary Trash Can, Memos & Letters, and the Monthly Tickler. He recommends three folders to create if you have sufficient cloud storage available. He also discusses backing up files.


Chapter Eight makes Buck’s strong case for using the popular app Evernote. Chapter Nine shows how principal Mindy tackled the challenge of her school-wide math scores declining and how she took control and set a goal for improvement.
In the final chapter, Buck reminds us that “Time is My Friend” and we need to “Make today count.” Indeed, this book is a pep talk as well as a practical guide. The reader may have already devised a successful system for managing time, but the majority of us have been struggling with this issue forever and will most likely find something useful in this compact, informative book. (I didn’t get past Chapter One before going out to buy my 43 folders.)


Buck is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable writer, and I hope that Get Organized! soon becomes required reading in education and administrative classes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to begin a new career or assignment well organized? Time is of the essence.


Dr. Mary Langer Thompson


  • “Great workshop. Fabulously well informed and entertaining presenter who shared his knowledge in a readily understandable format. Helpful handout. Thank you – well worth the trip from Ottawa.
    Principal - Ottawa
  • “I will put it unequivocally: yours is the first workshop for professional development I have been to that has had a daily effect on lowering my stress levels and being more aware of the things I need to do on a daily basis. I cannot thank you enough.”
    Principal - from Quebec
  • “Everyday is now easier knowing I know where my day is going and not worrying over where everything is. The simplicity is almost embarrassing. Thank you again. I waited about 6 months to let you know, but this only proves that I’m walking proof your techniques work long term. “
    Principal - from Quebec
  • “Excellent presentation. Dr. Frank Buck is friendly, interesting, and knowledgeable. Well done! This seminar was amazing.”  “You changed my life!”
    Principal - from United States
  • “…the nation’s leading expert on organization and time management for school administrators.”  
    Justin Baeder - Director, The Principal Center