I have often been guilty of laughing when I hear the phrase that with the digital age we can now all have paperless offices.
Paperwork seems to continue to grow and even multiply in most home offices.
I read and hear the complaint from people all the time on social media that it’s impossible to keep on top of it.
1. Keep only what you 100% need.
We tend to keep everything that comes in and then pile it up on our desk.
The paper pile gets bigger and our inclination to “do” something about it diminishes.
Sorting the mail into categories is a great idea.
2. Sort the needed paperwork into two piles, “action” pile and “reference” pile.
The reference paper work are not needed to be kept out.
These can consist of the following that you just file away immediately:
Leaving the “action” pile in a prominent area and actually do something about the items regularly.
3. Put important documents somewhere safe
If it’s an important legal document or something similar place these into a fire proof box or a safe.
If you don’t have one, then maybe you need to purchase one.
4. Create a filing system that works for you
I have two filing systems myself.
One is a tickler system file for my “action” items and then a filing cabinet to systematically file the “reference” type straight away.
5. Shred what is not needed
Get in the habit of shredding unneeded paperwork, advertising or personal paperwork you no longer need instead of putting it into a pile.
6. Schedule a time to open the mail
Instead of going through your mail when you don’t have the time, set a pre-organised day or days each week to sort the mail.
I open the mail, pay the bills, take a photo of the receipts that link to my accounting program and then I file them.
This system works extremely well, with no bills unpaid, missing receipts or lost paperwork.
7. Prevention is better than the cure
If you are finding you are getting magazines you don’t have the time to read, catalogs that you don’t use or other mail.
Pick up the phone and cancel the subscriptions.
Do the same with your email “in” box as well.
Save yourself the stress, time and worry by getting into a routine of dealing with the paperwork on a regular ongoing basis.
Not only can some of the suggestions above save you money, but you will also know where to find what you are looking for.
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BAS Agent and Bookkeeping