The Easy Way to Manage Your Paperwork
Tax time in Australia is officially here, and it's time to clean out the paperwork and get ready for the new financial year!
So many people absolutely hate doing paperwork, and it's often because the system they're using is way too complicated.
You don't need 40 different folders. You don't need fancy apps to photograph everything. And you SO don't need fussy little color coding systems.
It's paperwork - not rocket science! In my non-blogging life, I manage the accounts for about ten different companies - including ours - and mountains of paperwork is my everyday reality. The key to it is having a system that is simple.
Now I love great tech and new platforms and apps, but when it comes to paperwork, I'm all about old school simplicity. Because it works. I can put my hands on any piece of paper that's come in over the last two years in seconds. Seriously.
So today I thought I'd share my super easy filing and paper management system. This is a really general one that works for everyone, and at the end I'll add a few of my tips for small business (just remember though, I'm not an accountant!). All you'll need is a folder, your planner, your printer, hole punch and stapler, and maybe some sticky notes.
8 Steps to Organizing Your Paperwork
1. HAVE AN INBOX
Or an in-tray, a basket or just a dedicated spot where you dump mail, invoices, receipts etc when they come in. Make sure the whole family knows about it too!
2. BIN WHAT YOU CAN
When it's time to go through it all - once a fortnight/month - do it over the bin. Junk mail and advertising go straight in, and if you open all the envelopes as you go, they can go straight in the bin too.
Print out any invoices and receipts you receive via email, and add them to your pile.
Sort everything into three piles - Bills to Pay, Correspondence to File, and Stuff to Follow Up.
5. FOLLOW UP STUFF
Anything in this pile that takes 5 minutes, do now, then add it to your Correspondence to File. For everything else, add it to your planner to action on a specific day, or add it to your to-do list. I leave the papers in my planner for reference later (and when they're done I put them back in my Inbox to file next time!)
Go through and note any dates/info you'll need to remember in your planner, then sort them all by date, hole punch, staple and file in your folder. I staple small store receipts to a blank piece of paper (so they don't get lost amongst the bigger papers), and then file them as usual. If I have heaps, I put them in an envelope, hole punch it and file as usual.