One of the most common queries I get is “Hi, can you help me with systems for my paperwork?”. I always know the person is buried under a mountain of paperwork and just dying for that one magic system that will keep everything managed and perfectly organized from now on.
That system does exist, but it’s not nearly as glamorous and magical as most people hope. So what does this system look like? It looks like less. Less paper, less email. We have too much and there is no magical system that can allow you to manage a medical office’s worth of paper on an already depleted, time crunched schedule. If you can see the truth in that, here’s what you need to do:
Go paperless on everything possible
If possible, keep only the digital version of anything you do need to keep
Whittle paperwork down to one drawer or portable file box
Clean out said drawer or portable file box each and every year when you file taxes
Have one separate bin that you store your tax returns and mortgage docs in
Today I’d like you to go paperless for any or all of the following:
Cable and internet
Home care (lawn, pest control, housekeeper)
Financial statements (banking, investments, retirement accounts)
Healthcare (statements, EOBs, receipts)
Anything else you can think of that you get paperwork for
If you’re afraid of missing out on the information offered in the physical paperwork, rest assured that a PDF version can almost always be saved from your online account. I’ve seen this across bank and loan statements, investment documents, utilities and healthcare. You will still have the data, but rather than being piled in your living room, it will be piled in a small file on your computer.