Capture Time in February

A good portion of the northeast is blanketed with snow. Maybe you are too! With Income Tax Day looming ahead, this is the perfect month to capture time and get your papers organized!

February – 29 more days to get organized!
If you make a 15-minute appointment with yourself each day,
you will capture adequate time to accomplish this month’s goal.

29 days x 15 minutes = 435 minutes = 7¼ hours of captured time

If you are new to my website or have forgotten the concept of the 15-minute appointment with yourself, CLICK HERE to review the January posting.

February is National Archive Your Files Month

This is a good time to get those files in order while pulling together documents for tax preparation. Capture precious time to purge the unnecessary papers, archive those documents that you absolutely must keep but rarely use, and gather the supporting documents to prepare your 2019 tax return. Do not get caught in the trap of keeping papers “just in case.” Consult your attorney or accountant to find out what you personally need to keep and what you can safely toss. Use those 15-minute daily blocks of time to make a difference in your files and tax preparation.

Going Paperless?

If you are one of the many who have replaced metal file drawers with electronics then set aside your daily 15 minutes to unclog these digital files. Your computer suffers when clogged with unnecessary files. During the month of February take time to purge and reap the rewards of increased hard-drive space and faster processing.

Structuring electronic folders in a logical manner (what is logical to you!) allows for quick identification of information and easy retrieval. Here are some best practice to follow.

Best Practices for File Management – Paper or Digital

  • A well-structured filing hierarchy is required if you want to easily find what you are looking for. Invest time in planning your labeling requirements. Where would you be looking for the automobile/car/vehicle/jeep insurance documents? In an ‘Insurance’ sub-folder inside the ‘Automobile’ folder, or an ‘Automobile’ sub-folder inside of the ‘Insurance’ folder? It is your choice, so consider the options carefully. Always ask yourself, “What will I be thinking when I want to retrieve this information — Insurance or Automobile?
  • With related information, group relevant files together. Put them in a main category folder and add sub-folders for specific files, such as: Utilities as the main folder will probably include sub-folders of Telephone, Water, Sewer, Cable, etc.
  • Keywords, categories and tags help with the searching function, but there is no need to duplicate wording that is located in the title.
  • As with paper files, effectiveness and efficiency suffer when too many files are stuffed into one folder. Storing files in appropriately named folders improves productivity.
  • Create a cheat sheet of naming conventions and hierarchy rules to follow. Keep your naming convention the same for all folders, paper or digital.
  • Periodically, conduct a review of folder content to identify and purge unnecessary copies, drafts or other redundant files. If you do this review once a year, you can gather tax documentation, purge files and have folders ready for the current year.

More reading…

The best clutter reducer in your home and office is the trash can

Here are some articles that might be of interest when we think about desktop clutter.

Three questions…

  • What do I choose to do? Organize the files – paper and digital
  • When do I choose to do it? Everyday in February
  • How long will it take? 15 minutes a day for a total of 7¼ hours of captured time
  • Schedule it NOW!

CLICK HERE to communicate with me. I would love to help you plan and execute an organized filing system.