The snow may be piling up outside, but this is a time when paper can easily start piling up inside. Receipts, W2’s, holiday cards, work notes… we’re all up to our eyeballs in papers and important documents that need to find a home other than in piles on our tabletops. Desk drawers can become black holes where papers get lost for years, and it’s all too easy to simply stuff paper away to keep the appearance of being neat.
But our computers are something we look through practically every day. If the problem is too much paper, try going digital this spring to organize your office and desk! Here are some tips on creating a smart organization system to replace, or as a backup to, the paper method:
1. Separate Work and Personal
It’s easy for a document in a filing cabinet to accidently slip from one folder to another or fall between the cracks. This is even more of a problem when the slip happens between personal and professional documents. It’s easier to draw a line between those two spheres when the folders and documents are digital. You can also easily do a master search on a digital folder or hard drive when you need to find something fast. Even better, using the NeatConnect Cloud Scanner and Neat’s cloud service lets you access those work or personal documents from anywhere.
2. Keeping Track of Receipts
If you’re a small business owner, or just prefer to track your finances with paper, an easy system to start is the Receipt Jar. Every day, put all of your receipts in a big, accessible jar or other canister. At the end of each week, scan all of your receipts into your computer and then empty the jar out. Build this habit, and you’ll have your own record of your expenses that you can recall at any time! There won’t be any situations where a receipt was accidentally thrown away. The NeatReceipts scanner is a great method to stay organized. It’s also really easy to build a digital address book of friends, family, and businesses this way.
3. Plan for Taxes
A lot of people prefer to receive bank statements and other correspondence completely through email. But for things like checks, refunds, governmental, and insurance documents that still come in through the mail, you can scan them onto your computer and file them by the month and year. For individuals who do freelance work, keeping copies of checks, invoices sent out, and contracts is really important. The NeatDesk is a desktop scanner that will let you keep your home business on track.
4. Save Your Family History
Besides needing to record important documents for financial, professional, or health purposes, digital storage is a great way to keep so many family mementos. Family recipes passed down through generations, vintage photographs, hand-written letters, birthday cards, tickets, ID cards saved from our grandparents’ youth… Precious and fragile items like this deserve to be saved and shared with the next generation. And saving them digitally is a great way to do that.
5. Build A Rolodex
If you’re looking to expand your career or just want to network more, building an electronic Rolodex will help you visualize your possibilities. Maybe you could try a similar system to the Receipt Jar. When you’re handed a business card you don’t want to lose, just scan it into your computer. With a scanner on hand you can also scan your own professional cards and send those out to new clients.
How do you cut the clutter in your office?