Organize Your Business Documents Using These Four Tips and Become More Productive!
Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher, famously said, “How many things I have no need of”, or so the legend goes. If you are self-employed or a business owner, you should be organized to a certain degree so you can at least work productively and efficiently. Working in a cluttered office environment not only increases your stress level but drops your revenue, profits, and productivity overall. You may distinctly remember the last time you rummaged through your papers to find that contract paper or that folder which you never really wanted to misplace. Organizing your documents may not seem like a top priority, but doing so can be a huge help in ensuring that everything goes smoothly for your business.
Why Do Entrepreneurs Often Make A Mess Of Their Documents?
Business owners need to deal with a lot of documents day in and day out. There are invoices, contracts, sales reports, employment records, spreadsheets, workers’ insurance policies, and bank statements they need to organize. Phew! So when does this paperwork management become a Herculean task? This typically happens when you have multiple projects along with a stack of unrelated papers spread on your desk. If you are more of a packrat than a well-organized person, you may struggle to increase your productivity. Whether a single software-based system would really work as the cure-all for you is debatable, but you can always use the following tips to your advantage.
Organize The Physical Documents First
You should start by going through every paper before you file it. There are many business owners and managers who file papers without even looking at them. Keep the necessary papers and organize documents based on your preferences. You may make separate files for expense reports, employee performance reports, and legal documents. Also, don’t forget to make separate files for the tasks which you tend to repeat. For example, you can keep the bills payable, call lists, and notes which you need to write in a separate folder. You may keep all these documents and papers in a stair-step file on your table or in the front row of files inside your cabinet so you can access the file easily later on. Labeling is an important part of the job as you can easily retrieve the files and important documents without much effort at any time.
Next, Organize Digitized Documents
Going paperless is definitely the way to stay organized when you don’t have a lot of office space. You can certainly find software programs that can help you in staying organized. Plenty of customizable software applications help business owners and managers to organize their documents. If you rely more on digitized documents than physical documents, it is all the more important for you to keep your digital files as organized as possible. Use lots of folders and subfolders to compartmentalize the documents you have got already digitized. Review and clean the documents at least once a week.
Keep The Documents in Your Car
As a busy entrepreneur always on-the-go, you might find your car the most appropriate place to store the documents you need almost every day. If this is the case, you should just pile up your papers inside the trunk of the car or right at the back on the passenger seat. Carry a plastic file case which has handles with it. These lightweight cases are great for carrying papers, and you won’t end up misplacing your papers while you are driving. You could also keep an envelope for travel expenses and other sorts of fees on an average business day in the side door pocket. Use this envelope to keep all your receipts and bills.
Organize Important Documents at Home
Even if you operate from an office, you should also have a makeshift office or work desk at home. Organize the files you have at home just like you do with the documents, files, and folders at your office. Using color folders can be very effective for file management and organization at home as well. On the contrary, if you have a home office, you should be a little extra cautious so you do not mix up your personal and official files.
Business paperwork management isn’t rocket science. You just need to have a proper filing system in place, and everything else will fall in order. Saying goodbye to files and documents you will never need again should be a continuous and consistent process because unnecessary papers are just trash. Don’t forget to label everything properly!
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