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Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 4 of 7

Creating a Home for Your Paperwork


Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 4 of 7

Creating a Home for Your Paperwork


Lesson Info

Creating a Home for Your Paperwork

After you process all of your paperwork, you're going to end up with probably a bunch of these temporary files we've got our post its on here and what we want to do is again divide these temporary folders up into our broader categories so remember we've got active we've got the stuff that would live in the filing cabinet, which I'm suggesting let's start scanning that stuff and then we've got the archive stuff which is not going to live in the filing cabinet were going to box it up and send it to a closet or some sort of storage space that we don't really need to have full access to so knowing that, um we're going to take a look and say, ok, we've got our two duis we've got pending we've got to scan you guys are probably going to have some more active files is there a couple of things we can do? We can scan some of that paperwork in because it's going to talk to our active paperwork which were filing online or like a lot of us, we have active paperwork that doesn't get scanned in it ki...

nd of comes in the office, it goes out of the office so we really don't need to scan some of that stuff and what we're going to look at right now are ways to house that active paperwork once we figured out what we've got for active paperwork so here's some examples the first and one of my all time favorites is a clear wall pocket the's guys are on this wall which we've created in our office space there's a couple different ways you can hang them, but they're really, really easy and what I like about these is you can customize them so as you can see here we are using really pretty file folders you could use just one color you could make it your own personality again, I like these because they're customizable, so let's just say that we have decided ok, well, we've got our active files, they are going to get transferred into what I call regular file, so to show you the difference, this is going to be ah file that lives in the filing cabinet because it's a hanging file the's aren't really transportable we wouldn't want to put this up here because it it kind of flops over because it's top heavy so these are always going to stay in the filing cabinet are regular files which are really transportable we could stick one of these in our backpack are work briefcase and then weaken stick them in here and I've gone ahead and labeled just some some paperwork that I have got from my own home, so inactive file might be client projects, so that would be something that lives close by so you might be working you pull this out you're working on stuff and then when you're done it has a place to go back to which is not your desktop surface which is really important and hey, I'm all about going crazy you're you're working it's fine but then everything has a home at the end of the day so when paperwork comes in you can easily funnel it through your system and it has a place to go I got married last year however I still have some receipts and hear that my mom and I are working out so those air gonna live in here and also I have receives for shoe box we're going to talk about this company in a minute but shoeboxes where I send all of my business receipts um so those air some that we can keep in here I might even go further and say you know what? Clients and shoebox feels more together wedding it feels a little more personal so I might keep those separate something else that's personal honeymoon so we have not got on our honeymoon yet so I have a honeymoon file up here so you know if I get stuff that deals with the honeymoon that I want to keep in paper form it can go right here that's also stuff that I could scan if in if I wanted to but right now it's living up there and then we've got our to scan file so that's probably a little more business oriented, but again, it could live in personal or business, depending on your unique situation. And finally, I have to do file typically you're going tohave some two duis, that air going to be in paper form that you just can't scan in again, it's paperwork that comes through the office, it's going to leave, and we're going to keep it close by, so this feels a little tight to me, so I might move the personal more up because it might not be a priority, and then that guy can go here, and maybe because these guys are both for scanning shoebox into scan, does khun go into category? Because that makes sense again, if I'm working on one category more than the other, I can pull it down and have it right within arm's reach. I think the most important thing with active paperwork is to have it within arm's reach, you don't want it too far away, but you wanted easily accessible, so let's, look at some other options in addition to this, and again, you can get crazy with the file folders, you could make him really fun, these air from a company called bandeau, and if you look on the inside, it says, is it friday yet which if that's not fun, I don't know what it is I think your office supply should be a little fun clever to keep it interesting so say you don't have a wall or say you know what? I don't want to make holes in my wall to support this, so this is what you might want to look at a desktop file sorter and I'm a big fan of a label maker to make labels because I don't have the best handwriting, but what you could do is you could download a fund fund and print that out if you did not like the look of a label maker or your handwriting, so again make it fun and set up a really cool system. So magazine files so typically I wouldn't suggest you putting files in a magazine file because if you look, we get one that's not too packed if you turn it upside down, all these papers are going to fall out if you put it in a magazine file any time you pull that out, it might be a problem. What martha stewart has done is made files that are made for magazine files, so they actually have a closure here and the tab is up here, so they're actually made for magazine files so that's something really great that you can utilize and the reason I like magazine files they're not only for desktops they are for bookcases, so if you have a book case that's really close by, and you need to create a version of this, this would be a really great option. I also like magazine vials, because a lot of times you'll get projects that are sort of too cumbersome for a file folder. And so you're gonna want toe, have a little bit of room to spread and that's when a magazine viol is going to come into play and work really well for you, um, does anyone have any questions about any of that? I'm still trying to wrap my head around the pending thing. So, yes, holders that air up there, what would be considered considered the well pending? Thank you for asking that so I'm one of those people were less is more, and this is my phone system, so my to do actually has some pending items in here so I look in here every so often and pull out anything I need if something has passed it's sort of prime I can pull it out and get rid of it all of the two two duis on in here are represented on my test management system in the pending stuff again if I have let's say have a concert to go to that paperwork is going to go in here and it's also represented on my calendar so when that day comes up I go in here and I look and I pull out that ticket unless it's a paperless and I've had it in my email depending again you could have your own pending file for paperwork and it would be just stuff that no longer requires action on your part so it might be like on the ones that you have there so your wedding and your honeymoon or sort of more like pending because their ideas you're not actually going to do anything that you're thinking about it there is this case they are they're sort of it to do because I have to do stuff with my mom for this if I hadn't gotten married yet that might be an inspiration vile it might be something like that the honeymoon is less of a to do and more of I guess yeah pending just sort of a place to put stuff yeah, does that help out? But you could have your own pending file if that makes sense. Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out what the difference between the pending and teo like in the right that you just got to keep it because you're going to need it. And I understand having it taken action on it just right. Well, in another something you bring up, which I actually forgot to talk about was receipts. So say you go and you don't need the receipt for any tax purposes. It's truly personal, you bought a pair of jeans. You may be we're gonna rush you try them on this. You didn't try him on in the story. You bring him home and you try them on your like, you know what? These these air not gonna work, but you need a place to hold that receipt until you try on the genes you've made a big purchase, you're not sure, so that could be a place for pending again. I don't want to over complicate things, so if you just want to have it to do and pending goes and they're absolutely but it just sort of breaks it out a little bit more, but very good question and the question because I feel that I get confused about to file. Because in my mind, it's like to file, I'll just put stuff in there that I'll never look at, like, why not just put it in the file? Yes, that and it's totally a personal decision. I'm one of those people that I will get around to it. It's just I won't get around to it today, but for clients of mine that know they're not going to get to it later, I would absolutely say don't give yourself that leeway and violent right now, it's sort of similar to having a chair in the bedroom sometimes it's better to take that you're out of the bedroom because closer just gonna pile up on it, and you just need to put the clothes away right away because it becomes sort of like a huge mound, and you're like, where is that? Sure does this clean. So I think it's a personal decision? Absolutely. And you just have to figure out what is realistic and what is going to work for you.

Class Description

Paperwork is an essential part of running a business, but you shouldn’t be swimming in a sea of it. Learn how to keep track of the essentials and do away with the all the rest in Organize Your Paperwork with Beth Penn.

Beth is committed to keeping organized. In this class she’ll share all the tricks of the professional-organizing trade and help you make sense of your stacks of a paper. 

You’ll learn how to: 

  • Create a filing system that actually works for you
  • Store scanned documents in an organized way
  • Use apps designed to declutter your life
  • Know how to get your hands on any document you need, no matter where you are

Beth will help you develop efficient systems so you spend more of you time working with clients and less time on the paper trail. You’ll learn about the three primary types of paperwork and how to categorize as it comes in.

Organize Your Paperwork with Beth Penn will arm you with organizing tips you can tailor to your business and life so you spend more time focusing on what really matters and less time on what doesn’t. 



I tend to agree with Bonnie - it didn't solve all of my organizing problems, but it was helpful for the price paid Pluses - 1) she suggested several interesting apps to explore 2) "need to make the environment for dealing with paperwork attractive/supportive" - it should be obvious, but it was a good reminder Minuses - 1) I wish there had been more emphasis on setting up a paperwork system. 2) The scroll down highlighted "transcript" was interesting, but it was obviously not edited - there were misspellings and mis-transcriptions, which takes away from the professionalism


I have a generally short attention span, so I have studied a lot of organization skills over the years to help me stay successful through school and grad school, and while working in corporate jobs. Now as a business owner I am looking to expand those skills since I have to learn so many more skills and be involved in more aspects of the business. I found this class informative and easy to learn from. I was able to complete the class in one seating, and I have about 4 pages of notes, including concepts and new tools I'm looking forward to implementing and experimenting with. Highly recommend.


Well, I found this instructor hard to follow. She seemed a little scattered, maybe she was nervous? She jumped into showing things without a good explanation of why she was doing it. I had hoped I would get more info on how to organize files in a file cabinet but there was not a lot about that, very general. She put files in wall hangers but I'm not sure why those particular ones went there and not in the files box and what was really going into the file box or being scanned. She showed some phone apps but I never quite caught what they were or how they actually worked. So many computer programs and apps to pay for and paying for sending receipts away to be scanned, paying for shredding, etc. I can't afford all of that. I wouldn't send out my personal papers for someone to scan - is that safe - or put my stuff in an envelope and mail it to be scanned -what if it got lost. I can scan and shred for myself. I don't like having so much of my life in the "cloud" for a couple reasons. I am not sure I'd remember where everything was and it would be a major mess if something happened to me and someone else had to get into all of those places. I will take some of the good bits and pieces and use those, as there were some good tips. I bought the class on sale for only $20 so I guess it was worth that.