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Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 1 of 7

How to Make Less Paper Come Through the Front Door


Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 1 of 7

How to Make Less Paper Come Through the Front Door


Lesson Info

How to Make Less Paper Come Through the Front Door

Hello and welcome to organize your paperwork with beth pen my name is jim kentucky I'm going to be your host and I just want to say a good hello to beth how are you thank you for that good hello so you guys beth is the mastermind behind benito and this is an organizing website it's a company she has helped thousands of people I'm talking individuals companies organizations really helped get organized you confined her at benito bar dot com that's b and e a t o b a r dot com so that you and I've been talking about the organizational challenges of people out there especially as we've moved into this modern age with technology it can solve some problems but I don't think it can solve all the problems and I know people have emotional attachments to the physical paper how we're going to how we're gonna work with that today so we're gonna break it down into a really simple steps that everybody can use on and I think the key to all of that is just knowing that it will be a little emotional all...

trying not to make anyone cry today but if we just know it does bring up a lot of emotions will be better prepared to go through it all great all right let's get started thank you um thanks for being here with me today guys um so I get a lot of phone calls a lot of e mails with help me please I'm drowning in paperwork is usually the subject line s o people are overwhelmed by their paperwork paperwork's seems to be one of those categories of things oh that uh people don't know where to start there's so much of it they're worried about getting rid of stuff uh do I scan in? Can I shredded so people really need a lot of help when they're going through the paperwork and it's no wonder because paperwork it takes the longest to go through oftentimes when clients call me up, um I will say, well, you know, if there's paperwork plan on it taking a lot more time there so many decisions involved with paperwork so it does make a lot of sense why it brings up all of these emotions and why we get so frustrated so we just want to know that going in it does take a little bit longer that being said there's some really simple solutions that can help us out with our paperwork. S o I'm gonna walk you guys through your paperwork and show you how to set up a really great station on how to process it um and I want you guys teo, you guys here in the studio to mentally just take a look around your home and for those of you at home take a look in your home on dwi wanted just look around the spaces and see where there's paperwork living. Imagine those faces now without the paperwork, can you imagine that? How does that feel? Can you imagine a house without a filing cabinet? Maybe, um, they're just these days when we're sort of max out on space, we need rooms to pull double duty it's really a great way are a great thing to look at your paperwork and say, hey, what can I get rid of and what maybe can go online? And that way we can have our space back and have it for things we really want to use a guest room maybe doesn't have to things don't have to get shoved in the closet anymore because the paperwork piles aren't there to begin with. So I just want you guys to think about that and let that inspire you as you're going through your paperwork. Um, so let's, take a quick step back and, uh, let's venture into my childhood s o I am one of those very weird people that I love mail. When I was younger, I would run to the mailbox and see what male there wass isn't hell was never for me as a kid, I mean, really, no. The male was to my parents but they would get invitations and they would get bills and when I was younger I think I just wanted to be an adult and I thought oh wouldn't it be great to have all of this responsibility now really I don't know why I romanticized it but I was really stoked on male and even to this day my husband will joke and he's like death there's no mail in the mailbox why are you checking it like there might you never know so I'm I'm still to this day I love getting mail I don't really get a lot of it anymore because I've pretty much used all the stuff we're talking about to get rid of mail gone paperless so the male is few and far between now I get like amazon boxes that's about all the mail I get which is it's fine um so anyhow I really ah I really I really like to mail so that being said it was it was a challenge for me to go paperless it took me a while I was one of the last people to go paperless with my bills I was like no I think I'm going to keep those paper forms because it felt like I was more in control that way I could see it come in high could cross it off I could look at it but the efficient side of me one over I realized I ran out of stamps. The bill was late because it took four days to get there in a storm or what have you? So it really just made more sense to go paperless. I'm really going to encourage you to take some action steps around this, because if I can do it, any body can do it. Um, so, let's, look at some ways that we can stop the paper, so the first thing we can do is just say no, so I'm sure you guys are at the grocery store, you're it, you're running errands, you're offered paper all the time in the form of receipt are in the form of a receipt. So when the opportunity presents itself to get that email the receipt, go for it, just say yes, absolutely give me the email receipt. Ah, funny story or ah, relatable story that works really great for this class is I was in staples two days ago trying to return something for a client. I thought that they were able to look up the purchase via the credit card. They told me they couldn't, and I was like, oh, I thought you could I didn't have the receipt with me, but I am one of those people that gets the receipt emailed to me and I had forgotten that. So anyhow, I looked at my phone, I found the receipt and I was able to get the return back on my credit card, which was great, so it really helps you out to just get the receipt email tio um, and then I also want you to think about are just sort of drill this in your brain when someone offers you paper, I just get curious and say, hey, do I really need this? Is this something that exists online? Can I take a picture of it right here in the moment? Do I really need to accept this person's business card? Can't I just take a picture? Can I instead of writing an email address down on a piece of paper, let me put it in a subject line and just send it to myself? I really don't need to write this down, I can put it in digital form. Um, the next thing I want you to do is stop printing stuff, so ah lot of my clients are in the habit of printing stuff, especially to edit text. We like to print stuff we like to have it like to make notes, but there are so many great tools online that we can use to edit our techs. On mac there's preview you can edit pdf so you can pull stuff into ever note and take on dh make edits word has a great feature in there where you could make edits so I think it's really important toe stop printing as much stuff and if it is harder for us to see on the screen, we can maximize the view so just turning up the percentage of how you're viewing it will make it a better experience and then the last thing is stopping junk mail so this is the things that were I'm about to show you were sort of like hitting the unsubscribe button on une email so let's actually gonna come around on the desk and we're going to take a look at some of these um before that I'm going to talk about some of them do the same thing as others I'm introducing you and giving you a quick sort of screen shot into all of them just so that you can look at them and see what might work for you what might fit with your lifestyle um so the first one um we're going to look at is paper karma and it's actually an app on your phone have you guys ever heard of paper karma d's in good anyone else? If so, paper karma let's go over to here perfect, so paper karmazin ab um you can see these are things that I've already requested again because I like male I don't have a problem quickly ditching stuff so I don't have a ton of stuff on here but let's go ahead and see what this would look like if we were going tio use this so paper karma what it does is it takes a picture of the company's logo and address and it has your information in there so it goes ahead and un subscribes for you the mail so I'm just going to take a picture um and that's that little bun in the top right hand so I'm going to take a photo and it says phil the orange square with the company's lova are returned label so you can see it says the art house and I'm going to say use photo and so it's addressed to me and I'm just going to say unsubscribed me and it says thank you for using paper karma to continue using you know, please look to one of the options below or I can donate or we donate um these air they're sort of things that they do to help the environment out so anyhow I can share it on facebook and order apparently have you ended up using my trial so I'm just going to say confirm and it's going to take me to facebook so anyhow that is one of the great things that will help you get rid of paper in your life. The next thing we're going to use is something online it's called catalog choice dot or ge it's very simple, similar to paper karma this one is free, whereas you saw paper, carmen you can do three and then they're going to start charging you or you have to share it on facebook or you can use catalog choice. So I just wanted to show you guys what this might look like. So again, these air some that I've already subscribed to give you the status. Um, so I have another one the container store, so I would just put in a search and you can also search by by the alphabet, so it already has it pulled up, so I would say new request and I have my name, the address, and then it gives you an opportunity to further identify the catalog so you would look for the account or customer number um, and on here on other ones that I've done, it actually says, ok, this is the account number, this is the customer number, this one it's not as obvious, so I'd have to actually go and look and see where that number existed for this, but for the most part, having the container store and then having my address and going ahead and saying the reason that I'm opting out so I'm just going to say prefer not to answer and submit the request and it says the request was recorded um and again they have a thing where you could donate to keep them going so that's another option for you to stop getting catalogs and unwanted mail but catalog choices for catalogs um so let's take a look at the next thing this I really, really, really love so this is a little bit more intense if you do the permanent version so this is opt out pre screen dot com so this is one thing I hate getting in the mail credit card offers I hate getting them for two reasons. Number one it's junk mail number two you have to shred that stuff because if someone were to get that they could fill out the information and and send that and then they could get a credit card in your name. So you really should be shredding those but that's extra work so I really don't want to be getting this stuff in the first place. So what you do is you go to this website and for free you can fill out something online so they have two different versions if you fill out the online version and do that, only it will unsubscribe you from the insurance offers and credit card offers for five years if you choose to do the online version than print out the thing that they send you it's a permanent, they will remove you forever and you just have to fill the form out and send it in so those are the two options five years or permanently but I think that that is a really great tool to stop getting those unwanted credit card offers because typically if I want to get a credit card I'm in the store they're offering me some deal amount an airline they're offering point I usually don't use what's in the mail tio get a credit card so something to think about in the next thing is dmh choice dot or ge so that's this guy but anyhow you log in and diem eh? Um choice is another thing that can get you off credit cards and get you off catalogs it can get you off of magazine subscriptions and has a whole host of things I think it even has the phone book so this again is just another thing to check out and see what other resource is that they offer? Okay, so let's actually take it back to keynote. Does anybody have any questions about those four? Ok cool so if you use those, your mail will drastically be reduced, which means junk mail does not even have to enter the house one of my fellow professional organizer's says junk mail should never touch a surface, so live by those rules. Yes, I live in an apartment building, and we always get those coupon news, a berry like yes, every and then trash can is always, and they come like every other day, and it's always the same. Is there a way to get rid of those? I want to say, it's deem a choice dot org's, it usually says to current, um, customer, it doesn't even have your information on it that is definitely represented in one of those I want to say, it's deem a choice, but, yes, that is a great day. Everybody through, nobody looks at it. First, I I almost want to yellow the postman, like, do not believe so annoying super, super frustrating.

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.