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Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 3 of 7

Prep Your Space to Process Your Paperwork


Organize Your Paperwork

Lesson 3 of 7

Prep Your Space to Process Your Paperwork


Lesson Info

Prep Your Space to Process Your Paperwork

Let's talk about space prep I'm a huge proponent of creating the best possible space for when we're going through our paperwork not to be a party pooper but paperwork is not the most fun thing to go through, so we need to make our environment really great to support us and um just to sort of circumvent anything that michael rye we're talking earlier emotions run very high when you're going through paperwork so it's very important that you have always applies here you need to get started and to stick with it to drive this point home a little bit I have sort of a love hate relationship with running for the most part I really like it, but I really need to have the proper tools to go running whether it be my ear buds I mean, I can't get away with just like the ear buds that come with your iphone they need to be the kind that wrap around your ears because the other ones just fall out um I need the correct socks because of my socks start to fall into my shoes forget it like that's I'll just ...

give up um I need a headband I look like the biggest goober I haven't I need a headband because it gets really cold and I'll get nauseous if I don't have my headband on or in the summer, I need adviser and I need sunglasses so these are all things that really create the best environment for me to go running and because sometimes I don't like going running I really need those things t keep me in the activity and for paperwork it's sort of the same thing it's like yes there are benefits to having organized paperwork but in order for you to really get motivated to even want to do it I think we really need to set ourselves up for success it also might be music it might be a cup of tea I mean you can brainstorm around this because I do think it's not anything that you want to dive into s o we really want to set up our space for success can you just think of anything else you might want if you're going through paperwork beside it's um well actually let's take a look at some of the things on and then we can add but I'm just gonna pull some stuff out really quick to process paperwork we need a couple things now we're gonna talk about a lot of great tools but can you do this can you go through paperwork without all of this absolutely you don't need anything really except our short being opposed it but you might as well make your life easier and have all the supplies that are really going to make the process seamless um so a file box is very important toe have um it's going to help us process things as we're creating categories a label maker goes a long way if your handwriting is amazing that's totally fine but I live and die by my label maker uh stapler file tabs usually come with your hanging files um a letter opener is really good as well as a staple remover this's staple remover um post its and I love a good retractable sharpie um let's see what else do we have? We always always always wanna have a recycling and shredding then something that you can do really quick if you don't already have been close by way would just create shred and recycle and I'm doing this because I can't tell you how many homes have been in where I'm going through a stack of paperwork and thirty minutes later the claim goes oh wait that might have been shredding so we spent thirty minutes just going through shredding when you know at one point we knew were shredding but because it wasn't labeled way had to go through it all again and waste time so it's really important just tow have the's sort of things set up um for yourself um can you guys think of anything else you might need that would make you feel comfortable something that's not like tool wise but just help you out good lighting that that I shouldn't really important yes, I would absolutely agree with you a glass of wine might help with the emotional part on maybe we stick to one glass? Yes, anything else could podcast or youtube video? Yes, absolutely. I like that anyone else and it's interesting the paperwork is so such a challenge for evil to process there's actually an organizing term called body double it's not what you think, not like the movies like I've got a body double it's actually a person to be in the room to anchor you and to just sort of be there to help you go through the paperwork so just know that if you feel like running from the room it's because it's not the easiest thing to dio, so if you can help yourself out and have a family member that supportive, that won't distract too great if you could have an accountability partner even better an organizer obviously great solution so the's air some things that are really just going to help us set up our great environment when we're processing paperwork so let's continue and get down to business. So, um we talked about being really overwhelmed about going through paperwork so let's just break it down into really, really small steps so the first the first process or the first sort of step to processing your paperwork and it seems silly that I even I'm saying this, but literally you were going tio go through your entire house so your entry way to the top of your filing cabinet your desktop, gather all of your paperwork, put it in a bin and that's what you're going to use to create our categories, I would suggest, starting with all of the desktop surfaces first, and then you're going to go into your filing cabinet and maybe take another look and there if you already have a filing cabinet in category setup. So the first step is I actually like to do a pre sort after I've gathered all the paperwork, it's going to be a lot of odds and ends, I might have posted, I might have receipts, I might have business cards, I've got unopened mail. I have open mail, lots of different sized paperwork, and this is what I do for my clients because it makes decision making a lot easier. I'll actually do a pre sort before they even make any decisions. Because if you have a receipt here, a business card here, a bank of america. Bill here, it's a lot harder for the brain to sort of process all of that stuff, so what we want to do is pre sort this is what you would do in a closet, you put all the shirts together that are black, you put all the shirts together that are white, because it allows you to see everything that you've got so you can easily make decisions. So I've sort of done, um, kind of move this for a sec that can go in there, so I sort of done a priest sword. I have sort of the these air, sort of, like, random bits of paper that don't really go with anything else. Um, and then I've got this other sort of random bit, and then I've divided things into just your paperwork that's opened all the same size, and then I would further sort this, so I'd probably go through here and put all of again the bank of america paperwork together, I'd put all the pay stubs together, so again, we could have a really good picture of what we're looking at. Um, and then same thing I've gathered, all of the unopened slashing, sort of open, but still in their mail, and then I would for the client as well as you should do this at home for yourself, so you can help yourself out I would take everything else and again categorized before I even start to create temporary files does that make sense to everybody on why we would do that? Okay, great so we put this stuff back in here before we move on so next we're actually going to create temporary files and can anybody tell me why we would create temporary files instead of just creating permanent files because you don't know what you're getting rid of yet exactly we want to sort of see the whole picture before we make any permanent decisions so the way that I create temporary files and I've seen it done a lot of different ways again if you do not have ah file box on you this might be putting a posted on the category and sort of having a lot of floor space and do working that way this just sort of trunk aids the amount of space you take up which I find is really important because when you're processing paperwork again it's super overwhelming and it's just easier to sort of scan a smaller space than having it really spread out around you. So what do you do is you take a thing of post its and you'd actually turn them upside down and you would write I like to start out with a couple categories that I know pretty much everybody is gonna have the first one is to dio again get creative if you need to call it something else, absolutely, but you would turn it upside down and just stick it in here, and that just creates a temporary file. So, um, another one I might create would be pending. And if I know the client is going to want to scan stuff that's the goal, I might do it to scan and so on and so forth. And once I have everything that I think I'm going to need, then I know what I would actually start processing the paperwork. Then you're going to pick up your first piece of paper and you're going to say, well, what is this? Do I need to save it for later? Is it an action item so you would basically just start parceling out each piece of paper into our temporary categories, and once you're done processing your paperwork, you would take a look at the bigger picture and see everything you've got. We might need to merge some stuff. We're going to talk in the next segment about creating more of those permanent categories.

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.