Physical & Electronic Filing Systems
Filing Systems? Why mention this topic?!
Boring or what?!
A number of years ago I decided that I just couldn't go on as I was and so I bit the bullet, bought a stack of files and file dividers and got "super-organised" as far as filing paperwork was concerned. It really has made all the difference to finding things quickly and has de-stressed me enormously whereas previously I was just distressed by the calamitous state of things.
After giving the matter lots of thought, I finally opted for the system of using numbered (or lettered) file dividers inside numbered files.
This means that you end up with loads of empty "slots" that can then be filled with anything that can be hole-punched.
You can then make a list of all the available slots and then search the list to either find where something is or see what you have put in, for example, File "slot" "B2-5" or "B4-8".
The huge advantage to this system is that you can move the contents from one file or one file division to another file or one file division if the contents grow too big (or small, if you prune the contents right down).
You can't do this easily if, like most people, you use the "File per Subject" method.
You do have to be very disciplined, though, in making sure that you keep the list of "What's Where" completely up-to-date, as otherwise you will very quickly end up right back at Square One.
Filing stuff is deadly boring but I have a great deal of experience of first scanning and then noting down what has to be done and finally filing masses of paperwork and so I just mention here that I could re-organise all of your paperwork by setting up a physical filing system (which could look like the one I have here, shown in the photo on this page) if you would like some help in this area.
If you use a PC, I can also set up an electronic filing system for you so that you can then pull up on screen fully searchable scanned copies of your most important paperwork. This is enormously efficient and it will save you money if you have to be careful with your time, as will be the case if you are ever interacting with solicitors and/or accountants or filling in your own self assessment tax returns. I can also show you how to password scanned documents so that they are that much safer whenever they need to be attached to emails.
Being able to find everything - in seconds if in electrionic format and in about one minute flat if you are after the paper copies, each and every time, will bring you huge rewards by saving you both time and "gasket-blowing" frustration and you will start to feel this in almost every area of your life.
This will not only greatly help us to save time when preparing your book but it will also greatly help others, such as relatives, solicitors and accountants, who may, one far off day, need to take over the administration of part or all of your affairs.