How to organise paperwork in 20 minutes

Organise Paperwork: Despite our digital age there is still an amazing amount of paper in my life. As a writer, that problem is tenfold as my rooms are filled with notebooks and pages full of scribbles. I have trouble throwing them out, even though I know I should. One of the jobs I dislike the most is paying bills. Firstly, because I dislike parting with the money and secondly, paperwork is well – boring.

So here are my top tips for winning the war against paper and getting the job done at lightning speed.

How to organise paperwork in 20 minutes

I have the following folders set up on my desk:

  1. Desk Admin – For notes and slips I need to fill out (Divided into 1. Call / 2. Fill Out and 3. Calendar / Set Reminder)
  2. Bills – A folder for all current and bills to be paid
  3. Out and About – For errands and items I need to deliver or do while out in my car
  4. Penina – Items related to my business
  5. Richard – Items my husband needs to attend to (usually related to his business or our renovation)
  6. Coco – Our four year old’s file (Everything to do with Coco goes in here)
  7. Saxon – Our ten year old’s file (As above for Coco)

I also have a small letter holder on my desk for new unopened mail.

Attack these jobs first to organise paperwork

  1. Open all letters and place them in the desk folders above. NOTE: Anything that should be filed – should be filed immediately. I have a small filing system under my desk that is well organised and where I can quickly file as I go. Avoid In-Trays and ‘To File’ piles. They collect junk and lead to procrastination.
  2. You should be left with jobs to do in: Desk Admin and Bills
  3. Do the desk admin
  4. Pay bills
  5. Go through each person’s file and calendar / set reminders for important events.
  6. Leave anything important, urgent and unattended on my desk (in the letter sorter in plain view)

That’s it! File everything and you should be left feeling cleansed!

What you’ll need for your organise paperwork task

  1. Sticky notes (Place on items in ‘Desk Admin’ e.g Note: Call, or Calendar)
  2. Pen for filling out forms
  3. Folders and folder rack for the files
  4. Stapler
  5. An app for setting reminders (I use a simple free app called Any.Do
  6. Envelopes and stamps for any mail you need to send
  7. Phone for setting reminders as you go
  8. Calendar (Physical or online) for putting tasks in a calendar
  9. Letter holder
  10. A paid stamp (I love stamping stuff. Brings out the child in me!)

How to you sort your paperwork? Please share your tips below.