Summer Is Nearly Over and It Is Time to Organize Your Papers

The summer is just about over and it is nearly time for fall cleaning.  Springtime is for cleaning your house so why not make autumn the time to clean up your loose documents?

You may have a drawer full of receipts, if you are partly organized.  You may have a box (or even two) full of notices, old mail that needs attention or even recipes that need to filed away in a file cabinet or another box.

Or you may have receipts and other paperwork just strewn around all over.  Start by going through all your drawers, cubbyholes and closets.  Move all your papers to one area, maybe ‘organized’ by a few stacks piled high.

Don’t forget your car as that is a favorite place for wayward receipts, notices and those favorite windshield handbills that you want to keep.  Check the trunk, glove box and floors underneath the seats.

Now comes the work.  The secret to timesaving is to only handle each piece of paper once.

Set up a scanner connected to your computer and make a folder called Paperwork.  You can make subfolders as you go along.  Take each piece of paper and triage as you go along.  If it is trash, put it in the trash can or waste basket which should be sitting right beside you.

Scan the document and name it.  If it has a date, use a name such as 20120821-warranty_for_LED_Television.pdf and store the document in the appropriate folder.  Put the paper in a box marked Scanned.

Here is a big secret: store the scan as a PDF file, not a gif or jpg picture.  Once your documents are saved as PDF files, you can use various software products to search through the documents.

If your scanner is equipped with a document feeder, just start scanning everything into a single PDF file.  After your scanning is complete, you can, at your leisure, use PDF editing software to save each document as a separate PDF.  For multi-page documents you can easily select those pages and create a separate PDF with the complete document.

You will be finished before you know it and will be able to access any piece of paper when you need it in the future.  A big plus is no floor or closet space is needed; only disk space for storage and searching.  So get organized now!

Photo courtesy of Fred Hoot

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