Saturday, October 18, 2008

Organizing your paperwork and Time

I am ALWAYS re-working my systems, until I find the perfect solution I'll keep doing this. I am loving this. It's a better version of my old one. This is good for those of you who have a lot of paperwork in your life.
I don't like wasting time doing these types of things so my system is made so I can sort my mail and paperwork quickly and right when I get it.

In case you're interested in trying this..

1. Get a soft cover skinny white binder (like the first row of pictures). I use 1/2 inch because anything bigger would allow too much paperwork. In sheet protectors I have a copy of family goals, Our daily schedule (which is rarely followed but makes me feel good to have)this includes, naps, dinnertime, everything. Let me know if anyone is interested in taking a peak. I also have a copy of my weekly schedule (just in case I go into a coma and loose my memory)Monday-cleaning/laundry day/grocery shopping (clean your fridge before you go grocery shopping..please I beg you or whenever just clean it, or have me do it). Tuesday--freeday-playgroup day, and I also usually bake lots this day for some reason. Wednesday-Desk Day: go through to do's weekly and daily..bills, correspondence, clear email tray, fold laundry that's been sitting out since Monday day, start Sunday lesson. Thursday-Errand day and Library day. Friday (the ideal: call friends, clean out purse, clean out car, check fluids, clean laundry room) the reality: clean car, volunteer at Daniel's school, clean our purse (i do this a lot) work on one of my 50 unfinished projects, play at the park. Movie night. Saturday: this is usually the day I decide to undertake massive organizing projects for fun..and we also go do stuff. SUNDAY: church day, nap day, menu plan day, do nothing but enjoy my family day.

Purchase multicolored pocket folders (plastic ones) I label my pockets:

Weekly menu & shopping list
- I created a spreadsheet for this because I don't like to shop for very long..I leave clear copies of it in this first pocket to fill by hand. The sheet has the menu on the left column (no specific days I just plan 7 meals) and two columns on the right with the heading Grocery list...the first column is for items necessary for the menu separated into meat, dairy, canned (this sounds anal, but I can send my husband shopping and it takes him no time at all. (can someone tell me how to link a copy of this spreadsheet for you??or just email me) and the second column (far right) is for other items. The two column thing is because I like to see how much I'm buying for my weekly meals as oppossed to staples and paper stuff. The last column is also separated into Wholesale club and Supermarket. This makes is to much faster easier to shop.

TO DO this week: right now my folder has a bookclub list that I have to email. A bunch of recipes to type in. Some pictures that need to be framed, and a few bills I have to make phone calls on.

TO DO this Month: A little more time consuming projects like stuff to translate, a picture I want to have blown up and framed for my mom, Etc.

TO CALL: It's crazy that I have a whole envelope for this, but you know insurance claims...(I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES) church stuff...etc..this folder is on the outs. I'm combining it's contents with my TO Do this week. I may make this my projects folder...hmmmm....thinking...

FILE: this holds letters and cards that need filing but I need a place for in the meantime...

Great! Got all that.
Next Is my Bills folder. I have a large finances binder where I keep EVERYTHING..budget, financial goals,debt info, student loan info, and payment receipts, and paystubs. For receipts I have the long letter envelopes labeled Jan-Dec and I file the bill the month it was paid--with conf #, the next year when I get to Jan again I'll throw everything away.

For my bills folder I like the 3 pocket drop folder (found at target) pictured in the far left middle row. I put my current bills in one pocket, my checkbook and a calculator in another. I like having the bills separate because It's easier to take with me when I sit down to pay them.

I use an excel spreadsheet for all my finances but recently I found this great free finance software, Rudder. It's great for tracking spending although I'd really like to find something that could track my spending and hold a budget with which to compare it to. Dave Ramsey's is pretty good but I don't want to pay $10 a month.

The folder in the middle is pretty but everything slips out and moves around so save your money and try something different. I like it for organizing Daniel's stuff like homework, music lessons and sports stuff, PTA stuff (usually stuff they're making kids sell) and return to school stuff, usually some envelope we have to send money in..I also like to keep my own little envelopes in there for when I send cash for school lunch or if I need to send a note to his teacher.

So there it is. Please ask me if you need clarification or have a better system to share. So far this is the best solution I've found to keeping table tops clear and actually managing, not forgetting the piles of paperwork in my life.

p.s. forgive all grammatical errors it's very late. ◦

1 comment:

C Mommy said...

I'm a little late getting to this one but, wow! This is really motivating to read this.... once upon a time I was really organized....