How to Organize Important Documents

 posted by: Matt Randall

 

Own your clutter before it owns you!

Keyphrase

It's easy to let your papers stack up. "Oh, I'll find a place for those later..." can very quickly become, "Holy Cow! Where did the surface of my desk go?"

Do you know where your tax forms from last year are? Your medical records? Social Security card, auto maintenance receipts, Birth Certificate? You may need to have important documents like these in-hand, in a moment's notice.

What if there was a fire or flood? Imagine how much easier it would be to grab all your important files and dash out the door than it would be to try to replace them. If you're anything like me, I'd much rather have a root canal than go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and beg them for a new title to my car.

That's why it's vital to have all your important documents organized and ready for use.

 

Here's the #1 simple trick to keeping organized:

Have a good way to store your documents and always take the extra few seconds to put them there, right away. It's really that easy!"

Where a lot of people fail (and I used to be one them) is that we have a tendency to just shove papers aside for now and plan on getting to them later.

This is natural, especially in the always-busy, multi-tasking, information-overload world in which we live today. But the key is to work-in the simple step of placing the document where it goes as you move through your day.

 

Clean as You Go

Any great chef will tell you, "Clean as you go!" A gourmet kitchen is a perfect example of the importance of staying on top of the clutter. When you use a pan, you can't just leave it on the stove! Rinse it and get it to the dishwasher or you'll run out of pans, and space, in a hurry. In the fast-paced, high-pressure world of a professional kitchen, every second counts. But any cook who's worth his salt will tell you that cleaning the cutting-board and putting the spices back where they go, no matter how slammed you are with hungry customers, is absolutely vital to keeping things running smoothly.

And your workspace is no different. The time it takes to move that document from your desk to a binder on the shelf, as soon as you're done with it, is nothing compared to the miserable feeling of being lost in sea of papers -and then spending half the day trying to find a vital piece of information among the stacks and piles.

Own your clutter before it owns you!

 

So what's a good way to store your documents?

Organizer Binder Folder
The UniKeep Document Organizer Binder

 

The UniKeep Document Organizer Binder is a great solution to your paper problems. The Organizer is a 1 inch UniKeep Binder, with a clear plastic overlay that allows you to place a cover-insert into the front, back and spine. This makes it very easy to label the contents of each binder.

For example, at home

You might have one organizer for all of your warranties, one binder for your medical records, one binder for your pet records and so on.

A well-organized shelf
At work

You could have an organizer for your accounts receivable, inter-office memos, contracts and agreements, take-out menus... everything that you need to get to fast!

Or, to use an example from my field: Websites. I have an Organizer Binder for each website I build and then I break down the phases of development into sections: WEBSITE > Planning | Design | Build | Launch | Promote. As I complete the process of creating a website, I place the documents: contracts, mission statements, creative briefs, software purchase receipts, design comps, deliverables etc... in the binder, in the correct sections. That way I always have them ready to pull out and show, with signatures, to a client who may have forgotten exactly what we had agreed upon. It has proven invaluable every time.

And at school

You'll need a binder for History, one for Social Studies, one for Advanced Quantum Mechanics; any and all of your classes that you work so hard at deserve to be organized. Every class has hand-outs, syllabi and papers galore.

Think how good it will feel to have a shelf of clearly labeled, alphabetized binders that represent the sum of your educational knowledge on display. How nice it would be to grab a binder off the shelf and refresh yourself on Mr. Johnson's Western History notes whenever you feel like it. Well, maybe not. But when you need it, it's there.

 

Since I work in the factory that makes the UniKeep Organizer Binders, obviously I use them constantly. My office shelf is stacked with them. And I pride myself in the ability to have, at a moment's notice, any document, memo, receipt or contract that the boss wants.

Business Hero

Boss: Hey, Matt, do you remember what the Wiltshire Contract says about Licensing?

Me: Sure! *Walks over to bookshelf and locates the files in a binder marked "Wiltshire."

Boss: You're amazing! Have a promotion and take the corner office!

OK, so that last bit is made up, but you can't help but to impress when you always have the information everyone needs right at your fingertips.

It's like a super power!