Okay, I’ve hit a boring spurt. I’m to the point right now that I cannot do any major organization until I do some major culling out of paperwork AGAIN! I swear paperwork is like dust bunnies, it breeds like crazy.
So day 8-12 I spent doing just general tidy up and scanning. So there is the topic for today’s post. Using your computer to remove clutter in your home, organize your life and much more. Eventually I will do a post on all the ways a computer can help you achieve this, but for right now we are dealing with paper clutter in the office.
Since I’m working on the craft room/office I’ll talk mainly today about the organization of computer files for that room. You will easily see how you can adapt it to your own life and how it could save hours and hours of your life not to mention money.
Let’s start with the organizational aspect first.
We all have paperwork coming out our ears and it’s a pain to keep it filed up. Any time you spend having to file, or search for a file is time away from your crafting or other fun aspects of your life.
Paper receipts, statements, warranties and other such materials are a fire hazard and therefore not a good thing to have stored around in boxes, bins, bags or other such containers.
No matter how well you file a paper receipt, it always seems to get lost down between other sheets of paper, fades or otherwise becomes unfindable, unreadable, or unusable.
However, with the power of your computer joined with a way to take photos or scan this paperwork you have a good clear copy that if labeled properly will be easy to find at any time with doing a simple electronic file search.
General type office receipts I have electronic folders set up that are clearly labeled. IE: 2014 taxes with a sub folder for things like business receipts, farm equipment, car tags, equipment, etc.
Once these folders are created you can either make subfolders of specific items if you feel it’s needed and break it down even by year if you want. Ie: Farm equipment subfolder, 2014, subfolder repairs.
To set it up right at first is a bit time consuming, but once it is all set up it goes quite quickly.
To speed this you can download various aps for your phone or tablet and scan a receipt as you get it, then file it later.
There is also a specific piece of equipment you can purchase that will sort it, I believe, automatically for you, but I’m all about using what you have to the fullest extent and saving your money for the fun things in life. So I use my all in one printer and computer for this purpose. Whenever possible I use the automatic document feed and that way I can scan numerous pages without ever leaving the comfort of my computer chair. Remember, I told you I was lazy by nature.
Another big bonus is you can make more than one copy of a receipt and file it in more than one folder if you feel it more handy. For example I have a folder titled warranties, it is for all the warranties for everything in our home and on the property. It has sub folders for appliances, electronics, farm equipment etc. As you can see this could be a duplicate of a file in the farm equipment. So why not have it filed in both places? It’s not like I’ll be adding any real clutter to the office when I make multiple copies of one receipt and if it helps me locate it when I need it in a hurry, so much the better.
Something I include in the files for equipment and such is the serial number for the unit, when it was purchased, for what price and where. That way if we ever have to file an insurance or warranty claim we have it right at our finger tips.
Once you have scanned and placed everything in the proper file then you no longer need the hard copy files. Look at the volume you just removed from your life!
DON’T FORGET TO BACK UP THE FILES IN MORE THAN ONE PLACE. I personally have no plans to pay for cloud back up, so I back up on flash drives, and make duplicates of that back up. One is of course near my computer for easy access. Other copies of the files are stored off property in case of a disaster here.
It’s easy to see how this would be beneficial with business and tax receipts, but how would you apply computer files to crafting? The ways are numerous and will be addressed in my next post.
Jan who is currently scanning one bunch of receipts daily to reduce clutter in her craft room/home office in OK