Here are a couple of quick organizing tips that will help you this tax year and then appreciate them even more next year…..
Flag your files, find it fast. One of the easiest ways to get started is probably sitting right in your home office to review your records. We’re referring to your tax records from last year! Unless you’ve had significant changes over the year (such as a new baby, investments or home), your past records can provide a good start on what information you’ll need to gather this year. As you review your files, flag items and the files so you can locate them quickly next year. Consider using Avery NoteTabs for this purpose - if things change, you can remove them from the file or item easily and reuse them and they are color coded if you want to categorize your tax information.
Spend less time looking for loose receipts. Americans spend nine million hours a day looking for lost or misplaced items, according to the American Demographics Society. Develop a system to organize your receipts now and then use it for next year. There are a variety of options but I love to use the Avery PocketTabs™. Use the convenient pocket to store receipts for all your deductible expenses you collect throughout the year. The removable, repositionable pocket can be attached easily inside your file folders, and has a closeable flap to keep your contents secure. You could also create a tax receipt binder and attach the pocket tabs to card stock in the binder. Take it one step further, categorize each pocket tab – gas, meals, parking, medical, donations…etc. You can find out more about these products by visiting your office supply retailer such as Staples or visiting www.avery.ca or www.avery.com.
If you need help getting organized for tax time, send us an email at email@example.com.
Are you tired of looking for items you need? Starting today, begin asking yourself “Where will I find this?” instead of “Where shall I put this? This question works great for papers to be filed as well as for other items in the home or office. Words of wisdom from Marlo Nikkila that I totally agree with and have always put in practice for my clients to create their own unique organizational systems based on the way they think, not on the way I think!
If, like most of us, you have clients who are asking how to manage their computer time more effectively, there is now software available that does just that. The seductive and competing demands of Facebook, Twitter, email, games, and shopping on-line can often be overwhelming for the best of us. Amy Cameron, in her June “Chatelaine” article called “More Hours in the Day”, suggests some new web tools to help control your inner impulses while boosting your productivity. One to note:
RescueTime audits the time you spend on your computer so you can identify “problem spots and trends”, highlighting the programs that are your biggest time wasters. According to Colette Robicheau, a Halifax-based professional organizer, the secret to RescueTime is accountability. As she says, “We can’t manage time, but we can manage our approach…we are happiest when we have a sense of control.”
Please make sure you try out this or any product or service ideas yourself before recommending them to your clients.
We look forward to any ideas you are using that we can pass along to all of our organizing colleagues…