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Creating an Efficient Daily Mail System

by on January 18, 2012

“Creating an Efficient Daily Mail System to Capture Your Important Papers”

 Not a lot of people enjoy the 11th hour rush of gathering important documents for their annual tax return, nor the endless shuffling of paper which comes into the house on a daily basis.  Follow these simple steps to create a system that handles your daily mail and captures your important papers at the same time.

Create the following folders:

  • Tax-related documents
    • Make a list of all documents required for your annual tax return preparation.
    • At the beginning of each year, create a folder for these documents and label it accordingly.  (2012 – Tax Documents.)  Affix the list of required documents to the inside front cover for easy reference.  Documents are placed in this folder as they are received.
      • You may want to have sub folders for tax documents (2012 – Bank/Investment Statements, etc.).  Whether you use the sub folder system or not, you have captured all necessary documents in one place.
  • When tax time rolls around, you have a completed folder of documents you and/or your accountant need for tax preparation. 
  • Bills to be Paid
    • As you open your daily mail, place all bills in this folder and process according to their due dates.  Schedule bill payment in your calendar two times per month.
    • This helps you stay current and avoid late fees.
  • Attention Required
    • Mail which is not time sensitive but does require your attention is placed in this folder to
    • review at a later time.  Review its contents weekly or bi-weekly so the volume does not become overwhelming.  Make a habit of handling or filing each item as you review it.
    • You will manage your paperwork once, not repeatedly.

This method takes moments to accomplish if followed routinely and achieves the following:

0  you have an efficient method for dealing with paper that requires your time and attention

0  you save countless hours gathering documents as tax time approaches

0  you avoid piles of paper

0 you avoid reprocessing those same piles over and over again.

Robin Roscillo, founder of Back Office Solutions, is an efficiency coach and speaker.  She has a deep knowledge of office management, with experience managing the operations of small businesses.  Robin designs educational forums on optimizing individual and office efficiency and is available for presentations, workshops or roundtables tailored to the needs of any business organization or individual.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Robin,
    As usual you come up with good ideas. Something else that I do is set up Outlook tasks, with reminders, for many bills and other payments that occur on a regular cycle. That doesn’t make paying them any easier, but it reduces the chance for missing the payment.

  2. Thanks, Bill. I pay most of my bills through electronic banking using the automatic pay feature. When I actually ‘pay’ bills twice a month, I check them off against what I’ve already set up. I can edit the payment at any time, but will never be late with a bill payment.

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