Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

How Do Your Files Look?

Since what goes into your files typically must come back out at some point in time, what is your retention schedule? For financial documents, individuals and businesses should keep tax returns forever, supporting items for at least 7 years and non-tax paperwork for no more than 3 years. Although businesses should consult with their accountants and lawyers for more information, individuals can visit this website:

Just as important as "what" you keep is "where" you keep those items... Use 3 zones for filing: fingertip files for active & daily-used items on desktop, regularly used files in a file drawer nearby, rarely used files in an archive area. The items in your fingertip files should be action items in current use, keeping them visible to remind you of what needs to be done for each.

Are you keeping the right items for the right amount of time? Are you purging often to make sure things are current? Many people keep every tiny scrap of paper, but not everything needs to be kept. In fact, many items that once were available only as papers can now be found online... When evaluating what papers to keep, ask yourself, "Can I find this on the Internet?" If the item can be easily found elsewhere or easily reproduced, is keeping it worth the time, effort and space invested in doing so?

Since it's ideal to review your files twice a year, usually in April and October, feel free to contact Organize for Success, LLC if you need help creating a filing system, purging your current files or establishing a schedule for future purges.
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