Do you hate paper? Yes, yes – everyone does! But it is also still the necessary evil that hasn’t fully transitioned to digital. There must always be an original hardcopy. If you can transition to paperless, it is absolutely the best way to go! Even still, in Canada, businesses are required to give you paper copies of important information – for you to be aware of – and if that means keeping a copy, where are you going to put it?

You’ll put it away with a super quick and organized filing system. Only build a system for what you specifically need, and get only as specific as is necessary for recall.

Here is the basic frame work:

Category 1 : Permanent vs Annual

When creating a filing system, start with knowing what is important information you need to keep organized and to what degree, based on the level of importance, volume, turnaround time, etc.

I sort my categories first based on whether it’s an annual recurring event or a singularly important event.

For Example: For buying a vehicle, I will create a Permanent Folder for the YY Make Model (I nerd out a bit, yeah – you do you, “car” works too). Depending on how hardcore you need to go, you could also need an annual folder for your new car. Or you could keep all the documents you need in the permanent folder and scrap the crap.

Within the Permanent / Annual Groups are Subgroups – Which could have 1 more subgroup

Example: PERM | 03 Hon Acc or 2008 | 03 Hon Acc

If it feels like a lot, it’s not once in practice because you only make what you need. I will give two extreme examples of super-simple home filing systems – you pick a mash of what you need.

Business Related Filing, black marker, Split by Perm/ Annual, subcategories, customers, and vendors.

EXAMPLE: ULTRA Extremely simple *99% COMPLETE:

EXAMPLE: Extremely simple, but meticulous:

Green – Permanent Non-Financial Files. I went an extra level and have a 3rd variable. What if I want to keep it, but maybe one I won’t? What if I want useful information super easy to find? What if I want to find this paper again, maybe, and actually find it. First-try!

Know your local and regional tax laws and what you need to save, and for how long, as everywhere has different requirements.

Only make as many files as you need or what to store information for. If there is a period of time important files are kept for – make sure to have those files clearly stored.

If you have files that you need to keep forever – label them PERM. This is a keeper file; you either need it on a semi-permanent to permanent basis. I put things like significant medical documents, hobbies, big life events, purchases and sales documents, important banking, warranties, taxes, etc.

In annual folders, I have a folder for home, utilities, vehicles, medical, dog, taxes, employment, investments, insurance, etc. Things I will get monthly statements for. These are all things that, depending on your region or desire, you may not need to keep! Know what you need to keep and what you don’t! If there is some reason, you want to keep it? Make a folder!

It’s truly amazing because of its scalability to keep track of as much or little as you need.

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