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[VIDEO]: How to Organize Actionable Papers (Paper Organizing Tips Part 2 of 2)

In this paper organizing video (part 2) I show you how to organize actionable papers into a simple, visual, easy to use, and easy to setup organizing system!

In case you missed Part 1 (How to Sort Papers), you can watch it here.

This is the wall-mounted organizer I featured in this video!

I hope you enjoy this video!
Alejandra




How to Organize Actionable Papers

Hi everyone. I’m Alejandra from Alejandra.tv and in this video I’m going to share with you how to organize important papers that require you to take some kind of action, so you can stay on top of things and avoid any kind of negative consequences.

But first, if this is your first time watching any of my videos and you are just getting started with organizing, you can check out my free video series on three things to do tonight to feel more organized tomorrow when you wake up. There’s a link below.

So in the first video, we talked about how to sort papers. We grabbed a stack of papers and we sorted everything and we created one pile for everything that requires you to take action.

There’s a link above in case you missed the video. But now, in this video, I’m going to share with you a system, an easy-to-set-up system for organizing all of the things that require you to take action. So it’s like bills to pay, people to call, things to cancel, things to apply for, things to submit, things to follow up on and stuff like that. So I have the pile here and let me grab the system and show you exactly what I did.

Paper & Bill Organization Tips

How to Organize Actionable Papers from Alejandra.tv

How to Organize Actionable Papers from Alejandra.tv

So right here, I have a wall-mounted magazine holder and just because this is a magazine holder does not mean that you need to only use this organizing product for organizing magazines.

If you just think outside the box, you can organize anything that can stay nicely in a vertical slot just like this. So I put papers in here. You can do file folders. You can do coloring books. You could do scrapbook paper, anything that will stay nicely here.

I took all the papers that required action that we sorted out into piles. This is more papers than from the previous video but everything here requires you to take action. I put one project in each slot to make it really visible on what requires you to take action.

Keep Actionable Papers Organized & Visible

If you’re a visual person and you have things to do, you need to visually see what you need to do in order to remember what needs to be done because it’s like out of sight, out of mind. If these papers that require you to take action were inside of a closed drawer or underneath the stack, you would easily forget what needs to get done. So by keeping them visual just like this, you’re constantly reminding yourself what needs to get done.

So everything in my bill organizer requires you to take action. Something else I did was I took a Post-it note and I wrote down what the action is for each piece of paper or each document. So for example, this one right here says, “Confirm status next month. Make sure that your rate went down from $89 to $77.”

Organizing Papers with Clear & Easy Notes

So when you process a sheet of paper or you process a statement inside your office, you had the information that’s at the top of your mind. So it’s easy to remember. But if you need to follow up on something next month or in six weeks from now, when you come back to this document, your mind is not fresh on all the information. So if you just take a sticky note and you write yourself like a dummy note on what you’re supposed to remember, it’s going to help you be able to process this document a lot faster than if you didn’t write yourself a note.

Keep Actionable Papers and Bills Organized with Clear & Simple Notes.

Keep Actionable Papers and Bills Organized with Clear & Simple Notes.


So this says, “Make sure your new rate is $77 as opposed to $89.” So it’s just like checking your statements to make sure it’s correct. So everything has a dummy note here with some kind of critical information. Like this is due on 3/31. This needs to be submitted by 3/15, stuff like that.

I just took sticky notes in any color. There are multiple colors here. I just grabbed whatever sticky note I could find. Nothing is color-coded. You can also write it on the actual piece of paper if you don’t want to use a sticky note. But the point is make it as easy as possible so when you come back a month from now to process these documents, you know exactly what to do. It’s easy. There’s no frustration and you can just handle everything with ease.

How to File Paperwork After Processing

Then the last tip here is to – once you process a paper or document, so let’s say you submitted this because this says, “Submit to IQB.” What do you do with this now? Do you put it back in here or do you get rid of it?

What to do with this paper depends on if you need it or not. It’s hard to say what papers you need. But if you don’t need it, if you don’t need the paper, then your options are to shred it if it has sensitive information or to recycle it if it doesn’t have sensitive information and it can just be recycled.

If you need to keep the piece of paper or keep the document for your record, then you can either put it in a file box of stuff to file. I prefer to batch file all my documents. So in my office, my office isn’t set up right now because we just moved.

How to File Papers After Processing

How to File Papers After Processing: Organize papers that need to be filed in a box for batch filing

But in my office, when it’s normally set up, I have a box or a drawer that has “file” on it and I will just put anything that needs to be filed inside the box and then at the end of the month or the end of the week, depending upon the volume of papers inside the box, I will sit down in front of my filing cabinet and I will just file all the papers right there nice and easy as opposed to filing one paper at a time as it needs to be filed. So it’s like batch processing.

Now, if you don’t want to file the paper and you’re a digital person, you can start a box for scanning and then once your box gets filled, you scan your papers, so you’re not keeping the physical piece of paper. If you do this, filling a box thing, you just have to make sure you actually file or scan as opposed to letting this box fill up and then grabbing another box and starting another file pile. That’s when piles accumulate. That’s when we get behind on things and what’s when we get a little bit disorganized. So just stay on top of your piles.

I hope you found this video helpful. Again, if you missed the first part of how to sort papers, there’s a link below. If you want more videos on getting organized, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or check out my website Alejandra.tv for more tools and training on living a more organized and productive life. Thanks for watching and I will see you soon. Bye!

 

    Alejandra Costello
  • About Alejandra

    Over the past 9 years, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 85+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and "The Decluttering Queen" by Good Morning America, Alejandra's expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. You can read more about Alejandra here.

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