One of the most disorganized places for most business owners is the inside of their computer. Most entrepreneurs keep documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and graphics all over the place. Some items are on the desktop. Some are in folders… but the folders are who knows where. It can be really time-consuming to find everything you need every day. And at the end of the year during tax season? Forget it!
Do You Know HOW to Get Organized?
Some of you may have heard of or even read Marie Kondo’s popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Kondo’s basic premise, which has thousands of people reading with glee and delight, is to get rid of anything that doesn’t give you joy. Then fold everything else and put it away.
All over the world, people are tossing ugly old sweaters, recycling dusty paperbacks, and donating unused kitchen appliances, and relishing their newfound freedom from clutter. Sounds amazing, right? But how can you apply this to your business?
Well, throwing away stuff you don’t love may not work so well in your business. I never heard of tax forms bringing anyone joy, but you certainly can’t chuck them in the recycling bin! Nevertheless, there’s definitely a way you can minimize the amount of sheer stuff you have in your home office, and it’s not hard.
Bringing the Magic into Your Office
Set aside a few hours or an afternoon to devote to this task. It’s definitely not something that can be accomplished in a few minutes or between other meetings.
To begin, move all your business documents into one place. Dropbox and Google Docs are free online document storage services that many entrepreneurs use.
Create folders by year, and move files into the appropriate folder. Once the years are set up, create sub-folders for each particular business effort. If your work is tied to the calendar (CPA?), then name subfolders after each month. But if your work is creative, name subfolders for each major project.
For example, if you are a life coach, you might set up a folder for your Meditation Retreat that happened in the spring, another folder for the Ritual Creation Seminar that happened in the summer, another for the Relationship Workshop in the fall, etc.
Finance information tracking will still need to be sorted by month, however, just so you can stay on budget. This could be a separate file in your system.
Last but not least, back it up! Save a copy of all your files in a separate location. If you keep everything on your hard drive, make a backup on a CD or online. It’s never a bad idea to protect your valuable intellectual property.
One Last Magic Tip
You don’t even have to do this yourself. If you can get your documents onto a CD or up online, a virtual assistant can complete the actual sorting and organizing for you.
I love to get things organized, and I’m ready to help. Just reach out to me today!