It’s essential for a business owner to organize and keep track of documents, and that includes important mail. You never know when you may need a specific item, and you need to find it as quickly as possible.
Prioritize on organizing and also reducing unnecessary mail whenever possible. By following these simple steps you can increase productivity and reduce the mail overload that takes over lives so easily when left uncontrolled and unmanaged.
Buy a secure box for priority items.
No matter the size and scale of your operation, there will always be some stuff that is more important than others. In a business, this can often be letters from the tax department, or payroll statements.
Whatever you deem the most important, keep it stored safely. Invest in a special box or storage cabinet that’s there specifically for the most important bits of mail that you receive. This way, you won’t have to trawl through reams and reams of boring documents to find what you need.
Go digital wherever possible.
It’s the digital age, so don’t get left behind. You should ensure that your company is efficient as possible, and that usually means getting rid of any excess paper.
Going digital by using something like a virtual mailbox allows you to keep all your important letters, with none of the storage hassle. If it’s in the cloud, you can’t see it, you can’t touch it, and it won’t clog up your drawers!
And, just as the junk mail it is easy to get lost in the digital influx of thousands of emails per week. Manage your inbox by tagging all business essential emails and promotional emails separately. There are many online tools and apps available which can help you get more organized.
Just shred it.
It goes without saying, but you should be chucking all the unnecessary stuff away. Let it go! Perhaps the only way to sort out the mess that is your filing system is to simply shred as much of your junk as possible.
That being said, make sure that you’re shredding older documents, not newer ones. I’d be inclined to keep letters from the tax department until that tax year is over. But things like politicians manifestos? They’re not necessary to the function of your company in any way, shape or form.
Set a timer on your documents.
Tick, tock. When you receive a letter, tell yourself how long you will keep it for. Have folders for one year, six months, two months, one month, two weeks and one week. Whichever folder you place a letter in is how long you keep it for.
Sometimes you just need to be decisive. Every week, throw out your weekly folder. Every year, the same applies. Don’t get hesitant. It’s easy to get attached to things we think we need, but in reality, we don’t.
Labeling and color-coding.
They’re the oldest tricks in the book, but there’s a reason for that. Sort out your letters by putting them in categories, and use colors and labels to identify categories.
For example, yellow could be taxes, blue could be bills. Red could be bank statements. It’s up to you, really. Just make a note of what each color means so you don’t forget!
And that just about does it! Organization is the foundation of any solid business structure, so don’t forget yours here. As you’d expect, the more organized you stay, the more effective your operation will be.