With a new year for the freelance career comes the need to purge files, both on the computer and in the file drawers. Yes, this is a time consuming task. And yes, this does have to be done. Why? Because doing sow will help to keep our business organized. We will be able to find what we need quickly, and we will free up space for the files we will create this year.
I will be working on this task over the next week or two.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Discard anything that is not necessary. Use a paper shredder if there is anything personal/financial on a sheet of paper.
Keep anything having to do with your finances. If you still have stuff from the last tax period, bundle it in a large envelope and put it in a safe place. I keep tax records for seven years, others keep them longer. Talk to an accountant to see how long she suggests.
Combine files if you can, but do not over crowd a folder.
Cull client files. Combine only basic information on previous clients in one folder so as to save space. This information may become useful again. Have separate folders for existing clients.
Sit back and decide how you will organize your files. You may decide on a variety of ways. For instance, by client, by project, etc., etc.
What file system do you currently use? Does it need to be revamped?
Shannon L. Buck