Your “Working Documents”

What documents do I really need?

Ever tried to find your healthcare forms or insurance policy in a crisis?  Can you put your hands on your bank statements or mortgage documents in an instant?  If you can, congratulations – you have an effective set of working documents.  But for many, this is an unlikely scenario.  Working documents are those items you need to be able to “touch” on a consistent basis – think weekly or monthly.  Find a list of WORKING Documents here.  These items include current insurance policies for auto, home, healthcare, etc. Bank and mortgage statements should be well organized for easy referral.  Healthcare and insurance documents need to be easy to locate.  Keep only current policies so that you are not confused about what is in effect.  When you receive the new, effective policy, shred the old one.  Do not hold onto expired policies – there is no value other than clogging up your filing system.  So, how should you organize your files?

How do I organize my working documents?

Ideally, keep your working documents in a traditional filing system.  Pendaflex filing folders with clear, accurate tabs make finding your information quick and easy.  In an office setting, use a traditional filing cabinet with multiple drawers.  This is a good solution but not the only option.  If you lack “office space” and filing cabinets, use clear, plastic filing boxes.   I do NOT recommend cardboard banker boxes.  These do not stand up over time and make filing difficult.  Use this kind of boxes only when storing files for long term storage.  Invest in good quality folders and storage.  Being able to find your working documents quickly and easily is critical and makes your life much less stressful.  Every couple of months, update your filing system to be sure that all your files are up to date and current.

The average American spends 40 minutes a day trying to find something and paperwork is at the top of the list.  Put your Working Documents in a well-organized filing system that you use on a regular basis.