Chances are us trainers aren’t really the paperwork type – but we have to find a way to manage the admin side of things, regardless of what type of employment or business arrangement we have or what kind of location we work from.
Here are some of my favourite ways to stay on top of things:
Archive each year after completing your tax return:
I like to bulldog clip my files from the past financial year by topic (expenses, registrations, etc) and then pop the whole lot in an archive box. It’s rare that I’ll need to access this stuff again so it doesn’t need to be as easy to sort through as my current stuff, but it does all need to be in one place, just in case.
Allocating a separate drawer/folder to the important stuff:
- CEC certificates – Keeping a hard copy of every single one you’ve ever done, preferably in date order will make your life easy – it’ll also help make it easy to see how much you’ve learned through your career, which is always a great feeling. Keep an electronic copy on a cloud somewhere too, just in case.
- Current client files, if you have your own business, including Par-Qs. Depending on client volume, you may find it helpful to arrange these alphabetically by first name.
- Lapsed client files/Enquiries not Taken Up (Current year) – Good to have on hand for finalising accounts, and also good for follow-ups. I store files that have been lapsed for more than 12 months in an archive box.
- Tax Notices of Assessment from past years (you need these when applying for lots of different things finance-wise, so it pays to have them close by). Another one to keep an electronic backup of as well.
- Current Permits – useful to have in one place for easy access. Expired permits can be stored in that year’s archive box.
- Receipts – I use Receipt Bank to store my receipts electronically, but if you’re doing your expenses manually, keep them all in one place, preferably separated by expense type (vehicle, equipment etc)
- Positive Things – Keeping all your written good feedback in one place is an excellent insurance policy against getting disheartened – simply browse through whenever you need a confidence boost.
Try to only touch things once:
When mail comes in, try to action it straight away once you’ve opened it so that you don’t forget about it at the bottom of a pile somewhere. And as soon as you’ve actioned it, file it!
Make it easy:
The easier your filing system is to access physically, the more likely you are to use it – so keep the area clear and your system simple. If putting all your tax “stuff” in a box is more realistic for you than putting each page in a plastic page protector, then that’s the best way for you.
Ask other people how they stay organised:
You might get some great ideas for storage or productivity tips. Generally people enjoy being able to give helpful advice and will be more than happy to share what works for them. Learn from people with all sorts of careers and it’ll get easier every year.
Article written by Shelley Lask, www.bodypositivehf.com.au