Thursday, May 17, 2012

Paperless Filing System -Part 2

My physical filing cabinet has officially gone from 2 overflowing drawers to only 8 folders - which are all very slim.  I may just have to toss my filing cabinet.  :)  Let's get this started with an awesome and organized screenshot of my Evernote:

If you want to see screenshots of my Evernote when I first began filing, refer to Part 1 of My Paperless Filing System here.  Let's go over this picture really quickly:
  On the far left are all my notebooks and notes which are stored in Evernote on my computer, and on their cloud-based servers (unless I chose not to with a specific folder).  Evernote sorted them alphabetically automatically, which works for me, but I'm sure you could change if you wanted.  
  •   Starting at the top, I've got my online business notebook.
    • Things I scanned: deductible receipts
  •   My INBOX Notebook is my most important.  That is the 'Default Notebook', as set by me.  My scanner settings also reflect to send anything and everything that is scanned directly to this notebook.  Evernote files it in here and syncs across the accounts automatically, even if it's not open or active on my laptop at the time.  This way, I can scan something very quickly, and not have to file it until later, when I have time to sit down and do some very quick and simple 'drag-and-dropping'.  
  •   My personal medical notebook is another 'stack' which holds all pertinent health info.
    • Things I scanned:  Paperwork showing major illness or diagnosis with a date, Out of pocket records, Eye exam Rx cards from every year, Dental workup sheets showing work done/needed with any visit, and any medication label that was included with a new medication (don't scan in the 'drug info', as this is something you can look up on the internet from anywhere or even call your local walgreens and they will tell you what it is - even if you didn't get it.) (Yes, we're paperless now, but you don't need to be digging through pages of side effects while trying to find the date of the Rx).
    • Things I THREW AWAY:  Receipts from medical offices that weren't deductible, paperwork regarding minor illnesses (like cold and flu), minor medications, and anything that a future doctor wouldn't care to see.  
  • The next stack of notebooks is my Paperless File System, which is what I originally started with.  My medical records and vehicle records were included in this stack, but one I realized these subject had their own 'tree' of documents, and Evernote doesn't do 'stacks-within-stacks', I pulled them separate.
  •   I have scanned in only pertinent tax information into each year (items and paper that I think would be needed if I were audited).  For the most part, our taxes are VERY EASY, we do them ourselves online (Taxslayer also keeps copies of my forms on their site), and my notebooks are very small.
    • Things I scanned: W2s, the completed 1040 tax filing forms, and year end statements that might be necessary in an audit.  Nothing more.
    • Things I THREW AWAY:  All paycheck stubs (once the W2 arrives and is correct, these are unnecessary), all bank and credit card statements (if these are important to your business or deducted for some reason, the financial institutions will have available a year end summary which includes everything for the year - this is recommended vs the monthly ones)
  •   The Pets Notebook
    • Things I scanned: All vaccination records, Spay and Rabies Certificates, and major illness paperwork, 
    • Things I THREW AWAY:  Heath certificates with expiration dates, minor illness or routine checkup papers, purchase/adoption paperwork (all my animals are rescues and non are papered, so I had no reason to save any purchase info), EXPIRED rabies certificates
  • Receipts:  VERY IMPORTANT - because most receipts will fade over time.  I keep copies of receipts for value and date of bigger items that we buy.  Mostly for our renter's insurance.
  • Finally, at the bottom, I have the Vehicles notebook stack:
    • Things I scanned:  All parts and maintenance receipts, routine and emergency, certificates for our aftermarket parts, and pdf how-to's.
  Here it is!  The GRAN FINALE of my electronic filing accomplishments!!  EVERYTHING (almost) that I scanned into Evernote, now resides in the trash!  Once you have multiple copies of these things, there really is no need to keep the paper copy around.  If I need any of these papers, all it takes is a few seconds to print them out.  Okay - if you are terribly attached to your papers, but want to throw things away comfortably, give yourself a rule.  KEEP THE ITEM IF IT MEETS THESE REQUIREMENTS:  It is watermarked/sealed officially and your are fairly sure that a copy just wouldn't do for anyone who might request it.  If you are honest about your shouldn't be keeping much.
  That's it for now.  Enjoy, have fun going paperless - it's the way of the future and your family will be grateful when it comes to for moving. 

**Feel free to post questions and I'll do my best to answer them.  But I warn you, I have no qualifications whatsoever - I talked to a lot of professionals and used a lot of googled information to get to this point.  I hope it's right, because I jumped in over-my-head.  :)

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