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Control paper clutter with the file it and

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  • Welcome! Here is where you can learn how to create a system for locating all those papers you are reluctant to put out of sight because you might not find them again.
  • There is such a thing as age-related memory loss, but even young people are faced with information overload. With aging, we tend to leave something out in plain sight “for now”, lest we forget that we have it. The problem begins when we layer all our “for now’s” and the surface of the table disappears and our good intentions regarding the papers piled there get muddled.
  • Wouldn’t it be a relief to have the table available again for its prime purpose? 
  • If your paperwork is out of control, you are tired of looking for important papers, and you feel that creating a file system is a waste of your time, then we have the solutions for you! The color-coded FiFi® cards make it easy to decide where the paperwork should go.
  • If you already have a file cabinet then all you need are hanging folders to place the FiFi cards in. the FiFi cards stand higher than the hanging folders to tell you what is in the folder, so you will not need any plastic tab inserts.Otherwise there are many versions of filing crates that you can use on a table or desk top.A small portable desktop file holder as shown on the right is desirable to hold the FiFi action cards.
  • If you are overwhelmed by a table or desk that is piled with a variety of items, let’s start by gaining clarity. Think about grouping like items together. For instance, remove all the small objects that are not paper. Don’t proceed to create locations for the items you remove. The aim is to get the surface cleared not to organize a whole room. Gathering the small items in a box or basket will hold them for a while. If you have a bookcase where the books can go put them there. Magazines can rest on another surface. You are aiming to have just papers such as the mail to deal with.
  • Having FIFI’s Action files at your mail station enables you to have an immediate place to sort your mail and complete action items such as bills to pay, contact updates, pending calls, and other household projects.
  • Is it someone’s new address and/or phone number? Maybe it’s a Christmas card you’ve kept so that you could change an address.Is it a business card you picked up or was given to you?You can make decisions about whether to keep it or not later. Right now you are clearing up piles of paper and gaining clarity.
  • Did you find coupons you clipped from the Sunday paper?Did you receive a sales flyer in the mail?Did you receive any gift certificates or gift cards?Place them in this file when you run across them.Remember you are gaining clarity by sorting papers.
  • Did you run across reminders for events?Did you find cards you bought for birthday and anniversaries?Near the end of the year do you receive calendars for the next year?Did you find a brochure for a place you would like to visit?How about the tickets you bought?Find them again in this file.
  • Keep all your reminders of errands in one file and get more accomplished with one trip.Did youfind take-out menus from your favorite places?Did you find reminders of things you want to do or places to stop when you do errands?
  • If you come across an unpaid bill or loan payment coupons place them here as you clear your surface.Did you find some attempts at creating a budget?
  • Did you find correspondence you want to follow up on?Did you find a form you need to fill out?These are items that require action not reference papers.
  • How big does this section need to be for you?What kind of projects do you have? Hobbies? Writing?For the sake of clearing the table and gaining clarity put the projects you find here. Think about your commitment to them later.
  • Put the things you’ve kept because you intend to read them in here.Articles you’ve clipped from magazines and newspapersEmails you’ve printedItems you’ve printed from the internet
  • This is where you keep track of everything current to do with banking and credit cards.Here is where you will keep the deposits receipts, ATM slips, and debit card transactions to reconcile with your bank statement.This is also where to put your credit card purchase and return credit receipts to match with your credit card statement.If you are planning to return an item keep its receipt here.If someone is going to reimburse you for a purchase, keep the record of it here.
  • This file should not get very thick. It is a temporary working file. As you make decisions about the other paperwork in your action files you will want to create more permanent files to hold them.
  • Now that we have dealt with the red Action cards we can now move on to the rest of the papers on your table.
  • Each month as you handle the current banking transactions, once you have cleared or reconciled the statement, you still want to keep the completed transactions in a more permanent file. You could add manila file folders for the months or banks if you use more than one.
  • Keep track of your credit card account history here. Reconcile your credit card statement each month and staple the transaction slips that are important to it and file it here. You may want additional manila file folders for each credit card account.
  • Do you have a financial plan?Do you intend to but haven’t gathered all the information the planner requested? As you round it up put it in this file.
  • Are you a landlord? Here is where you can keep all the history of your transactions.
  • Do you own equities? Do you receive Social Security and pension proceeds? Here is the folder for storing all your transactions.
  • Here is where you would put paid bills by adding manila file folders to keep track of them either by the company or by the month.
  • You would put pay stubs here at least until your W-2’s come in.
  • For the current year. Add manila file folders to hold receipts for deductible expenses.
  • This is where you will put tax returns from previous years along with their supporting detail. Ask your CPA or attorney how long you should keep the documents.
  • This is the file in which you will keep the financial records of your health care.
  • This file holds the current health care policies and information about the benefits.
  • This folder is for personal health care records. If someone else needed to find this information for you this is where they should be able to find it. Each family member should have their own information folder.
  • Could you prove your identity if you needed to? As you run across any papers concerning your identity as listed on this card place them in this folder.
  • Even though we are often reluctant to deal with the information contained in this section, you will be doing yourself and your loved ones a great favor if this information is available and readily found.
  • If you have valuable possessions you may want to list them here, especially if they have been appraised. If you have a photographic inventory of your homes contents you might want to copy them on a DVD and place it here. You might want to keep only the copies here and put the originals in a safety deposit box at your bank.
  • Your loved ones may need this information someday when you are not able to provide it yourself.
  • You can keep copies of titles or the original titles in this folder. If you use a safety deposit box you might want to keep the originals there.
  • If you ever lose your wallet you will be able to notify authorities of what was in it and get these contents replaced. You will be able to notify your credit card companies of the loss because you will have the account numbers at hand.
  • If you have planned ahead about what to do and what to take in case of an emergency, place those plans in this folder.
  • Here is where you will be able to find the history and the receipts for all the work you have done on your home.
  • Here is where you will place your insurance policies for your home and vehicles and any correspondence you have in regard to them.
  • All the documentation to do with purchasing and financing property will be found in this file.
  • Use a separate manila file folder for each vehicle to keep track of the records you keep. Keep the titles in the file labeled “Titles” because if someone needs to locate your titled property it will be all together in one place.
  • This could be a vast file depending on how many things you own but wouldn’t it be great to find them all in one place rather than scattered around the house and garage?
  • Do you have a child or an elder in your family who’s care you must keep record of? This file would benefit anyone who has to juggle the care of a child with the care of a parent.
  • You will be able to find all the information provided by your employer in this file.
  • Keep job search histories in this file.
  • All the information about the memberships you hold can be found in this file.
  • Even your pets’ have paperwork! Keep it all in one place to be easily found in this file.
  • School records are easily found if they are stored in this file.
  • Of course there are papers that didn’t fit any category exactly. For those you can create additional solutions.
  • Unlabeled “My FiFi”® are available for you to use for categories that are exclusive to your interests. You might use them to separate hobbies or projects into individual categories.
  • Remember this is what you were after all along!
  • Transcript

    • 1. Control Paper Clutter With the File It and Find It ® System Create a system you can trust more than your memory.
    • 2. When you want to go from this… 2 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 3. To this 3 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 4. Use this 4 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 5. What You Need To Get Started Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services 5
    • 6. Beginning the Process • Let’s start by clearing away the small stuff that belongs somewhere else. Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services 6
    • 7. Step 1: Set up Action File Cards Items that require action Ask: – Why do I have this paper? – Does it remind me of something I need to do? – Or, is it information I want to be able to find? 7 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 8. To stay in touch 8 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 9. To Save Money 9 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 10. To keep Track of Events 10 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 11. Keep Track of Errands 11 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 12. Keep Track of Payments 12 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 13. When You Need To Follow Up 13 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 14. Things You Want To Start or Finish 14 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 15. Papers You Want to Read Later 15 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 16. Credit Cards & Banking 16 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 17. Papers You Are Done With 17 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 18. Step 2: Set Up the Very Important Papers File Cards 18 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 19. Banking Records 19 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 20. Credit Card Transaction History 20 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 21. Your Financial Plans 21 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 22. Properties You Own 22 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 23. Your Investment History 23 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 24. The Bills You Have Paid 24 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 25. Your Paycheck History 25 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 26. Current Year Income Taxes 26 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 27. Tax Returns From Previous Years 27 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 28. Your Health Care Statements 28 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 29. Your Health Insurance Policies 29 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 30. Your Personal Health Records 30 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 31. Papers That Prove Your Identity 31 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 32. Papers Others Will Need Someday 32 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 33. Proof of What You Own 33 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 34. Contents of Safety Deposit Box 34 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 35. Titles to Things You Own 35 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 36. What’s In Your Wallet? 36 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 37. What To Do In An Emergency 37 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 38. Records of Home Repairs & Remodeling 38 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 39. Your Insurance File 39 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 40. History of Your Mortgage or Rental 40 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 41. Your Vehicle Records 41 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 42. Your Product Records & Manuals 42 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 43. Information on Child or Elder Care 43 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 44. All About Your Job 44 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 45. Aids to Your Job Search 45 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 46. Your Membership History 46 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 47. Your Pets 47 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 48. Family School Records 48 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 49. What’s Left? 49 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 50. Design Your Own File Card 50 Copyright 2013 Legacy Years Transition Services
    • 51. A “Relaxed Result” Copyright ©) 2012 Harriet Vaughan