To Keep or To Toss? Your Important Documents
What important documents do you need to keep and for how long? That is the question – to keep or toss? It’s an issue that many people have. They don’t know, so they keep way more than necessary. A great list of 10 questions to assist in determining the correct answer for you is from Julie Morgenstern’s book, Time Management From The Inside Out.
The Ten Questions
- Are there tax/legal reasons to keep it?
- Do I refer often to this piece of paper?
- Will it help me complete a project I am working on right now?
- Do I have time to do anything with this piece of paper?
- Does it tie in with the core activities of my job?
- Do I trust that the information is up to date?
- Does it represent a viable business opportunity?
- Will it help me make money?
- Would my work suffer if I didn’t have it?
- If I ever needed it again, could I easily get it from someone else?
Another aspect you should consider is how you are going to keep your important documents. A basic filing systems should be adequate for most people, with a folder for each type of document that you are keeping. As an example you can keep all taxes paperwork for a single year in one folder. At work, you should have folders for each project you are working on. Of course, if you’ve gone digital you should manage you computer files in a similar fashion, with folders for every category you need. One great benefit of being digital is that you can have as many sub-folders inside a folder as necessary to keep things in order.