Business in Bed - Business basics from Hartworks, LLC

Once you have a space designated for your business, you will need to set it up so you can work efficiently. There is nothing worse than having to dig through stacks of stuff to find a specific document or having to pay a late charge because you misplaced a bill. Even the worst pile maker can get it together with a few basic tools.

  • A box, frame, drawer or file cabinet to hold hanging files
  • Hanging file folders
  • Manila file folders
  • An appointment calendar or book - paper, computer or hand-held electronic.
  • A desktop vertical file holder with at least four slots.
  • A shelf unit, bookcase, desktop hutch or other place to store basic supplies such as printer paper, software and envelopes.
  • A telephone.
  • An answering machine or messaging service.
  • Pens, pencils, stapler, tape, paper clips and any other little items you may need.
  • Bookkeeping software.

Here are three tips to hassle-free organization:

1. Label hanging file folders from 1 to 31 (for day files) and label 12 manila folders January through December. Keep them close to you in your work area in a portable box or desk file drawer. File everything that comes in - bills, correspondence, notes about what needs to be done - in the hanging file for the day of the month that it needs to be completed. Do everything in that day folder on the corresponding day, then move the empty file behind the last file for the current month. Store the month folders in two or three hanging files behind the day files. If something needs to be done in a specific month such as property taxes, drop it into that month file. At the beginning of each month, pull out everything in that month file and move it into the appropriate day file. Voila! No piles and you can find everything quickly.

2. Use the upright file to store at least three folders labeled something like; "Working On", "Urgent", "Pending" or whatever label works for you. Use these folders to keep the daily tasks organized and in front of you so they don't get lost in the shuffle.

3. Input your transactions into your bookkeeping software DAILY.


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Need help with organizing your filing system? Hartworks, LLC will assist you in developing a system customized for your specific needs. Check out the consulting page.


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