Episode #109 Organising Bookkeeping Documents in a Digital Age

In this new and insightful episode of The Bookkeepers' Voice, Angie Martin is joined by fellow Savvy team member Maia Coghlan.

With more and more bookkeepers going virtual in the digital age, we are receiving many questions from our Savvy Members regarding how best to organise their bookkeeping documents. 

So in this episode – listen in as Maia, who keeps OTH and the Savvy Team organised, chats with Angie Martin about our tips for managing your documents so you can say goodbye to poor time management and disorganisation.

Key Takeaway: “Learn how to use Digital Filing Systems to help empower you to be organised and productive.”

Podcast Info

Episode: #109

Series: General

Host: Angie Martin

Guest speaker: Maia Coghlan

Topic: Organising Bookkeeping Documents in a Digital Age

Read transcript

Summary Keywords: digital bookkeeper, virtual bookkeeping, organising important documents, bookkeeper, template documents, online business, business documents organised

Document organisation for digital bookkeeping

 

Angie Martin  0:02 

Good morning, everyone. hope you're all having a wonderful start to your day. Welcome to another episode of The bookkeepers voice. My name is Angie and today I'm joined by my fellow sappy member, Maya. Hi, Maya. Hello. It's been a while since you've been on the podcast. I think this is just the first time this year. Mm hmm.

 

Maia Coghlan  0:25 

Yeah, I think the last time was when I interviewed Amy back in December, maybe even the end of November? I don't remember it was a long time ago.

Why is virtual bookkeeping so popular?

Angie Martin  0:34 

Yeah, I think it was December. It's been a while. So obviously, I'm very excited to have you back on joining me. We are going to be doing another series together. And it's something that I've been noticing more and more bookkeepers are going virtual in all stuff, aspects of their businesses. And we started to get some people in our survey membership, asking how what we would suggest to keep their documents organised as much as possible. So naturally, since you are the keeper of all the documents and files and off the hook and the study team, I thought it would only make sense to have you in these series. And the file. You are it is amazing. Anytime I file something wrong, I know instantly. I love it.

 

Maia Coghlan  1:33 

So if you can't find anything,

 

Angie Martin  1:35 

Yes that's True.

 

Maia Coghlan  1:37 

 I can't find this Oh, it's in here, here. Here here. Yes, yes. Like I have the whole filing system just memorised in my brain. I know. It's things are in some weird places to our filing system even can definitely be improved.

 

Angie Martin  1:50 

Yes, it's an ongoing process. And it always will be. Hmm. Yeah.

 

Maia Coghlan  1:56 

Especially as the business changes and needs change. And the system has to change. Yeah,

 

Angie Martin  2:01 

so it's definitely something but you know, guys, no one's organisation is ever perfect, just like your own personal development. It's an ongoing process. So that's good to remember. But I thought it'd be great to join together and have some fun while talking about organisations, and filing. And finally, so exciting.

 

Maia Coghlan  2:29 

We'll make it fun,

 

How can I get organised as a digital bookkeeper?

 

Angie Martin  2:30 

we will make it fun. We always make it fun. We always get people. Lately, they've they've been a couple people that have been going through our follow up series in our onboarding series. And most of the time, the feedback I get from them is that they just have a lot of fun with us. So I'm taking that as a compliment. So hopefully you guys have joined us. Yeah. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the series as well. So and hopefully you don't just enjoy the series, but it makes filing less awful for you in the future. Yes, absolutely. So to start off the series, I thought it would be really great to kind of just like we always do with savvy start at the beginning. And you know, discuss on how personal and professional document management doesn't have to be a nightmare. It doesn't have to be something that you want your head to just explode. Anytime you think about it. There are some quick and easy ways that you can organise, organise your files at home. So you and if you have a team can find everything very easy through different aspects of digital filing systems. So hopefully you guys get a lot of tips. And you can say goodbye to poor and time late document management. That's the goal for this series. First off, let's review the concept of digital filing. When we say digital filing my Oh, what do you kind of automatically think in your head?

 

Maia Coghlan  4:12 

digital filing, I think of nested folders?

 

Angie Martin  4:17 

Yeah, that's so funny as soon as we were talking about this this morning, but it was the first thing she said

 

Maia Coghlan  4:23 

nested folders and naming conventions.

 

Angie Martin  4:26 

Yes, absolutely. And what she's talking about there is ways of storing your documents in your computer that creates an organised in the logical manner so that anyone can go into your filing system and understand where things will be because of your naming conventions and your filings. So there's multiple different ways of doing this quickly, but by having a successful filing system what ever way you Oregon Was it, it will just make things so much quicker and easier for you to actually work. So most of today, I think we should talk about the big elephant in the room and the concept of cloud filing systems because they really are the way of the future. And they really help you eliminate the need for countless hours of printing documents, signing them, scanning them back in and sorting all the paperwork. I basically live in a house where we are, like, 95%, paperless, we don't create our own paper, we have a printer, but it's only used or it's only used for my personal business for sending out mail. Basically, we don't even have a printer. Yeah, yeah. Well, more and more businesses are going 100% paperless. So let's just discuss the concept of cloud filing systems. How would you explain the cloud filing systems?

 

Maia Coghlan  6:07 

Well, you said before, storing files on your computer, and I immediately thought, don't store your computer,

 

Angie Martin  6:18 

you're gonna say that,

 

Maia Coghlan  6:20 

do that, store them in the cloud, because then they can be accessed from anywhere. Yes, anywhere where you have access from, it's not like everybody on the internet is yet have access to your files, they are still protected by a password.

 

Why is organising important documents crucial?

 

Angie Martin  6:33 

And actually, there's sometimes more protected, because cloud software actually makes it so that their security is really impressive, so that you can't get hacked and lose your important information. So typically, it's actually more safe and secure than just having it in your documents file on your computer.

 

Maia Coghlan  6:53 

Yeah, because the people who make Google Drive Dropbox, the one drive, yeah, that one. Um, they they understand everyone's concerns for using the software. So they make it extra secure. So I mean, I could probably rant all day about how, like all the benefits of using this cloud system. But for example, if you have a team, and you're working on the same document, yes, it makes it so much better, you don't have to have 10,000 different versions of the same document. Whereas if you're, if you've got a Word document and you save it on your computer, then you have to attach it to an email and send it to somebody else, and then they'll edit it, and then they'll send you back that file, so that you can look at it and now you have your old version and the new version, and then you make a change, and then you'd have to attach it to an email, it's too much, it's way too much. Just if you have a cloud system, then the document that is in there can be accessed, you can send a link to share any file or any folder with another person, and they will be able to open it in their browser on their computer. And it will be the current version, and then they'll make a change and save it. And then when you go to access it, it will be the new version.

 

Angie Martin  8:25 

It's amazing, much better, it saves such a headache. I used to work for a company who did the she had dusted files and everything she had, she was partway there. But it was all just central on her computer. And sometimes we would have to work on our laptops. And the version control issue was such a frustration, I would waste sometimes about 14 minutes trying to find out which version was the one I was supposed to use.

 

Maia Coghlan  8:56 

And the great thing about this system is that so you do have the version control, not just is it always the most updated version. But if for some reason you wanted to look at a previous version, you can it stores the version history, so you can go back and see what changes were made. And that kind of thing is like if you accidentally deleted something, well, it's still going to be there later if you go into the version history. So there's that side of it. It makes sharing and like collaboration, so much easier for documents.

 

Angie Martin  9:31 

Yeah, and for teams and for clients because sometimes you might need to send a document to a client, and that gets refined and changed. I know with us that happens all the time when I'm working on business plans. Yeah. And it doesn't matter. We can multiple people can be in one document at the same time and no version issues anyone can access it. It makes life just so much easier. And for someone you know, we both travel Quite a bit, we both have a bit of passion for travelling. For me, for all of my clients, I love working on cloud software, because when I was in Canada for an entire month last year, I didn't have any issues working in Canada, because it was all in the cloud, and it really didn't matter. Which is super handy. Hmm.

 

Maia Coghlan  10:26 

And you mentioned before the other so that was, that's like one of the biggest things I would say the other biggest thing that makes cloud filing so much better, is that you can actually access it from any device as well.

 

Angie Martin  10:43 

So including your phone, yeah, it's just simply brilliant.

 

Maia Coghlan  10:47 

So if you normally use your desktop computer at home, and then you go away somewhere, and you want to be able to at least check your emails, or maybe you have to lodge some bass or something while you're away. You can and you like, you can do it from your laptop, because all you have to do is log into the same cloud filing system. And then everything that you have on your desk, desktop computer is there on your laptop, and it will be the same if you have a team, any of them can have the same flexibility so that if they go away, you still know that they'll have access to their files, so they can do a bit of work while they're away.

 

How to work efficiently and securely as an online business?

Angie Martin  11:27 

Yeah, it's so handy. And you know, whatever team members that we just finished a series up. Sharon, Sharon, loves going camping. It's one of her passions. And so she does it on the weekend all the time. She's got this amazing caravan she, it's basically glamping she does, it's impressive. But because sometimes she goes for an extra day or so she'll just bring her laptop in because we work with zero. Everything is cloud based. So it really doesn't matter where she's working. She does all of her work just as normal, just on her laptop, and sometimes it's on her desk. And I know I myself have done some work while in a car having to travel. Again, it doesn't matter. Because everything at the touch of a button with the cloud based software as long as you have internet connection. You're good to go. Yeah, which is it's awesome. It's so good. So what I thought we would go through is, even with the amazing technologies of cloud based planning systems, there's still an ongoing problem with actually having an organised so it's great that you can access your documents anywhere, but having them organised

 

Maia Coghlan  12:43 

they make when you apply to the base system, are you actually going to be able to find what you're looking for? That's

 

Angie Martin  12:49 

exactly, exactly instead of having all of your paper, it's thrown across your desk. It's just thrown across your club a software. So there's basically I've gone through and created nine tips of how they're actually strategies that we use at flappy and how we thought we could help make some suggestions to stay organised efficient in create some taught time saving tools for bookkeepers. Because there are just so many documents that you need ongoing throughout the year for just one point.

 

Maia Coghlan  13:32 

And especially for people who have like 50 plus clients that

 

Angie Martin  13:36 

it gets.

 

Maia Coghlan  13:38 

Pretty cool. Yeah,

 

Angie Martin  13:39 

yeah. So the number one tip is, again, this is something that we're really passionate about is place all the documents in one spot.

 

Maia Coghlan  13:52 

So one, yeah, root folder.

 

Angie Martin  13:55 

Yeah, one root folder. So for the hook and for Savi. If we want to go into anything for savvy, we go into the savvy bookkeeper root folder, and then in there is all of the other folders that are nested for everything. So the savvy bookkeeper we go into, but actually no, I'll do off the hook because we're talking about bookkeeping. And off the hook, you go in and as soon as you go in, you can see client folder, you can see marketing folder, you can see things like that where it's all the main concept of it. But it's all in that root folder, which just saves a lot of time for your business. And it also makes it really easy to share with team members. So you don't have to share let's say you have a OneDrive or Google Drive or something and you don't want to share your entire drive. You just want to share that one root folder for your business. Makes it easy, you just share that one folder and life is great. And you can run back out sync right archives through it, and the whole team can access it. So that's a really good one. Um, do you have anything else that you'd like to chat about the concept of having one main folder root folder for the business? No, I

 

Maia Coghlan  15:25 

think it makes that makes sense. But um, yeah, I guess so you can also have then another root folder. That would be for personal stuff, if you exactly have that in your Google Drive as well. And not share it with anyone. But the other I guess the other thing I would say is, try to not have any files floating around in that root folder space. So when you log into Google Drive, you can see folders and files, all of your files should be should have a home folder. Yes. I don't know if that's one of the tips.

 

Angie Martin  16:03 

Yeah, that'll be Yeah, I think it's Yeah, yeah, file is just, you know, let you guys know, what's gonna be happening up next. port number five, I don't know what's going on with my numbers. Anyways, number two is going through and creating a logical hierarchy for naming. And for creating folders. You're really good at this. So I thought you could take this one about keeping things simple. So that it's easy for anyone to access no logical way quickly.

 

Maia Coghlan  16:46 

Yeah, for example. So you don't want to make it too complicated. But you sort of have to decide what should be in its own folder, and what is okay to mix with other things. So if you've got your bookkeeping practice root folder, and then inside that, you'll have your folder for clients, you definitely should have one folder just for clients. And then like a folder for maybe admin, or a folder for marketing, or whatever, whatever it is, whatever areas of your business, basically, you should have a different folder for each area of your business. And then inside that, in your clients folder, for example, you should have one folder for each client, not a service you shouldn't have when you enter the clients folder, you shouldn't see anything that says bass, or payroll or anything like that. All the folders inside that folder should be

 

Angie Martin  18:01 

john doe, Jane Doe, yeah, whatever. Or you can do the business thing you can do the client name or business name, and all depends on how you kind of look

 

Maia Coghlan  18:12 

at both you can have like their name, and then the business name in brackets. So the other way around. So that that is the naming conventions, which I think we're going to talk about later. Again, keep jumping ahead. For now, it's just the so we're talking about the logical hierarchy. So you have your root folder, which is your bookkeeping practice. Then you have your clients folder, and then inside there you have one folder for each different client. And then inside that client folder, you'll have a folder for bass and a folder for payroll and a file

 

Angie Martin  18:44 

is find because we're talking about the client folder, it's easier to do like FYI, 1980. Yeah,

 

Maia Coghlan  18:51 

yeah, there any other way that you could do it?

 

Angie Martin  18:54  

Yeah, it makes it just so much easier. So that if something if you find out something was much wrong, and FYI, it you can just go directly in there. And then in there, you can have that you can have GST, you can have reconciliation, you can have the documents that had to be signed and confirmed and any payroll or anything like that all in that area, which brings us to number three, which is the nest folders within folders. So that way you can create sub folders in your main folder, like a client folder, then it goes to the client name. And then in the client name, you have the financial year and in the financial year you have all the other files pertaining to that. So technically, you shouldn't have to have any loose documents in the client folder until you get into the proper financial year that you're looking at.

 

Maia Coghlan  19:49 

Yeah. And it side note here It might sound like a lot of like for every financial year you have to create all these fires all These folders for every single client. But you can create folder templates, like a folder called, like financial year template. And you can, inside that template folder, have all your different areas or whatever you want to have in that folder for every client, and then you can just copy and paste it into every single client. You might there might there's probably some software that does it automatically for you as well. I'm sure don't don't quite probably, if there isn't, then there should be. Um, but yeah, so that's how we handle like our new clients. There's like a client Templates folder. And then it just creates, we just copy it and rename it and then change the Yeah, the financial year to the appropriate one. And then it has all of the hierarchy of folders within folders already set up for you. So it doesn't have to be a whole lot of right click create new things

 

Angie Martin  21:09 

don't need to mean really do it every single time. Another example because, you know, everyone has different ways of setting up their systems. Another example that we can use is for our podcast for the bookkeepers voice podcast, I actually really love the way that we organise our podcast folders, and I think you created the organisational structure for this one as well, is probably his or Amy could have started it as well, because I think she started the podcast before you did you start? Didn't we have changed? Yeah, we have changed system a bit. Yeah. So the way that we've done it is makes very easy. It's in our media folder, and the savvy

 

Maia Coghlan  21:55 

bookkeeper folder, and then in the area of businesses media. So it's the media folder. And then in there

How to keep your business documents organised in an orderly manner

Angie Martin  22:02 

is the podcasts folder. And then in there in the podcast folder is numbered episodes. So it goes from one to 5050 to 100 100 Plus, and we're in the 100 plus stage right now. So will be to the 100 to 150. Once you go in those, there is then each folder for each episode. And we have the episode name as well as the number of the episodes. So when anyone in the team member is going to, let's say what we're doing right now, film, we can just go Okay, so we are filming right now Episode 109. We both go into there and kick get all of the information. Also for when we're actually promoting it and scheduling everything we can then go Kaitlyn, our amazing new member, which we will eventually introduce to the community. She then goes in and finds the recording, she finds our all of our notes in layer, and everything is all organised and you just have to go in so even doing something like your team management or your marketing for you bookkeeping business can all be organised like that as well. So it works for everything you basically do. And it just helps. The goal is to basically have everything filed in a folder. So that just like you would think of your actual deaths, you would have folders all organised on your desk and no loose papers, you want no loose files.

 

Maia Coghlan  23:45 

The other thing you don't want is too many files in one folder, which is why you break up the episodes into episode one to 5050 to 100 100 to 150 is what we're in now. When we only had 20 episodes, it was all just in the podcast folder. Yes. But then once we got to like 70 or 80 episodes, it was too much to scroll all the way to the bottom to get to the latest episode. And that's when we decided we're need the first 50 episodes to be in the same folder as the ones we're working on now. So we just got rid of them put them in their own folder. Yes, and made a new folder for like the current podcast section that we're working on. Because it is such a pain. It's it is annoying look at. So that's so the other. That's I mean, most of our listeners probably don't have a podcast, but what you might have is from replying,

 

Angie Martin  24:40 

yeah, tonnes of clients with who you do, let's say you do monthly or quarterly reports. What are you going to be doing with all those reports and all of your feedback from those reports. You put them in a nested filing system.

 

Maia Coghlan  24:58 

Yeah, you can even Yeah, you will Then your FYI 18 folder, you can then have q1, q2, exactly three, q4, if you've got enough stuff to go in that way, you could have q one and two, q three and four. And one level, up or down from that not sure how filing terminology works. But I guess the step before that is when you go into your bookkeeping practice root folder, and then you go into your clients folder. If you have more than 30 or 40 or 50 clients, yes, I know going to the clients folder, and like you got to scroll all the way. So um, yeah, put them in like a ADA, medical, and so observed or something like that. Make your life so much better. And that that just makes it extra easy to find. So it will half the amount of client names that you're looking at. When you go looking for a specific client. Of course, they're all going to be alphabetical anyway. But if you have more than 50 clients, and you want to scroll all the way down to why it's, it's too much, too much. So just yet, have it if you find that you're scrolling heaps to get to the bottom one, it's time to split them into multiple organised folders.

 

Angie Martin  26:34 

I really loved that idea. And yeah, it makes such a difference. I know when I talk about, you know, emailing clients communicating with clients or creating social media content or anything every time I say, if it saves you two minutes right now, imagine how much time it's going to save you any year. So doing things like that in your document organisation, just imagine how much time it's going to save you. Yes, it might take you 10 minutes to do it right now. But it's gonna save you most likely hours, and one month on everything. So it's really worth it. And it kind of goes directly into our Tip number four, which is being specific with your naming of your files and your documents.

 

Maia Coghlan  27:21 

Yes, naming conventions.

 

Angie Martin  27:24 

Yes, it is really important, and it saves you a lot of time. So basically, what you want to remember with naming conventions is keeping it simple. Don't make file names so long and confusing that basically, the way that you want to name your files is if you can't find your file for whatever reason, you can easily search for it using one word. That's the whole point want to give a district descriptive file name that's easy to identify in search for if your filing names is like a full sentence. That's not going to be easy to search for.

 

Maia Coghlan  28:04 

The other thing you want to keep in mind when deciding how to name your files is. Make them specific, like put the date on it. You don't want to have to open a file to figure out what's inside. You need to know from from the name. So it would be like client name. Bass. The state what date? Yes. Yeah, that's it. That's all you need.

 

Angie Martin  28:32 

Yeah, it makes it so much easier to find things. And again, it's other whether you have a team or you don't have a team, it doesn't really matter. Because I don't know about you half the time I will logically name a file, but then I'll be like, no, don't remember it. Even today's episode couldn't remember what I called. So I searched I knew what episode we're in. So I just searched episode,

 

Maia Coghlan  29:00 

episode number.

 

Angie Martin  29:01 

Yep. So it makes it easy. So as long as you can remember one thing you can easily find it and usually bass in the financial year, if you're in you're already in your client folder with your client name, and you just search the bass, you're going to find it very quickly and easily.

 

Maia Coghlan  29:20 

Yeah, it also helps if you accidentally file something in a weird place, and you can't you're looking for and it's not where you expect it to be. If you name it in a way that will make it easy to find. You can just search for it. It'll show you where you've hidden it from yourself and then you can put it to where it's supposed to be.

 

Angie Martin  29:43 

Exactly. I love it. And that kind of goes into the next tip, which is tip number five, which is my biggest thing and I know it's your big thing because if we don't do it, usually do say something is file as you go.

 

Maia Coghlan  29:58 

Yeah. So it's like, it's kind of similar to how people try to get to Inbox Zero. Yes, try to get to root folder zero.

 

Angie Martin  30:08 

Yes.

 

Maia Coghlan  30:09 

All right. Um, one of the great things with. So we use Google Drive, and I assume, OneDrive and

 

Angie Martin  30:18 

OneDrive. And everything does the same kind of concept. So.

 

How to work efficiently as a bookkeeper with template documents

 

Maia Coghlan  30:22 

So if you go into the folder that you want the file to be in, you can right click just on the screen inside that folder, and create a new file, and it will automatically save the file in the folder. So you don't even have to do the filing. If you create the file from within the folder, it will just save that. And then you're done. Filing,

 

Angie Martin  30:48 

yes. And I can say, because I do use all three of those main ones, Dropbox, what? One Drive, OneDrive and Google Drive, all three of them do have that feature. So there really isn't an excuse not to have it in the right folder from the get go.

 

Maia Coghlan  31:07 

And if you do, because sometimes, sometimes I do it that way. And sometimes if I need something quickly, I will just open Google Docs. Yes, I do know your file. But then there's a little button up the top that it looks like like a little folder button with an arrow. When you hover over it, it says move. So you don't need to get out of the file, you can just move that move button and put it to where it's supposed to be.

 

Angie Martin  31:38 

I do that all the time, actually, for these specific things like our podcast notes, I will sit down and create, you know, three or four podcast, podcast plans. But I just will sit down and do it all at once. And then I will just when I'm done, move it in the right folder that it needs to be in. I will do it super quick.

 

Maia Coghlan  32:01 

I do it with template documents. For example, yesterday, I was setting up the terms and conditions and privacy policy page for a client website that I'm working on. And so we have the two terms pages are saved as a template in our Google Drive in a templates, folder, website templates folder. And so what I do is I make a copy of each of the templates. And then I open the copy the open the two copies, rename it with the client name for both files. And then after I've opened it, I changed the location of the file to the client folder.

 

Angie Martin  32:49 

Love it.

 

Maia Coghlan  32:50 

That's that's my process. So if you make it kind of a habit to do it in a particular order, then it just becomes

 

Angie Martin  32:59 

second nature.

 

Maia Coghlan  33:01 

Yeah, and then you don't end up with stuff being in in a weird place. And you can find things easily. Like if I made the copies and didn't rename the file, or just left the file in the template folder, then I'm never gonna find it again. And then when I go into it next time, I'll be like, what are these other weird things in here? Why that's something that should only be two files in this folder. Why

 

therefore? Yeah,

 

yeah, yeah, make it a habit, then it reduces the amount of work. But it

 

Angie Martin  33:35 

also helps you know, there's a real thing about having a decluttered office in the space or where you're working, it makes a real difference with your mental well being. And it's the same with digital folders and files. And it's actually something that people don't realise how much it impacts you is by having that nice, clean and organised filing system. It makes you much less stressed. And it reduces your feeling of overwhelm when you're busy. When you're busy and stressed and you have a lot of client work and you can't find that file that you really need right now. Your feeling of overwhelm can just max out simply because you can't find that file. So by filing as you go, and having that proper nesting organisation, it can actually really help decrease your stress levels. And usually days that you are super stressed you'll probably find you're working in a folder that isn't very well organised. Just hot tip you guys. For number six, this is something that is really important as well and we kind of briefly touched on it a little bit earlier, but as time goes on, you're going to have a lot of file In your documents that are older, and basically cluttering up your cloud storage, because it is storage, just like office, sometimes you get to the point where you have way too much paperwork, then you actually be so what's great about doing things virtually and doing cloud software is that there's ways that you can declutter filing systems declutter storage to free up space. And to make sure that you were backing up your files regularly, because you have a lot of client sensitive information, you don't want to accidentally lose it, let's say, someone accidentally deletes your entire main folder. Which sounds ridiculous, but that has happened with my partner's business. My one, my older, social media assistant ended up deleting all of our client folders one day, thankfully, there is a backup system. And we didn't lose anything. So actually, being able to use things like backup storage is using the cloud based backup memory. And having even an archive section in your folder system can really help keep things organised. So let's say you have a client that you've had for 10 years, don't really need to keep all of their systems on there. Like all of the information after the 10 years, there's no need for it, there's no regulations for that, unless like you have like a massive Corporation kind of thing. But if that happens, then that's when you can take out the actual ticket out of the ongoing system that you have in the cloud, because no one's gonna be accessing that. And you can put it on a drive that you keep for backups. So that you can declutter take out content that you're never going to need never going to look at, you're just keeping it for legal reasons to have on file kind of thing. So that's something to also really think about for decluttering.

 

Maia Coghlan  37:22 

That's probably something that you would only really need to do maybe once a year.

 

Angie Martin  37:26 

Yes, I was gonna say you don't do that often. Yeah, maybe once a year. If you have a lot of clients, and you've been running for a long time, you might need to do it like twice a year. But usually, it's just once a year and a financial year, go through and declutter and make sure that things are backed up. Once again, what's really great about specifically OneDrive and Google Drive is that if you use their, you know, online, Microsoft or online Google word, or Google Docs systems, they all automatically backup your files, which is super handy, and Dropbox automatically brought back up your entire folder system as well. So again, if you accidentally deleted it, it was in a dropbox folder that my partner's employed deleted everything, which is like over 200 clients with the content. He deleted it, we were able to stop it in the midst of deleting, and then within 30 minutes, we had everything back in the folder. So they are very handy to have those backup folders just in case something bad happens. Yep, yes. The final tip that I have, which Sorry about that, guys, I did say I had nine tips. But it's actually seven tips I can't count is review your desktop and main document folder often. So again, this is so that you don't have anything on your desktop. And what I mean by main document folder is having that base bookkeeping folder, the root folder, thank you, I forgot the word there from the root folder, weekly. So if you have a lot of clients, if this is only if you have a lot of clients, if you have a lot of clients, you need to check to make sure that things are filed weekly. You don't specifically need to go in and go Okay, I'm gonna sit down now and check the folder. He told me to do that. That's a bit ridiculous. What I mean by that is if you're in a file and you notice something's not filed, right? Take the three seconds and file it properly. Yep. That's all I mean by that is make sure that as you're going, if you notice anything's wrong, you get it filed properly and just help get yourself organised.

 

Maia Coghlan  40:01 

And the other thing to mention there, which we did mention earlier is if you're in a folder that contains a bunch of files, and you find that even though it's filed where it's supposed to go, it's still hard to find within that one folder. That's a sign that you need another layer of nested folders there. Yes, separate the things even more, so it's easier to find because the filing system should work for you. You shouldn't need to work hard to figure out your own filing system. Yes, make it so that it works for you. And that it's easy, and you can find things really quickly. That's what it's for.

 

Angie Martin  40:44 

100% love it. That was a really good tip. Now, to finish off this episode, I basically want to be like, just help you understand anyone can get organised today. I know organisation with organising your documents can sometimes be a headache. But even if you just start and you do 10 minutes today, you start changing your business life, if it can make things easier. If you have employees that work remotely or virtual staff that work remotely, having this system really organised can just change your lifestyle. And like I said before, you know if you like to travel, or if you're doing many holidays, because you can't actually travel right now. Being able to easily access your documents at any time can just really help your life and help the value of your lifestyle. So invest in actually organising your templates and documents. It'll make life just so much easier. If there's any emergencies that come up. And let's say you're not by your computer, you can always check things out with your phone, which makes it really handy especially if you work on you know cloud based accounting software as well. Worst case scenario, you can sit down and access it via your phone, or go to a library and use library computer or something like that. You know, there's always a way once you're on a cloud base sauce software. And it just will help you empower yourself to get organised and be as productive as possible because as a bookkeeper, you have so many things to do. By having things a little bit more organised, you can really streamline how long everything takes. So what I thought would be good is for us just to kind of mention a way that we the two of us have actually created a programme that helps you learn how to organise and prioritise not so much your documents but your life and your business life. And that's the priorities masterclass that you and I created a while back. It doesn't so much go into actual document filing, but it goes in and we discuss organising your priorities and time blocking the priorities.

 

Maia Coghlan  43:19 

So setting up your filing system, or reorganising, your filing system could be a priority and you might want to time block certain part of your week to do that each week until it's done.

 

Angie Martin  43:32 

Exactly. That way. You don't have to sit down and go, Oh my god, I have to do all the filing today. And hey, if you can do it in sections,

 

Maia Coghlan  43:41 

yeah, break it into chunks that are less overwhelming.

 

Angie Martin  43:44 

Yes. So definitely would suggest if you guys haven't taken that priorities masterclass is actually pretty awesome. It's got a PowerPoint, it's got actual worksheets, and it's got my eyes beautiful face on an actual live webinar as well. It was actually the first one that we created for sappy, so we were a bit nervous. So you can see baby Angie and Maya running a programme. But yeah, it's really handy for figuring out what priorities and also it can help you figure out what parts of your filing system need to be actioned right away, what parts are really hindering you in having that streamlined process to be as productive as possible. So, just a little tip I thought I'd suggest to everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today, Maya.

 

Maia Coghlan  44:39 

That's all right. Yeah.

 

Angie Martin  44:41 

So next episode next week, we will be talking about more about organisation and getting delving in a little bit deeper into the concept of how digital software and everything can actually help you in creating all these organisations. files and making your life easier. So, hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their day and until next week, do you want to do the sign off?

 

Maia Coghlan  45:11 

It's been a while. Stay safe, stay sane and stay savvy.

 

Angie Martin  45:16 

Bye, guys.

 

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