Your Most Organized Year Ever

Your Most Organized Year Ever

Each year as we start the new year, we think of ways to make a change and improve our lives.  Did you know that organizing is one of the top three goals each year?  Throughout the month of January, I will be offering 31 tips to help you have Your Most Organized Year Ever.  Implement just one of these tips, tools, techniques or tweaks this year. 

 

A little structure helps us all in our work day.

 

Having a pattern to our work week can help us prioritize and focus.

 

What’s a “little” structure?

 

Structure or routines are creating a consistent pattern for specific tasks.  This pattern helps you be sure these tasks are completed regularly more easily.  Once your routines are in place these become habits.

 

When you add a “little structure”, such as doing a few things routinely at the same time regularly, it adds to your productivity.  Deciding a baby step to your structure, such as going to bed at the same time nightly, it adds to your overall effectiveness.

 

Not sure what would make a good routine for you?  Try out one of these routines:

  • Check email only 3 times a day
  • Have a one hour power period once a day at your peak energy time.
  • Complete your expense account on the last Friday of the month.

Start with a baby step of routine to make this Your Most Organized Year Ever.

 

More ideas on routines here.

 

A daily dose of organizing and productivity on Facebook

 

Organizing Business Contacts

organizing business contacts

 

At a networking event, during a business meeting, or even in the grocery store, we get business contacts.  The contact could be in a text, written on a napkin or copied on a post it.  There’s also that stack of business cards from years past too.  You want to easily store and access contacts for your business.  Organizing business contacts is a priority for your business.

 

Customer information and vendors are important contacts for all small businesses. When we meet with or receive a call from a potential client, it’s important to capture this information right away.  When we receive a recommendation for an outstanding vendor, we want to be able to keep this information until needed.

 

Quality contacts

There are lots of business cards we receive.   Not all are important to keep. Make a note and write the date on your cards so you remember the reason you found this contact valuable.  If its a recommended vendor, write the name of the person who recommended this service provider.  It will make it much easier to know which cards to keep.

 

A call or email from a client shows their high level of interest in doing business together.  Even if not ready right away to work together, you want to retain their contact information.  When a client contacts me, I record their name, cell phone, business phone, email and snail mail address on paper first.  As soon as possible I transfer this information to my smart phone and Outlook.  If I am contacted by email, I add this information with just a few clicks.  To me all clients who have contacted me directly are keepers.   It sometimes may require a little phone tag or 2 messages but we connect and set a plan in motion.

 

Database management

 

It’s important to choose one consolidated spot for your information.  There are lots of options, including Google, Outlook, Yahoo or a CRM (customer relationship management software.)  Your decision may depend on your tech savvy-ness and the number of contacts you have.

  • You can pair gmail and google docs for a CRM system.
  • You can sync your Outlook contact and email account with your smart phone to have consistent access to your contacts.  Remember to back up your Outlook regularly to keep up with your information.
  • Yahoo offers an online contact manager you can use to store all your contact information about individuals and companies. It’s cloud based so accessible anywhere.
  • Create an Excel spreadsheet with your contact’s snail mail address, email address, business phone and cell phone.
  • Download an iphone app or android app on your smart phone.

Start with a good foundation for your contacts, but also use a solution that can expand as your business grows.

 

Consolidating all the data

 

You may have realized that you have several different places for contacts. Think of baby steps you can use to consolidate the data.

  • Add contacts 10 at a time from business cards, other email address books, post it notes or other scraps of paper.
  • Search your inbox and use signature lines to add contacts.
  • Add clients and vendors one at a time as you are contacted by email.
  • Enter vendors at the time you receive their reference from the person recommending.
  • Use a NeatDesk (sponsored link) to add business cards quickly to your database.  It quickly scans and adds information.

 

 

Organized business contacts means more money for your business and less stress for you!  Take time this week to get started or keep organizing business contacts.

 

It’s time to think about going paperless!

 

More ideas on going paperless, getting organized and being productive?  Join my newsletter!

October Tax Deadline is here

Small business October Tax Deadline

 

You cringe as you realize your small business tax deadline is here! Wasn’t it just April and you realized that the 15th was around the corner?  Postponing tax filing was an easy decision to make.  And now ~ it’s the real deadline. It’s a necessary evil, but it can be easier.  The October 15th tax deadline is just around the corner.

 

Know the papers you need

The first step is always knowing what you need.  Some of this information can sound like a foreign language.  Do a little research and start with a checklist for these papers can help.

Filing status is different for many small businesses.

  • For corporations, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a federal tax identification number, is used to identify tax reports to the IRS.
  • For sole proprietorships, use your social security number.

Income can be found on your bank statement, invoices or sales receipts.  These include:

  • Wages and salary
  • Self – employment income
  • Consulting

Expenses  can be found in your credit card purchases, debit and bank statements, and vendor statements.

  •  Automobiles
  • Bad debts
  • Depreciation
  • Employee compensation
  • Home office
  • Insurance
  • Interest
  • Legal and professional fees
  • Pension plans
  • Rent
  • Taxes
  • Travel, meals and entertainment

The IRS has many resources to help you decide on small business expenses.

Find the papers online

It may be difficult to gather these papers together.  However, with online banking and online access to your credit card statements, you can consolidate this information.  If you use QuickBooks and have gotten behind, you can download information to your banking and credit card accounts instead of manually entering it.

 

Getting assistance

It may feel completely overwhelming to gather all your information. Not to worry! There’s help at hand! Professional organizers and Daily Money Managers often come in to assist you in gathering all this information.  Your accountant can send you a tax worksheet from previous years to remind you about this information.

 

Keep papers digitally

Keeping a digital copy of this information can ease your stress too.  Neat Receipts or Neat Connect (sponsored link) scan in your information and help you with tax categories. As you find receipts in your papers, scan these and categorize. Keep all your information together  and accessible.  Scanned information can also be exported into QuickBooks, TurboTax and Excel.

Struggling with your personal taxes too?  It’s the October tax deadline, but with a few other papers to find.  However, these same online and digital resources are available.