Regardless of what kind of business you own, you need your own space. If you work at home, then you should create a space that’s just for your work. Ideally, this space isn’t your bedroom or your dining room table, but an actual room used (mostly) for your business. Since I’m a big fan of organization, I’m going to give you my favorite tip about giving everything it’s own spot and keep it there:
Use binders! Paper is not yet completely dead. What you choose to do with those loose papers is up to you. Spend time upfront to organize a place for them to save yourself the headache of trying to find them later. To save working space and to avoid unnecessary clutter, it’s best to scan, digitally save, then trash as much as you can.
Use virtual binders by using Google Drive to save your paperwork online. You can even file everything in different folders. Just as you would for actual paperwork. Speaking of…
For the papers you need to have on hand, though, dedicate binders for them. I have multiple binders to organize all my papers from the different things going on in my life.
My freelance work: I have my sample contract, creative brief, and invoice together, a working log of the expenses and income, and writing projects. I find that when I’m writing something, if I print it off when I’m finished with the first draft, leave it, come back to the printed version an hour later, I pick up on edits I can make for better copy. It’s a process that works for me.
I have multiple binders for the nonprofit organization I work for, MOMS Club. As the president of a local chapter and as a Big Sister for the international organization, I have plenty of policies and rules to keep track of. I also created documents to ensure the club runs smoothly and so that the hard work I’ve put into organizing our local chapter stays in effect long after I’m gone. Everything except the chapter manual is digitally saved on our Google nonprofit account.
I have another binder for another organization I’m a member of. It’s called Toastmasters and its purpose is to help people cultivate leadership and communication skills. I have two handbooks, a competent communication manual and a competent leadership manual, along with some papers I’ve received at meetings or papers I’ve collected for ideas for future roles. I should blog about my experience in Tuesday Toasters one day. I have a couple interesting stories to share.