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New to GTD..Paper Filling System...What to do with reccuring tasks

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  • New to GTD..Paper Filling System...What to do with reccuring tasks

    I am currently setting up my file cabinets and was looking for feed back. I have set up the A-Z gen ever, how are people managing recurring tasks like paying bills and managing household financial information?
    Is setting up a project folder for paying bills the way to go? Or has anyone found this to create a confusion and redundancy with in the general reference files?

  • #2
    How To Keep Track Of Your Bills

    This is how I keep track of my bills. I used to keep a file for each utility bill, credit card, bank account, etc. What I found was that I rarely ever referred back to them except for tax purposes so I modified my a-z reference files. In the front, I put 12 files one for each month. I use the hanging files.

    Now when a bill comes in, I record the due date and amount in my calendar. I then file the bill in the month it comes through my system behind the stuff already put in for that month. At the end of the year, I empty all folders put into a box and start anew. For me, this streamlines my filing and makes it much faster and it doesn't take that long to find it.

    For items I need to reference like a contract or something, I create a file, but no longer for something like my waterbill.

    I also started taking note of each bill that I received as it came in and put a recurring event on my online calendar for the bill and a phone number contact in case I have a question along with an email and text reminder. Eventually, all my bills were set up to recur on my calendar. When the bill comes in, I modify the date and amount if necessary. If the bill is not on automatic payment, I schedule it and put the amount and confirmation number on the calendared item which reminds me I've paid it.

    I then get an email and text for each bill that comes due with the amount. I can tell if I have already paid it and can make sure that I have the cash in my account to cover it.

    I would also, set up as many of your bills as you can on automatic payment and paperless billing.

    One final point, I also add a reminder on each Friday to check for bills due on Saturday or Sunday and Monday if it's a holiday. Credit cards like to nab you for being late that way and that's how you can help reduce that chance of that happening.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks for the tips

      I really appreciate the comments...So one more question - are you keeping reference information for example, Credit Card Account info,Bank Statements, Health Insurance Polices, Car Insurance Policies..etc in your general reference files?


      • #4
        Originally posted by number5 View Post
        how are people managing recurring tasks like paying bills and managing household financial information?
        I have a folder next to my tickler file that I put all bills, bank statements, brokerage statements etc. as they come in when I sort the mail. Once a week I pull everything out and pay bills, balance accounts etc.

        The bill stubs are filed in a yearly expenses folder, the bank statements also get collected for a year. At the end of the year I scan them to PDF's and shred the originals. I also have folders for current year medical expenses and receipts and insurance policies. These too are scanned at the end of the year and I re-use the folders. I was waiting to scan brokerage statements until the end of the year but for 2009 I am going to scan them monthly and shred immediately.

        We have 2 businesses that we run, one is a computer consulting business and the other is the farm. I have a set of files behind the bill folder for the current year bank statements, sales receipts and expenses for each business. The farm ones are split out by category (Feed, Vet, Office, Supplies, etc.) because I often have to look for one and hate to dig through a big pile.

        Receipts for major equipment are put in the folder for that item and I have them all start with Equip. - so they are in one place. That's where warranty info and manuals go. I have a full drawer for that stuff, but we have a lot of misc equipment we keep info on. These files are in the reference files as I rarely need to refer to them.

        Credit card info, insurance policy numbers and the like are note fields in my address book on my Palm with privacy set to on for those records.


        • #5
          Originally posted by number5 View Post
          how are people managing recurring tasks like paying bills and managing household financial information?
          Is setting up a project folder for paying bills the way to go?
          Bills go into my inbox, and generally get paid when I process my inbox.

          Things that take more time do (processing bank and credit card statements) into a folder in the front of my desk drawer (not part of the A-Z system), and get processed when the recurring tickler item comes up in my electronic system.

          - Don


          • #6
            I do put my insurance policies in my A-Z file. Upon receipt of an updated policy the old one is filed in the monthly.

            Statements stay in the 12 hanging files Jan - Dec that are in front of my A-Z reference files. As far as credit card information, I used to keep files for them that kept the terms and conditions and privacy notices for each account. But frankly, because they change the terms nearly every month, and privacy policies don't really protect our privacy but state how they violate it, I just review those and toss them.

            Any kind of statement or bill that I get such as credit card and bank statements also go in the monthly hanging files and not in the A-Z reference section in my case.

            I've found a chronological system works well for me for these monthly recurring items, cuts down on filing time, reduces the chance filing will hold up my system and at the end of the year, all of my financial statements, receipts, etc are in one financial file for the complete year.

            In email, I keep receipts for electronic payments in my archive folder which is searchable.

            If you are a lazy filer, a chronological filing system where everything new goes in the back of the file is super quick way to file. Most stuff we keep we rarely have to refer to anyway. If it's important, you think it might be important, make a reference file. Look at each piece of paper as it comes through and ask yourself how many times you have ever looked in your fiing system for this type of statement or whatever and if you can't remember, file chronologically. If you see yourself digging for something in your chronological file for something on a regular basis, make a reference file for it.

            For my project files that I am currently working on, I use green file folders and file them in my project files. Things that might go into A-Z reference files, I put in generic manilla folders so at a glance I can tell where it goes.

            Hope that helps
            Last edited by BlackBeltProject; 01-24-2009, 07:25 PM.


            • #7
              I forgot to add that I do use colored folders. Plain manila is personal stuff, Dark brown is genealogical research and has it's own section, Green is farm plants and water, Blue is farm animals and equipment, yellow is computer business and purple is the Association I am the secretary for and has it's own separate section.

              They are filed mixed but it is helpful to find stuff by color. I started that before I had the full A-Z system in place and until I use up/wear out my colored folders I'll keep it up.


              • #8
                I also pay my bills as they come in, but to answer the general question: That's what the tickler is for.

                If I don't know exactly when I want to process something, I'll be a little conservative in the date (make it earlier rather than later). I can always stick something right back into the tickler for later if it comes up before I'm ready for it.