Be More Organized

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice


Tips On Organizing

  • Is Your Business Paper Work Chaotic?
  • Are you always late with proposals?
  • Do you lose important paperwork?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to paying bills, and other business paperwork?

Here’s some tips to be more organized. Now that my new office is up and running I decided to streamline things a bit. I try to do this every year!

Clean House!

Go through everything in your office and throw out anything you don’t need. If you haven’t used it in a year – get rid of it.

Scan old paperwork into your computer and store hard copies in another location. I set up an old file cabinet in the basement. I also just bought an external hard drive to back up all my business computer files.


AConcordCarpenter with hammer and computer

Handle Emails and Paperwork Once

Paperwork, checking e-mail, checking voice-mail, paying bills, typing estimates, etc., are incredible time drains.

I use the 3-F’s for emails and paperwork;

  • File
  • Forward [delegate]
  • Forget [delete]

When filing I use broad, generic headings to generate and file fewer file folders.  On smaller files use specific titles and add a date to the end of the file title.

Organize Your File Folders.

Anything that is obsolete, scan and shred. Archive the previous year’s paperwork in your “other location” file cabinet.

In order to be more organized – I set up folders to assist me in getting rid of clutter.

Example folders:

  • Estimates
  • Jobs-to-do
  • Receivables
  • Completed jobs
  • Insurance
  • Truck Maintenance
  • Tools Info
  • Client Info – larger projects may require a client to have their own file
  • Website
  • Taxes

Save all emails, PDFs, estimates and change order related to one project in one file under that projects name.  These files will give you more space and there will be less paperwork to deal with.

This same principle applies for your computer files. Make 2015 computer file folders and save all last year folders to it. [e.g., – 2015 invoices, 2015 estimates, 2015 emails, etc.]

Start fresh with a new year.

Update Your Software.

Go through all your programs and make sure they are updated with the most recent programs. Keep your computer security up-to-date.

Consider using accounting software to keep track of all your expenses and income. I use Quicken to document all my business and then print out detailed, itemized reports for my accountant.

Organize Your Contact List.

Gather all you business cards and names and numbers on bits of paper and update your contact list on your computer.

Make Changes on How You Operate.

Based on your experience, what worked well and what didn’t? Re-access these things and tweak your business plan so that you can be more productive in the coming year.

Consider using email to send estimates. Set up files for your customers and save all related emails, estimates and invoices to that folder.

The Early Bird gets the Worm!

Plan your work day the day prior, or get up ½ hour early, answer all your emails and make a to-do list for the day. Be More Organized!   Learn time management skills to manage your time better

~ a concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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