Managing your receipts can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and downright dull. Not only do you have stacks of paper clutter collecting in your home or office; you’re constantly bombarded with new receipts every time you run an errand or make a purchase. Who has time to manage all that paper?

Starting today, you do.

Here’s how to manage receipts for small business, personal or any other purpose faster and more efficiently so you can get back to living your life.

Dump the clutter

First thing’s first – you need to figure out the best way to manage receipts you already have before you can deal with any new receipts coming in.

Whether you have alphabetized receipts stored in filing cabinets, or a big ‘ol pile of paper scattered across your desk, the first step in how to manage receipts is to go paperless.

  • Scan each receipt into a digital record using a traditional desktop scanner or the camera on your smartphone.
  • Use a service like Shoeboxed to mass-upload all of your receipts for you. Simply dump your receipts into the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope, drop the envelope in the mail, and watch as your account is magically populated with all of your receipts and data.
  • Recycle all of that paper and clear the way for a more organized receipt management future.

Set up systems

Clearing the clutter is only half the battle. There’s no point in getting rid of all your receipts only to start collecting new ones. Set up systems to manage what happens to a receipt every time you receive one.

For example, every time you’re handed a receipt you could…

  1. Add your name to the vendor’s email list to receive future receipts by email.
  2. Snap a photo of the receipt with your smartphone.
  3. Recycle the receipt BEFORE getting back in your car or returning home.
  4. Log-in to your receipt management software program or app and modify the transaction details as needed.

You could also implement a similar system involving a desktop scanner or mobile receipt scanner. The key is developing simple tasks that you’re likely to do on a regular basis. Create systems that complement your lifestyle and habits, which will make it easier to keep receipts organized.

Choose the right tools

When wondering how to manage receipts, you might feel like you’re drowning in a sea of paper clutter. The right tools, however, can serve as organizational lifeboats to help you manage, organize, and digitize your receipts with top-rated technology and the best receipt scanning apps out there.

If you want to do more than merely scan a receipt, you need technology that lets you work with the scanned data. What’s more, you need robust tools that connect the information on your receipt with your accounting software, invoicing software, and other financial applications.

In addition to Shoeboxed, there are a number of receipt-scanning apps that digitize data and have integrations with Quickbooks, Evernote, Outright, Wave, Scansnap, and more. Choose a receipt scanning tool that integrates with your accounting software to make receipt management even more powerful.

When you mass-dump paper clutter, set up systems to prevent future clutter, and use tools to make the most of receipt scanning technology, you can easily manage receipts without losing your mind.

Trying to figure out how to keep a clean house?

There’s more to being clutter-free than the requisite sweeping and mopping. A truly clean house can only be achieved when you establish easy-to-follow systems that prevent the buildup of clutter and keep your home free of both dirt and distractions.

Here’s a proven 3-step system for preventing clutter before it starts and creating the kind of peaceful, organized house you’ve been dreaming about: More »

Having you been staring at piles upon piles of paper clutter in your home or office and wondering how to go paperless?

Creating a completely paperless workspace is a lot easier than you think.

What’s more, going paperless will save you money, help you stay organized, and increase your focus and productivity.

Here’s how to go paperless in just 3 easy steps:

Step One: Take Inventory

The first step to going paperless at home or at work is taking inventory of the paper clutter you’ve already accumulated.

Whether you have file cabinets that are bursting to the brim, or just a messy desk, your first job is to decide what needs to be kept and what can be recycled.

Sort all of your papers, files, receipts, and business cards into two piles: one for recycling and one for paperless processing.

Paper Pile
(Courtesy of quinnanya)

Once you’re clear on what you need to keep, it’s time to move on to Step Two.

Step Two: Clear the Clutter

In Step One, you created a pile (or garbage bag-full) of documents that were important enough to keep.

But when you go paperless, the truth is that you won’t really “keep” any of your paper documents – at least not in hard copy form.

It’s possible to securely store important documents by converting them to digital documents instead. This will save you space while ensuring that your documents are never lost or damaged. When thinking about how to go paperless, digital documents are the answer!

Put Onto Hard Drive

You have many options for clearing paper clutter by digitizing your documents.

You can….

Whether you decide to use a service or do it yourself, make sure the documents you scan are organized, stored, and backed up in a secure cloud-based system like iCloud or Google Drive.

Once your paper documents have been scanned, organized, and stored, feel free to recycle everything and further reduce the burden of paper clutter.

Finally, keep in mind that the IRS accepts digital versions of receipts and other documents for tax purposes. Unless it’s an original birth certificate, a deed to a home, or a car title, almost all paper documents can and should be digitized.

Step Three: Create Paperless Systems

In Steps One and Two, you cleared paper clutter from your workspace or home.

But how to go paperless permanently and make sure the clutter doesn’t start to creep back into your life?

The answer lies in creating paperless systems.

Take a look at the systems you currently have in place (i.e. the systems that created the clutter in the first place).

What happens when you get a receipt, print a document, or receive mail?

Chances are you’ve been filing hard copies in a filing cabinet, stuffing receipts in envelopes, or simply tossing paper on your desk.

In order to prevent paper clutter permanently, create rules that you follow every time you find yourself holding a piece of paper.

For example…

  • Snap a photo of a receipt as soon as you get it, then toss it before leaving the purchase location
  • Set aside one hour on Fridays to scan all the business cards and bills you received that week
  • Spend 15 minutes at the end of every workday digitizing the day’s documents

Also, don’t forget to reach out to all of your vendors and contractors and request digital statements instead of paper statements.

When considering going paperless, it’s crucial to dump the clutter you already have. But it’s even more important to keep clutter at bay by eliminating paper each and every day!