(This is a summary of part 1 of the Important Papers Workshop available for free via on-demand video. To view the full workshop click here: Watch the Free Important Papers Workshop)
The most important papers in your life can be a HUGE problem if you don't get your hands on them quickly.
I’m talking about those papers that we suddenly need in emergencies and unexpected situations...
You wouldn’t want to feel even more stressed and overwhelmed—only because you couldn’t find a certain piece of paper!
But what if you could find absolutely any important paper WITHIN seconds?
You don’t have to panic as you go through your drawers and piles to hopefully find that essential info you need!
There’s an effective paper organizing system that you can build right now—and it can last for the rest of your life so you can get a sense of peace and control no matter what happens.
Even if you’re the most unorganized person on the planet, trust me, you can do this!!
We’re working step by step to Build your own important paper system. We’re creating a system that’s CLEAR and procrastination-proof.
You can also check out the free Important Papers Workshop for more details on each of these steps plus extra tips and information to make this system amazing!
To register for the free Important Papers Workshop or watch it instantly on demand click here: Register
Ready to create your own paper organizing system? Keep reading!
This is all about being CLEAR.
Lack of clarity causes us to feel overwhelmed until our brain stops moving forward!
You may have heard your brain come up with these worries...
"I’m not sure what papers to keep or let go of….. So I’ll do this later."
"I don’t know what all the steps are to build this system, so I’ll have to plan it all out later."
"This is going to take FOREVER! So I’ll do it later."
Later is how the brain protects itself when it’s uncertain or worried.
That’s why it’s essential to take your brain OUT of the system by laying a strong foundation that answers your brain’s questions before it ever kicks in!
This is the best way to eliminate procrastination, anxiety & overwhelm. We’re laying a very CLEAR foundation right from the start.
The easiest structure to set up for quick access and easy maintenance is a 3 ring binder.
Grab a 1.5” to 2” 3-ring binder, some dividers and a 3-prong plastic folder to get started.
This is brainstorming time!!
Create a list of the main categories of papers & information you want to keep in your important paper binder. Anything & everything you can think of that you or your loved ones may need to find quickly.
I’ve been working with organizing clients since 2006 helping them set up their own binders and over all these years (more than a decade!) I’ve been adding to & refining the contents of the binder I created, so you’ll most likely forget to include a LOT of papers & information. Just keep working on this until you feel you have a complete list of everything you need.
You CAN do this!!!
To make this easier for you, here’s a small sample of what I’ve included in the pre-built binder I created - the Spark! Life Binder. This is taken from the Table of Contents of my binder and I’ve listed just a few ideas of the papers and information to include in each section to help you get your brainstorming going. Use this as a starting off point to create your full list.
* I go through each of these sections below.
This is what you’ll use that separate 3-prong plastic folder for. In this folder include all the essential medical and emergency information for each person in your home. Add one tab per person and include details such as allergies, medical conditions, blood type, emergency contact info and more. This one is vital if you need to grab it and go to the hospital, or if paramedics come into your home and you’re unable to communicate. This will make sure all medical professionals know everything they need to in those scary moments.
List the basics for each person in your home like contact information, ID numbers, etc.
Details about any of your dependents including kids, pets, those you’re a caregiver for, etc. Include guardian info, schools & care facilities, pet microchip numbers, etc.
Create one medical section per person in your home and list healthcare provider info, medical history, etc.
I know this is a scary one, but it’s important to record this information. Details such as prepaid plot info, ceremony preferences and more. In the fImportant Papers Workshop I share my favorite resources to make these conversations easier.
Register for.the free Important Papers Workshop
This is where you’d list all your financial data. Bank account details, utilities & auto-payments, insurance policies, investments & more.
List all the property you own including homes, land, off-site storage locations, important property in your home such as valuables & heirlooms, etc. In the video workshop I share some extra tips for creating a personal property inventory in minutes for this section as well.
Here’s where you keep any final judgments, legal documents and other official record copies. Keep the originals in a secure location such as a fire & water-proof safe and a photocopy in this section of your binder.
This is the perfect spot to list your most important passwords & websites so you and your loved ones know where to access your digital files and information.
This last section is the perfect place to save any resources you refer back to often for emergencies or paper organizing. It’s a great place to keep a list of how long to keep important documents. (Plus, if you check out the free workshop and stay to the end I’ll share my most popular cheat sheet - the How Long to Keep Important Documents Guide as a free bonus!)
As I mentioned, I share a TON of extra tips and information in the Important Papers Workshop. You can register or watch it on demand here: Watch Now
That’s it! Those are some ideas to get you started and moving in the right direction when creating your own important papers binder.
Once you’re finished creating your categories & contents list you’re ready for the MOST IMPORTANT step!
(This is the step that makes this system work - because it takes your brain OUT of the system!)
Now, this is the most time consuming, yet the MOST IMPORTANT part.
This step is what makes the whole system really work!
You’re going to make decisions ahead of time by creating your own fill-in-the-blank worksheets.
This is what answers all those worries & questions your brain came up with before!
This is an example worksheet from the Spark! Life Binder:
Using a worksheet you don't have to think about the information you need—you just need to answer the questions.
To create your worksheets you can make a fillable PDF, use a document program like Google Docs or simply use a piece of lined notebook paper and hand write your structure. It’s up to you.
(In the Important Papers Workshop I go more in-depth about the options for creating these worksheets, and I show more examples.)
The important thing is to make sure you create worksheets for ALL those categories so you don't miss anything.
Take your brain OUT of the system by laying a clear foundation with worksheets.
How to make your system clear and procrastination-proof:
To learn how to fill in your binder with only minutes a day AND how to store it safely watch the Important Papers Workshop. I go into detail on all of this and so much more.
Check it all out in the Important Papers Workshop!
Make decisions ONLY once with fillable worksheets to
take your brain OUT of the system.
And, You CAN Do This!!!
I know you can, Beautiful. ❤️
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