Tag Archive for: paper organizing

Organizing Medical Papers

finished fileIn preparation for visiting a new doctor last week, I realized that my medical papers were not organized in a manner that was suitable to my needs. They were mostly organized in chronological order of doctor visits, and I wanted them organized by subject, and then, in chronological order of doctor visits. So, I gave myself the project of organizing my medical papers.

tools neededThe tools I used were a hanging file, a file folder, 8 sheets of paper, 8 tabs, a highlighter, and a black marker.  I first sorted all my medical papers into subject categories. I choose 8 different categories that made sense to me as I was sorting my papers. The 8 subject categories I used were general information, yearly physicals, mammograms, doctor visits, eyes, and 3 categories for specific ailments I have. Your medical categories may be slightly or completely different. That is understandable.  Personalization is encouraged.

Here is a list of the types of papers I have in each subject category:
General information – primary care doctor contact information, office hours and locations, medical insurance documents
Yearly physicals – medical history records, physical exam results, lab results, appointment reminders
Mammograms – test results, appointment reminders, literature on subject
Doctor visits – test results, appointment receipts, insurance explanation of benefits
Eyes – appointment receipts, exam results, prescriptions, eye glass receipts
Specific ailments – test results, appointment receipts, diagnoses, prescriptions, literature on subject
file names

I used the highlighter to mark the date and subject on specific papers. I used the tabs and paper to create dividers for each of my 8 subjects. I used the marker to write the subjects on the tabs. I placed all the tabs on the upper left hand side of the paper (horizontal) so they would fit into the file folder and be easier to read.  It’s much easier to scan one area for the subject tab, then have to scan staggered tabs, especially since we read from left to right. I reduced as many papers as I could before reassembling my medical file.  I shreded 56 papers that I felt comfortable discarding.

The project took me about an hour to complete. Since all of my papers were in one file folder and in a semi organized state, I was able to complete the project in a relativity short amount of time, but if you’re going to organize your medial papers and they’re in disarray you will need to give yourself more time to complete your project.  You will also realize as you sort your medical papers that your subject categories will be specific to you.  That is ideal.  Each and everyone of us needs to find a way of organizing that is personally suitable to our individual needs.


© December 2014  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer  All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO

Taxes & Paper Management


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Helpful Organizer Newsletter – April 2014
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Side Notes:

***    I’m currently reading a book about Feng Shui.  Did you know that a dirty stove can make you tired and depressed?  It can even make it harder for you to earn money.  So, please clean your stove, and visualize improved income.  I did and booked two clients!

***   Spring Organizing

Spring tends to be a busy month for homeowners.  They spruce up, clean out, lighten up, and prepare for a summer of fun and sun.  What do you do?  Please share your spring organizing tips with me.

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Happy spring!  Do you associate spring with tax time?  I apologize if I just put that in your head.  Would it help if I provided you with a tax preparation list?  

The “T” word

What are you doing April 14th?  Do you find yourself hunting and scrambling to find all the documents you may need to file your taxes?  I created a list of all the documents my husband and I need to prepare our tax forms, which has made that process much easier.  We file jointly and very simply, but I thought our list may be helpful to you.

Here it is:
W2 forms
Mortgage documents – form 1098
Investment documents – form 1099
Excise tax yearly bills
Real estate tax yearly bills
IRA documents – form 5498
Interest from bank account – form 1099
Medical documents
Proof of health care insurance (MA residents)
Value of donations made throughout the year

Below are the additional documents I need to include from my business:
Estimated tax payments for the year – form 1040
Income total
Expenses total – including the following category totals: donations, electric, food, Internet, marketing/advertising, membership dues, mileage, networking, office supplies, phone, postage, training, and travel

Please note:  The above list is just a memory jogger.  If you have questions or concerns consult a tax specialist or CPA.  Janine Cavanaugh, CPO© can not be held accountable for any improper tax filing.

Never Ending TaskDid you know the one category that most of my clients want to address, even if it’s not the focus of our appointment?  Organizing paper!  Paper management is like dishes and laundry, a never ending task.  Paper can accumulate and pile up so quickly that it leaves you scratching your head, wondering where it all came from.  It helps if you create guidelines for yourself on what to keep, and for how long.  If you’d like a list of my paper retention guidelines, please email me.  I’d be happy to share my guidelines with you.

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
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Reducing Mail

mailboxI was at the National Association of Professional Organizers Conference for 5 days and guess how many pieces of mail I received?  Only 9!  In addition, I did receive one local newspaper and one packet of flyers. Out of those nine pieces of mail, two were really good, a check and a copy of the news article in which I was quoted.  Not bad, right?  Would you  like to know the secret of how you can receive less mail?  Below are my top 3 tips on how to reduce the amount of mail you receive:

Tip #1.  Get your name removed from mailing lists for newspapers, magazines, catalogs and solicitations.  Please note it can take up to 6 months to be removed from a mailing list.  Some websites to try:
Tip #2.  Go paperless with monthly statements, bills, and newsletters.
Tip #3.  Go high tech and use nooks, kindles and phone apps for newspapers, magazines, etc.

© April 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO