Info & Tips

Efficient Ways to Keep Your Documents Organized

Keeping print documents organized can be challenging for the blind and visually impaired. Having a system in place and sticking to it is the key to developing daily living skills for the visually impaired. There is no single, one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone. Here is a system and a few methods that you may find helpful.

Maintaining digital copies of print documents is a critical first step, regardless of your chosen method. This can be accomplished with a traditional scanner or by utilizing apps for blind people on your phone or tablet. Scanned documents should be organized in folders, with each document given its proper name. This process serves two purposes: it creates a backup copy in case of loss or damage to the originals and makes documents easier to find, search, and organize.

Storing digital copies

These digital copies can be stored in online file storage services. Popular options include Dropbox, iCloud Drive, One Drive, and Google Drive. You can explore these options and decide which would be best for you. An important benefit of these services is that your digital backups will be accessible on your phone, tablet, and computer. Outlook Enrichment’s adaptive technology trainers can show you how to use these programs effectively and develop daily living skills for visually impaired individuals.

The next step requires creating a system to organize and store the actual print documents. This may include tax documents, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc. Depending on your level of vision, large print or braille might work best for you.

Labeling and grouping documents

Using manila envelopes for each document can be very useful for large print and braille. Each manila envelope can then be labeled. A permanent marker can then be used to write the document’s name and other relevant info in large letters. Similarly, whether you use a braille labeler or stickers, they can be attached to the outside of the envelope.

The next step is to group documents and store them in an easily accessible way.  Documents can be grouped into financial, medical, tax, and other categories. Each category can then be placed in its own file storage bin or folder. Then, each bin or folder can be labeled with large print or braille. This allows you to find the category you are looking for quickly and subsequently find the document.

Identifying your organizational preference

Depending on your organizational preference, the documents should be organized in a defined manner. This can be done by date, alphabet, or whichever method works best for you. For example, you could separate tax documents by year. Create a section for 2019, 2020, 2021, and so on. File separators and tabs can be used for this purpose. The more granular you are in the organization process, the better the system will work.

Once you have a system in place, maintaining it is important. We all have to become file clerks in some way. It is tempting just to let the documents pile up. However, letting it go for too long will overwhelm and cause disorganization. Consider it a part of the housekeeping. Set aside time on weekends or in the evenings. Once you have a system that works for you, it’s just a matter of maintaining it. This will make your life less stressful, especially when you urgently need information or a document. It is okay to put it off sometimes but try not to let the pile get too high. Lastly, don’t be afraid to make adjustments to fine-tune the process so that it works best for you.

Organizing your print documents is just one part of staying on top of things. From house cleaning to labeling household items, Outlook Enrichment’s virtual and in-person events can help you become more organized while helping you develop living skills for the visually impaired to ensure you are successful in your daily life.

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