Whenever I’m on-the-go, I’m almost always carrying a Kate Spade Quinn handbag with (at least) two file folders peeking out of the top. I love the Quinn-style handbags because they are the perfect size for my portable folders and are open at the top so that I can easily tuck receipts, business cards, brochures, etc., whenever I’m out and about. (No more crumbled up wads of receipts in MY handbag!) The Quinn handbags also typically feature a zipper pouch that separates the two main sections of the handbag . . . this is the PERFECT little hideaway for a full-size iPad. One of the handbag sections holds my personal items (wallet, hairbrush, cosmetic pouch, etc.) and the other section is my portable office (folders, small notebook, etc.)
The folders that I carry with me are the sturdy, plastic ones that you can purchase online from the David Allen Company. Or, as a less-expensive alternative, Staples carries plastic BYOL* folders and they’re great, too. (I’ve heard from some that plastic file folders can be difficult to locate in brick-and-mortar office supply stores, but my local Staples store seems to keep these in stock.)
The two folders are a red In folder and an orange Action Support folder. In holds new inputs that I come across when out and about. When I’m back at my one of my desks, I simply dump out the contents into a physical inbox for processing. Action Support is a traveling “pending” box. This is stuff that I’ve already processed into my productivity system, but are documents that I’ll need when out and about, like Groupons that I’ll use away from home or the paperwork that I filled out for a doctor visit. It’s stuff that isn’t intended to be there permanently.
I keep two envelopes in my Action Support folder for quick processing from portable-In – one labeled Coupons and the other labeled Receipts That Have Not Cleared. Receipts and coupons are the two things that just ALWAYS seemed to be cluttering my handbag. So, all coupons and receipts go into In when I receive them. And, when I have a moment to process my portable-In, it takes just a second to sort through everything.
As I process portable-In, I throw away coupons that I don’t think I’ll use and toss the good ones (like the “Happy Birthday” White House Black Market postcards or $5 Hallmark Gold Crown Card Rewards) into the Coupons envelope. During the “Clean out handbag” portion of my Weekly Review every Friday, I quickly fumble through and toss all expired coupons.
Also during processing, I toss out any receipts for items that were paid for with cash, and place any debit and credit card receipts and checkbook carbons into the Receipts That Have Not Cleared envelope. That envelope gets emptied every payday during my bill-paying routine. Once I’ve verified that the amount on the receipt matches the amount on my bank or credit card website, the receipts get shredded. For large or significant purchases, I will sometimes scan the receipts into Evernote before shredding.
Maintaining a neat and organized handbag has never been easier for me. It barely takes any thought or effort at all to maintain . . . it simply works!
* BYOL = Bring Your Own Labelmaker
GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of David Allen & Co.