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Get It Together

By Cheryl Scheir

One thing that I love about my freelancing life is that I usually have about one day each month to catch up on paperwork. That day is a truly great day.

Here’s my catch-up day task list:

  • Sleep in

  • Make a cup of tea

  • Read some news

  • Set up a 3-hole punch and stapling station

  • Put on a podcast (today’s was The Church Politics Podcast; check it out on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify)

  • Sort through all the call notes, business receipts, invoices, creative ideas, and miscellaneous papers in my filing basket

  • 3-hole punch and staple said items to be filed

  • Recycle whatever isn’t important enough to file, making sure to shred any SSNs or other personal information

  • Insert filing items into the 3-ring binders that are organized with tabbed dividers for each of my projects and creative endeavors

  • Update the to-do list and calendar in my old-school Franklin Planner

  • Delete unneeded emails; unsubscribe where possible

  • Call my parents

  • Set up a date with a friend

  • Write blog posts, recommendations, and other “only because I want to” pieces

That’s it. Nothing crazy.

Of course, my way isn’t the only way; it’s just the way that works for me. The important thing to know is that no matter what organizational system is, there may come a day when being organized will sink you or save you.

  • You’ll have a new assignment and need the reference list from an old one--and, if you’re organized, you’ll have it!

  • You’ll realize you haven’t been paid in a while--and, if you’re organized, you’ll be able to put your hands on the invoice and compare it to the bank statement, no problem!

  • You’ll start dreaming of a big new purchase and, if you’re organized, you’ll be able to prove to yourself, on paper, whether it’s financially do-able or not.

It doesn’t take much, so I’m telling you: do it. Once you do it the first time, you’ll have an approach that will carry over to the next time.

Once more before I go, I’m telling you: do it.

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