How do to you travel to the clients site? and how long are you spending at the clients site?
Simple questions, yes, but ones to consider. If the travel is via car you could have a filing system in the car (space allowing). Couple of banker boxes with files and a lable maker.
Air travel leaves you with either digital or a courier company (ie Fedex/UPS)... mail then to yourself.
In either case you need to carefully review what documents you are looking to save and then arrange/lable them on site. Once packaged they should be in a form that allows staight filing (ie no further action) Once back at the office, the documents can go straight into the failing cabinets. You may wish to conside filing by visit and client.
On a side issue; 100% visit to clients is not a healthy situation (either for your health or getting things done). You need to look a your schedule and really make time to be in the "office". As a starting point see if you can spend 20 to 30% of your time in the "office".
Thanks for the input. I work as an auditor for a Big 4 firm at the senior level. I spend probably 20 days in the "home" office all year. I work mostly from either two client locations the rest of the year. We don't have filing cabinets or what not, so I am quite of lost on how I can apply these things to my job. I think that if I can implement this, it would be really helpful. I, like most of people, have a ton of stuff going on all the time. I will appreciate any input. Thanks.
Hello, 95% of my travel is local travel. When I work on an audit, I go to the client site for a while, however, things are prety fluid.. For example, I am working on an audit now, I am here until the end of May. But, next week, I go do a one week special project, but I return to my main contact the next week.
You could as I suggested set up a in-car filing system via banker boxes. Many sales reps historically and to this day kept client infrmation/forms and samples etc in their cars. At the weekends it all comes out and the kids go in!
As an auditor, you must have a sense of what documents you need/want to kept etc. I recommend drawing up a "table of files" (a.k.a check list) and working throught it. Once the document is at hand check it off, then place it into a pre labeled folder. On site you may wish to set up a bankers box or similar to hold your "take files". At the end of the assinment you can either take the lot to your car or mail it to your home office.
Again, I make the point: any filing done on site should be in a form that allows you to place the items directly into your 'office" filing system once you get home !!!!
I'm also making the assumption that you needs for documents is limited. Do you have a sense of the volume/number of documents involved? Also consider how they are orginally stored ... if its electromnic you should have the ability to save it to a portable storage unit (UBS drive or small hard drive). If it's paper, photocopy and use the dulplex setting ... it will cut the amount of paper down significanlty.
If I have any other thoughts I will post again. In the meantime good luck and try to spend more time at home.
It sounds like most of your information is (a) client specific and (b) does not leave the client site. For these materials, either use the client's existing filing system or set up banker's boxes in your on-site workspace. (From the name, I suspect banker's boxes were designed with exactly this kind of application in mind.)
For materials that do need to travel with you, I'd suggest keeping as much electronically as possible in order to minimize the weight and volume involved. For what's left, consider how large it is and when you are likely to need to reference it again. Ongoing projects may need to be stored in your car or home office (or at the client site), but you might be able to just ship materials from completed projects back to the main office for long term storage.
You could use EFax as an electronic in-box and your hard-drive as your filing cabinet--or your e-mail server could store paperwork. Anywhere you go you'll find a fax machine, and any paperwork could be faxed to your EFax number, and it could be viewed, sorted, printed out if necessary, or left stored on disk in e-mail. If you get an 800 fax number, it shouldn't be a problem to use the clients' fax machines without incurring long distance charges, or since most of your travel is local, just get a local number.
The clients' fax machines would be your scanner, and you would fax to the 800 number, which would go to your e-mail account.
I have a client who does this. The drawback is that they're converted into a proprietary format and are received as attachments, and you have to have the software on the computer you're using to view the files, but that's a fairly trivial issue.
It's really handy when he's out of town to fax paperwork to him, as he can get it wherever he is, even if overseas, and he can forward the documents, sort them, leave them on the server or download them to his laptop.
I think you may be able to accomplish this with Vonage, too, but I'm not sure about the details.
You have an audit bag you have with you all the time, don't you? You could use the the plastic folders and plastic envelopes that are available nowadays --they're really handy for keeping paperwork you pickup during the day--they seem lighter than the paper folders, and more durable and tidy. Some of the file folders have flaps that keep papers contained pretty well, and if you use color--one color per client and one color for your personal things, you will be able to keep papers sorted pretty well.
And of course, to reduce the paper you carry around to a minimum, you could just fax the papers to yourself and shred them afterwards.