Using Shoeboxed to organize for tax time

The April 15th deadline is fast coming up and I still have yet to sit down and file my taxes. Fortunately my receipts are scanned, tagged, and archived with Shoeboxed. Throughout the year, I’m stuffing my magic blue envelopes with my receipts to be scanned. Periodically, I check in to make sure they’re tagged for things like charity deduction. I’m always feeling confident that my records are well maintained in the event of an audit. If you already feel like you’ve missed the chance to be organize for this filing season, now is a perfect time to get your house in order for the next filing season.

Aside from all the productivity gains and organization, the biggest benefit of using Shoeboxed is the peace of mind. I keep a stack of blue envelopes near my inbox. As things come in, I add them to an envelope. When it feels like it’s getting full, I’ll slap it shut and mail it off. A few days later, they’re digitized and part of my electronic records, safely kept in the cloud.

A few learnings:

  1. Be consistent and develop a routine. That ensures that you are getting all your documentation in.
  2. Be diligent with keeping your receipts and get them in your envelopes before they get lost.
  3. Receipts wear out quickly, especially in your wallet. Get them sent in sooner than later before the ink fades.

In a recent tweet, I shared a picture of myself stuffing envelopes. I was doing my weekly ritual of sitting down and organizing my documents when I realized that I was wearing my Shoeboxed shirt while stuffing my envelopes.

A few other questions I’m getting recently:

Can I get the originals back?

Yes, you can opt in to have your originals shredded and recycled. I do that because it’s one less thing for me to maintain. By default, your documents will be sent back to you.

Doesn’t it take too long to get the documents scanned?

If I need something immediately, I’ll scan it myself, snap a shot of it with my camera (which can also upload directly using the mobile app). But for the most part, these are documents that I just need organized and safely put away.

Published by Daniel Hoang

Daniel Hoang is a visual leader, storyteller, and creative thinker. As an experienced management consultant, he believes in a big picture approach that includes strong project leadership, creative methods, change management, and strategic visioning. He uses a range of visual tools to communicate business challenges, solutions, and goals. His change strategy is to build "tribes" of supporters and evangelists to drive change in culture and organization. Daniel is an avid technologist and futurist and early adopter.