Keeping Track of the Paperwork is an important step in the Travel Nursing process. Seven years of paperwork can pile up and become a burden on the road.
A recent guest posting by Daina Smith at Travel Tax lined out all of the paperwork that you need to keep for IRS and tax purposes. In addition to the paperwork for taxes, there are many other things that you will want to keep track of as a travel nurse. Many times, having easy access to these items can be important. So, how do you keep it organized and accessible?
Determine what files you need
This is probably the hardest part as a mobile professional. Most of the paperwork that you need to have handy is listed out in the two previous articles Step #6: Building your Travel Portfolio and Talking Taxes: What Kinds of Records Does the IRS want me to Keep? To summarize and re-cap here is the short-list:
- Travel Nurse Portfolio
- Personal Portfolio
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security Card
- Insurance Cards (auto, life, home, etc)
- Passport (if applicable)
- Work Visa (if applicable)
- Health Information/prescriptions
- Tax Record-keeping
- Copies of Contract and Assignment Information
Once you have determined what files you need to have access to, the next question is how to organize them. There are many ways to organize your paperwork and many websites dedicated to organization that you can check out for recommendations. Perhaps you already have a system that works and you just need to make it mobile? Here are a few ideas on how to get organized:
- Set up a file system that can be mobile
- Binders with colored tabs/sheet protectors. There are all types of binders out there. Many of the planner systems out there also provide an easy way to organize and file. I started out using this system and utilized insertable sheet protectors to hold things like contract copies, expense envelopes, etc
- File boxes. File boxes are very mobile as well. File boxes come in many sizes from small to large and you can personalize your filing with a multitude of designs and colors as well as anything from plastic to leather.
- Be Colorful
- Utilize colored folders or tabs for different categories or files for easy access. If you know that all your medical paperwork is in yellow, you will quickly be able to find that lost titre that the company is asking for.
I can’t stress this enough. Files get lost, computers break-down and things simply happen. Make sure that you have two back-ups of all of your important information. I keep a copy of my important documents in a fire-proof safe with a family member as well as having them backed up online.
Do you have a great suggestion or tool for staying organized while mobile? I want to hear them. What are your thoughts on the list/suggestions above?