Help Me Organize My Bills

Office in a BagDear FlyLady,

I am sure the Office in a Bag is useful in many other ways, but what about the FlyBabies that pay their bills online? For me, I would have loved to use the Office in a Bag when I used to write checks to pay my bills, but now that I pay via my computer, I can’t really use it. I put all my bills next to my computer, then all I have to do it start up my computer and pay the bills, then file them away.

Thanks for all that you are doing for us FlyBabies!

Flying in TO


Dear Flying in TO,

You are so blessed to have a place to put your bills. Just make sure you don’t cover them up with more papers; that may end up becoming a Hot Spot. We have one place to put our bills and nothing else goes there.

Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It doesn’t matter if it is about paying bills or mailing a card. When we keep everything in a place that we can easily find, things get done with little effort.

Now, with the iPhone and other phones we can pay bills while we are waiting for soccer practice to end or on our lunch hour. But, if you don’t have your bills all in one place, like in your Office in a Bag, you can’t use these priceless moments to get something done. We have learned the hard way never to put our bills in our bottomless pit of a purse.

The other good thing about an Office in a Bag is that your desk is portable. You can write a thank you note, address a birthday card, or send a real letter to an old friend. You don’t have to procrastinate because everything is in one place. I use my Office in a Bag for my greeting cards. I can always find a card because I have them in sheet protectors per category: Birthday, anniversary, graduation, condolence, and thank you cards. Everything is there that I would need to get a card ready to mail.

So many times we allow Parkinson’s Law to kick in without even thinking. As Professor C. Northcote Parkinson says, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Do not allow yourself to get caught up in this inefficient way of thinking. He uses the example of a lady wanting to send a card to her niece. She has to look for the right card, find her glasses, then, after she has toiled with writing the perfect words on the card, she has to try to find the address then to find a stamp. Then, it is raining outside and she can’t find her umbrella so she can walk down the street and put it in the mailbox. All of this over a little card that could take many of us just three minutes to write, address, stamp, and mail. Why did she take so long to accomplish this simple task?

It was because she didn’t have a system for efficiently using her time. Busy people keep every thing they need for paying bills and sending cards in one spot, or do they? Do you procrastinate about sending cards, letters and Thank You notes because of Parkinson’s Law? Do you have to hunt for your bills in your mail hotspot, a pen, stamps or, better yet, you can’t pay bills because you do not know how much money you have in the bank and you need to balance six months of bank statements or spend hours bringing down your balance in your checkbook. Or do you just write the checks and pray that you won’t be overdrawn!!

You don’t have to live this way another day!

In the FlyShop, we have the Office in a Bag in four different colors: Blue, Black, Purple and Red. We love different colors.


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