While I do love shopping for holiday gifts, what I do not love is paperwork. I come home and look at that mound of receipts, and two thoughts go through my head: "another tree bites the dust" and "where the heck am I going to store all these? I can't just throw them out—what if Mom or my best friend doesn't like what I got them and wants to return it for something else (and no, I didn't remember to get a gift receipt…again). I can't recycle them—at least not until after the New Year. And my regular receipts folder is, well…full. If you can relate, here are some tools I'm pondering to keep my receipts organized this holiday season!
If you shop online (who doesn't these days?) Slice is "the" organizer app for you.
Helpful things Slice does for you:
- Tracks product recalls and alerts you if something you bought is recalled.
- Tracks price changes and alerts you if you are eligible for a price adjustment.
- Tracks shipment and delivery and alerts you about changes/delays.
- Helps you monitor your holiday spending budget in real time.
- Helps you handle online issues right in-app!
How to use Slice:
- Slice is free to download or use online.
- Once you set up Slice to sync with your email provider, it will keep track of important data (like tracking numbers and purchase orders).
- You can then customize email alerts to be notified of important changes to items purchased.
2. Google Keep
If you are a big fan of Google Docs and Google itself, Google Keep may be the perfect receipt organizer for you!
Helpful things Google Keep does for you:
- Stores pics of receipts along with notes about the recipient, rebate deadlines and more.
- Syncs with Google Drive and all your devices to make it a cinch to retrieve stored receipts/notes later.
- Permits color-coding, voice memos, drag-n-drop and other in-depth organization tools to find what you need quickly.
- Permits you to set reminder alerts, make helpful lists (including your holiday shopping to-do list!) and archive old data.
How Google Keep works:
- Just download the app or visit the link to start using Google Keep.
- Google Keep automatically saves your work as you go—it’s that easy!
3. One Receipt
One Receipt is a powerhouse e-receipts tracker that seamlessly incorporates paper receipts, safeguards your regular email address, and offers Cloud-based retrieval. Score!
Helpful things One Receipt does for you:
- Keeps you organized as you spend down your holiday budget.
- Permits you to snap a pic of each paper receipt and store it in the Cloud.
- Automatically pulls e-receipts into its log.
- Tracks purchases, shipping and return deadlines.
- Gives you the option of using your personalized @onereceipt.com email address (so you don't have to disclose your regular email address).
- Advanced cataloging features like tagging and categories.
How One Receipt works:
- Download the app or use the mobile/web version.
- Start shopping—snap a pic, email paper receipts and One Receipt will automatically catalog e-receipts.
- View your monthly spending summary as needed.
- Set alerts as needed for important actions (returns, shipping, etc.).
A handy paper receipts organization system
If you prefer to keep all your receipts organized in a paper-based system (printing out e-receipts to add as they come in), you might like this simple system!
1. Choose a type of organizer
Depending on how big your holiday shopping list is, you can choose an appropriate organizer.
- Accordion envelope (size of a standard business mailing envelope with many sections).
- Accordion folder (size of an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper with many sections).
- 1" binder and a stack of clear sleeves, plus removable address labels.
2. Clear labeling is a must!
You may have two or more different categories for your holiday spending: individual recipients (people's names) and general holiday expenses (food, wrapping paper, decorations, etc.).
- Try to always keep your receipts in date order (first-last or last-first—your choice).
- First, label each section in the accordion organizer of your choice—or the 1" binder clear sleeves—with each person's name. Each time you buy a gift for that person, pop it in the sleeve labeled with their name (write notes on top of the receipt if you need to).
- Next, label sections for your major general holiday expenses (if you only shop at a few stores, you might want to do this by store name, or you can do it by sub-category—for instance, "menu planning," "decorations," "shipping supplies," etc.).
- As you shop in each of your general sub-categories, pop the receipts into the appropriate folders or sleeves with notes as needed.
3. When you need to find a specific receipt, you will now have all of your receipts stored in one central location and labeled by recipient or category for quick retrieval!