Paperwork…the bane of an SLP’s existence?! The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. We can put systems into place that make managing paperwork a less painful process.
Here’s a peek at how I manage my paperwork!
Step 1: Make a Checklist
The best way to overcome the overwhelm and get things done more efficiently is to break a project (like writing an IEP) into smaller steps. It makes it easier to get started, and you’re less likely to miss important steps.
You can use a digital calendar/task management system! I love using Asana to keep track of my steps.
If you prefer paper and pencil, you can also use these printable checklists.
Step 2: Keep Track of Due Dates
Whether you’re using your online IEP system, SLP Now, or a yearly calendar, make sure to write down all of your due dates! This is super important for Step 3… (:
Step 3: Work Backwards
It’s inevitable that some months are heavier than others. If I have 60 IEPs to write this year, then I’ll try my best to split the workload evenly (i.e., about 7 IEPs a month). If I have three IEPs due in September, then I might get a head start on a few so I don’t end up having to write 10 reports in October. I might not always be able to move up the meeting, but I do have the “power” to plan ahead for those super crazy months. It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but it’s a system that has worked pretty well for me!
Step 4: Set Up a Folder System
In order to keep track of all the moving pieces, I use a hanging organizer to keep track of the IEPs that are still being written. The organizer only has six pockets, so that means I can work on up to six IEPs at a time. I know I need to spend some extra time on paperwork if I fill up all of those slots! I move the folders to my filing cabinet once the IEP is written and ready to go for the meeting.
This system keeps my desk (mostly) clutter-free and makes it super easy to figure out what I need to work on next.
Here are some of my favorite paperwork organizers:
Step 5: Create a Routine
I build paperwork time into my schedule. I also schedule time once a month to plan out the next batch of IEPs.
I use Asana to keep track of these dates, but you could also add reminders to your Google Calendar or write in a paper planner.
Looking for more paperwork tips? Here are some of my favorite hacks!