Unfortunately, when we moved aboard we couldn't quite leave all the trappings of a shore life behind. Mail still needed to be dealt with, financial and health records still needed to be checked periodically and stored, etc., etc. We found it a major adjustment to go from having easy phone and Internet access and plenty of space in filing cabinets for all this stuff to living on a boat where space was at a premium and all this paperwork nothing but a nuisance. We eventually hit on a system that worked fairly well for us. Here it is.
We bought an expandable cloth briefcase that ziped along the top, in which we put some expandable pocket folder/files. This brief case sat on the floor in the main cabin under the table next to the mast, where it was out of the way but still easily accessible. In separate folders in this briefcase we kept the following:
At our request, our mailing agent, St. Brendan's Isle forwarded accumulated mail to us wherever we were, or to an anticipated visitor, approximately every 6 weeks. Then we had a day or two of misery while we sorted through everything and attended to life's annoying details (which otherwise we managed to forget about). Most of the financial stuff we did online, once a month at an Internet cafe--checking and paying credit cards and any other bills that might be due. We did our taxes online at Turbo Tax. We were picky about the Internet cafés where we did this, and always closed the browser window whenever we completed an online financial transaction. We were lucky to find some Internet availability in a nook somewhere in pretty much every country we visited.
Now that we're land cruising, we use the same system and continue to use the same mailing agent.
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