Knowledge Work Productivity (and Tax Returns)

I just finished my taxes before the extended deadline, with 35 minutes to spare! And thanks to E-file I did it from the comfort of my own home, avoiding the dreaded midnight post office line.

Author’s Note: Waiting until the last minute is not my usual style. However, this year the discontinuation of Microsoft Money Plus and subsequent switch-over to Quicken forced me to learn and use new tools. It also meant I had to re-match most of my transfer activity and manually enter six months of transactions from paper or PDF statements. The good news is, it inspired me to make BeeDesk better.

Over the years, our tax returns accumulate complexities like stock, options, retirement plans, Employee Stock Purchase Plans, job changes, moves, rentals, business investments, and vehicle expenses...just to name a few. Sometime we need to calculate the cost-basis of a stock sale; other times we’re missing the receipt for a tax-deductible business expense. The information we need to complete our taxes comes from a number of different sources and in a wide variety of forms.

Ultimately, tax filing frustration manifests as a record keeping problem. Better record keeping equals easier tax preparation.

Often we blame ourselves and just accept our shortcomings and lack of discipline. If only we had downloaded the bank statement every month. If only we had kept up the books for each stock trade (even better if we had documented the goal, the reason, and the condition under which we sold). If only we had noted the purpose on every paper receipt. If only we had checked the odometer at the start of every year...THEN a tax return would be a breeze.

The problem with blaming ourselves is that it doesn't make us more disciplined. J Our lives aren’t always routine, or organized, or planned. Sometime we just don't have a pen when our hands are full of tax-deductible home-office goodies at Home Depot. Other times we simply have more pressing issues at hand. In either case we consciously decide to pay for the discipline-debt later.

At BeeDesk we focus on what can be made better. We simplify all the little things that create the bigger problem. For example, we make it easier to track activities, add notes, and even defer tasks until you’ve handled your latest emergency. We make it possible for you to find and amend records later, and to do all this without writing anything down.

Tax filing is clearly an inspiring subject for BeeDesk’s problem solvers. By solving this problem we make tax time less frustrating and knowledge work more productive.