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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Setting Up An Effective Filing System...

Do you have an effective filing system? Chances are - if your filing system is too complicated, you're not going to use it.

Whether you decide to set up and use a filing cabinet or arch lever files - you need a system that is going to work for you and the people who need to use it.

Some questions that you need to be aware of before setting up your new filing system will help you set up the best system to suit your needs. Consider the following:

• What are the items that you need to file?
• Who will be using these files?
• How often will the files be used?
• How big will each file be?
• How will the files be used?

There are three main steps to setting up an effective filing system:

• Categorising
• Choosing a Filing System
• Labelling

1. Categorising
All homes and businesses have different types of paperwork that needs filing. It is a really good idea to set up categories before you even begin to set up your new filing system.

You will need main categories, as well as sub-categories. For example, a "main" category may be "Pets" with your sub-categories being manila folders for each pet. For example "Fluffy", "Pebbles", etc.

If you will be using a filing cabinet system, your main category will be clearly labelled on the suspension file, with your sub-categories being stored in clearly labelled manila files that you will keep in the main category suspension file. Remember to label everything neatly and clearly.

If you choose to use the level arch folders to set up your filing system - use a different folder for each main category, and set up dividers inside for each sub category. I have noticed this way of filing to be more time consuming with having to hole punch paperwork and handle the folders - but as I have said earlier, use a system that suits *you*.

2. Choosing A Filing System
There are a few ways you can go here:

• Chronological (Date/Month Sequence)
• Alphabetical (Alphabetical Order)
• Numerical (Numerical Order)

All methods have pro’s and con’s – it really depends on what you will be filing and what works for you!

3. Labelling

• Label your suspension files with your main category using the clear tabs that match your files.
• Label your manila folders with the sub-category - it's a great idea to put your label on the right hand side for easy identification

TIP: Your filing draw or folder shelf should not be over loaded – if everything is squished and packed in too tightly – you are defeating the purpose and you won’t be able to find anything.

Don't be sure - we would love to hear from you and your tips and systems that you have set up?  What challenges did you encounter?

1 comment:

  1. WOW never thought about using manila folders inside the suspension folders to break things down even more.

    Going to use that idea as all the papers related to the car like car finance papers, insurance, etc are just in the expension folders.

    Thanks for a wonderful great idea.

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX


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