Organizing Office Files
How to Set up Your Filing System
When organizing office files, not only are the right tools essential, but having a successful filing system is critcal. You keep papers for reference whether it is needed "now" or "just in case" you want it later. However, no one can live with papers scattered everywhere.
Since 80% of material filed away is never looked at again, be discriminating about what you file. Ask yourself:
Invest in a Good Filing Cabinet
You’ll use it for the rest of your life. Make sure it’s sturdy and that the drawers open all the way and close smoothly. Keep in mind that when the drawers are full, they’ll be much harder to open than when they’re empty.
Make sure you have plenty of the following:
Sort – The Foundation of a Good Filing System
Sorting is always the first step. Just start with the first piece of paper on top of the pile and keep digging your way down.
Group similar or like tasks and papers together and separate them into categories that will be easy for you to remember. Use post-it notes to label the piles.
Be sure to keep business files and personal files in separate drawers or cabinets. And in business, group your files by type. For example, keep your customer files separate from your product files.
To keep from feeling overwhelmed, set a timer for 30 minutes to work on your filing. You may have categories and subcategories such as:
Be sure to alphabetize the MAIN categories first. That way all of your hanging file folders will be in alphabetical order. Then alphabetize the sub-categories within the appropriate main category, so all the interior folders are in order as well.
Receipts and Coupons
People tend to keep way too many receipts! Save them in an envelope and go through them monthly and toss them after you’ve balanced your checkbook and made sure that everything is recorded.
For coupons, buy a small box with dividers labeled January through December. Keep all coupons in the appropriate month that they’ll expire so you’ll never again miss out on using them.
8 Basic Filing System Tips
Finding the Right Solution
It’s easy to maintain paper flow, once you find a system that works best for you. Keep it simple! Being more organized can save you up to one hour a day to do those things in life which are more fun.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. We hire plumbers, electricians, CPA's and lawyers to do those things we’re not expert at. I’ve set up many a filing system. With my expertise, I can help you whittle down your paper piles so you can find any piece of paper in a matter of seconds.
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