Filing Tips by Judith Ann Kirk

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May 13th, 2013
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filingFiling has been viewed as a mundane process of quickly depositing papers out of sight. For many executives, filing was associated with clerical activity. Now the rules are changing and everyone needs to understand and take responsibility in formulating useable filing guidelines.

  1. Hanging file folders eliminate jammed papers, hidden tabs and slumping files.

  1. Insert the plastic index tab on the front flap of the file folder. Simply pull the tab forward to access files easily.

  1. Align index tabs down one side of the file drawer for efficient visibility. This eliminates eye movement from left to center to right and back to the left again.

  1. Divide and conquer information with interior file folders. Interior folders are slightly lower than traditional manila folders to prevent covering the index tab.

  1. Keep only the current records in your files. Archive those files that you absolutely have to keep, but not necessary to access. Box, label and store them out of the office area.

  1. Consolidate related materials under a general heading to reduce the number of places to look for things.

  1. Avoid paper clips. They take up space and usually catch on other papers. Staple related papers together.

  1. Shun rubber bands; they dry, break and stick to papers. Adhesive tape will dry, crack and chip.

  1. File the most recent papers in front of the folder unless your must review the information in a chronological arrangement.

  1. The best kept secret of filing is to consistently label, label, label.

The filing process is simple. Examine each piece of paper, establish the reason for keeping it, and then physically place the paper in the appropriately labeled file folder. The hardest part is establishing a system that works for you. Think retrieval! Instead of “Where should I put this?” ask yourself, “What will I think about when I am looking for this information?”

© Judith Ann Kirk

Judith Ann Kirk is a Simplification Specialist with over 15 years experience as a Professional Organizer. Getting organized eliminates clutter, chaos and confusion and leads to a stress-free life with more time, money, energy and breathing space. www.OrganizingResources.com is a resource of tips, techniques and life management skills that will lighten your load and simplify your life. 

And if you liked these tips you may be interested in the Get a Plan! Guide® to Ridding Your Workspace of Clutter part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion.

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