3 Simple Filing Guidelines

One of the most basic ways to find papers when you need them is to retrieve them from an effective filing system. A good filing system will allow you to find what you're looking for in 10 seconds or less.

Here are 3 simple filing guidelines that can help:

  • CATEGORIZING.

    A filing system is only effective, if you can find everything you need, when you need it--without a struggle. And all good filing systems have different categories of papers. Your papers are either going to fall into a MAIN category, or a SUB-category.

    For example, a main category might be FINANCIAL. Some sub-categories within Financial, may be:

    • Savings Account

    • Checking Account

    • Money Market Account

    In your filing cabinet, your main categories should always be hanging file folders with a labeled tab. Your sub-categories should be labeled manila file folders inside the appropriate main category hanging folder.

  • BASIC FILING SYSTEMS.

    For the most part, people choose to use one, or a combination of, these basic filing systems:

    • Alphabetical (A, B, C, D, etc.)

    • Numerical (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)

    • Chronological (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, etc.)

    The one you use, depends on what you're using it for. For example, if you need to keep files for all of your customers (or associates, friends, etc.), alphabetical by last name usually will work best.

    For sequential case numbers or projects that are numbered, a numerical system would probably work best.

    If it is necessary for you to find things by date, then chronological may be your choice.

    Some people get really creative and use a combination of these systems. For example, you may want your main categories to be chronological, but the sub-categories inside to be alphabetical.

  • LABELING.

    If a file isn't labeled properly, it's not going to be quick and easy to find:

    • Always write your subject on the tab of the file folder, close to the top of the tab, so you can easily see it when you're looking through your files.

    • Use a medium point, black marker to label your files. Print; don't use script.

    • Use as few words as possible on the tab.

    About The Author

    Maria Gracia, owner of www.getorganizednow.com and author of the book, 'Finally Organized, Finally Free' can help you organize your home, your office and your life.

    Get Organized Now! FREE Idea-Pak and E-zine filled with tips, ideas, articles and more to help you organize your home, your office and your life at the Get Organized Now! Web site!

    [email protected]

    In The News:

    Beginners Guide to Self-Organizing Maps  Analytics India Magazine

  • Organize (and Decorate) Your Home on a Budget with Baskets

    What's an item that can help you organize every room... Read More

    Improve Your Workplace to Make Your Life Better

    What does "quality of life" mean to you? If you... Read More

    Identifying the Rocks: Organizing Your Priorities

    In one of my favorite books, First Things First, written... Read More

    Essential Tips for the Kitchen

    * Cupboards and drawers should contain items that are grouped... Read More

    The True Definition of an Organization

    The true definition of an organization is one that is... Read More

    Without a Plan, You?re Doomed to Failure

    "My job is an endless series of deadlines, I am... Read More

    Spring into Spring

    Hasn't time flown? Already we're into the last quarter of... Read More

    How to Prevent Piles of Paper!

    If you have piles of paper all over your desk,... Read More

    Getting Organized For The New Year - Part 1

    The following procedures will insure an organized and well run... Read More

    Your Organizing DNA

    Do you like storing your papers on top of your... Read More

    Creative Storage Solutions

    When the things in your home start crowding in around... Read More

    Organisation - Getting Back To Basics

    If you look at any major organisation, there is this... Read More

    Do You Have A To-Do list?

    I have a huge white board in my home office,... Read More

    Four Easy Steps to An Organized Closet

    The National Association of Professional Organizers has dedicated January to... Read More

    Create A Working Mail Center

    I talk about the mail a lot in my newsletter,... Read More

    The Love It Or Lose It Principle: One Simple Key to Living Clutter-Free Forever

    It wasn't long ago that you spent an entire weekend... Read More

    Balance- What Does It Really Mean?

    Balance- what a popular topic these days! Finding a work-life... Read More

    Saving Memories Without Losing Your Mind

    The summer is flying by for Cindy and her family.... Read More

    1-2-3 Sort

    Article excerpted from the new book, "How to Do Space... Read More

    How Clutter Affects Your Love Life

    Clutter in any area of your home is a sign... Read More

    Dont Get Lost In The Shuffle

    I have a good friend whom (also being in the... Read More

    The Clutter Campaign - Design Your Vision

    I like a room you can dance in the middle... Read More

    Organized For Life

    Questions come my way all the time regarding my God-given... Read More

    Letting Go Of Your Excuses

    At this point, you have probably run across some belongings... Read More

    Organize Your Children & Save Your Sanity

    It may be difficult to relate saving money with organization... Read More