This month is National Organize Your Files Month! Filing is a process that many people avoid. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, it costs $120 in labor to track down a misplaced document or $250 in labor to recreate it. Filing systems that work with the way you work are critical to cost management. Here are a few tips to get you started:
File Only What You Need
Recognize that your files are not dumping grounds. Do not put things in your files without first contemplating whether or not you can get rid of them.
Reduce the Piles into Files
If you keep your files in piles on your desk because you need to see them, try using a rolling file cart. This keeps piles off your desk but in a place where you can see them at all times.
Use Nouns vs. Verbs or Adjectives for File Naming
Begin file folder headings with a noun rather than a verb or adjective for example, use “clients: current” instead of “current clients.”
Remember You Are Ever Changing, So Your Filing System Should Be Too
Make your filing system a dynamic and ever changing creature. Don't be afraid to get rid of a category if you don't use it anymore — or to add a new one if you need it. Consolidate folders that seem to go together under one larger heading, and split up categories into smaller pieces if your folders get too stuffed. Once a year, set aside time to purge the old and obsolete information from your files. If you follow these instructions, your filing system will serve you well.
Get going on your files now, so when the nice weather hits, you won't be stuck inside wasting time looking for that report that you knew you had a minute ago. . .
Have ideas that you don't see here? Share! Please share! Post your comments below in the comments section.
To your success!