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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Maintaining a filing system is a critical component of getting and staying organized. Statistics reveal the average executive spends 150 hours a year searching for lost documents, and a moderately disorganized person loses about two hours every day due to disorder. Ouch! I don't have that much time to waste looking for lost items or papers.


So, a filing system is one part of the answer. Here are some basic tips for setting up a filing system:

1. Invest in a solid filing cabinet. Do NOT skimp on this investment. Cheap filing cabinets open great when empty, but will be a headache when full. This piece of office equipment should be heavy so that it doesn't tilt forward when you open the top drawer. That could be dangerous.

2. Buy a filing cabinet with more space than you think you will need. Once you get this resource set up, you'll wish you had more space.

3. Buy lots of hanging files and file folders. That way you aren't jamming 10 files into one hanging file.

4. Invest in a label maker, or print file folder labels from your computer. It will just make you happy to see typeset labels.

5. Develop a workable system for filing documents. One philosophy of filing is to group like-files in broad categories. Label the hanging folders “Insurance,” “Equipment,” “Current Projects” and so on. Within each category, alphabetize your files. Or, you can avoid labeling the hanging folders all together and just put files in alphabetical order.

6. Create an "active" filing area for those projects that you are currently working on. My husband and my online store sells a very popular desktop file holder. This is one of our most popular items and I put a picture at the top of this post and a link to our site if you want to find out more: http://www.roselanecottage.com/cottageoffice.html. Click on "Files and Magazine Holders" to find it.

7. Make the files you use most beautiful. A few companies are making lovely file folders. I recommend purchasing a package of your favorite design to organize your inbox, put in a standing file folder or take to meetings. Here's a photo of one of my favorite file folder designs. You can find more examples of decorative files on our site too.



Spending time on your filing system will save you hours of time in the coming months. Consider it a valuable investment.

In His Love,
Glynnis













16 comments:

Van said...

Good morning dear friend, Your lessons on filing have really excited me - especially the idea of "pretty filing." You know me - I like things to look nice. Maybe I can treat my filing like decorating a room! I am going to check out the decorative files! Happy New Year. Am already looking forward to seeing you this summer!

Digging for Pearls said...

Thank you for doing a series of blogs on organization. I look forward to some new ideas to help this organization challenged woman! :)

Kelly said...

I love all the great tips!

Sara said...

Great tips - I've found some great decorative type folders that were very in-expensive through the teacher's section at Oriental Trading. I have a home based business and their hanging wall folder/sorter thing is great on my office door to sort out mail into folders as it comes in so it won't get lost in my office (magazines to read, bills to pay, netflix movies, etc.)

Anonymous said...

I need help. My office is cluttered and I'm a piler. I know where everything is in my piles but I hate the way things look. Help!

CSM

ricerodeo said...

Thanks for the scripture references. I have just started using Flylady.com to declutter my life. "I can do anything for 15 minutes." has been life changing for me. As a clutter queen to have an organized method to clear the clutter has been Fabulous! I love the idea of decorated files. Sure beats overstuffed army green!
I'm setting my timer and we'll see what treasures I find on this desk top! Thanks for the inspiration! I'll look back for other tips! Hey I have Vitamins, Tylenol cough drops etc on Fridge top. Does anyone have a pretty option? Up there out of hands of little people? Thanks

marybeth said...

Im very touched by your devotion today on organization in your office and home..the reason im so struck.. is because for years since ive been born again the lord has led me into this kind of living. what prill said is the way the lord has led me for years..(30)my first rememberanc God showed me a ball of yarn many many colors all representing one for of clutter or another..and he pulled one color out at a time representing one form of clutter in my house then the next so on and so forth until over all the years there is a place for everything and all you see are pretty things in my home. Ididnt realize it was so much a God thing led by the holy spirit..praise God.

busyone said...

Thank you for thw scripture verses that tie to being organized.

I am a creative person but have a hard time staying organized...

But I have some ideas for ricerodeo. You can put child locks for your cabinets to keep the medicine away from children. Also, if you wanted to leave them there, you can put them in beautiful photo boxes, or a pretty basket with a ribbon and they will keep them looking neat and organized ;)

Amy Goodlett said...

It saves me time to have the direction of the tabs on my file folders match within different areas of my life. For example: my husband's business files-tabbed on left; all our personal files- tabbed in the middle; all my business files - tabbed on the right. When looking for a file, my eyes do not have to roam from left to right with the possibility of accidently skipping a file. Visually, it is one straight shot, in one related section. This saves a lot of time, and reduces frustration.

ladybugjan said...

Oh My Gosh, This is exactly what I am doing to my home, a room at a time. I started in the pantry in my kitchen. I bought a DYMO label maker and I have bought containers from Tupperware. I have got the best looking pantry ever! After labeling my containers of cereal and baking goods, spices etc. I placed them in alphabetical order. When someone comes to visit, this is the first place I take them to....Yea!

April said...

I have to admit that when I began reading your devo today, I was pretending it didn't apply to me. I don't have an office, I'm a SAHM. But, God showed me that my entire home is my workplace, being a SAHM is my full time job. I really believe the Lord is trying to get my attention. As I glance around my kitchen right now, let's just say I don't like what I see. Last night, the clutter and disorganization of my entire home overwhelmed me. I snapped at my husband and children and was not a very pleasant person to be around. I just got the book Sink Reflections, and until now, I've been too overwhelmed to start. Your devotion today was what I really needed to hear, I'm done giving excuses for the way my home looks. The scripture references really helped me to put a Biblical perspective on all this. Thank you for your tips, I'm going to start baby-stepping my way to a clutter-free workspace, my home!Blessings, April

Tamara said...

First, Glynnis, thank you for your blog - it's a joy!

Amy - thank you for the great idea on the tab locations. That makes absolute perfect sense to me.

April - thank you for your humble honesty. I am easily overwhelmed at times, too, and your resolve to tackle your space is an encouragement to me.

Katie said...

Thank you for your blog on organization. Our home is so cluttered that it is overwhelming. I get into tears about it because there are times I don't know what to do. My husband likes to save things and gets angry if anything is missing. I cannot do the decluttering by myself. But just little by little...it's got to be done. Please pray that I can get into a rhythmn of getting the ball rolling more consistently.

jjstar said...

Thank you so much for the inspirational devotional today. Love the tips!

Jennie said...

Thanks so much for the devotional. It's too easy to forget that the devil isn't above using something as subtle as our disorganized environments to keep us spiritually disorganized. I'm one of those that can't seem to make decisions when it comes to clutter, so the clutter is ever present. (Thank you, God, for providing in such abundance!)I just need to learn to make decisions - what to keep, what to toss or give away - and then follow-through.

A tip that helps me at work is that I keep a box of microfiber dusting cloths in my office. If I'm on a lengthy phone call or extended hold time, I grab a cloth and start wiping everything down. Pretty soon I've cleared and put things away without even thinking about it. Now, if I could only get that to work at home.....

Tonya said...

Thanks for making me feel better today with your blog and scriptures.
A friend visited a few days ago and commented on my "super tidy" new home, making me feel that my hard work in getting more organised lately had been somehow misplaced... You have reinforced my belief that the organisation is worth it. And given me the motivation to attack the next room!!