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,