Pile It On!

Published Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:50 AM

You know who you are.

Piler v. Filer

Just look around your office. On your desk. On the floor. On top of the filing cabinet.

What do you see?

Piles, piles and more piles.

Yes, it is as clear as can be. You, my friend, are a piler.

And you are not alone.

Nearly half of all American employees claim that they organize paper by piling it on their desk. As this Fast Company article on Piles Versus Files highlights, "[s]ome of the world's most productive people are pilers. Al Gore, for example, is a busy guy, with mounds of paper to prove it. [And] many creative workers stay productive by keeping their virtual piles spread out and easy to glance at on multiple screens." One executive is so committed to "managing through piles" that she had an industrial designer build a desk "that acknowledges her stacking habit, yet gives it shape and structure."

There is good evidence that nature, as opposed to nurture, drives people to pile. Typically, pilers are right-brain dominant, creative types who are visually oriented. They crave stimulation and thrive in environments where there is a lot going on. To them, forming and sorting through piles is soothing and constructive. By sharp contrast, filers crave order, ease and calm. To maintain their equilibrium at work, they methodically categorize, label, purge and store papers. They need to organize and clear their workspace before they can begin to focus.

Although they might appear to be swimming in a sea of chaos, pilers usually know exactly where to find what they need at any given moment. But, if your piles seem to be getting the better of you, this WomensMedia post offers some helpful tips:

  • When you have stacks of paper and files for various projects and purposes, create a spine by wrapping a large piece of paper around each group and labeling it.
  • Use a clipboard to control loose papers for each project you are working on. Label the clips and hang the clipboards on your office wall or partition.
  • Set boundaries on your piles by restricting them to a single table or desk top. When a pile starts to spill over, it is time to go through it to streamline and straighten up the papers.
  • Put your papers in open boxes and mark the outside with a numbering system so you can easily identify the contents.

If you are still on the fence about your identity, you can take a filer vs. piler quiz. If you are a proud piler and you know it, we would love to hear from you. You can share your piling tips and tools here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Carly Fadako

 

| More

Comments

# Annette said on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:23 PM

I confess!  I am a 'piler.'  Thank you for making it sound not so bad, even OK, lol.  It seems no manner how hard I try to keep everything neat, orderly, and organized in my office, a last the piles form again.  

Thank you for the tips.  I Will try to apply.

And thank you Pendaflex for the neat file folders you sent.  I will put them to good use.

In appreciation!

# Kim said on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 10:21 PM

oh dear..  do piles on piles qualify? would i LOVE to be organized? you bet  alas...  at least I know I am in good company with you Annette.

I once said the definition for clean between a neighbor and i, when my house was clean my piles are neat, when her house was clean there were no piles.  nothing has changed

# Brian Niegemann said on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 4:41 PM

Where can I get a desk like the one mentioned in this article, designed for piling papers?  It's not for me, but for one of our employees.  I'd love to see an illustration or diagram.

# Barb Schmit said on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:02 PM

Great article!  I am definitely a filer!  I go nuts with stacks of paper cluttering my desk.

# Billie Tillman said on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:50 PM

Great tips!  I am a filer and I work for a piler!

# Bea OKeefe said on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 6:00 PM

Why is it that some filers try to make pilers feel guilty about their organizational style?  You have explained why my creative side wants to pile and now I feel less quilty about my system.  

# June Welsh said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:22 AM

I'm a piler; which usually works for me...except when my cat-sitter accidently had my cat run onto the piles on my table chasing the laser pointer dot, and the piles ended up melding into incoherency!!  Oops!

# Lynn said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:16 PM

I am definately a filer but work with more than a few pilers.  If they were pilers that new where everything was that would be great but, unfortunately that would not be the case!

# Jill Nusbaum said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:42 PM

I am a combination filer/piler. I like to pile information in my in basket, but I have it separated and labeled within folders.

# Kathy Constant, CPS/CAP said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:11 PM

I am definitely a filer - married to a piler - who works from a home office!  The combination can sometimes be volatile!  

I must resist the urge to "organize" him, because then, the next time he looks for something he can't find, it's my fault.  

I must also resist the urge to help him when he's looking for something that he "just had", but can't find.  As with discipline, I find the most effective response is to "let" him find it on his own.  Such activities usually generate a flurry of "organization", which generates stacks for the shred box.

# Patty Houlihan said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:17 PM

So I'm not the only one drowning in a sea of piles.  When I'm feeling like I'm truly drowning, do I file.  My boss is a filer until he feels overwhelmed and then his files become my piles.  Ugh!  I've been aware but at a loss on how to handle.  I'll use the tips and hopefully become pileless.  Keep up the great articles!

# Debbie said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:49 PM

I am a piler.  I have had box lids, boxes, and wire baskets plus general piles on my desk.  My supervisor decided I needed help so she authorized the purchase of a 16 section literature cabinet that I have set on top of my file cabinet and I have gotten rid of many the boxes, box tops and desk piles.

# Lynn said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:49 PM

I am a piler but what does Al Gore have to do with anything in this article?  "Al Gore, for example, is a busy guy, with mounds of paper to prove it".  So what?  He is a hypocritical, lying millionaire profiting from the lies he spreads about global warming. Is he a partner in Pendaflex?  If so, you just lost a customer.

# holly stiner said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:19 PM

I am not a piler, but I know of one. I am too OCD. I am a filer. Sometimes too much so, I can't remember where I file things. I am organized to confusion.

# Holly Stiner said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:21 PM

Oh Good lord. Al Gore is just a name that that is recognizable that was used. Pendaflex makes a good product and that is all that matters.

# Pam in Missouri said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6:31 PM

Our culture tends to breed visual learners.  It makes sense that we would become visual workers i.e. "pilers."  

# Tami Freeman said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:32 PM

I'd say I'm a pfiler. Piles of papers can be overwhelming because it's hard to know where to start but if you file it, you could forget about it which I tend to do so I try to pile like items together and use the pile smart clips and put those piles into various, labeled inboxes on my desk.  However, I sometimes forget to look at the boxes on the far back corner of my desk because I don't see it all the time.

# Tami Freeman said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:36 PM

**** FOUR STARS!  Like I stated on another post, I'm a pfiler.  I do both, pile stuff and then file it in separate inboxes.  I would've like to see the article go more indepth on organizing but it was still pretty good

# steve said on Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:40 AM

Oh yeah, I'm a piler. At least the piles are in folders. Piles of them.

# Lavinia said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:24 AM

You put the lime in the coconut and drink the atricle up.

# buy cheap oem software said on Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:07 AM

5MXp08 Thanks, useful material I added your blog to my bookmarks!...

# buy oem software said on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:28 PM

uxFrWc This is one awesome blog article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

# Alexander said on Thursday, July 19, 2012 2:17 PM

This post will assist the internet users for creating new web site or even a blog from start to end.

# more info said on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 5:37 PM

Berries is packed with a great deal of anti-oxidants as well as fiber, which makes it a superb addition for what you eat. So, when you are on a fat loss diet today, do not be so fast to take out fruit. It's actually not quite the issue you might think it truly is.  xover.mud.at/.../nachtbus+     Absolutely free Weight Loss Tips - You Will Get Whatever You Cover Possibly say hello to the term "Absolutely free Weight Loss TipsInches on the beloved google search web site? I did and was inundated auction web sites 66 million sites all delivering free of charge information on this extremely popular theme. There's really no way I possibly could read each and every web site, and take up everything absolutely free weight reduction information and facts. This information will teach you the actual worth of free weight loss tips online, and allow the important information to burrow greater as part of your hunt for your fantastic entire body. Wherever do you start off? Legitimately, you can possibly pull off reading 1 or 2 of the web sites. Why? As they all say in essence the same principal. Tell me if these circumstance - consume 4 to 6 scaled-down foods every day, drink lots of water, do aerobic exercise exercises, burn more calories than you take in, get plenty of relaxation, for example.

# more info said on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 5:37 PM

Berries is packed with a great deal of anti-oxidants as well as fiber, which makes it a superb addition for what you eat. So, when you are on a fat loss diet today, do not be so fast to take out fruit. It's actually not quite the issue you might think it truly is.  xover.mud.at/.../nachtbus+     Absolutely free Weight Loss Tips - You Will Get Whatever You Cover Possibly say hello to the term "Absolutely free Weight Loss TipsInches on the beloved google search web site? I did and was inundated auction web sites 66 million sites all delivering free of charge information on this extremely popular theme. There's really no way I possibly could read each and every web site, and take up everything absolutely free weight reduction information and facts. This information will teach you the actual worth of free weight loss tips online, and allow the important information to burrow greater as part of your hunt for your fantastic entire body. Wherever do you start off? Legitimately, you can possibly pull off reading 1 or 2 of the web sites. Why? As they all say in essence the same principal. Tell me if these circumstance - consume 4 to 6 scaled-down foods every day, drink lots of water, do aerobic exercise exercises, burn more calories than you take in, get plenty of relaxation, for example.

# more info said on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 5:37 PM

Berries is packed with a great deal of anti-oxidants as well as fiber, which makes it a superb addition for what you eat. So, when you are on a fat loss diet today, do not be so fast to take out fruit. It's actually not quite the issue you might think it truly is.  xover.mud.at/.../nachtbus+     Absolutely free Weight Loss Tips - You Will Get Whatever You Cover Possibly say hello to the term "Absolutely free Weight Loss TipsInches on the beloved google search web site? I did and was inundated auction web sites 66 million sites all delivering free of charge information on this extremely popular theme. There's really no way I possibly could read each and every web site, and take up everything absolutely free weight reduction information and facts. This information will teach you the actual worth of free weight loss tips online, and allow the important information to burrow greater as part of your hunt for your fantastic entire body. Wherever do you start off? Legitimately, you can possibly pull off reading 1 or 2 of the web sites. Why? As they all say in essence the same principal. Tell me if these circumstance - consume 4 to 6 scaled-down foods every day, drink lots of water, do aerobic exercise exercises, burn more calories than you take in, get plenty of relaxation, for example.

# Armstead said on Friday, August 10, 2012 1:44 AM

Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using

for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and

I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

# Huber said on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:49 AM

Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.

I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old

daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to

her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

# Gladney said on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:13 AM

Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you

download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple

tweeks would really make my blog jump out.

Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

# Manfred Mann said on Friday, August 31, 2012 11:59 AM

Good morning Keep up with the outstanding posts. Thanks you very much

# hbdpbud said on Saturday, September 08, 2012 7:18 PM

ohmyrx

# wajgwsqm said on Saturday, September 08, 2012 7:18 PM

urribjwz

About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

Join the Beyond Folders™ Community of readers passionate about time management, productivity, communication and workspace organization.

Read BFC News


Quick Subscribe to BFC News
Go

Follow Beyond Folders™

 

Search

runat="server"