Getting organized requires endless
trips to the Container Store or investing in expensive organizing gadgets,
right? Wrong. Sometimes simple works best. Take the file folder. Straightforward
and easy to use: The folder is a thing of organizing beauty.
Behold, The Folder
Look at your folder as a building block
of organization. Simple to set up and easy to maintain, files corral paperwork
and make life and work manageable. Plus, files are streamlined enough to slide
into a bag or briefcase, and when used in multiples, can easily organize the
paperwork of a busy family or office.
the world is getting increasingly digital, paper still has its place. Bills,
tax paperwork, school work: papers can multiply as quickly as bunnies. Increase
your productivity and decrease stress by setting up an effective filing system
that lets you easily retrieve what you need, when you need it.
Filing, Made Simple
the nitty-gritty. Create two filing systems, one for "working" or temporary
files that help make your day-to-day life hum smoothly, and a second, for
permanent or archival systems, that manage must-have documents needed
throughout your adult life.
in a desktop file holder for your temporary files and a high-quality filing
cabinet for your permanent documents. By separating the two types of files; you
better the odds of maintaining your systems neatly and efficiently. Keep in
folders include documents
frequently in use such as:
files are kept separate from
working files, either in a separate filing cabinet or in archival cardboard
boxes in storage. When a project is finished, or a document is complete and no
longer needed (i.e. old taxes), it's time for permanent storage.
filing systems make effective use of labels. Be sure to use broad, generic
headings that are meaningful to you and comprehensible to others if the filing
system is shared. Think thick, not thin: files shouldn't be subdivided to the
point where it's difficult to keep track of categories, (i.e. design your files
to capture about two-inches of material, rather than say, two sheets of paper).
Consider color-coding your files if doing so makes sense to you.
Maintenance is a Must
your files periodically. Not all completed projects or documents need to be
saved indefinitely, so assess what you have, purge what's not needed and set up
a retention schedule for documents you do keep, specifying how long each file
should be stored.
the retention schedule separately from the archived files and synch it to your
computer or paper calendar for a year-to-year review. Purging and shredding files
keeps your paperwork from growing into a mountain.
Simple, easy to use, and downright inexpensive; the folder
is truly an object of organizing beauty. All hail the mighty folder!
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.