Are you the organized pile filer that knows exactly where every piece of paper is until you need it? I am too, but no need to worry, it is easy to convert your creative filing style to a simple, basic filing system.
Filing products galore can be found virtually everywhere, from national chains like Office Depot and Staples to your local office supply store. There are also a ton of web sites that offer a great amount of office supplies including furniture that is both stylish and functional.
Choosing the best filing system all depends on how you work. Do you like to keep current projects in front of you? Do you like to have a clean, uncluttered desk at the end of the day? Using your personal preferences will help you determine the best way to file to keep you current, yet uncluttered.
1. Choose your filing system. Using a desk filing system will keep current projects or client in front of you at all times. This will also allow for easy access to your files. Using a filing cabinet will help you to keep projects as you complete them, as well as archive older projects and clients that are hardly to never accessed. Make sure which ever system is chosen, will stand up to wear and tear and constant abuse from opening and shutting.
2. Location. You should be able to easily access your files, but not to the extent that your system is in your way; your system should not interfere with your work. Pick a location in the corner of your desk or under your desk, so files are kept close, but out of the way. If you use a cabinet for only archiving, you may want to keep it located in a basement, unseen.
3. Filing. Instead of filing throughout the day have a drop location where finalized projects and work can accumulate. Then once per week or month, take your drop location and file. If you notice you are spending too much time at your scheduled filing time, you may want to move to a more frequent filing schedule.
4. Review & Recycle. Pick a schedule, maybe every two or three months – more or less – and review your files. Decide what really should be kept, the rest can go through the recycle program – shred it and then take it to a local vet or recycling center.
5. Archive. Again, on a regular schedule, remove those files that are a must keep, but are no longer looked at and move them to a drawer or cabinet reserved for archived folders. This is the out-of-the-way cabinet kept in the basement, unseen.