Tips for a Foolproof Filing System

 

Whether you are at school, work, church or at home, you are going to find yourself eventually needing to do some type of filing. Most people simply put their papers, records, warranties, or whatnot wherever, or however they may. This typically means that things get lost or thrown away—including important things you later need. There are a few simple steps that anyone can use when setting up their own foolproof filing system.

  1. Where to start. Before starting your filing system, there are a few things that you need to ask yourself. Is this system for storage only? Is it going to be accessed regularly? What is the purpose of the system that you are setting up? As you are deciding the answers to these questions, you should write the answers down so that you can start obtaining your supplies.
  2. Select style. There are many types of filing systems out there that you are going to hear about. Personally, what you need to do is decide on what is going to work the best for your needs. Out of all the styles available, I would personally recommend that you use a combination of an alphabetical and color-coded system. By doing this you can quickly access different "themes" for your files, as well as finding the information in each "theme" quickly. I would suggest choosing no more than five colors for your system. When you purchase your supplies, choose either colored tabs or folders that are going to match and fit within your system.
  3. Organize your papers. Once you decide on the type of filing system to use, you are going to have to go through your papers and separate and sort through them. Do this by simply starting as generally as possible and working towards as specific of information as possible. For example, have a section for finances, with subsections for things such as current financial statements, pay stubs, bills, and so forth.
  4. Maintain your system. No filing system is ever going to work without maintaining it. You are going to need to choose a specific day each month, at a minimum, for filing your paperwork. If you cannot do your filing on a daily basis, then one suggestion that you need to do is keep a file or envelope for those papers that are going to need further filing later on. By using something like this, you can keep an organized system in place and properly maintained.

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