You need a personal filing system to track your own papers. Almost everybody has papers that pertain just to the work they are doing, even if they are only photocopies of company records. You need a place to hold your projects and reference materials. This tip helps you establish a quick, effective personal file system.
An Alphabetical File
An alphabetical file is a quick way to store resource papers. It is quick and easy, therefore you are much more likely to use it.
To set up your filing system, you will need the following:
- Preprinted A-Z hanging file folder tabs. Buy these at any office supply store, or make them yourself by writing the letters on the paper inserts.
- Loose, blank manila folders. These can occasionally be inserted inside the hanging folders. You will NOT use them for everything you file.
- Un-labeled file folders with tabs.
Put your A-Z folders into a drawer within arm's reach of where you sit to work.
File papers according to how you think of them, putting them in the folders that make the most sense to you. Usually, the first letter that comes to mind is best. Filing this way is astonishingly fast (2-3 seconds).
Example: Warranty information for your new Treo could be filed in at least three places:
- "C" for "cell phone"
- "W" for "warranty"
- "T" for "Treo"
If you file the warranty according to how you think of it, you probably won't have any trouble finding it later.
When you need to retrieve something, look in the first place you would expect it to be. Because you filed it, it will probably be where you expect it to be. Occasionally you might have to check two or three files before you find the item, but that still doesn't take too long. Alternatively, imagine that you are holding the item and need to file it. Where would you put it? Look there!
If one of your files begins to fill up with one kind of paper ("Receipts" for example), take them out and begin a new file with the label "Receipts." Place the "Receipts" file behind your "R" file. The new folder becomes and extension of your "R" file.
What About Desk Trays? Papers/Materials Needed for Tasks?
Your filing system (including desk trays) should support your time and task management system effortlessly. You need to file and find your papers in 10 seconds or less, and you need to be able completely forget about (and not see) your papers until your system notifies you that you need them. That way, everything is off your mind until the right time. Your mind stays uncluttered and stress-free. Total, Relaxed Organization™ by Priacta trains you to do all this and more, with new, lifetime habits.
Total, Relaxed Organization™ by Priacta puts you in control of your time, tasks, workload, and life. Guaranteed!