A few weeks ago we touched on setting up a basic filing system, and what that would entail. I’ll assume that you have made the purchases or adjustments to your existing systems that you needed, and now have a bright and breezy system that is ready to go.
Of course, now that you have your filing system up and running, and it’s nice and close to you so that you are doing your filing on a regular basis, it’s time to look further into your system to make it work for you. Whether you’ve chosen a concertina file, hanging files or a full filing cabinet, you’ve chosen the option that works for you. Now let’s make sure your files are working for you too.
First of all, you need to make sure that you have your file tabs clearly labeled from A to Z. Depending on your needs you may like a couple of extra files for Miscellaneous Items – but be very sure they don’t fit somewhere in you’re A to Z before filing here. Where possible, give each letter it’s own file. You’d be surprised how often those more ‘obscure’ letters do pop up.
Once you have done this, it’s time to tackle what’s inside each of those files. Clear your desk of all other papers. You don’t want current items getting caught up in your filing. Then carefully, methodically, separate each paper into its own pile. Depending on your own needs, this may be by company name, by item or by some other systemized approach. Continue until all loose papers are gone and you have a desk full of neat piles. Once complete, secure the piles with paper clips, bulldog clips, rubber bands etc. and sort them into alphabetical order.
Taking the rearmost pile, sort these by date with the most current date on top, and re-secure them with a clip. Place to one side of the desk. Continue working from the rear of the pile, placing each completed pile on top of the last so that once the entire pile is finished, you will have your papers in alphabetical and date order.
Work through your files as you find the time (or employ someone to do it for you) and you’ll find in no time at all that not only are your files at your fingertips, but you can find everything in a flash, without any fuss ;)
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.