Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Setting Up a Filing System

Tips for Tuesday

Even if you don't own a business, you should still have a filing system for your personal files. Everyone has financial, medical and possibly legal papers. It is important that you are able to find them when you need them.

Setting up a system is simple if you follow a few rules.

First,sort your papers into broad categories. Put school, work, medical, bank, credit card, home maintenance, etc., papers into piles. Further sort them into specialized categories. For example, you should have individual medical files for yourself, your spouse, each of your children, and your pets. Each person should have their own folder.

Next, create folders for each of these piles. If you are a visual person, use different colors for each broad category. Name each file. Use only a few words that clearly identify the contents. This will usually be a noun and verb, and perhaps a year. "Tax documents 2011" for instance, or "VISA Chase."

Place your files in a cabinet or drawer close to where you use them. They may not all be in the same place. File them by category or alphabetically—whichever works best for you.

If you are file challenged, then purchase a system that categorizes and indexes everything for you, such as Viewables from Smead. Use their colors, or customize your own labels.

Finally, keep on top of filing! File papers as they come in, and purge old ones you don't need.

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