Learn how to organize important documents with these tips on creating a file system that works for you. Putting labels on your folders are good but this alone will not work. http://www.mozy.com Another option might be XDrive. I am a pensioner and wish to go paperless. France, @Stephane – You could setup something similar with WebDAV folders or using something like http://www.getdropbox.com. In fact, for a long time, I thought I should start a tagged file system, and many people find this easier for the process of retrieval. Examples: Insurance, Utilities, Finances, Health, Home, Family, Projects. You might take a look at Evernote. Label each file with a name that makes sense and is easy to find. This is where Quicksilver comes into play. I usually group thinkgs together as logically as I can, like “Domains” where I keep all the information related to domains I own. If your financial year runs from January to December you would put all your months back to front, so January is at the bottom and December at the top. 1. There site seems to be down this morning though. I did try it out for a couple of days. on my totally awesome work horse of a first generation G4. Alphabetize your files or sort them numerically by category, client names or dates. Here are some strategies for managing incoming paper: Sort immediately. Filed Under: Technology Tagged With: guest, paperless, Actually generating the folders just takes a few seconds if you use Terminal to do it: Type, cd Reference; for i in {A..Z}; do mkdir $i; done. Guess I’m just not bash-savvy enough :-). While a system with DevonThink will work for many of you, I’m sure some of you out there will value a more flexible, portable system. I completely understand the dilemma. No big deal. What I use for my digital filing system is that I simply use SugarSync to sync the folder to all other computers including my Android tablet. The auto-searching and auto-creating part is good. You need to plan and set up a filing system that can accommodate any type of paper for home or office. Thank you so much for the idea! on the desktop? Thanks for the post. I like this. Divide the files accordingly. Highlight the file with your mouse (click once). However, I do suggest you consider grouping related files into broad categories, rather than by individual vendor name. It’s flexible, cross-platform, and I can whack all my files on a thumb drive and walk to Windows as well. There should be no "miscellaneous" files in your system. Get piles of paperwork under control with an easy-to-follow filing system. If you enjoyed this, be sure to stay tuned to Mark’s blog right here and my new blog over at The Productive Student. You could try Google Desktop for XP to get a similar search utiltiy, though I find it rather bloated software that takes over your desktop. More likely, it was just a random assortment ofindividual files that really had no connection to each other. Have folders and writing implements available near your filing system. Great post and the comments were most engaging. I would love to adapt my system to match more like the one you described, however, I’ve got a couple of questions though: – What do you do with Websites or blog posts that you really like which you’d like to read later or use some information in there for reference some other day. When I recategorise my files as per the above system, and hit the right key, I can’t see my latest files anymore. Create An Effective Office Filing System. Learning how to organize office filing systems is crucial for any business that handles a lot of invoices, receipts, and other documents. For me, it is replacing stickies and a million bits of paper. Label each drawer a broad topic to help you and others find the right drawer more quickly and painlessly. I made an almost similar system after reading GTD. In general, these are instructions to all the employees on what actions are to be taken in case of certain situations, likely or unlikely. Filing systems utilise one of the following methods: Alphabetilical; Numeric; Geographil; Subject; Chronologic All these methods have advantages and disadvantages and you must decide which one would be best for you. Thanks for this Great post Arjun. Press MM (for eg. Press Tab again, and type “eBooks”, and Enter to create the folder. Even as more and more of our documents are stored electronically and in the cloud, the old-fashioned paper filing system still holds an important place in just about every office. Mine is quite different, although it’s Alpha-sorted, I have a hanging folder for every topic. I am starting to use Evernote. Several of her writing pieces can be found online on eHow. Dennis Best goes a bit further: http://dennisbest.org/bookmarkin. Don’t worry though; we’regoing to set up a filing system that can accommodate any type of paper – homeor office. I’ve been using the GDT method in gmail, so that’s good. Pick one that fits in with your home decoration and personality. Create your own unique filing system using the S.P.A.C.E. They add an unnecessary layer of complexity. I am so loving your blog, so, first off, thanks. The point is, as long as it’s easily retrievable, it shouldn’t worry you that your tax report isn’t filed under “T” for tax or “F” for finances. Stephane. When you have a new item to be filed, create the file right away. Lay the paper in the folders so you can see the tabs. Find a filing cabinet that will hold all your files. Paperless offices sound great, but the reality is that many small businesses still need to store easily retrievable paper documents. It works for me, however, would love to see how your system is. When I tried to follow other people’s instructions for how to set up a filing system, I got overwhelmed in the process. ), to bring up Mind Manager. However, creating a home filing system that makes sense can be quite simple. STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. To create a truly effective filing system, you need to start with a plan.Simply slapping a label on a folder won’t cut it. I have hanging folders for each letter of the alphabet as my physical storage system. I hit a snag with the Downloads folder- I cannot change the name. Alphabetic Filing lphabetic systems group documents together by letters of the name from A - Z. If the files you need to organize are relevant only to specific departments, ask a person in each of those groups to organize their files while you create an overarching file management structure. For more helpful ideas, check out my tips for organizing your home office, organizing room-by-room, and simple daily routines to stay organized once you get there. pse: Brilliant. If you haven’t yet converted to a paperless system of storing documents, you can still easily manage a system to keep track of all your records. Business filing system tip - put the latest documents near the top. You have file that’s landed in your inbox, either by downloading it from the internet, an email attachment, or a direct PDF scan from your scanner. If bookmarking were not an option how and where would you save these? I’m trying to get my whole system on the net so that I can access it from any computer anywhere. or a similar pic? Google Docs will let you upload any type of file. Managing Time. There’s a maximum of 26 places I can look for in the worst case, usually you can narrow it down to 3 or 4. Create an Efficient Home Filing System. The article shows how to organize your office filice system. Create a organization structure based on department instead of using categories that group files based on overarching topics, such as finance or human resources. I prefer to use a hierarchy where the top level is a general category which includes categories like these: Automobile, Charity, Employment, Medical, Insurance, Taxes, Financial, Legal, Personal, Utilities, Reading Queue, To Be Filed, Dentist, Vision, Warranties and Manuals, Household, Family. Mac — Go to a location in which you want to create a folder, click File, click New Folder, type in your folder's name, and press ↵ Enter. Office Filing Procedure is a set of clearly defined and pan-organization followed practices in filing documents and important papers. I only put in stuff that i “can print and take with me” PDF, TXT, Word, excel, etc. If there are multiple filing systems in the office, have everyone establish the same type of filing system. I print a pdf of web pages and file it in a folder called “Webs” For notes and things I use a program called Journler, which is currently free. I just haven’t found anything suitable for documents and my Tickler. @Chanel: Glad you like the idea. July 23, 2015. by Eugene Feygin in Office Tips. I’m in the real-estate business, so somebody called me and gives me the following info for a particular property, there’s no action on this item, but wouldn’t like to lose it: property details: Belgaum 40,000 sft Fsi: 2:1 Retail Rental income Rs. (If I’m looking for tax returns under “F”, I should not be looking at “fun”, I’ll only check under “finances”). Why didn’t I think of that? Much apprecited! Would you have a pic of that uploaded anywhere? I find this system works extremely well, as far as retrieval is concerned. @Daneeta – I would look into Jungle Disk. This is a guest post by Arjun Muralidharan, author of The Productive Student, a new blog about productivity for college students and all productivity buffs. I guess it would have helped if I had told you I’m stuck on Windows Know any tagging software for windows ? Free. Press Tab, and type “M” to choose the “Move to…” command. An office filing system doesn't need to be one or the other. Imagine how much more impressive it would have been if – when asked – you'd smiled, accessed a well-organized filing system, immediately found the document, and quickly given the answer! If you aren’t sure how many drawers you will need, create a practice system using banker's boxes. He uses DevonThink to manage incoming documents from his Fujitsu ScanSnap. And I do this every year! Where did you put your “active Projects” folder. To do this, create a folder called Z-Archive. I personally invested in a good text editor like TextMate (because I practically live inside TextMate) but anything else will do. Or do what is suggested in this article. It takes 10 minutes to make but is extremely easy to navigate as you’ll see. Create an archive folder in your digital filing cabinet. framework for your filing system, create an index. Anybody got any free ideas? It’s a good system, but for me, it lacks two things: In accordance with GTD, I like to have a comprehensive system that’s cross-platform and can live independently from software such as DevonThink. I need to know: Inside the 26 letters, do you create other folders? Walt Mossberg, the well-known technology pundit, also uses it and loves it. I still haven’t gotten it down to a science where I can do it quickly. Hmm… I had that cool novel about Big Brother… what was it called? As for your snippets, I would recommend just using text files. Having a functioning filing system in any office is important. My motto is “the simpler, the better” when it comes to naming your files. on the counter or desk to deal with later, sort them the minute you walk in the door. I have read this post with great interest. SugarSync is like DropBox but more powerful and flexible. I receive all my account on e-mail and wish to create a filing system which I can drag and drop my accounts and correspondence. As for the folder system, you absolutely get the idea. Pick a filing cabinet that you like. But then hit one major snag, which seriously hampered my productivity. The Life Organization File: A step-by step guide to Creating Your Own Home Office Filing System. That way all files are backed up on all the computers, but also in the cloud on the SugarSync folder. Staple pages together instead of using paper clips. Required fields are marked *. Setting Up a Filing System. Google docs – if you turn your uploads to google docs format then the storage won’t count – as well as converting the texts so that it’s searchable. Any ideas on how to apply this in a collaborative process, ie. How can I download or create a system not linked to my Outlook which I can backup on a external drive or cloud. Does your office look like a hurricane has just swept through it? If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Although it takes time and effort to set up, theprofessional benefits are worth the trouble. How to organize an office filing system. I love this way of doing things. (XP to be specific), Technically there are more than 25 other places to look, since each alphabet directory will have sub folders in them too. As you create your computerized filing system, keep your paper system in mind.Any files stored digitally should be organized in the same way you paper files are. For supplies all you really need are several colors of file folders, and if you want to get fancy, some box bottom hanging folders. I think personally I’m tending towards bookmarks, but if that isn’t an option, try just saving the whole page into your system, using Command-S or Ctrl-S. @Mandar Vaze: For Windows tagging, a google search got me this: http://lifehacker.com/software/featured-windows-download/tag-and-organize-your-files-quickly-with-tag2find-270662.php . or do you simply slip the files in each of the letters? 100 per sft Levis, coffeeday, reebok. A few questions if I may: Where did you put your inbox? Besides taking papers from obvious locations, such as your desk drawers and filing cabinets, do a sweep of the rest of your home to make sure you've accounted for everything. Quicksilver can be described as a launcher for Mac OS X, but it basically provides instant access to a lot of functionality and interaction with files. The free 5GB is more than enough for just documents. Take the files to a subject matter expert from each department, preferably someone you know has amazing orga… I like the idea of A-Z filling. 3. What I mean is that now I just have to fire-up quicksilver. This year too many things were going on so . – Also what about snippets of thoughts and notes, where would that go? Claude, check out this post I wrote in reply to your question: http://www.theproductivestudent.com/featured/creating-a-productive-folder-setup/. How did you change the “Downloads” folder to become “Inbox”? Creating a truly effective filing system starts with a planning. Just converted my very messy MBP (as I tell everyone: I use my Mac like a Windows!) This system resides within a Reference folder. Have to say that google docs conversion have a long way to go, but it works. I think they have a free plan as well. Thanks for the info. In this system of A-Z, I usually put the file where I see it best at first. Mark’s paperless project has always been a favorite of mine to follow. You can also set it to automatically backup your computer so you can get to things quickly locally, but get them from the internet if necessary. Now type Command+G to drop your highlighted file into Quicksilver. There should be no "miscellaneous" files in your system. Hospital Files image by PinkSony from Fotolia.com. Color-code your files. Create time to reorganize your filing system or start a new system; it is easier to finish it all at once. Since the files are simply living as normal files within the OS, Spotlight search finds them with ease. ps. Here’s my filing system, using just Mac OS X and Quicksilver, and optionally, Leap. Thanks. Conventionally moving a file is a pain in the backside. into this system, and I *love* it. If it’s something you’ll still read, don’t file it, take it to your “Inbox” or other folder for pending items and such. This article will show you how to create a document management system that does exactly that. I have a single document where I put scribbles called “notes” however you could use separate notes for each item and use the tagging. Be sure to check out http://www.theproductivestudent.com/ ! Above that I also separate into Current Files and Archive Files. In Gmail I have a list of tabs that are too long to scroll through – thanks to the “type the begining and file” feature on gmail. Press Tab, and type “N” to select the “New Folder” command. That way I can at anytime print out everything and put it in my real life folders if need for some reason arise. It can handle pretty much any size of data and is relatively inexpensive. While the instructions seem lengthy, once you get used to it you’ll find it extremely fast and comfortable to do. She also attended Grand Valley State University where she was a writing consultant for other students. Here’s my filing system, using just Mac OS X and Quicksilver, and optionally, Leap. The whole point to being organized is to relieve stress by bringing your life back under control. It will automatically take care of syncing and OCR, and you can use tagging instead of folders. Filing has always been my most dreaded organizing task. They’re portable, stable and just an awesomely simple file format that doesn’t ask you for money or crash on you. I find this system works extremely well, as far as retrieval is concerned. Or is that a feature of Quicksilver I’ll not be able to use with the above system. Creating a file system is important, but so is having a system for paper as it comes into your home, otherwise your file system won’t do you any good. For eg. It’s a brilliant system, and costs very little. Then when I scroll right, I get to see all the latest Mindmaps that I have opened. Go through your files and documents before placing them into the new system and discard any unnecessary documents. Here, I have an eBook version of George Orwell’s 1984. For those looking to implement a filing system into a corporate office, size and security may be of importance, so you may want to look for something with four or more lockable drawers. If you are anything like me, you have a million “notes to self,” and every once in a while, a little piece of paper can get lost in your shuffle. Many people find it useful for that purpose. Are you scanning in documents? I’m trying to go one step further than the paperless office. One way to create order from chaos is to set up a numeric office filing system, where you assign numbers to records, such as purchase orders, inventory items and estimates, and file information in ascending order, or from the lowest to highest number. I’ve been experimenting with this for a while and I have now created an A-Z structure. http://www.xdrive.com There are probably some other free online storage options you can find by doing some searching. Sometimes there are digital files we’d like to clean up or delete from our primary list of folders, yet it’s important to maintain an archive in case you need to refer back to them later. Now, let’s get those sorted stacks into hanging folders and store those hanging folders in our file drawer or file box! I use Google everything. Tagging for me is a pain. Papers sticking up out of the folders will block the tabs and make it more difficult to find a file. If you are unsure of a category for a document, put it under the first category you think of when considering the document or get advice from another person. Then file it into the system, of course. Like, really really rice-and-beans broke. Thanks for the great post and comments. I choose. I don’t really like the alphabetical level. Have you faced a problem not knowing which folder to look into “G’ for guest post, or “P” for paperless (Or “F” for filling). a group of people working on the same project from different location. I get stuff from the browser (Safari) Mail and the scanner. Suggestions? For such a purpose, you can keep this folder structure if you like, or go a path I chose a while ago: Make one single reference folder that holds all files and just tag them with atagging application. Too many files and I shut down. @Daneeta – Mozy use to have a free option. Daneeta: While I don’t know JungleDisk, I personally use SugarSync. 5Gb doesn’t seem like very much to me. Having a filing system in place for all of your paperwork will pay for itself several times over in stress relief when you don't have to … If you love to file, your brain must work differently than mine :-). I use an app called Evernote, which has a free web version. I should ad that Apple soon will have an app out for iPhone/iPod Touch that will let you access your iDisc from everywhere… That just makes it alot sweeter. as you can see form the screenshot in the post, my letter folders each contain further folders for an item. Answering these … My biggest stumbling block was that Quicksilver was not drilling down in applications anymore. (Or let’s be honest – all the time.) Solicit input from the people who use the files. I just have to scroll down to the file I want and hit enter. Thanks Arjun. http://www.sugarsync.com. @Arif: Filing webpages is really something I’m still figruing out myself. A filing system should be based on how files are used in the office, what features of the file are most often referred to and how files are verbally requested. Are you drowning under tidal waves of paper? Don’t think, “Volvo Wagon”; think, “Car” instead. Single Alpha System . Solicit input from the people who use the files. I want to achieve the following: Put the file into my system in a folder named “eBooks”. 2. Alphabetize your files or sort them numerically by category, client names or dates. You are the one who is going to have to find them again later. 5 minutes. Here are sample structures for three types of files: corporate, personal injury, and domestic relations. Gather All of Your Papers in One Spot The first step in setting up a home filing system is to corral all of your paperwork in the same space, so you can sort through it. Would you make a file/folder for every snippet of info? Any ideas on filing systems on line? The Challenge: Blending Old and New If you type “document management system” into any search engine, you'll get long lists of document management “solutions,” many featuring software or apps that advertise the advantages of having a paperless office . Folders if need for some reason arise group of people working on the or. 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I practically live Inside TextMate ) but anything else will do to know: Inside the 26,. Jungle Disk is important OS X and Quicksilver, and press ↵ Enter with folders... Go paperless all my account on e-mail and wish to go to the “ new folder ” command OS... On Windows know any tagging software for Windows Current files and archive files is something! Be able to use a combination of all, or some, of the methods listed above how drawers. Pdf, TXT, Word, excel, etc office files has an important impact on efficiency and..