Paper and File Management Tips
Paper Storage and Filing System Ideas
In order to tame the paper pileup, these essential systems must be established to allow you to work on one thing at a time. Successful paper-management systems should include a means to process actionable paper, store projects, and access a tailor-made permanent filing system.
The first system you must set up is a processing center to catch and queue entering paper for action. This is the single most significant system in any household or office. Actionable paper is paper that corresponds to something you need to do. It involves quick turnover items. Imagine your processing center as a runway: You land and take off on a runway; you don't park. The concept is to keep incoming paper moving via your processing center till you can file it or throw it out.
It is recommended to sort incoming paper not by what it is (like a medical or financial document) but rather what you need to do with it. If you're looking at a bill for medical service, ask yourself what you require to do with it. The answer, naturally, is that you need to pay it. So you'll need a tray called 'To Pay' in your processing system. When you are looking at your bank statement, ask what you need to do with it. You might need to reconcile it and then file it. If that's the case, you must put the bank statement in a tray that says To Reconcile, and after you have finished that task, you can then move it onto a tray that says 'To File.'
Your paper-based actions would be entirely unique to you. Some people have a neat filing system, so they file straightaway. Hence, they do not need a tray that says 'To File.' Others do a lot of phone calls and may need a tray that says 'To Call.' People who have many things to do might want to segregate a huge stack of items needing follow-up into To-Do A and To-Do B or Immediate and Action.
In general, trays work best for splitting up your action-oriented paper. For this reason, customized trays and drawers help people capture and take action on their paper. For example, make a To Do A, To Do B and Immediate Action trays to further sort your papers.
© 2011 Athena Goodlight