Organize Your Files

Do you have the secret on how to organize your files? Where do you put your files so you will find them again without turning the whole place upside down? I heard about the following three file categories years ago and they have served me well ever since.

Working Files: These are the actual files you are working on every day. You need them right at hand so you can take immediate action.

Reference Files: These are the files that you might want access to from time to time.

Archive: These are files of past work that you rarely, if ever need to access again but want to keep on file just in case.

“Everyone has two jobs. The first is doing their job, and the second is improving the way they do their job.”

Masaaki Imai

Five Days of Action

Time for a reality check. Take a look at your filing system, both office and computer. Does it represent chaos or order? Do others handle it for you? When you need to find vital information, is it a frustrating, irritating or smooth process? Commit to any needed changes.

Assess what work needs to be done. Make today a preparation day. Assemble any office supplies you (or your staff) need.

Implement the system with any modifications that will fit your working needs. Once it is in place, follow it exactly and you will increase your effectiveness substantially.

Apply the system to your computer – working, reference and archive. So much time is lost because of poor file organization. This may be quite a task for you, but persevere. It will pay off handsomely when in some critical conversation you need to access just the right information and you have it at your fingertips.

Implement the system organization-wide. Take the benefits of organization and multiply them exponentially. The returns will be worth it.