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The Easiest Filing System

A Filing System That Makes Finding Files Easy

By Ronda Claire

Those of us who have been home-based for six months or longer, know the value of a filing system. In fact, when a person sets up a business, this should be one of the legal requirements. Okay, not really, but it is or will be a vital part of your own communications system.

A variety of ways exist to file correspondence, documents, articles and other important papers that we may (or may not) refer to again. Being traditional, I chose to use an alphabetical, rather than numerical, system. And as soon as I made that decision, I was faced with a few more (self-generated) problems and questions:

Should I use hanging files, or regular?

Or mix them -a hanging file as a main subject with a file inside?

Should I use one color, a variety, or straight manila? Yeesh!

Finally, I decided on manila and no color coding (yet).

This issue settled, I gave myself another “dilemma”: straight cut no tabs, 1/5 cut or 1/3 cut?

Then there were labels to consider: color coded? white? typed? hand written? Or just not use a label and write on the file tab?

How could something actually so simple be turned into such a problem? Well, as all “situations” seem to do, this one worked itself out. So “obvious” a solution, it was easy to overlook.

Since I’ve been through the “label-a-file-in-alphabetical-order-and-have-a-new-one- come-in-and-mess-it-all -up” way, i.e.: aa, ab, ac, ba, bb, bc, only to have ad come along...I decided on 1/3 cut, alphabetical, and set it up like this:

A B C

D E F

G H I

J K L

M Misc N

P Q

R S T

U V W

X Y Z

With “Misc.” I have 27 file sections. In each section, files are alphabetized. If I need a copy of a letter to city hall, I go to the right tabbed files and locate it easily.

So simple. Really. Now I just have to keep “misc.” under control!

Contributed by Ronda Claire of Claire Ideas. Call Ronda at 815-735-5249 or email her at ClaireIdeas@mailcity.com.

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