Do it. Record it. File it.

Electronic filing is the new trend with many offices going paperless, but what about the documents that you want to keep?

If you want a paperless office, it’s crucial to have a good scanner to copy the documents to a file on your computer. You must also have a good system of knowing exactly how to find a file once you save it.

If you do decide paperless isn’t for you, a good filing system for your file cabinet is also very important.

I know I’ve seen it happen. Your desk is piled high with tons of papers, documents, brochures. How do you get these piles to disappear but be able to find them when you need to?

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. When you take a document off the top of the pile, decide what file name to give it, write it on a sticky note and drops into a box that you check everyday.
  2. You check the box and begin to build file folders for the new files that will be placed into the cabinet. Inside those file folders you can also have folders with sub files.
  3. You also make a list of the file names/titles so you have it electronically and can look to see which files you have created. Sort in ABC order, the list should match the order the files are in the drawer.
  4. Now you have a drawer full of files and a cleared desk!

If you have many drawers, you can label the drawers and note this on the electronic list, such as:

Filing System List:

File Name Sub Files Where located
Budget Payroll, Travel Drawer #1
Human Resources Policies, Contracts Drawer # 2
Evaluations Staff, Board Drawer #3


So, now when you want to locate a certain file while sitting at your computer, you can go to the electronic list (above) and use a control/find search and type a word such as “payroll” and when the word is found it will tell you which file and which drawer to look in. Remember, if you scanned all the items and stored them electronically, you would not need file cabinets and drawers. Everyone’s situation is different.

Some offices filing system can take up only one page, and others could be up to ten pages or more.

The key to finding documents whether electronic or paper is an organized filing system list as shown above that you can look up a file name and boom… tells you where it is located.

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