Saturday, January 29, 2011

Effective Filing to Avoid Paper Clutter


How do you maintain a tidy workstation? The best thing is to avoid documents piling up on your desk Here are the easy ways to get rid of paper on your desk and maintain proper filing for the documents

1. Action Now: As soon as a piece of document has landed on your table, take immediate action. There are four things you can do:

• Discard: Send to the trash bin immediately if it serves no purposes
• Take action right away: If it takes a few minutes to get it done, go ahead and do it.
• File: If it is for future reference or action, send the document to its permanent home such as a tickler file.
• A folder for outstanding work: When you cannot act on it now put the document in a folder and leave it on your table so that you can keep in view and attend to it later.

2. All about files: The aim of filing is to give each and every document a proper home so that a document can be easily and quickly located when you need it later. A thick file is better and easier to locate documents because related documents are kept together instead of filing related documents separately in smaller files. Use files of the same size, especially for A4 paper, which are convenient for storage

3. The system: When you are dealing with many different companies. Keep files separately in different cabinets for every company. In each company, file according to subject and label them such as cash payment vouchers, check payment vouchers and bank statements. It is also necessary to date the file like 2011, January to June 2011 and February 2011.

4. A tickler file to remember all you need to do in the future: You don’t have to remember things to do because all the information is in just one file. This file has two sections. One part consists of 31 folders for each day in a month. Another part with 12 folders for every month in a year. At the end of a month, say February, you transfer the documents for March and file according to their dates into their respective slots in the 31 folders. When you arrive at work, say on March 1, just look for documents for this particular date and you know what you are supposed to do. A tickler file is very suitable for recurring items on a regular basis like monthly or yearly. As soon as an item is done with, transfer the document to the March folder and ready to be use again next year. You don’t have to remember things to do but make it a habit to look at it every working day first thing in the morning

It is a good working habit to clear the paper on your desk every day. There will be more documents coming in daily. Manage or be swarmed by paper.

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