The real issue here isn’t whether to file, but how to file. My clients routinely fail to file well because they don’t believe they have the time or wherewithal to create a filing system that will actually work.
Just Look to Your Kitchen for Guidance
Most people cry, “But I’d don’t know where to start!” whenever the issue of creating a filing system is brought up. Nonesense. Just look to the silverware drawer in virtually everyone’s kitchen. It’s organized, so it can’t be that hard. Note, the silverware drawer stands in stark contract to the “junk” drawer which is generally a disaster.
What’s my point? Ask yourself which system works better for you. Read on if you answered the silverware drawer.
The silverware drawer is better organized for two reasons. First, like items are grouped together. Forks go with forks, spoons with spoons, etc. We have simply arranged things in an orderly/categorical manner. Paperwork can be similarly organized – by project, client, department, and all the various sub-categories that arise.
Second, there are products you can purchase to assist in keeping the silverware properly sorted. I’m talking about those drawer inserts with bays for separating everything out. Again, the same is true for physical and electronic paperwork. On the physical side, there are manila folders, expanding Redwells, hanging folders and filing cabinets. On the electronic side, the ability to create folders and sub-folders is built right into the functional aspect of the computer’s operating system. There are also dozens of systems (like QuietSpacing®) and products that can help you create and maintain an organized filing system.
Rummaging is Best Left to Others
In the end, the decision to create and maintain a good filing system is a decision that requires discipline to execute and follow. Once you are on your way to creating a system that works for you, you can adjust it to meet any future needs that you face. However, failure to start means failure to succeed.