A good file cabinet can be a useful piece of furniture for your office, and easy access to documents and files will help you increase productivity. Whether you have a huge or small office, a home office, effective filing systems for the office will make your daily work run more smoothly. But what is the best way to file documents in a filing cabinet to achieve desired productivity?
The good news is, organizing a filing cabinet is easier than you think. The first thing you need to do is to figure out which filing system will serve your needs the best, then just create a filing system as the way you’d like.
Before you start, just remember that the basic rule of thumb for a filing system is that it should not be too complicated. The current and frequently used documents should always be easy to access; otherwise, it will not be as efficient as your plan. In fact, building your own filing system isn’t as difficult as many people think.
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Before creating a filing system, let’s take a look at the most popular and simple ways for filing documents:
1. Numerical Filing System
This filing system allows you file documents in numerical order. With creating assigning document numbers, all files can be stored at the assigned document numbers. Each of the file cabinet drawers is labelled with a sequence of numbers it contains, and you may also create an index just for quick access. This method is good if your office mainly generates numbered documents, such as invoices or contracts.
2. Date-Based/Chronological Order Filing System
As the name suggests, this filing system is filing your documents by date. You can create monthly or yearly sections, and file your document by its creation date. This method allows your quick access to the information created at a specific time from its section. However, when you use this method, you will also need to establish a system to track which documents correspond to what month and year.
3. Alphabetical Filing System
The basic rule of alphabetical filing is to file according to the letter of the alphabet. It is the most common method of filing and easy to use and understand. Your files and folders are arranged in alphabetical order of the names of persons or institutions concerned with such files. In cases where the names of more than one person or business starts with the same letter, then the second letter of name is taken into consideration.
4. Subject/Category Filing System
In fact, Subject filing is a variation of alphabetic filing system. Instead of sorting the files by person or business names, the arrangement of records is by topics or categories. Under this method, all documents relating to a subject are arranged in the same file, so they can be located easily with a known subject. The subject classification is very useful for educational institutions or real estate businesses, as the documents are kept under type of subjects or contracts.
To achieve the desired efficiency, you may also combine elements of two or even more filing systems. Since with the common filling systems like simple alphabetical, chronological or categorical filing systems, they all have their drawbacks for retrieving documents. Therefore, you need to make some improvements on the basic element of a filling system in order to fit the main functions and improve the efficiency. For example, you can create alphabetical or date subsections to a categorical system by creating alphabetical or date subsections to improve efficiency.
Once you are all set with knowing the best filing system that works for you, the next step is to purchase a filing cabinet.
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