Organizing Your Paper Filing System

Yes I said Paper. I have not met a professional developer or technology specialist yet who has tossed all of his/her paper files. We talk about making a paperless classroom and office, but there are very few of us who can say they are completely paperless. So first things first, we need to organize our paper files and then determine which ones are worthy to digitize.

Imagine pulling out a file drawer and effortlessly finding just what you need. This can happen with a little work on your part to create the filing cabinet you always hoped to have.

Decide on a system of categorizing and labeling your files. If you need to brainstorm, use Inspiration or post-it notes. I used Inspiration when coming up with categories for my QuickBook files. Whatever label you assign to your paper files can also be assigned to your electronic files.

  • Create a legend for others to quickly find the resources on a specific area.
  • Tape the legend inside the drawer in plain view.

Now I sound like I'm organized, right? I have files all over the place. I just started organizing and purging files. I have several drawers of files at home and at work. By the time this tip comes out, I plan to be down to fewer drawers and, hopefully, digitize those that are really important.

I can share that every category in QuickBooks is similar to each file folder. I have a hanging folder for each category and manila folders for each expense item, i.e. Travel > lodging. When I return, I know exactly where to put my receipts after inputting into QuickBooks.

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