Your office is growing and changing, but is your filing system keeping up with your business’ momentum? An effective office needs an effective way to manage the flow of information. If a digital age, it’s becoming harder to manage all of the documents needed in hard copy. Although we would love to banish the dreaded hard copy altogether, that’s just not a realistic option for most businesses. Here are some filing system DO’s that will help your office run more efficiently.
DO: Decide on a filing system that works for your business. You can choose an infinite number of options but the most common are:
- Alphabetical – You can do this by client name, company name, or project name. Just make sure that all files are under the same category for easy retrieval.
- Numerical or Chronological – Giving each order or job a specific number can be your best option when working with multiple people or companies. Dates can also be an effective filing tool when used effectively.
- Subject or Category – This can be tricky and can be the most confusing, but if you have a system that works for you, it could be the most effective way for your company.
DO: Color Code. Being able to look for information and see company documents broken up by color helps your brain process what you are seeing. When you know that invoices are yellow on contracts are green, it will help you retrieve information quickly and efficiently.
DO: Avoid Saving EVERYTHING! Not every piece of paper from a particular job or project needs to be saved. Save important documents in hard copy, especially papers with signatures or vital information. When in doubt, scanning information is a great space saving tool to keep all the useless clutter to a minimum.
DO: Separate completed work from active work. Designate a place for files that are inactive, unused or outdated. Keeping these files might be a necessity for your business and an allocated area for this information will streamline your system.