Sunday, January 21, 2007

Setting up a Reference Filing System (A - Z)

I have used a filing cabinet for over twenty years. Each drawer was full of dark green suspension files each clearly labelleled with short pieces of cardboard folded over to fit into the clear plastic tabs that snapped on to the files (and nearly impossible to remove later!). The labels were terse but all encompassing (Books, Mastercard, Medical, Music...) and each file contained at least half an inch thickness of paper.

This has all changed. I bought a box of 100 manila folders, removed the hanging files and replaced a small number of old files with about 150 manila folders, each clearly labelled and containing very specific information.

I have written an article about this filing system to help you set up a similar system for yourself, as well as a suggestion on implementing something similar for your email folders.

The tickler folder ... a 43 folder solution for the future

I recently wrote an article about setting up and using a tickler file.

The idea of a tickler file/suspension file is not new and has been part of many office environments for decades. David Allen has given it a new life, describing how to set up a tickler file in his book Getting Things Done and introducing it as part of the GTD workflow.

Myarticle can be read here. Comments and feedback on how you have implemented a tickler file are most welcome.