Create an Office Filing System That Works

January 18, 2021

Whether working at home or in the office, your filing system can support the management and growth of your business – if implemented the right way. Here are five essential elements to creating an office filing system that works.

  • A plan. To create a truly effective filing system, you need to start with a plan. Chances are your current filing system isn’t working because there wasn’t much of a formal “system” to begin with. Evaluate your current storage areas, how much paperwork you typically store and how long you save documents. Then purchase your needed supplies, including colored folders, hanging folders, and labels.
  • Broad file categories. Start with broad categories first, like employment, recruiting, finances, client billing, etc. An easy way to identify the categories you’ll need is by resorting piles you already have into like topics.
  • Pick a “major category” to break into smaller subcategories. Be as specific as possible and give each subcategory its own folder. For example, your finance category could be divided into expenses, invoices, credit cards, and bank accounts.
  • Color coding. Using colored folders and paper, like Boise® FIREWORX® Premium Multi-Use Colored Paper, is a quick way to visually separate your categories. To start, assign each “major category” a color. For example, finances might be green, and employment could be yellow. Being able to look on your desk or file drawer to see information categorized by color will make better sense to your brain – you’ll barely have to think before your hand will naturally reach for the color associated with the section.
  • Label making. Every single folder needs a clear and concise label. When creating your labels, move from general to more specific categories. The goal is to keep related files in close proximity to each other. Repeat for every grouping of files until you have labeled every file in each major category.

With the right filing system, it’s easy to put your hands on the correct file without a lot of searching!

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