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Alternatives to hanging files ?

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  • Alternatives to hanging files ?

    in the book GTD, Dave says not to use hanging files, what alternatives are out there.
    If my folders require hanging files, then do I put ONE folder in each file and then just label the indentation of the folder where it is cut ?

  • #2
    This is what I do. I started by getting rid of hanging files, but my files move much nicer if I have them.

    Of course, this means that I do need to keep both hanging files and file folders on hand.

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    • #3
      In case of hanging files

      David actually suggests using manila folders inside of hanging folders (one hanger for each manila) in the book, which I think is a bit much.

      My desk, where I have my folders, has hanging folder rails in the drawer, and I have simply put the manila folders in there and ignored the extra width and depth that serves for the hanging folders.

      Are you using a lateral file system or something else that has rails for hanging folders, but no sides?

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      • #4
        Im not sure what system it is but if I put just regular files in there, they kind of droop and have no support to "stay up." hope I am clear, its hard to explain. thanx del

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        • #5
          GTD is a framework.

          I think it is only David's suggestion to use manila folders. I prefer hanging folders. I like them. And I do not think using hanging folders is better or worse than any other solution that is reliable and easy to maintain. GTD is a framework where you can build your own system.
          TesTeq

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          • #6
            File folders

            Originally posted by delphil
            Im not sure what system it is but if I put just regular files in there, they kind of droop and have no support to "stay up." hope I am clear, its hard to explain. thanx del
            The desk drawer where I keep my folders is much deeper (front-to-back) than my current stack of folders, so my folders tend to lie down too.

            TesTeq makes an excellent point. While David recommends manila folders, you can and should use whatever works for you to meet the functional requirements of the file system -- it must be quick, easy, and fun to put things into the system and find them later.

            As someone mentioned in another thread here, there is no GTD Police that will come in and give you trouble for using the wrong kind of folders.

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            • #7
              One way to support manilla folders without hanging folders is with hanging folders! Just hang one or more hanging folders in the back, weighted down with enough scratch paper to keep from sliding. Use as much weighted folders as you need, and remove them as necessary as your drawer accumulates files.

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              • #8
                Argh, I don't like hanging files, but I'm stuck with them in my main desk. I have most of my manilla files grouped together (hanging), however I add more hanging files to seperate them further when my manilla files get bulkier. I have extra hanging files in the back and I bring them in when needed.

                I have my Tickler files in one hanging file by themselves. Enough room for now.

                Then seperate year to year. New year, new files.

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                • #9
                  hanging folders

                  In using hanging folders, you mioght think about the problems and the advatnages.
                  Problems: they can fall off the rails, get tangled, and, the labels(if the are the stick up kind) can obscure one another unless you lay them out carefully. So if you are adding into the system, you will need to re-adjust the entire set of labels. I believe there is system available where the labels lie flat in a little plastic case at the top edge of the folder, but I think these may be $$$. Finally, if you need to use folders within hangng folders, they are made specially for this and are wee bit smaller than a regular folder. You would probably need these internal folders if you are putting irregular bits and pieces in (clippings, memorbilia, reciepts, cds) or have items that go in are hard to grasp in one hand, or if you need to remove the internal folder for refilling.

                  If you can live with the first two issues (and the quality of your rails and drawers can also reduce the problem), then hanging folders are really great for a "set system". By this I mean, you know you know all the categories in advance and rarely add a category or reduce your categories. They are also good if you need to be careful about keep9ing documents spearated but close to each other. For example, if you have customers, you may want to have an internal folder for any contract and another for support materials. finally, if you have materials that a group of people need to access, but no one is supposed to take out the whole folder, hanging folders can be useful.

                  So, I believe most of us, hanging folders might make up part of your system, such as a tickeler (days-within-month, and month-by-month). Iin which case don't bother to move the hanging folders, but use a clip or a colorful piece of cardboard to indicate which day you are on), forms or supplies (like different types of paper) that various people need to get out, or reference material that gets taken out and then needs a place to return to easily. Based on many years of experimentation, I would avoid hanging folders unless your needs meet the above criteria.

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                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    I'm using manila folders inside hanging folders. Now I have a to file folder, but the things never get files, I just keep on adding to file folders,

                    Ted

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                    • #11
                      Straight-Line System

                      Originally posted by Jamie Elis
                      In using hanging folders, you mioght think about the problems and the advatnages.
                      Problems: they can fall off the rails, get tangled, and, the labels(if the are the stick up kind) can obscure one another unless you lay them out carefully. So if you are adding into the system, you will need to re-adjust the entire set of labels. I believe there is system available where the labels lie flat in a little plastic case at the top edge of the folder, but I think these may be $$$. Finally, if you need to use folders within hangng folders, they are made specially for this and are wee bit smaller than a regular folder. You would probably need these internal folders if you are putting irregular bits and pieces in (clippings, memorbilia, reciepts, cds) or have items that go in are hard to grasp in one hand, or if you need to remove the internal folder for refilling.
                      Exactly, however I don't use the plastic "stick-up" kind I find them too annoying. But I do use a Straight-Line system. Really Cool! Check it out here:

                      http://www.smead.com/Director.asp?NodeID=658

                      I believe someone here also mentioned about knowing where everything or categories are. I find this essential and my system. Know where it Goes.

                      arthur


                      80% of the cost to maintain paper records is in the personnel time required to retrieve and file documents in the filing system. [From Smead]



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