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  • Filing in the Netherlands...

    May I tap your combined experience...

    I use GTD to subdue my chaotic tendencies but...my building just got reorganised to free seating. That meant that my drawer block and my cherished stacking in-trays went away and I got a sort of beautycase on wheels instead (growl).

    Leaving aside how corporate fashion-crazes impact productivity I reframed this as an opportunity to make my GTD more portable. I am currently have my process, action-support, wfor and project support in transparent folders, but would like to find some kind of compact portable replacement for the in-trays...

    I am in the Netherlands, so US located and sized stationary products are not an option...

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    I don't have any ideas, but once you get accustomed to free seating, I'd be interested in your comments about it. Do people tend to settle into ruts and always for the the same space or do people tend to move around to sit by people they're working with for that day or that project? Is it as totally awful and disruptive as it seems it would be. Does it tend to force you to be more organized with your physical materials and belongings?Just curious.

    Comment


    • #3
      By "beautycase on wheels" I presuming you're talking about a mobile file cabinet with pencil drawer (sized for A4)?

      If this is the case take a visit to the local stationary store or find your firms stationary order person and look through any stationary catalogues they hold. You should find inspiration to your problem. As an aside you're likely looking for a container that can go from a vertical to horizontal orientation without spilling out your papers.

      One thought is polo pocket folders ... they tend to be larger than regular folders, so hold more. Placed at the front of the file cabinet they would accept in-coming work etc or could be moved to the desk top as needed.

      Good luck and let us know the outcome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Free seating

        I have had several run-ins with free seating in various guises and a natural surfeit of opinions so..

        It is a cost-limiting measure and everyone that lives with it knows that, saying otherwise really ticks people off.

        It ensures clean-desk and prevents you from stacking stuff - you have to be at least organised enough to pack your piles away.

        It eats about 10-12 minutes of setup and fold-away time every single day.

        It can allow you to sit next to new people, but that almost never happens in practice. People sit next to the people they already knew.

        In our case it was somewhat absurdly combined with new, highly-adjustable office chairs, that you cannot expect to sit on twice consecutively.

        For change-managers and other internally detached staff it makes a lot of sense: otherwise you maintain desks they are almost never at.

        It makes pulling everyone in for a meeting complex: there is not enough room for them all to work in the department in the hours on either side of the meeting.

        The beauty-case things are both unwieldy and not enough storage: they are pretty universally despised. Storing any quantity of refrerence or support material is an issue with free seating. I would counsel against using it for any department with significant paper-based workflow.

        My two euro-cents...
        - Tim

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        • #5
          Hi Tim,

          It seems you're looking for some sort of foldable in-trays, like the inflatable camping-dishwashing sinks

          I personally like my adaptation of Jalema's Arnato folders - I took a few of them and cut off the steel glider in the center, so that I'm left with something that resembles a standard manilla folder, but has added protection at the sides, so that nothing will fall out of the folder. This is probably not too clear, let me know if you want me to post a photograph of it. Still, it is a folder, not a tray.

          What are your requirements for the thing you're looking for?
          What's your expected outcome?

          Kind regards,
          Taco Oosterkamp (also from the Netherlands)

          http://www.meereffect.nl

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tnoyce
            It is a cost-limiting measure and everyone that lives with it knows that, saying otherwise really ticks people off.
            Maybe I'm a little clueless, being that I've been self-employed and worked from a home office for so long, but how does "free seating" save the company money? Do they buy less than the required number of workspaces/computers and hope that only x-n% of their workforce will actually be doing work at any given point in time? Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I don't get where the cost saving is. Can someone enlighten me?

            -- Tammy

            Comment


            • #7
              If I recall correctly, its a technique used mainly for employers who also either have a workforce that is mobile (ie. large number of external salespeople) or also strongly encourages telecommuting. Thus, they estimate how much space they would require for the people who would actually work in the office at any given time, and work from there. As mentioned, for scheduling meetings, it can be difficult, as then you may have a large number of people who may be used to telecommuting competing for limited space/resources.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TacoOosterkamp
                Hi Tim,

                It seems you're looking for some sort of foldable in-trays, like the inflatable camping-dishwashing sinks

                What are your requirements for the thing you're looking for?
                What's your expected outcome?
                Nice, sharp question...

                I keep most of my stuff in transparent l-files (open 2 sides) with a post-it to label them. The trouble is that I need a framework to prevent them from migrating around my desk and turning into scary stacks. I was thinking about something like a accordion file so I could tuck stuff into subdivisions and then dump the whole thing into my "beautycase" or backpack as the case may be.

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