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alphabetizing one-third cut manila file folders

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  • alphabetizing one-third cut manila file folders

    Hi folks,

    If you use the plain manila file folders, as recommended in the book, for your general reference filing, do you use the standard one-third cut type?

    I guess those are designed to alternate the folder title tab among the three positions: left, center, right, followed again by left, center, right, etc., so as to maximize visibility of the labels. However, if you want to have the folders alphabetized, then I guess that doesn't quite work, because you never know when you're going to want to insert a new topic into the alphabetized stream.

    How do you handle this? Do you just simply not worry about maintaining that sort of idealized "alternating" position of the folder title tabs?

  • #2
    Best Shot

    I give it my best shot... assuming I have the time and attention span to look into the file drawer to see where the new folder will go, then I will pull out a folder with an "appropriate position cut" before I affix the printed label and file the new folder.

    In anything resembling a hurry? Just grab a folder. You don't know what the *next* folder of reasonable alphabetical proximity might call for... never overthink your system.

    John

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    • #3
      I read an article or blog entry that suggests formatting your third-cut files as follows:

      Left Tab = A, D, G, J, etc.
      Center Tab = B, E, H, K, etc.
      Right Tab = C, F, I, L, etc.

      That allows you to add files without messing up the tabs and provides some visual organization in the file drawer. I am working on that format now.

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      • #4
        I use single cut folders instead

        They're a little more expensive, but they provide lots room for labelling and it gives the entire drawer a very neat appearance.

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        • #5
          I use the 1/3 cut, but I repurpose them so that I end up with two main categories. Projects (both active and archived/completed) use the folders with the center tab. All other general reference stuff uses the left tab, and I turn the right-tabbed ones inside out to make more left-tabbed folders.

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          • #6
            if you want to have the folders alphabetized

            With 3 tabs folders, you can manage to have, for any folder, a tab different from the previous and next ones - and then maintain in any circumstances visibility of the label.

            EG :

            you have :
            file "AAA" tab 1
            file "BBB" tab 2
            file "CCC" tab 3
            file "DDD" tab 1
            and so on.

            If you have to insert a file "Alpha", between "AAA" and "BBB" you chose for this new file the only available tab : not 1 nor 2, but 3. The sequence becomes tab 1 - 3 - 2 - 3 -1 : each tab can be read.
            If you have now to insert "Baa" file between "Alpha" and "BBB" you choose a tab #1 and the sequence becomes 1 - 3 - 1- 2 - 3 -1 : again, each tab can be read.
            And so on : you always have an available tab allowing the whole sequence to be visible.

            Hope i am clear (not english fluent !) and HTH.

            Joel

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            • #7
              you have :
              file "AAA" tab 1
              file "BBB" tab 2
              file "CCC" tab 3
              file "DDD" tab 1
              and so on.

              Of course tab 1 means Left Tab, tab 2 Center Tab and tab 3 means Right Tab.

              Joel

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              • #8
                What about removing?

                Originally posted by joel View Post
                With 3 tabs folders, you can manage to have, for any folder, a tab different from the previous and next ones - and then maintain in any circumstances visibility of the label.

                EG :

                you have :
                file "AAA" tab 1
                file "BBB" tab 2
                file "CCC" tab 3
                file "DDD" tab 1
                and so on.

                If you have to insert a file "Alpha", between "AAA" and "BBB" you chose for this new file the only available tab : not 1 nor 2, but 3. The sequence becomes tab 1 - 3 - 2 - 3 -1 : each tab can be read.
                If you have now to insert "Baa" file between "Alpha" and "BBB" you choose a tab #1 and the sequence becomes 1 - 3 - 1- 2 - 3 -1 : again, each tab can be read.
                And so on : you always have an available tab allowing the whole sequence to be visible.

                Hope i am clear (not english fluent !) and HTH.

                Joel
                Removing one or two subsequent folders will ruin the whole visibility concept.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                  Removing one or two subsequent folders will ruin the whole visibility concept.
                  I am afraid that removing folders will ruin any visibility scheme, except for "only one tab" system (where *no* visibility is available).

                  In real life, you get a problem if :
                  * you remove a file
                  * that was between two similar tabs (not so frequent !)
                  * and the "similar tab" files are thin enough to let the first one hide the second one

                  In my own not so quiet life, this problem appears one or two times a year (and is solved buy letting in place a empty manilla file).

                  A non-perfect system in a non-perfect world

                  Joel

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                  • #10
                    Removing one or two subsequent folders will ruin the whole visibility concept

                    Just one more "thinking" : if you remove one file, i think you can always maintain visibility in changing the next physical file for another tab.

                    Eg
                    1-2-3-1
                    you remove 2 => 1-3-1 : no visibility problem

                    1-2-1-3
                    or
                    1-2-1-2
                    you remove the first 2 => you get 1-1-3 or 1-1-2 (visibility problem)
                    you can always transfer the content of the second file ( the second 1) in another tabbed one ( 2 or 3, depending of the situation) to get 1-2-3 or 1-3-2

                    Seems to work in all circumstances ?

                    Joel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First of all, thanks to everyone for the interesting and useful ideas, and for responding so quickly. The GTD community is amazing.

                      Joel, I think you're brilliant. I actually had the same thought about inserting new topics, as I was walking down the street the other day. But I realized the problem of deleting.

                      However, I think you're right: when you delete a folder, the worst that happens if you want to maintain the perfect (theoretical) "visibility" is that you have to move just one existing folder -- you just move it to the position that is different from both its predecessor and its successor.

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