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Hanging Folders + Regular Manila Folders?

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  • Hanging Folders + Regular Manila Folders?

    I agree with David's suggestion to keep the file cabinets very close to you for maximum efficiency and usability. However, I only have so much space right next to my desk (even after rearrangment of furniture). So I needed the smaller filing cabinets (15" depth). The ones I was able to find (at a good price too) are the wood ones that don't have a stable bottom...but they fit perfectly right next to my desk and are work very well otherwise.

    Now that I have these filing cabinets that dont have a very strong bottom part of the drawer...I thought to simply use Hanging Folders (as suggested in the filing cabinet manual). However, I like the idea of the ease of using plain manila file folders.

    So I was thinking I would have maybe two-letter (A through B) hanging folders in which I would place all the file folders that have a subject heading starting with A or B...and then have another hanging folder for C through D, etc.

    Does that sound like a good system? I thought when the hanging folder got too big that I would simply swap it out for a box-bottom hanging file folder which I would keep in stock. And ofcourse, if it got really out of hand then I could simply give even further seperation by using the first hanging folder as Aa to Al, second hanging folder Al to Az, third hanging folder Ba to Bl, etc.

    What do you guys think?

  • #2
    I doubt you will be happy, ...

    Inserted folders usually coverup the label on hanging folders, but you can build them up yourself with odds and ends.

    Hanging folders are good for certain things-
    Think of the hanging folders a pigeon holes or mail boxes, so they can work
    in system that doesn't expand and contract., that you want to have stay a certain way.

    A system set up for initial sorting, such as you have a lot of incoming paper on a limited number of names. In other words, depositing is more important than retrieval either forever or a certain stage in the work.

    A system where there is a kind of infra-structure that you want to preserve. For example, I organized a whole lot of reprints by following the table of contents of the "bible" of the industry to which they were related. I used a hanging folder for each chapter heading.

    All the contents in a given hanging folder are homogenous such as in supplies or forms, espcially if used by a number of different people.

    The big problems with handing folders are the obscuring of their label, the folders getting tangled and falling off the run ways, if the contents are heterogenous you have top take the whole folder out to hunt for the itme you want.

    But they are good for holding a set of realted folders together for example, if you ahve a few cars, you can have a cars hanging and the indidividual vbehicles each can have their own within.
    Last edited by Jamie Elis; 01-28-2008, 12:05 PM. Reason: proof reading

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    • #3
      I use hanging folders but only put one Manila folder in each one. I always label on the left and so I position the little plastic letter holder on the right side of the hanging folder for the first one for that letter. Subsequent files of the same letter are simply a manila folder inside a hanging folder. If I haven't got any files for a particular letter yet there is an empty hanging folder in the cabinet with the plastic letter holder on the left side so I can visually see this.

      Simon

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sdhill View Post
        I use hanging folders but only put one Manila folder in each one. I always label on the left and so I position the little plastic letter holder on the right side of the hanging folder for the first one for that letter. Subsequent files of the same letter are simply a manila folder inside a hanging folder. If I haven't got any files for a particular letter yet there is an empty hanging folder in the cabinet with the plastic letter holder on the left side so I can visually see this.

        Simon
        that's a pretty good system. I agree with the earlier post that the tabs would be hidden by the labels on the manilla folders. But your system fixes that. So basically, you would do the A through B or Aa through Am or whatever on the first tab of the hanging folder (with the tab all the way to the right) and then your first alpahbetically organized manilla folder would go in the first hanging folder with the tab...but each subsequent manilla folder that is in the Aa through Am section would go in its own hanging folder but the hanging folders would not have any tabs. That way the left tabs are all individual manilla folder titles (each in its non-tab non-label hanging folder) and the first hanging folder of each section has a tab to the very right with indicating what part of the alphabet this next section represents.

        Does your system not get very thick? seperate hanging folder for each manilla folder? I guess its not a big deal you could do two or three or more manilla folders per hanging folder and it would still look ok because all the tabs would be on the left for the manilla and none for the hanging folder.

        Perhaps I should give this a try...

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        • #5
          I don't quite understand all the fuss. My hanging folders do not have labels. I use them simply as containers to keep my manila folders upright and protect them from falling over. The manila folders are labeled.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
            I don't quite understand all the fuss. My hanging folders do not have labels. I use them simply as containers to keep my manila folders upright and protect them from falling over. The manila folders are labeled.
            sorry...I knew my post would be kind of confusing

            but your basic idea is correct, with the exception that the other poster puts a tab on the right hand side of the first hanging folder of each section to indicate the beginning of a section.

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            • #7
              can you take a picture of your system and upload it here?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nanotech View Post
                sorry...I knew my post would be kind of confusing
                Not aimed at you, nanotech. The number of people on this forum who have tied themselves up in knots over hanging folders, manila folder, labeling styles, etc. is staggering (or entertaining, depending on your point of view). Stick around for a while, and look back through some threads, and you'll see. Meanwhile, welcome to our struggling band.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
                  can you take a picture of your system and upload it here?
                  Here's a photo of one of my file draws. Never thought twice about it since I set it up. Nice and simple.

                  Simon
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    I have used just plain manila files on their own without the hanging files as DA suggests and find it works for me. I'm not sure what you mean by a stable bottom to the draw but I found my folders could stay upright with just some old books and packets of A4 paper behind them. Hanging files take up a surprising amount of space. It's surprising how much more space you have for filing once you do away with them, so if space is limited..!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sdhill View Post
                      Here's a photo of one of my file draws. Never thought twice about it since I set it up. Nice and simple.

                      Simon
                      I just finished setting up mine according to the comments here. However, it doesn't look like what's pictured here. I didn't put any tabs on my hanging folders like one of you suggested here. So it really looks like its just all manilla folders but each one is actually inside its own hanging folder.

                      I have no system that shows where the files for each alphabet begin...i figure I can just as easily simply see the name of the file and if it says "Business Plans" then I know im on B and if I was looking for something in C I just need to look a little past it...etc

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                      • #12
                        I still do not have the filing cabinets that I need. It's been going on a year now and I'm still shoving files into a mini Ikea file cabinet that was company issued. I'm willing to invest in some, but when I go to buy them, I get overwhelmed trying to find some that look good and are also functional. Even thinking about buying the Herman Miller's turns into a big production because their website is confusing. Help!

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                        • #13
                          I definitely recommend that the drawers have one of those adjusting stops to set the file folders, particularly if you are planning on filing without hanging file folders. I love my desk visually and functionally. It has 2 easy-gliding file drawers, but there are no file folder stops. I could fit a lot more right at my fingertips if I had them. But then again, how many projects do I really want to work on right now. Another consideration is the ease of the glide. My reference files are in a set of sideways file drawers that do not pull out far enough without a final tug. Terribly irritating, since I often don't think of it until I can't get the file folder out.

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                          • #14
                            I swore by my hanging file folders until about 6 months ago when I moved into a new office. As I was re-hanging all the file folders into my new file cabinets, I suddenly caught the vision of what David Allen was talking about.

                            I've always had a large stack of folders that I never wanted to take the time to process, so I just kept them stacked inside a credenza. Well, my new furniture has about twice the file cabinet space as the old one, so I decided to dedicate a drawer to that stack. Instead of laying them flat, I set them up vertically and voila - a sudden burst of inspiration. It just worked - that file drawer made all the files perfectly accessible without a single hanging file folder.

                            Like I said, it's been about 6 months. Filing is so much easier now without having to keep a wad of hanging folders at the ready to accomodate the system. My files may not look quite as neatly lined up as that picture, but it works. It's quicker and easier, and I like it better.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
                              I don't quite understand all the fuss. My hanging folders do not have labels. I use them simply as containers to keep my manila folders upright and protect them from falling over. The manila folders are labeled.

                              Amen - been doing it for years. Keep it simple. You'll be glad you did.

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