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MMM...(Perhaps a silly) question about filing

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  • MMM...(Perhaps a silly) question about filing


    I've read the book in Hebrew, so perhaps the terminology I use might look a bit odd.

    I got stuck a few times in the part discussing the filing of "assistance stuff",

    meaning stuff that I don't need to do anything about it other than filing it

    for future use (for example manuals of electric equipment).

    It said in the book that I have to keep a big amount of files for this purpose.

    The question is: how do those files look like? Can someone maybe attach a picture

    showing how this filing drawer should look like?

    Best Regards,


  • #2
    reference material = assistance stuff

    Hi, Ariel!

    How do you file things now? For example, insurance policies, garden ideas or, like you said, manuals, etc.

    I have a large 9-drawer filing cabinet, with labeled 3-cut file folders. Photos attached. You don't need a lot of folders, just enough to file what you want to keep.

    The GTD coaches recommend purging your reference material at least once a year, pulling out all of the things you don't need to keep anymore. It helps to re-evaluate what you have, and, for me at least, it often brings up new actions.


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    • #3
      You have to keep as little files as possible but not less.

      Originally posted by abolotsky View Post
      It said in the book that I have to keep a big amount of files for this purpose.
      You have to keep as little files as possible but not less.


      • #4
        Originally posted by abolotsky View Post
        It said in the book that I have to keep a big amount of files for this purpose.
        Yes, and that refers to the empty file folders that the reference material goes into. The point is that in order to avoid any resistance to filing material that you want to file, you need to have a supply of empty file folders at hand that is big enough so that you never even need to think about running out of folders.


        • #5
          What if I use folders and chases?

          Hello again,

          currently I use folders and chases, both at home and at work.

          It doesn't seem realistic for me in the near future switching to what you have described

          (although it looks fantastic, I must say).

          Do you think it can work for me using just folders and chases?

          Perhaps for large manuals that can't fir into chases I can prepare a designated box.

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          • #6
            It's all about time.

            For me the key factor is, "How long does it take to find it?" If I can pull a document in 30 seconds - and the way I'm set up, that's plenty of time - then I'm productive. If it takes longer that a minute, I feel bogged down and inefficient.

            If I asked you to pull a specific document, how long would it take you in your system? Is that good enough? These are personal preferences... if it's working for you, you're good!


            • #7
              Thank you



              • #8
                All of those issues, and there are more type of such items, should better be done sooner than later. If I don't send out the information the prospect asked for, I might lose the lead. If I don't ship the item ordered, the client might get upset, and without sending the invoice to him- the payment will also be delayed.

                So, till now I used to actually DO those things immediately while processing my in-box, but it made processing slow, because it takes much more than 2 minutes to do, and often my inbox did not get empty on a daily-basis.


                • #9
                  I use folders too and it is working well for me. Primarily because our company has cupboards rather than the filing drawers that artsinaction has.


                  • #10
                    Thank you very much for your response.

                    I'm relieved and looking forward to start managing my life with this new method.



                    • #11
                      How long time does it take for you to file something away?
                      How long time does it take for you to find something again?

                      Those are the two important questions in deciding which filing solution is best for you. Keeping both filing and retrieval times as short as possible is important, since the longer it takes to file or retrieve something, the more you will resist doing it.

                      Under 1 minute is the canonical guideline; I find that around 10 seconds is where my patience ends.