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Physics rather than Philosophy Of Filing

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  • Physics rather than Philosophy Of Filing

    Most advice on filing seems to tackle Philosophy - categorization, cross referencing, alpha versus numeric, etc. But there's not a lot written on what I'm calling the "Physics" - paper size, hanging folder size, staples versus paperclips, use of ACCO fasteners, etc, etc, etc.

    I buy DA's simple alpha system, but I'm mired in choices like: 1,3,5 or no tabs on the manillas, letter or legal hangers, letter or legal manillas, letter or legal paper, color or not, ACCO fasteners, treasury tags or neither, and so on.

    Anyone want to share their approach?

    w

  • #2
    No tabs on the manila folders. No matter what you do, they get out of sync sooner or later, and you end up with stuttering tabs that look like bad dental work. Following the advice of an organizational guru whose name I have forgotten, it's been so long, I have used straight-cut folders for years, and put all the labels at the extreme left. They can still be read easily, and the whole arrangement always looks neat.

    Letter size for me. None of my papers are larger. If you need to file legal-size paper, get legal-size folders.

    Colors? They can be useful for categorizing (see other threads mentioning this), especially if you find alphabetizing everything counterproductive (sorry, DA).

    Comment


    • #3
      Folders

      Day Owl,

      I dont get it. If they're all flush and the titles are on the left, how can they be as easily read as staggered file tabs?

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually, that raises a good point. I have used tabbed folders, but I always have them unstaggered (I aim for them always on the left). That avoids the problem of them getting out of pattern. But then, it raises the question of why bother using the tabs in the first place.


        Originally posted by dal1mdm
        Day Owl,

        I dont get it. If they're all flush and the titles are on the left, how can they be as easily read as staggered file tabs?

        Comment


        • #5
          Processing and filing so it's easy to do

          Hello,

          I posted this link some time ago...perhaps it will add some information to the pot...

          http://jasonwomack.typepad.com/photo.../100_0032.html

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: Tabs

            Staples or OfficeDepot should have the 1/3 cuts with ONLY the left, right, or middle tabs. (I'm not sure if they are available for the 1/5 cuts).

            Isn't the main reason for tabs to put your label on it? If you get a no-tab, isn't it just a flat folder?

            Comment


            • #7
              I sort mine like this

              I use 1/3 cut plain.

              A[left]B[center]C[right]
              DEF
              GHI
              JKL
              MNO
              PQR
              STU
              VWX
              YZ

              I even made a chart so that I always remember where it goes when I make a new label. For awhile I had some numbers, they went before A in the same order. (I had 911 for September 11, 2001; but I have since archived it in a box.)

              Another topic, but my Tickler File is a bit different. I used Center for the months & Left for the Odd days, right for the even.

              Comment


              • #8
                dal1mdm wrote:

                If they're all flush and the titles are on the left, how can they be as easily read as staggered file tabs?

                (Somebody tell me how to code a quote. Another BB I belong to has the codes right next to the message area, easy to find. Where are they here?)

                dal1mdm, all I can say is that it works for me. I think maybe I save time by scanning the left-hand side instead of tracking from side to side like a dog out in the field.

                remyc88, straight cut folders have an elevated rear section with plenty of room to put labels on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Day Owl
                  Somebody tell me how to code a quote. Another BB I belong to has the codes right next to the message area, easy to find. Where are they here?
                  You can use the Quote button in the lower right of each post. Then you can edit the text within the [quote] tags.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Gameboy70. I looked everywhere but in the right place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use 1/3 cut, and buy them from costco or Sam's. I have all my labels flush right-this is more efficient and easy to scan.

                      I buy the regular box of file folders, give away the ones with middle tabs and use the rest. BTW, for the left sided ones, I just fold them around so tabs are to the right.

                      Buying them with only right or left tabs is more money.

                      David

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Geez, I'm starting to feel like a Smead sales rep, or uh, "consumer advocate" as someone else put it. No, I don't work for Smead. I take a flush tab approach like a few other people have mentioned, though with some modifications. The Smead web site has information on what they call Straight Line Filing at http://www.smead.com/Director.asp?NodeID=657 and the benefits of a flush tab approach. Smead also throws in color as a way to differentiate between sections.

                        Personally, I use a combination of 1/3 cut file folders, straight tab file jackets and straight tab file pockets. For high level categories/subjects, I use 1/3 cut left tab folders and file pockets labeled on the left. Individual files are kept in 1/3 cut right tab folders or file jackets labeled on the right. I use plain manila folders/jackets with black & white labels. I tried to use color, but the time, energy and cost of using and maintaining consistent coloring got to be too much. I use file jackets whenever I have small pieces of paper and/or think the contents might spill out the sides of a file folder. I ditched all my pendaflex hanging folders and use bookends to keep my folders and jackets standing straight up. File pockets (and expandable file jackets) can stand on their own.

                        Hope this helps,

                        -michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by morias
                          The Smead web site has information on what they call Straight Line Filing at http://www.smead.com/Director.asp?NodeID=657 and the benefits of a flush tab approach. Smead also throws in color as a way to differentiate between sections.
                          -michael
                          That all looked excellent, and even handled my question about ACCO fasteners (Smead have folders with built-in fasteners).

                          But then they go and break their whole approach by having the tab position on standard folders different from the tab position on their fastener folders! So it's either all fastener, or all not.

                          So close!

                          --

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Boy, I've gotta say I think this whole discussion is hysterical! How much time do folks spend just getting the right folders, folding them around to use backwards, etc.?

                            I buy a couple of boxes of manila folders at once. The most commonly available are the 1/3 cut, and those are nice, too, because the tabs are big enough for a good sized label printed out from my P-Touch labeler -- which is immediately at hand.

                            I spend no time at all wondering if the tabs are "staggered" or "unstaggered" -- I just grab a blank folder, regardless of whether the tab is left, middle or right, slap the label on, and stick it in alphabetical order in the filing cabinet that sits immediately to the left of my desk. I can very quickly find anything in there, regardless whether it's in a left, middle or right tabbed folder -- it's alphabetical.

                            It doesn't really matter whether your tabs don't march in repeating left-middle-right order from the front to the back of your drawers. Just get the darn things in there, and press on with getting things done. (There's a reason why David didn't stop with his book and call it "Getting Things Filed.")

                            Randy Stokes

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by randystokes
                              Boy, I've gotta say I think this whole discussion is hysterical! How much time do folks spend just getting the right folders, folding them around to use backwards, etc.?
                              Randy Stokes
                              I know, it's a sickness; I need help!

                              I think it's because I'm a maximizer and not a satisficer (see book "The Paradox of Choice").

                              --

                              Comment

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