Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Stupid Folder Question -- Please Help!? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Stupid Folder Question -- Please Help!?

    Thanks for reading.

    OK, so I'm starting the GTD method and I've run into a small roadblock. I'd like to setup my A-Z files but I'm confused. Whether I use manilla folders or anything else, they are all have tabs that complicate alphabetical filing. I'm not sure how to insert new files.

    For example, if I have 3 files, Airplanes, AMEX and Apples with manilla folders with 1/3 cut tabs then Airplanes is on the left tab, AMEX on the middle tab and Apples on the right tab.

    Now if I want to add a file called Adam and I put it in a manilla folder with a left tab, where does the Airplanes file go (also a left tab). Does it go directly behind Adam?

    Does anyone see the problem here with cut tabs? How do we keep our files alphabetized? What does everyone else do?

    Thanks

    -A

  • #2
    A,

    The most common way of getting around the problem you mention is using tabs all cut in the same location (e.g. I use all left cut tabs). That way, you never have to worry about adding a new folder inbetween two tabs that don't match up correctly.

    I've actually found that it makes my file drawer look neater, and it is easier for me to find the folder I'm looking for.

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      I use the "full cut" manila folders, the ones with the cut all the way across the top of the folder. These folders give ample room for indexing and allow you to place the index name wherever you want across the top.

      These folders might be hard to find on the shelf at stores such as Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, etc. but you should look there first if you have one of those stores near you. Otherwise, these files should be readily available through on-line office supply stores.

      Good luck!

      Danny L. Hardesty

      www.dannyhardesty.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I too highly recommend the "all tabs in one position" mode, or the files with one large tab that spans the entire length of the file.

        The third/cut and fifth/cut files make me dizzy! And, as you have noticed, the "system" only works if you have a predetermined number of files, so you can "plot out" in advance which ones are going to be right, which ones are Middle, and which ones are left. The moment you make a new file it throws the entire system off kilter.

        BTW, I didn't think it was a stupid question at all. The only reason I picked up on NOT using all the tab positions is because I saw it done somewhere.

        If you look at the line drawing in GTD of the Tickler File, you can see that David has done something similar, with all the days 1-31, having the same tab position (left). For the Months, he has used a middle tab, to differentiate months from days easily by sight.

        Comment


        • #5
          I tend to take whatever folder is on top and use it. I've given up worrying about which position goes where in my file cabinet. As yet, it doesn't bother me, but I can see why it would bother some.

          Comment


          • #6
            Folder tab positions.

            Originally posted by amiller
            For example, if I have 3 files, Airplanes, AMEX and Apples with manilla folders with 1/3 cut tabs then Airplanes is on the left tab, AMEX on the middle tab and Apples on the right tab.

            Now if I want to add a file called Adam and I put it in a manilla folder with a left tab, where does the Airplanes file go (also a left tab). Does it go directly behind Adam?
            Some time ago somebody here said that in case of 1/3 cut manilla folders it is always possible to insert a new folder between two other (old) folders in that way that all the tabs have different positions. In your example the "Adam" folder (which will be the first one) should have the right tab (to reduce the visual interference with the next two).

            I tried this method but it led to rather chaotic look of my files which I did not like.

            Now I generally prefer one-position setup. I also use the multiple position setup if I know that in a given category there will be up to nine folders (with 1/9 cut to have them in one row).
            Last edited by TesTeq; 08-15-2005, 12:26 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              simple hack

              By the way, if you ever find yourself in a situation where the supplies you have on hand are 1/3 cut files, and for the sake of arguement, let's say that you have decided to line up all the new files on the RIGHT. You can double the amount of RIGHT tabs you have by taking the LEFT tab files and turning them inside out.

              This doesn't work so well on files that have a different color on the inside as they do on the outside, but for plain manilla, it does the trick and will enable you to re-use what you have on hand before having to make a trip to the office supply store for more files.

              The other benefit is that when you are AT the office supply store, if they are out of RIGHT tabbed files, you can buy LEFT tabbed files and you can use them with no problem.

              I suggest not choosing the MIDDLE tab position simply for the reason that there are more LEFT and RIGHT tabs in package than MIDDLE tabs.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just let the tab position fall to random chance. It is really not a big problem if two line up. You will still be able to find the file pretty easily. This is the most expedient solution and also the most economical, since 1/3 cut folders are very inexpensive compared to full cut or same cut.

                Don't let the details of your system bog you down. A key attribute of a good GTD filing system is that creating a new file has to be as easy and quick as possible so you do not start stacking.
                Last edited by Barry; 08-15-2005, 01:45 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Barry, I think you are absolutely right. The important thing is that it's filed where you can find it. IMO, the earlier your files acquire that not-quite-perfect, lived-in look, the sooner you can stop stressing about maintaining perfect looking files, and simply enjoy being able to find things.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Barry
                    It is really not a big problem if two line up.
                    My compliments to the people for whom this works! I don't mind at all when they line up...so long as they ALL line up! It is the randomness that bothers me and gives me "visual vertigo".

                    Originally posted by Barry
                    Don't let the details of your system bog you down. A key attribute of a good GTD filing system is that creating a new file has to be as easy and quick as possible so you do not start stacking.
                    Agreed, whatever system you decide to use, make sure it is one that works for you. Personally, the price for files that are all "Right" tabbed wasn't so extravagantly more expensive then the 1/3 cut tabs, and for me, the extra expense is well-worth it. Having organized files that are visually pleasing and easy to use make me not resist making a new file.

                    Just use whatever system works for you--your preferences are just that--yours. The single tab way isn't better unless it works better for you, and vice versa.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Visually pleasing and easy to use - that's the main point!

                      Originally posted by sablouwho
                      Having organized files that are visually pleasing and easy to use make me not resist making a new file.
                      And that is the main point in choosing your own file organization method and type of manilla folders, hanging folders or other filing tools.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hanging Folders (the green thingies)

                        Originally posted by TesTeq
                        And that is the main point in choosing your own file organization method and type of manilla folders, hanging folders or other filing tools.
                        TesTeq, thanks for mentioning that--it reminds me of a question that I have. Does anyone understand why David Allen doesn't like the handing green files that slide?

                        I had them in my files until recently, but am experimenting with going without for a while to see how it goes.

                        As far as I can see, here are the pros/cons;

                        Pros: Easy to slide files back and forth in the drawer. "Exta protection" against something falling out of the file drawer. When they are NOT in place, the files fall down and are harder to access if you don't use some sort of "bookend" to keep them from leaning over.

                        Cons: Take up a LOT of extra physical space that could otherwise be used for files. Using them (when creating a new file) is one "extra" step. HACK: If using them, don't make a label for them, just use the label on the actual file folder (though to do this you have to be sure to get files that "stick up" high enough on their own that the label can be seen at the top).

                        As for me, I have an antique roll top desk in my home office, with one file drawer. I can't use folders there because there is no rail (and since the desk is antique, I don't want to make any modifications that would ruin the desks value or historical integrity.) The rest of my personal files right are in a bankers box as a temporary solution. The tickler file is in a plastic file box with flip top lid and handle. It has rails for hanging folders built-in, but I am not using them at the present time.

                        I am curious to hear what people have decided to do re: this point, what works for them, and why. I look forward to your input!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sablouwho
                          Does anyone understand why David Allen doesn't like the handing green files that slide?
                          David Allen fleshes this out pretty well in the GTD book. The main advantages that I can remember that he cites of manilla folders are that they are easier to take with you in your briefcase or to a meeting because they don't have the hanging bars sticking out the end. They are also quicker to label and take less space.

                          They only work really well in file drawers with a moveable plate in the back to compress them, so I recommend using that type of drawer. That is what I do.

                          Allen goes on to say that if you do have to use hanging files (such as in a lateral file drawer) then do not label them, but use them only to contain your labeled manilla folders (as you mentioned). One manilla folder per hanging folder to avoid the problems of having to readjust the contents and the uneven tab height that will result from crowding multiple manilla folders in each hanging folder. I use this method whenever I have to use a file box or file crate. I would love to find a file box with a moveable plate in the back.

                          Some forum users advocate using box-bottom hanging folders. That looks like a possibility, but I have no personal experience with them, and they seemed expensive when I spotted them once. I still don't think it would be better than the basic manilla folders in a drawer with moveable plate.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barry
                            David Allen fleshes this out pretty well in the GTD book.
                            In that case, having read it twice, I think there is something I am just not "getting" in my reading of it. So please bear with me while I ask a question that might seen as if the answer *should be* totally obvious!

                            Originally posted by Barry
                            The main advantages that I can remember that he cites of manilla folders are that they are easier to take with you in your briefcase or to a meeting because they don't have the hanging bars sticking out the end.
                            Goodness, I had never thought of that. It didn't occur to me that people would use the hanging folders alone, and put papers directly inside them.

                            Originally posted by Barry
                            They are also quicker to label and take less space.
                            Indeed. My ticker was a lot easier to manage once I got the 43 extra folders (the hanging ones) OUT of my file box!

                            Originally posted by Barry
                            Allen goes on to say that if you do have to use hanging files (such as in a lateral file drawer) then do not label them, but use them only to contain your labeled manilla folders (as you mentioned). .
                            That was a big takeaway from me re: the book, in retrospect, I used to spend a lot of time DOUBLE labelling--I would put a label on the manilla folder AND a label on the hanging folder. What a waste of expensive label tape that was!

                            Originally posted by Barry
                            Some forum users advocate using box-bottom hanging folders. That looks like a possibility, but I have no personal experience with them, and they seemed expensive when I spotted them once. I still don't think it would be better than the basic manilla folders in a drawer with moveable plate.
                            I used to use those box-bottom files. They did indeed work well. In a typical box of hanging folders that I would buy, they would always come with a few of the smaller sizes of box bottom folders in there. If you ever find that you have a green folder that seems a bit too high for the rails, it is probably a box-bottom type.

                            However, having recently gotten rid of all hanging folders, I have to say that I do enjoy the extra space, and that it is now easier to make files, and that it requires less office supplies.

                            One thing that I picked up somewhere on this forum, or 43 folders, was how to get help making your files stand up if you don't have one of those metal plates at the back of your file drawer. (I have some files that live in a bankers box). Some of my general reference info was stored in binders. I just took a few of the binders from the shelf, and filed them alphabetically intermixed with the file folders. They act like bookends and keep the rest of the files from flopping over. A good solution for me until I get a real file cabinet (which may be a long time away as I don't have lots of files and the box works fine for me).

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X