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  • Giving Others Access to Your Files

    It's nice to have a place to ask questions like these - this forum is great!

    I'm preparing to go on leave for about a year and will have a temporary replacement "Acting" in my position in order to keep things moving along while I'm away. My specific question, at this time, is how I should allow access to my general reference files.

    A few notes of my situation: I'm pretty new here (seven months or so) and took the opportunity to set up my reference files GTD style. So there is one A-Z system for my general reference files and a separate system for specific projects that uses the Project Number (this one I'm not concerned with). I do have one essentially empty (for now) four drawer file cabinet in my office. Anything extremely personal in my files I've noted with a pink dot and will remove when I leave (pay stubs, anything with my social insurance number etc.)

    My sub will need access to some of the reference information while working on projects that need to be moved forward while I'm away but they won't be done in that time and I'll need to be able to take them back.

    The way I see it, I've got a couple of options:
    (1) Give my sub free access to the files to pull-out, refile and create new files that fit in my A-Z system. I have a list of the files in a Word document and could easily compare the altered list with my old list to identify which new files were created and change those that don't make sense to me.

    (2) Give my sub access to pull any files needed and to re-file in his/her own system in the empty cabinet and then when I return I can look through and re-inegrate the new stuff back into my system as I get to it. This would also encourage the sub to think about and develop his/her own concepts in filing/organizing. Part of the purpose of the sub is for training/experience for that person.

    Does anyone here have experience with this? Any thoughts? Is there another option I'm not thinking about? Should I just not worry about it and deal with it when I get back?

  • #2
    Some thoughts

    You could consider to realize one only GTD system, shared with your sub. In this case, you could set some common rules to create, modify and eliminate files. For example: your sub could update you when he create a new file, with an e-mail or updating a shared word file. In this case, you would eliminate data redundancy. Other way could be to use a special inbox when your sub could put the files after every change or creation, so you could check it immediately.

    Creating two independent systems require setting up some rules anyway. For example, you could manage two indipendent shared files in your computer network, pointing out every change in each system. You could check this files during the weekly review.

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    • #3
      Those would be great solutions if this were a dual working system.

      My problem is that I will be away from work for a year, so no checking on these files or e-mail for a year. I want to maximize my substitute's ability to get the information he/she will need and minimize the work I will need to do when I return to integrate all of the new information into my reference system.

      I'm thinking that by letting the sub pull out files but then re-file them in whatever way he/she finds useful in a separate cabinet, I can both help them experience the organizational requirements of this management position and make it easier for me to review what happened while I was away.

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