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file folder and cabinet size

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  • file folder and cabinet size

    Hi all,

    Need some feedback on file cabinet sizes people are using who are successfully implementing the GTD system. I don't know if Dave Allen distinguishes between letter and legal size file folders or file cabinets.

    I am in the process of purchasing some file cabinets for my home based business. The 'Hirsh' product (available at Staples) seem to be among the best I've seen and Hirsh states that their product can sustain frequent daily use.

    I was going to buy one 4-drawer and two 2-drawer cabinets making it a total of eight drawers.

    I believe DA says he uses four file drawers for general reference material. Using this as a starting point, I was also going to use one drawer for Projects, one drawer for Someday/Maybe's and one drawer for Ticklers (with one of these ticklers holding account payables as part of my cash flow management)

    I was going to use something like PowerMarks for labeling, and only use pocket folders so nothing can fall out of the sides.

    But should I be using legal or letter size cabinets and folders?

    Look forward to your responses.

    Sincerely,

    Mike R.

  • #2
    not specifically addressed

    If most of your materials are legal sized, I would go with that size. If only the rare item is legal sized, like a will or contract, of which you have maybe one of each, just fold those and use letter. Letter is cheaper in folders and takes up less room. Is your project drawr going to be reference material for active projects or what? I am not sure I see why tprojects should be separate. I do feel that financial needs to be separated from general reference, as would clients, and as I seem to accumulate info for or about family and friends, I am (Some Day Maybe) going to put my people all in one file by themselves too. Good Luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: not specifically addressed

      Originally posted by Jamie Elis
      If most of your materials are legal sized, I would go with that size. If only the rare item is legal sized, like a will or contract, of which you have maybe one of each, just fold those and use letter. Letter is cheaper in folders and takes up less room. Is your project drawr going to be reference material for active projects or what? I am not sure I see why tprojects should be separate. I do feel that financial needs to be separated from general reference, as would clients, and as I seem to accumulate info for or about family and friends, I am (Some Day Maybe) going to put my people all in one file by themselves too. Good Luck
      Jamie,

      My reasoning is that my "live projects" file drawer would contain project pocket folders holding project support materials that might not be necessary to incorporate into general reference filing. Dave Allen indicates on his seminar cd's that he has seven file drawers and that 4 are for general reference. He doesn't clearly indicate what he does with the other three file drawers. Is it not advantageous to distinguish between general reference filing and project support materail for live projects?

      Mike R

      Comment


      • #4
        Mike,

        there are two reasons why general reference files and project support material usually are kept separately:

        1) In office workplace design there are several different filing areas at a well designed workplace depending on the frequency the files are accessed, e.g. the dynamic filing on or in your desk (accessed often every day) or the archives accessed only a few times per year. The project support material should be placed as near as possible to your chair whereas the reference files don't need to be that near to you.

        2) In records management the records (information recorded on paper (documents) or computer drives) are the evidence of the activity of your office, your administration or your business. General reference files are not really records but are just used for the convenience of the worker. Every document that proves that you have done something (e.g. unfinished projects) should be separated from the general reference files that prove nothing. This separation will also facilitate the setup of file retention schedules in which you define the time periods after which each kind of records can be destroyed.

        Rainer

        Comment


        • #5
          reference and project folders different

          This brings up a question that I have been mulling around. Do I file my Project folders seperate from my reference? I am mixing and I think that is causing me difficulty in GTD.

          Also, I was wondering if anyone is using the Taming the Paper Tiger software? Sounds good, but it also does not sound like DAs way of filing.

          Thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            files:active projects vs archives vs all one A to Z

            Articulate and knowledgable replies such as that of Ranier's above, are really valuable. This reply makes me recognize that there are stages to implentation of a project, especially the big one that I am facing, which is taking mounds of papers through the GTD system. I realize that at some point, I will need to separate the archival files from the active project files, at business and at home, for the reasons mentioned in Ranier's post. But, right now, and I mention this because it may be where others are at this point, my biggest active project is processing and organizing really huge piles of paper into a filing system that works for me. At this stage, in this project, all the files in it are really just active recieving places. They will remain active receptacles for the duration of the project and that includes incorporating exisiting "filed" papers from systems that did not work into the one I am currently building. I have everything in alphabetical order, whether it is saved purely for information or is part of an a current or SDMB project. If I see that a folder is getting too full, I put it on my project or SDMB notes t ("cull Cemetaries' folder"), unless I quickly can see that I can throw out something (a 2004 guide to Historic Cemetaries replaces 2003) or if I can quickly divide a category I do (such as Cemetaries-New England , Cemetaries-West Coast). A to Z only is helpful because I am not thinking twice or three or four times about what drawer or box to put something in as I did in past efforts. I had also mistakely set up many files in the past based on verbs (to write", "to file", etc. or by date or by project (and some support info goes with more than one project) and a lot of important things got lost. Another factor to consider is whether most of your activity with your files is retrieving information or filing papers into it as I think is is near impossible to equally optimize a system for "taking things other" and "putting things away", unless you have very few objects in it, such as line of scew drivers on a wall in size places. My project is going really, really well!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: reference and project folders different

              Originally posted by susie
              This brings up a question that I have been mulling around. Do I file my Project folders seperate from my reference? I am mixing and I think that is causing me difficulty in GTD.

              Also, I was wondering if anyone is using the Taming the Paper Tiger software? Sounds good, but it also does not sound like DAs way of filing.

              Thanks.
              Hi Susie,

              It appears that a software of choice recommended by several seasoned and experienced GTDers is the PowerMarks product {www.kaylon.com/power.html). That is what I plan to use with labeling of my file pocket folders.

              I don't know personally of anyone who is using the Papertiger software.

              Mike R.

              Comment


              • #8
                Powermarks S/W

                Hi There,

                This might be a really dumb question but...

                How do you use PowerMarks S/W for filing?

                Thanks

                GG

                Comment


                • #9
                  2 things

                  Hi.

                  First, Susie, there are people at teh GTD Delphi forums using paper tiger. I don't have the link, but it ought to come up on a google search.

                  Second, in buying file cabinets, don't make the mistake I made. Even a very sturdy looking cabinet with the right kind of suspension system can have cheap, ill-attached floors in the drawers. What results is the bottom of your drawer warps and falls out. Mine did. Oops! Now I have bottomless drawers and hanging files. (For now I"m putting up with that rather than the hassle of buying a new cabinet.)

                  Just check teh bottoms of the drawers, especially if you're getting a wooden cabinet. Even my expensive cabinet at work had that problem - they used particle board for the drawers, and it just was not designed to use anything but hanging files.

                  HTH.
                  Taxgeek

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    File folder and legal size

                    With GED I finally set up a good alpha general reference file. My client files are seperate. All open files are filed seperately and when closed are closed according to certain broad catagories by type of case. I try and do a clean out of all unneccesary paperwork as I close the file.

                    I go to second hand business equipment stores. You can get high quality heavy duty file cabinets for the price of cheaper new ones.Quality is crucial if you are using file cabinets for your business.
                    Mardo

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